What Do I Need?
Swimsuit: Underwater Hockey, while classified as a limited-contact sport, is still hard on swimwear. Durable, tight-fitting suits are recommended.
Mares Avanti HP fins
Fins: Sturdy, full-foot fins made of plastic and/or rubber are best. Several good models are commercially available. Based on quality, price and availability, the Mares Plana Avanti HP (pictured) is probably your best bet if you're new to the sport or just want a good, dependable, no-frills fin that gets the job done. Avoid adjustable fins with buckles at the heel, as they tend to be too bulky and cumbersome for the fast-paced maneuvering of an underwater hockey game.
Mask: First and foremost, you want a mask that does not leak. There is a trade-off between durability and field of vision. Bulky, sturdy masks generally survive longer but limit the wearer's range of vision, both horizontally and vertically. Minimalist, face-hugging models such as the very popular Aqua-Sphere "Sphera" (pictured) offer a much better field of vision, but their plastic lenses and thin frames make them susceptible to scratching and breaking. For safety reasons, masks with large, single front lenses are not allowed, as their lenses are likely to break if accidentally struck by a stick, puck, or player's heel.
Snorkel: Sturdy, pliable, large-bore snorkels are recommended. Avoid fancy bells and whistles like purge valves and splash guards, as they tend to make the snorkel large and cumbersome. For safety reasons, non-pliable snorkels (such as those constructed of hard plastic) are not allowed.
Mouthguard: Mouthguards should be worn at all times to reduce the risk of injury to the mouth and teeth. External mouthguards, like the one shown, are generally adapted versions of mouthguards designed for use in other sports and can be fitted around the mouthpiece of a snorkel to provide cushioning and protection. Internal mouthguards are readily available at most sporting goods stores can be worn instead of, or in addition to external mouthguards.
Wrestling headgear; glove and mask also shown
Ear Protection: Often referred to simply as "Headgear", ear protection can be of various types. Water polo caps are popular, as are wrestling headgear of various styles. Anything that protects the ears from impacts will work. You also need headgear to identify you as being on a team (white or black); in the case of wrestling headgear, you can wear a white or dark swim cap underneath.
Glove: A sturdy, flexible protective glove should be worn on the playing hand (usually the player's dominant hand). There are gloves available for purchase from various vendors around the world, or you can make your own.
Stick: The sticks used in underwater hockey are usually made or wood or plastic, are roughly 12 inches (30 centimeters) in length, and are painted, dyed or otherwise colored either white or black. Stick color is used to designate a player's team during competition (one team plays with white sticks and the other team with black). Numerous shapes and styles exist, and many players design and make their own, or purchase custom-designed sticks from one of the several commercial stick-makers around the world.
Puck: If you play or practice underwater hockey with a club, the club will doubtless have pucks available for you to use, but it is nice to have one of your own so you can do solo puck-handling drills on your own. Several styles of pucks are manufactured and sold around the world. All modern designs have a lead core surrounded by a protective coating of plastic and/or rubber. Prices are typically US $40 to $65, and shipping charges may add significantly to the price, especially if you purchase a puck from overseas.
UWH Gear Vendors
Currently, two companies make and sell underwater hockey-specific gear in the United States:
Other vendors are available worldwide (though shipping costs can be high). General items -- like masks, snorkels, suits, and headgear -- can be found at many stores online or locally.