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Choosing the Right Skates for Youth Ice Hockey

As summer vacation approaches, families across the country are looking to enroll their children in one of the multitude of themed summer camps being offered. Sports camps in general have become a veritable institution in America, and ice hockey in particular has proven to be one of the most popular camps no matter what part of the country it is in. With every enrollment in a youth summer ice hockey camp, comes the task of choosing a pair of skates that are going to be durable, that are going to offer the support and comfort necessary for the game, and that kids are going to feel good about wearing.

Ice hockey is an extremely fast-paced sport at any level and calls for tremendous hand-eye coordination, speed, and agility. In order to excel and glean maximum enjoyment out of playing the game, especially at the youth level, the right equipment is paramount. Every piece of equipment that your kids put on to play ice hockey is obviously important, but arguably the most critical component is a quality pair of hockey skates. Choosing the best skates can be challenging, particularly if you are a parent who doesn’t have a great deal of playing or coaching experience. But the prospect of selecting good skates does not have to be a daunting one.

Keep the Child’s Growth in Mind

One of the downsides of children from the perspective of a parent is that they never stop growing. That being the case, hockey skates usually don’t get more than one or maybe two seasons of use before they no longer fit properly. This is important to keep in mind in terms of preparation for a child’s “career” in youth hockey. It is a good idea to keep track of how your child performs in a particular pair of skates and how comfortable they are in order to assess what styles and brands work best. Properly fitting skates can make all the difference in terms of a child’s performance in and enjoyment of the game.

Is New Better Than Used?

From a strictly monetary standpoint it is obviously advantageous to purchase used hockey skates as opposed to new ones. But, as with most things that are compared in terms of new versus used, there is going to be some sacrifice of quality when choosing used skates. That doesn’t mean that used skates are not a viable option. In fact, many parents choose used skates especially for youth ice hockey because of the growth factor. Used youth skates typically have only been used for a season or two and hence still have a lot of life left in them. New skates have their advantages to be sure, but used skates can offer comparable quality in certain circumstances.

Position Matters

Depending on what position your child plays or wants to play, there may be a specific type of skate needed. Most positions wear ice skates for “skaters” or defensemen and forwards. But goalies wear skates with a design intended for that position with smaller blades and more toe protection. Youth goalie skates also have a small boot to accommodate the increased flexibility that is required at that position. Please contact the staff at Camp All-Star if you have questions or would like more information about our summer ice hockey camp.

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"I am not quite sure how the camp as a whole accomplished this, but Eric returned so much more mature and self-confident. He was respected by the counselors and in return respected everything they offered: both instructionally and emotionally. The staff seemed to have been able to reach him and get through to him, challenge him without discouraging him, and, all in all, make him feel like his dreams are attainable."

Family of Eric D., Age 15, Miami, FL