I hate going to rinks and seeing little kids with thousands of dollars of pristine high level goal gear on their bodies. All that tells me is that they’ve got rich sucker parents who’re more than likely compensating for their child’s athletic deficiencies by flashing them up in top gear.
This fine photo, however, is proof you don’t need the best bling to rock the crease. This would’ve been my 9 year old self back in 1981, playing goal for the Grew Boats Canadians in the Penetanguishene Minor Hockey house league program.
That gigantic adult blocker was a gift given to me by my father’s drinking buddy Frank St. Amant. I wore that blocker all through house league, then rep hockey, into junior, and for a few years of adult hockey, too. All told, I probably got 20 years worth of active use out of it.
The glove, yes, is in fact an old baseball glove. Either it was my dad’s old glove or an uncle’s hand-me-down. I can’t remember. But it did its job at the time. And really, what’s a 9 year old going to catch, anyway? The kids that age can’t even lift a puck in the air unless they manually put it on its edge and shovel flip it.
The skates are player skates. No kid can shoot hard enough at that age to hurt-y-wurt you in the toe with a shot. So spending $200 on goal skates is just dumb.
The pads and chest protector? Those were property of the minor hockey system. They had a giant locker of gear for kids under a certain age to borrow.
So realistically the only proper “goalie equipment” expense in this ensemble is the goal stick. Everything else was on the cheap. And I turned out alright in the pipes. So parents, don’t let your wallets show you to be suckers.