By: Paul Ward @paulwardo
It’s bad, really bad. Four pairs of gloves, three buckets, six sticks, countless sweaters and socks. What’s wrong with me? Why do I keep acquiring pieces of equipment when I haven’t grown in seven years? The answer, I love gear. Ever since I was a kid I’ve been reading the monthly hockey magazines, looking at the end of USA hockey checking out all of the new arrivals. Sticks are the name of the game for me, though I do not discriminate; anything with a logo is fair game.
“Sticks are the name of the game for me, though I do not discriminate; anything with a logo is fair game.” Click to tweet
For some reason I’ve always been drawn to the equipment we wear as players. It’s part of our toolbox, and we can customize ourselves to look and feel the way we want when we play. It started at a young age looking at goalie masks on hockey cards. Once at a tourney in Michigan, I was able to meet the guy responsible for painting Ed Belfours’ Maple Leafs mask. He let me try it on. From there it blossomed into a full blown obsession. This isn’t some display only memorabilia collection, those four pairs of gloves I mentioned have all been worn thin and lived out their on-ice life. Post mortem they just sit in my bag and make it heavier. I like to tell myself that I keep the stuff around so if someone forgets something they can use it. The truth is I just can’t part with my old hockey stuff. I’m not talking about skates I had when I was six. With the exception of snapped sticks, I rarely throw away my old equipment.
“I like to tell myself that I keep the stuff around so if someone forgets something they can use it. The truth is I just can’t part with my old hockey stuff.” Click to tweet
In I come to the locker room carrying my 10 ton bag. The seams are ripping and my shin pads are hanging out of the hole. Playing beer league affords me a nice opportunity to wear anything I want. Sometimes for a game I’ll wear my classic Bauer 4500 with the straight cut halfy. Other times I’ll throw on my black 5500 with my CCM white cage, kicking it old-school. I’ve even got a bucket with a GoPro mount on it. The possibilities are endless! My socks are never the same causing teammates to chirp nonstop while getting dressed. The beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Having it my way, I would own every piece of equipment ever made. That’s a little farfetched though, eh? I don’t think so.
I am most proud of my stick collection. I’ve grown quite fond of the CCM lines as of late, so they have been my focus. Having collected all of the top line models, CCM released the UltraTacks and Speedburner. Guess I’ll need to save up a couple more bones to nab these new twigs. That’s the problem with buying new gear isn’t it? Every time you go out and snag something new, another model comes out. It’s like getting an iPhone 5 right as the 6 comes out. Alas, the struggle continues; maybe by the next time I write; i’ll have that elusive Speedburner I’ve been combing eBay for (Read my utlimate guide to hockey sticks on ebay). #StayTaped