So you want to pick up playing underwater hockey and you’re wondering what kind of gear you’ll need? Check our gear guide to make sure you’re not buying the wrong equipment!
Girls: leave your bikinis at home. Underwater hockey is a non-contact sport, but you’ll move a lot, and if you worry about body parts falling out of the bikini, it’s not as much fun. Just wear a swimsuit as you would for lap swimming. Guys: your beach shorts will slow you down. Get speedos/tight shorts.
Your mask needs to have two lenses (because they’re harder to break). The smaller the volume, the better. Make sure your masks fits you! Try it on like this: put the mask on your face without using the strap. Breath in through your nose. Now the mask should stick on your face. If that doesn’t work, try a different one.
For competitions, the snorkel has to be of a soft, slightly bendable material to prevent injuries. A large bore and streamlined design is recommended for UWH, while valves are not useful and will slow you down, so choose a simple design without valves.
In UWH you need to maneuver quickly and also be fast. Full foot fins which are relatively stiff and relatively long are the best choice. (Open heal fins are too slow and dangerous for your fellow players!) There shouldn’t be any sharp edges which could hurt other players. Try to find fins that don’t have any holes. In general, too big is better than too small, so you avoid getting bruises. You can wear socks and/or fin keepers if your fins are too big, but there’s nothing you can do if they’re too small.
For beginners, we recommend Mares Avanti Tre or Mares Avanti HP, advanced players/players with a lot of strength in their legs can use Maris Avanti Quattro.
Special UWH equipment
Sticks, gloves and pucks are customised for UWH, so you can’t get them in normal sport shops. There are some online shops that provide UWH gear, though many teams make their own gear.
UWH sticks are about 30 cm long, made of wood or plastic and painted black or white to distinguish the teams, so we usually buy them in pairs.
The gloves protect your knuckles from abrasion against the pool bottom. They also pad your hand when someone hits your hand instead of the puck. It is common practice to make homemade gloves: simply buy a heavyweight gardening glove and cover it with silicone rubber caulking. There are some videos on Youtube (like this one) that show how to do it. We have some gloves to sell, so talk to us first :-).
- Ear protectors
At competitions, wearing ear protectors is required. Getting hit on the ear with a fin may pop your eardrum if done right. Water polo caps work well, or you can buy separate ear protectors without a cap.
- Mouth Guards
An exterior or interior mouth guard is now required at all sanctioned tournaments to protect your teeth.
Our pucks are made from lead with plastic coating and weigh around 1.5 kg.
As a beginner, you don’t need to have your own puck, as we have several. If you want to get one, check the UWH shops listed below or talk to us as we know one of the guys who makes them.
Where to buy?
In Berlin, you can get good masks, snorkels and fins at dive stores, for example at Tiefenrausch or Atlantis Berlin. We also recommend checking Ebay Kleinanzeigen, especially for fins. Decathlon sells waterpolo caps and lots of different swimwear.
UWH gear usually needs to be ordered from shops around the world. Here are some of them:
- Apneashop (Poland)
- Bentfish Design
- CanAm UWH gear
- Core UWH Gear (Slovenia)
- Triton UWH Shop (China)
- True Blue
- UWH Shop
We have enough sticks to lend you one if you want to join us. Please contact us first for the other gear and we’ll try to organize some for you to borrow. Let us know your shoe size for the fins!