Like any sport requiring head protection, helmets in hockey are one of the most important pieces of equipment.
It is one of your most valuable assets on the ice, protecting you against serious injuries from the puck or collisions with other players.
While no helmet can eliminate the risk of concussions, they go a long way to reduce the chances of severe head injuries.
The first step to ensuring your head is safe is to identify a helmet that fits your head well and is suited to your skill level.
No two heads have the same dimensions. The best helmet for you is the one that fits well. In this article, we provide you with a guide on how to size and fit a hockey helmet.
Factors To Consider When Sizing A Helmet
Some points you should consider when searching for the best hockey helmet are outlined below.
Hockey Playing Level
What level of hockey do you play and how regularly? Professional players who play aggressive, full-contact hockey need a helmet that can handle the robust demands of the elite game.
The priorities are different for kids who are playing the sport for the first time. They will need some with top-level protection and a comfortable fit.
Hair Cuts And Style
This may seem strange but how often do you get your hair cut? Players with long, thick hair or ponytails may give the illusion of a smaller fit than reality.
Players with long, thick hair may consider a hair cap to prevent hair from reaching the eyes and make the helmet fitting easier.
Don’t Buy ‘Grow Into’
Helmets play such a pivotal role in protecting hockey players from an injury that they should offer that protection straight away.
The helmet should have a snug fit, and be a finger width from the eyebrow. There should also be plenty of room between the ears and the temple.
Helmets that easily move when the head moves will not correctly absorb impact and be useless in protecting the head.
Helmet And Cage Combo
Youth and Female players tend to seek a helmet and cage combination. If you do pursue this option, ensure that both parts work well together as a single unit on the head to provide solid protection.
A key fact to note is that helmets fit to head size while cages fit to face size. It is fairly common for players to have different cage and helmet combinations.
To ensure a secure fit, the chin-up should be secure and aligned to the J clips on the helmet. This supports better shock absorption.
Helmet And Visor Combo
Depending on your level or playing style, you may prefer using a visor instead of a cage.
When mounting a visor to the helmet, ensure there is up to a 1.25cm gap between the nose and visor giving sufficient breathing space, but also a close fit to protect against facial injury.
How To Size A Hockey Helmet
Most leading brands provide an easy-to-understand helmet sizing chart for you to work out the best size helmet to purchase.
The sizing chart typically states the size (small, medium or large), hat size (inches) and the head circumference range in inches.
While all leading brands are fairly similar in the sizes offered, don’t assume that a small Bauer helmet will directly transfer to a small CCM helmet for example.
To ensure you get the sizing correct, measure the circumference of the head getting fitted and you can then work out the best size by brand.
As all modern helmets include a self-adjustment system, the same size helmet can work well for different head circumferences, which is why brands include a circumference range in the size chart.
How To Fit A Hockey Helmet
The majority of modern hockey helmets are fitted with a size adjustment system such as tabs on the side or a dial at the back. This allows you to find the perfect fit within the designated helmet size.
When fitting a hockey helmet you should take the following steps.
Adjust the strap or dial to the largest setting and place the helmet on your head. You can then gradually tighten the helmet until it reaches a snug fit.
For the ideal fit, the helmet should rest flat on the head while the helmet rim located approximately one-quarter of an inch north of the eyebrows. The helmet should also be stable when the head moves.
Now the helmet is fitting well, you focus on fitting the chin strap.
The chin strap should be sufficiently tight so that the lid doesn’t move but also not so tight that you struggle to breathe. Once the strap is nicely clipped in, you’re good to go.
Hopefully, this brief article has given you some tips to guide you in sizing and fitting a hockey helmet.
Ideally, you can now navigate the wide range of helmet options and be confident in finding the best-fitting helmet for your playing needs.
There are plenty of great options out there for you to explore from leading brands such as Bauer, CCM and Warrior.
Helmets are a crucial equipment piece so we recommend you purchase one for protection now, rather than a helmet that a child would grow into years later.
Secure, snug-fitting helmets will reduce the risk of concussion and allow players to confidently express themselves on the ice.
Hey there, my name is Shawn and I’m a semi-professional hockey player. I’m also the founder and chief editor here at Hockey Pursuits. I love playing hockey and helping players improve their game and that’s why I decided to start this blog.