Hockey Bag Essentials
A hockey bag can be mysterious place. It's filled with different odds and ends, random knick-knacks, and an assortment of good luck charms. Trust us, as people who aren't very good at hockey, we have a ton of good luck charms sitting in our bags. We've compiled a list of must-haves for every hockey player out there to have in their bag - check out what our do's and don't's are for keeping your hockey bag, clean, organized, and ready for game day.
I mean, this one is obvious, right? All bias aside, hockey tape is a must have. It's the one thing that you'll need to literally get ready to get out on the ice. Whether it's to put your shin pads on or to tape up your stick before a big tilt, hockey tape is a necessity. It's like playing basketball without basketball shoes. Or football without a helmet. Or soccer without shin pads. You get the point. Hockey tape is a core product that's an absolute must in your bag. Besides, you don't want to be a tape mooch. Because then you're "that player" that's always in the locker room that says "hey, does anyone have any clear that I can borrow?" No one likes that player. Make sure you have some hockey tape somewhere in the depths of your bag.
Alright, we'll get to the fun stuff after this, but we figured we'd get the top two essentials out of the way before we dive into the most exciting items that make your hockey bag "yours". Laces are also a key component of making sure you're ready to hit the ice without any hiccups. However, you can't just any type of lace. If your laces snap, then you're back to square one and you've got no means of getting onto that ice. That means you either have to put your shoes back on and get a pair from the pro shop or you're stuck watching NHL Network in the lobby with the rink manager if the pro shop doesn't carry any laces. Our best recommendation? Just stock up on one of our Build-A-Lace box packs - that way you get more than just one pair in your bag in case they snap. They won't though - our laces are built with a blend of wicking, high-tenacity polyester yarns to ensure durability and comfort. They've even got a special molded tip technology so that you will never have to thread frayed lace ends through skate eyelets again.
We'll talk about specific things that can go inside your accessory bag, but this is a key item that every hockey player should have in their bag. Here's why: it's going to keep every neat, clean, and organized without you having to dig your entire arm in your bag or without having to take out all the gear in your bag just to get to a face lotion or something. Ours has two zipper compartments, allowing you to split up things to your convenience. If you want shower items on one side and hockey accessories on the other side, you got it. Tape can get beat up, stick wax can run amok, laces can get cut on a skate blade - you never know. That's why we built our accessory bag - to ensure that all wandering products have a room inside the home that is a hockey player's hockey bag. Besides, if you've got the world's highest quality tape, it's probably time to keep it that way.
Shampoo, Conditioner & Body Wash
Post game. Back in the locker room. It's time to hit the showers. Don't use your rink's shampoo and conditioner that they buy by the gallon. That's the cheap stuff. On the other hand, don't use your teammate's 10-in-1 shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face scrub, hair gel, shaving cream, skin moisturizer, deodorant, face lotion, and body lotion, combo bottle that he got for $3.99 at the store. Besides, there's absolutely no way that these companies can keep coming out with 4-in-1's and 5-in-1's - what you wash your hair with should never be what you wash your face with.
Whether you have flow or not, grab yourself a bottle of something that smells good. We'll leave that up to you, but any shower toiletry set works. Why? Because it'll smell infinitely better than leaving that locker room smelling like your hockey gear. We know how bad hockey gear smells. That's why we came out with a candle for those of you that keep your hockey gear inside the house. Regardless, grab a shampoo, a conditioner (for those of you that want to ensure that your lettuce stays luscious), and a body wash. Trust us, your parents, your significant other, and anyone that you're within a 10-foot proximity of will thank you for it.
If you got a pair of top-of-the-line skates for Christmas, don't let them get dinged up and nicked by letting them bounce around freely in your hockey bag. Don't let that same nick make your lose your edge on the ice. Seriously - imagine you're about to pull a mean toe drag or a dangle on the blue line and then all of a sudden, you're on the ice sliding away from a potentially legendary move that could've made Pavel Barber's Instagram page. Grab a pair of skate guards. They'll ensure that your blades are free of any damage. It'll provide maximum protection to eliminate all off-ice damage and our specialize dense terry cloth adds cushion and absorbs moisture to prevent rust.
We're the experts on tape, but we're not quite the experts on actual hockey gear. That means we know everything about ensuring the quality of the tape that goes on a stick, but not too well-versed on the technology of hockey sticks themselves. We'll leave that to the companies that pioneer that industry to give you their pitch and their recommendation on what gear to get. Whether you're in the market for a new pair of skates, a new twig, or even a new helmet, we can't recommend one company over the other. We just know that you need this stuff. Can't hit the ice without your equipment unless you're out there for your middle school's broom ball tournament, in which case, you'll only need a helmet. Regardless, whether you're getting your stuff from your local Play It Again Sports or from a Dick's Sporting Goods, we're excited that you're playing hockey - the best sport ever.
There's nothing worse than a soggy tape job. Seriously. It's worse than a soggy ham and cheese sandwich or a soggy pair of shoes after getting caught in the rain. That's why we came out with our stick wax - not for the shoes or the sandwiches, but for your tape job. Apply our stick wax to the tape after you've put it on your stick and let the rest do its work so that your only worry on the ice is how you're putting that puck in the net (or out of it if you're a goalie). Our stick wax is made from a blend of soft microcrystalline and other waxes to prevent ice and snow build-up. This gives you better puck control and will prolong your tape job. It also comes in a handy tin to make sure your it doesn't rub off on the rest of your equipment.
As we do for any post about our stick wax: DO NOT EAT.
Good Luck Charm
Everyone needs a good luck charm. For some, it can be a four leaf clover or a rabbit's foot. It can be a coin, a horseshoe, a note from someone close, a necklace, ring or any sort of amulet that you keep close by at all times. Sometimes it's a superstition and sometimes it's a heartfelt, meaningful item that you keep close to remind yourself why you play. You can choose to have one, you can choose not to one. We're not here to tell you that you're going to lose every game without one, but if you're the superstitious type (or just a little a stitious like our friend Michael Scott), it's never a bad idea to have your own personal item that you keep with you at all times. For example, Team USA superstar Hilary Knight carries around a Buddha - along with some other products, including Howies! Or Just make sure you don't lose it...
Hockey Skate Socks
If you're wearing Nike Dri-Fit mid-calves with your skates, it's time to think, learn, and adapt your ways because contrary to the Mandalorian, that is NOT the way. Hockey Skate Socks are important because it can either amplify or deteriorate the experience your feet have in tandem with your skates. It can either bunch up, rip, and overall create a negative experience when you're on the ice or it can stretch, move with the contours of your feet, and wick away any moisture. That's why we made three different socks for three different types of players. Whether it's just for simplified comfort to to take advantage of our Taparan™ Fiber to ensure you've got extra protection with our cut-resistant sock, we've got every hockey player in mind. Keep a pair of these in your bag, but make sure to take them out to ensure that you put them through the laundry cycle every now and then!
Happens to the best of us. Your blades are going to get nicked up every now and then. When you're in a pinch or doing a little routine maintenance, it's good to keep one of these inside your bag. Skate stones smooth out any nicks that you might have in your blade and that could be the deciding factor between tripping on a breakaway and toe-dragging your way to your second hatty of the season. Luckily, we've got you covered here at Howies. With a fine, coarse, teardrop, and a new rubber skate stone for coated steel up for grabs, we'll make sure that your skates are going long after the others are hung up. Make sure these bad boys are tucked away in that trust accessory bag of yours though - they can get lost in the abyss that is your hockey bag real easily.
Earphones or Headphones
This is a non-negotiable. Whether you've got a perfectly curated playlist that you listen to routinely before every game or you're trying to drown out coach reaming the team out for a lackluster second period during the intermission, these are a must-have. Pull up to the rink in style with a pair of AirPods or a pair of Beats. If you're an aficionado of sound, you'd opt for a pair of Bose headphones, but I'm not hear to discriminate. As long as you're pumping your own music into your eardrum and not the Swedish exchange student's deep house playlist blaring on the speakers, a pair of Skull Candies or some wired earphones will do the trick no matter what.
The team is hype. Pregame is buzzing. Whether it's Eminem's "Lose Yourself" or T.I.'s "Bring Em Out", the speaker is blaring. Everyone is pumped out. Then someone decides to take it to another level. Cranks it up to 11. But the volume dial only goes up to 10. And then the speaker gives out. Music stops. That's how you lose momentum. That's how you ruin a pregame or an intermission. That's how you squander a 3-1 lead. That's how you take being down 1-0 and turn it into losing 5-0. What would've Miracle been if Herb Brooks just stopped talking mid-speech? A good pregame or mid-game jam is important, which is why you can be the savior by having a Bluetooth speaker in your bag. If the music stops on the locker room's speakers because a fuse gave out, plop a wireless speaker in the center of the room to get the locker room buzzing again.