Thanks to the NHL’s expansion into places like Arizona and Southern California, hockey has grown in popularity in regions that never see snowflakes much fewer sheets of ice. Of course, ice isn’t actually necessary if you want to get your game on—and there’s a huge array of equipment available for street hockey (or “road hockey” if you’re Canadian) and backyard Stanley Cup Finals. There are even options to keep the game alive long after your teammates and opponents have gone in for the day.
From nets to sticks, here’s what you need to hit the ice—without the ice.
BRIGHT, VIVID COLORS
These officially-licensed items are intended for use above 32-degrees—anything lower and they will freeze and shatter. Amazon
No one wants a game to prematurely end because your one and only hockey ball either sailed into the next county or got swallowed up by a sewer drain. Having a good supply of lightweight, PVC, low-bounce balls is essential, and Franklin provides a whole bucket filled to ensure that stoppages of play are kept to a minimum. You get 15 in a pack, which should hold you for a long time.
Heavy duty nylon netting is quadruple-stitched onto six canvas sleeves to keep it durable. Amazon
If you want to shoot, you need something to shoot at, right? Mylec has been one of the big names in street hockey gear for decades, and this sturdy goal is made of 1.25-inch steel tubing supporting a rugged canvas net. It’ll take a pounding—either in-game or from the elements. It measures roughly 52 by 43 by 28 inches, which isn’t NHL regulation, but it’s a good size for small knockaround games.
FOR STREET, ROLLER, OR ICE HOCKEY
This option was designed to minimize cracks during hard shots and passes. Amazon
If we’re talking basics, there is nothing more basic than the need for a stick. Featuring a wooden shaft and a plastic (replaceable) blade, the Mylec MK1 is durable and has a great feel—and won’t splinter like that old ice hockey stick you were probably using. Designed specifically for use on asphalt and other hard surfaces, it’ll get you into the game quickly, whether you’re playing on a street, yard, or roller hockey court.
FOUR PIECE KIT
This suite of products features logos from popular franchises and is only intended for use with a ball—not a puck. Amazon
If someone is going to play net for you, it’s best to outfit them all in one shot. The Franklin Sports gear package contains two lightweight leg pads, a blocker glove, and a catching glove. Made of thin material, they are not intended for on-ice or puck play, but provide decent enough protection against hollow PVC hockey balls. The NHL branding is also a great selling point—professional-looking gear will entice anyone to get in and face a few shots. Not exactly one size fits all, but they work for most kids and adults just fine.
EASY TO SET UP
This waterproof choice has clear holes to aim for while practicing and fits on frames that measure 54 inches by 44 inches. Amazon
What do you do if you are without a goalie? Never fear—the Franklin “shooter tutor” will keep the game going. Designed to fit most street-sized nets (around the 52 or 54 inches, not the big 72-inch pro nets), the waterproof target features 5 scoring zones that help you work on your goal-scoring accuracy—the top corners, bottom corners, and of course, the “5-hole” between a goalies’ legs. A great practice tool and a way to make do for an impromptu game if you’re shorthanded.
COMES WITH EXTRAS
This battery-operated machine will fire spheres to practice slap shots and flash a red light to let you know when one is incoming. Amazon
The hockey equivalent of a tennis ball machine, this battery-operated device stores up to 9 balls and delivers pinpoint passes to help you work on your shots. Featuring an LED warning light for when a pass is coming, it has a simple on/off switch and is compact and portable. It runs on 4 D batteries and is compatible with most standard-sized street hockey balls. Never let a lack of teammates slow you down.