If you liked the player version of What to Buy New vs Used. Don’t worry goalies! We haven’t forgotten about you. Playing goalie is the most expensive position in hockey so let’s try to save you some money. The used market for goalie gear is pretty big.
What you should buy new
Like player helmets, goalie helmets should never be bought used. As much as you don’t want to, you will take pucks to the head and you want to be as protected as possible. Every shot can wear down the protection of the helmet and you would never know how many it’s taken. If you must buy it used take off all the snaps and straps and check for any cracking of the helmet. Also check the foams for any wear or breakdown. Even when buying used, the newer the better. Many goalie masks are painted aftermarket and the certification stickers have been removed. So you have no way of telling if the certificate is still valid. Many leagues require the certificates to be valid. Custom painted masks, if not done properly, can lower the protectiveness of the mask so keep that in mind. The only exception is ball hockey, where you don’t need the same protection as you would in ice or roller. So buying used it totally okay in that situation. Your head is not something to cheap out on. You may not need a top of the line mask, but be realistic with your level of play.
Goalie sticks take quite the beating. That being said, we all want to save money but you may get more life out of a new stick. The good news it they are generally more inexpensive compared to players sticks. If you do buy used, ask if you can take the tape off to check for any damage.
I would recommend buying a new one. They can shatter at any time, even when brand new. It may rub against the chin of the mask, causing scratches which can hinder the protection. A used dangler is perfectly okay as long as there isn’t any cracks. They are pretty inexpensive as well.
I wouldn’t trust the protection of a used throat protector. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a used one for sale.
Used Jocks sound gross, buy a new jock.
What you can buy used
Goalie leg pads are probably the most popular used item. It’s no lie that goalie pads are expensive, at upwards of $1000, and goalies wanting new pads want to recoup at least some of that. Depending on the level of pad, the resale value can be pretty low so you can get a great deal on used ones. And the best part is that you don’t have to break them in. Some beer league goalies have used NHL pro returns because the pads offer high quality protection while also lighter than retail. What would last an NHL-er a few weeks will last for many years in your beer league. When buying used pads theres a few things to look out for, Make sure there is minimal or no smell, the sliding pads aren’t worn down, the straps aren’t falling off or missing and check the bottom part of the pad for wear. Also check for any damage to the corners of the pads or any “bubbling” of the front leather. If it passes all those tests it should be a good set of used pads. Some straps can be inexpensively replaced so its not necessarily a deal breaker.
Behind leg pads, Gloves and blockers are the second most popular used item. They are meant to take a beating so they can last a long time. Check that the palm isn’t too broken down as that might hurt your hand. The only major other issue with a used glove is a “crusty” palm. After many coats of sweat, water and ice, the inside of the palm may break down and get a bit crusty. There are some places which will re-palm it for you, which can extend the life of the glove.
Like the glove, a crusty palm is something unpleasant about a used blocker. However, unlike gloves, blockers are quite easy to re-palm. I have had success getting it done and it feels like new. The place I get mine done (link) only charges $30. So that may save you a lot of money in the long run. Make sure the front of the blocker still has stiff, non broken down foam.
Chest and Arm
You can definitely get a used C&A. As long as there is still plenty of usable protection in it it will be safe for use. Depending on how broken down the pads are you may get some bruises or stingers but that’s preference. Make sure that the used C&A doesn’t smell too bad. Or make some hockey soup.
Surprisingly, goalie pants don’t take much abuse (at least in my experience). So I would definitely consider used pants. Goalie pants can be kept for a long time so many goalies do keep them. The used market may have some very old and very used pants. As long as the plastic and foams in the front are intact they should work. Also make sure there is minimal smell.
Skates can go both ways. Modern skates are heat moldable so they were most likely molded and broken in to the previous owners foot. If you can find a pair that fits that’s great! I would learn towards new but if you’re on a budget, used is definitely a good option. Make sure the liner isn’t ripped and there is still plenty of steel left. Also make sure the steel also isn’t rusted. Lastly check the toe cap, as a damaged one could lead to some broken toes.
Knee guards are totally optional to begin with, so its really up to you. They can break down over time especially from all the extra sweat and water build up. They can be used, and their small size allow them to be easily cleaned. Many have plastic knee caps so make sure there are no cracks. These are generally under $100 so if you can new ones. It would be better but used is a great option.
Where to buy used gear
There are a bunch of places to get used gear. NHL team sales and Pro Stock Hockey have great pro level gear. Check out your local Play-It-Again Sports, which specializes in used gear, not only hockey. And they are literally everywhere across the US and Canada. They have very knowledgable staff and usually tons of gear. If you sell gear there you can get store credit for more good stuff. Also check out the GGSU Facebook page.
Another great place for used gear is Sideline Swap. Its a platform for selling new and used gear. It’s super easy to buy and sell gear. I have used them many times. For 10% off your first purchase send the order number and STICKGURU10 to email@example.com. Ebay, Criagslist, and Kijiji are also good options to check out.
Check out your local NHL team sales, Pro Stock Hockey, your local play it again sports, sideline swap or Facebook goalie gear swap like GGSU may have some good options.
If theres anything I missed drop us a line!