Rental ice is sacred! For those that want to work on their game they need to have some off-ice training equipment. Skill training at home can also be made fun with the right aids around the house. At HSM we have always promoted saving you money on high quality hockey equipment so that it can be better spent on other facets of the game that can continuously make you better. My staff and I have spent a lot of time and research to identify and source the best in the industry.
Here is our list of the top 10 off-ice training aids over the past two seasons;
#10 | Reactive Sniper
- Barkov has this at his house and says its a lot of fun to play around with and create little drills for himself, enough said! MORE
- HSM Tip - Use it for stick handling drills, shooting drills, and make up other little games. Its all about that release.
- Balance Board - Crosby has perfected the art of being able to do amazing things while being checked or off balance etc. He trained in a none static environment working on his balance and his core strength, makes good sense for a reason. MORE
- Slide Board - The slide board builds skating muscles and power, no doubt about it. MORE
- HSM Tip - Stick handle while you do it, pile on the strength and the skill, that's multi-tasking.
- The new age mini stick...with a lot more training benefits. Floorball was part of our off-ice training with our provincial team (in another life for me) and is still used by Hockey Canada. The reason is simple, it is a ton of fun and the skills are transferable to the ice. MORE
- HSM Tip - At $60-$70 many parents question the price, but the shaft is composite construction and most kids get a lot of use out of them. Get a three pack of balls to go with it.
- Initially debated, but it won us over because while the radar itself doesn't actually make you any better, the ability to test your shot speed gives you a lot of motivation to get better and see the progress. MORE
- HSM Tip - I also use mine to test my golf ball speed and my son's pitching.
#6 | Shooting Targets
- You're going to need to have targets of some sort to work on your shot accuracy. As a kid my favorite was the Shooter Tutor, now I tend to lean towards the metal shooting targets. MORE
- HSM Tip - Work on your shooting form by standing still, concentrating on the target, then following through your shot. Then onto more dynamic things like shooting while moving, leaning on one foot, one timers, etc. Make a game of it, I recently had some buddies over for some pops and a mini target shooting tourney; the next day my four year old was lining them up. Never too old, never too young!
- Get ready to be the envy of your neighbours instead of destroying your old mans garage door. There's a few different options out there on the market; we like the Winnwell one, because it has the target slots and it does everything you need it to for the best price. MORE
- HSM TIP - This makes the driveway in the city a shooting pad, just park on the street, unhook the Velcro straps and have at it. We have also sold them for peoples basements and garages. Once again it's great for multi sport, so, what's stopping you from ripping golf balls, baseballs, lacrosse balls etc into it, nothing! You'll want a shooting pad and a dozen pucks to go with it.
#4 | Sauce Kits / Kwik Passers
- Not gonna lie - I'm a bit biased because it's a good buddy who invented the Sauce Net / Puck Catcher. That being said, I also know that he has sold about a million of them, countless NHL players have used them, and we bust ours out all the time in the summer. MORE
- HSM Tip - Ours are direct from the manufacturer and therefore the best quality and price, not to brag but that's a fact. BTW in 2020 they came out with a new product called the Kwik Passer. It has all the makings of being just as big a hit.
#3 | Synthetic Tiles
- You can't simulate ice with concrete, pavement, or interlock. However, you can add tiles to flat surfaces that create synthetic ice. It's undoubtedly the coolest thing any hockey player might have in his or her house. It will be used for years and unless you go with a large custom service it actually isn't too bad on the pocketbook. MORE
- HSM Tip - Skate-able tiles are the best but if you just want an area for shooting, passing, and stickhandling you can go with dryland tiles for about half the price.
- Every hockey family needs a hockey net. You should get the heavy duty regulation size one that will stand up to pucks and last. They are incredibly affordable for what you can get these days. MORE
- HSM Tip - We looked into arena nets and they are crazy expensive, one piece construction which makes shipping astronomical, and generally too heavy to move around your property. For home use this is all you want. Get pucks and targets to go with it.
#1 | Inline Hockey Skates (with hard wheels)
- By far the biggest demand for hockey training products is inline skates. You can hit up trails, play in your driveway or basement, and even use them as a mode of transportation. We carry Bauer, Flite and Alkali models. However, we strongly recommend the Alkali Revel 6 (designed with outdoor wheels), or the Alkali RPD Lites (Adjustable for Youth). What you get for the price of the Alkali skate is untouchable, and in the past two years we have sold several hundred pairs and the feedback/reviews are outstanding.
- HSM Tips - Teach your kids to skate in inline skates. I taught my boys inside on our hardwood, by the time they hit the ice they were ready. My entire family has a pair now right from my nephews to my mom.
It was a topic of great debate and fun for the boys at HSM to put together this list for you. We have researched, sourced and tested a lot of training aids over the past few years and are ultimately very happy with the list above and the complete collection of training equipment we now offer.
Keep the conversation going by commenting on the blog below.