How to Buy Goalie Blockers
Goalie Blockers Buying Guide
Here is some advice from HockeyGiant.com on how to buy Goalie Blockers
Goalie blockers are worn to protect the hand that is used to hold the goalie stick. Goaltenders use the front surface of the blocker board to block the puck when it is shot at the net. Blockers are fairly simple in design because they serve a simple purpose: protection of the stick-side hand.
Blockers are made with various combinations of high and low density foam, plastic, synthetic leather and nylon. As with all pieces of equipment, higher end models are made with better quality materials to provide superior protection, fit and durability. If you're playing in a roller hockey league or lower level recreational ice league, you may not need to spend the extra money for a high end blocker when an entry level or mid level blocker will offer enough protection for you.
Blocker Board Angle
When you're comparing blockers, you'll need to be able to recognize some of the differences between styles of blockers and the advantages of each. We can start with the style or type of blocker board itself. Most blockers manufactured today have an angle built into the end furthest from the hand, near the forearm of the goaltender. The angle is there to prevent pucks from rolling or skipping up the blocker board and over the shoulder of the goalie, especially if the goalie is using the paddle down technique. It also serves the purpose of deflecting pucks down and away from your net. Some models are still offered in a flat face style. This style can provide a slightly larger blocking surface since it's completely flat, but can lead to problems with pucks skipping up the board and over your shoulder into the net.
Blocker Board Thickness
The second feature to take into consideration is the thickness of the blocker board. Thin blocker boards became very popular several years ago because they were lighter in weight and helped to keep the goalies blocker hand in the correct position – especially younger goalies whose arms often become fatigued more quickly. The current trend is back towards thicker, more traditional blocking boards. The main reason thicker boards are coming back is that goalies found that while the thin boards were lighter weight and helped with the fatigue factor, they transmitted more impact shock from pucks, and there was also a decrease in deflection control because of the floppy, flimsy design of thinner boards.
Depending on the level of hockey you're playing, you may want to consider an elite level blocker so that you can take advantage of the special features that are incorporated into the design. Some of the features that are often exclusive to elite level blockers would include:
- Wedges between the blocker and back of the hand to help you angle the blocker so that it stays square to the shooter when holding your stick
- Finger stalls with padding, like player's gloves, which offer more protection for the goalie's fingers
- Vented Nash palms for moisture control and comfort
Proper Fitting for Goalie Blockers
Goalie blockers, like catchers, are offered in 4 sizes: Youth, Junior, Intermediate and Senior. Achieving a proper fit is very important with goalie blockers. Not only does the blocker need to stay secured to your hand for protection's sake, but your blocker hand is also used to hold your goalie stick. If your blocker does not fit properly then you won't have full control of your stick. Like any other piece of equipment, goalie blockers should provide optimal protection without limiting mobility. Sizing is fairly consistent from brand to brand, with a few, slight variations here and there.
Goalie Blocker Sizing Guide