Entering the world of Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) sports, whether it's hurling or Gaelic football, can be an exciting experience. However, one of the initial challenges is understanding the wide array of GAA gear available and making informed choices about what you need. If you’re starting to get involved in GAA sports, and want to know more about the type of gear to buy - we’ve written a buying guide that will make your search as simple as possible. Keep reading to learn more.
Determine Your Game
The first step in buying GAA gear online is knowing which sport you'll be playing. The equipment requirements for Gaelic football and hurling are different, so understanding your game is vital to making the right choices and buying the right gear.
Remember Safety First
Safety should be your top priority. In GAA, wearing a helmet is mandatory for hurlers, and it's highly recommended for Gaelic football players. You should ensure that the helmet is properly certified and fits snugly on your head. Investing in a high-quality helmet with adequate padding and protection is crucial for your safety.
Mouthguards are another essential safety item. They protect your teeth and jaws during the fast-paced and sometimes physical GAA games. You should make sure the mouthguard fits comfortably and securely in your mouth to provide the necessary protection.
The Importance of Team Colours
GAA jerseys play a significant role in team identity and culture. Your team will have specific colours and possibly a team crest on their jerseys. To show your support and blend in with the team, you should purchase the official team jersey. It's essential that your jersey fits comfortably over the required safety equipment.
Shorts and Socks
In Gaelic football, players wear knee-length shorts, while hurlers can opt for shorts or skorts (a combination of shorts and a skirt). Therefore, look for breathable, moisture-wicking materials to stay comfortable during the game. Socks are typically knee-length and should match the colour of your jersey. Make sure they stay up during play to prevent any distractions.
If you're playing hurling, you'll need a hurl, a wooden stick with a curved blade. Hurls come in various sizes, so choose one that matches your height and skill level. It should feel comfortable to grip and control. Sliotars are the balls used in hurling. Make sure you have a few quality sliotars for practice and matches. Also, consider getting a sliotar bag to keep them in good condition.
Consider Additional Protection
While not mandatory, some players choose to wear shin guards for added protection against accidental kicks and collisions. If you prefer this extra layer of safety, ensure the shin guards fit comfortably beneath your socks.
Sizing and Comfort
Proper sizing is essential for your comfort and performance on the field. Consult sizing charts provided by manufacturers and, if possible, try on the gear before purchasing. Ensure that jerseys, shorts, and socks fit well, allowing for freedom of movement while accommodating any protective gear you wear.