How much are you willing to spend?
I have a pair of CCM skates and I love them. I was out practicing for almost 7 hours one day and my feet hurting me were the least of my worries.
I am going to look into getting a 2 piece stick though, I just broke the blade today.
My gloves are rbk and they're okay, they work for me, but I have seen better.
i'm actually looking for a pair right now for myself. a good site to go to is modsquadhockey.com. they have lots of reviews from people who use the different types of gear out there. usually if you search, you can find someone else looking for the same exact thing.
you might want to see if there are any gloves on closeout and check them out for comfort. usually getting last year's models will save you some money. now is a good time because the 08 models are starting to come out and most stores are trying to get rid of their inventory.
if you can find cheap pro stock gloves, they are usually more protective (since they're nhl level gloves) and sometimes are cheaper than retail gloves. but then you don't have a warranty either. hope that helps.
From what I gather, I should use a 14" or 15" glove, size 10.5 skates.
I'm planning on making the trip this weekend and going to Hockey Giant, Hockey Monkey or Discount Hockey, any advice on which to go to? I don't mind making the drive down to Hockey Giant/Monkey, but if Discount Hockey is the better choice, I sure don't mind saving the gas( Driving down from Santa Clarita ).
From what I've seen, skate size will depend on the manufacturer, so definitely try some on.
As for the stores themselves, Hockey Giant is the biggest of the three and will have the biggest selection. Hockey Monkey is second. Discount Hockey is obviously most convenient, but it's also a fairly small store. They pack it in with as much stuff as possible and they have a decent selection, but if you have your eye on something in particular, call the store and ask if they have the item in stock, even if they list it as available on their website. If you want to spend a day driving and shopping, you can certainly drive into the OC. If it was me, I'd drop into Discount Hockey. They have a decent selection of stuff in their store, so they should be able to help out with whatever you're looking for and save you some time and a long drive. The staff has been helpful when I've gone in, and I believe they're Kings fans as well.
For a good inline skate at a great price ($70), see below:
Nike Bauer Mega 40-70 Senior Inline Hockey Skates
They are very comfortable, and they're cheap enough to have a pair with hard wheels for concrete/asphalt and one with soft wheels for sport court.
I was planning on going *up to* ~$200 for skates, ~$60 for gloves and I'm not sure about the stick yet :/
The main difference for skates is I want a pair where if I get more serious, they'll be more than appropriate, plus I've been wanting a new pair lately that will last; These decade old skates I use now are killing me.
Honestly, if you get those Bauer's and they feel right, you'll probably just as happy in those as you would in a pair that cost a few hundred more.
Hmm, and $60 for gloves? OK, that's something for me to work with. Either go with a high end discontinued model of any of the major brands OR try and find something like the Easton Stealth S4's. Those are in that price range and don't look too bad. RBK also has some decent looking gloves in that range. Either way, I recommend finding leather gloves that look to have a durable palm.