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Shoulder pads are a necessary piece of hockey equipment because they provide protection for the collarbone, upper arms, upper back, and upper chest.
While providing adequate protection, shoulder pads should still allow the player to move around on the ice and manage the hockey stick without impairing movement.
When fitting shoulder pads to the player, the lines of the shoulder should line up evenly with the middle of the shoulder caps.
Shoulder pads that are too small, while allowing the player more mobility, will provide less protection.
On the other hand, shoulder pads that fit too large may provide more protection but will hinder the player's movements.
Size of shoulder pads are measured as following:
Measure the circumference of the chest, just below the armpits.
It's this measurement that will determine what size of shoulder pad the player should be wearing.
When buying shoulder pads don't just make the purchase and take it home. Try on the shoulder pads in the store to make sure they are not too big or too small.
Following are some general guidelines for sizing and fitting shoulder pads. Keep in mind that sizes will vary from one manufacturer to another, therefore always try on shoulder pads before buying.
CCM, Bauer hockey equipment, Easton hockey equipment, Nike and Jofa are all popular brands of hockey pads.
Buying Ice Hockey Equipment - how to, select right size tips (read here)