WHAT SHOULD MY SKATER WEAR?
CanSkate children should wear warm comfortable clothing that will not interfere with their skating ie. bulky snowsuits. It is the policy of Skate Canada that all skaters working on badge levels 1 up to and including level 5 must wear a CSA approved helmet. Skaters should wear mitts or gloves. No long scarves or hats should be worn on the ice as they can be dangerous. Skating costumes for girls consist of a one piece dress or skirt and lycra tights or leotards and a warm sweater. (This is optional for the CanSkate/Junior skater). A warm pair of pants and a sweater is suitable for boys. For a skater who may try a Skate Canada test the above outfit is desirable. Parents will have sufficient notice if the skater is ready for a test and will have a choice if you wish the skater to try it.
CHOOSING BOOTS AND BLADES
1. To properly perform basic skating moves the boots must provide firm support. The support around the heel should be strong and extend well down towards the front of the boot.
2. The heel should be pocketed to conform to the natural heel.
3. All skaters require strong, well supported boots. Beginners needs are not the same as those of a competitive or test skater.
4. Leather boots are the best choice, providing durability, strength and “breathe-ability”. Boots with blades that are “screwed” on rather than “riveted” are preferable.
HOW SHOULD BOOTS FIT?
1. Place foot in an unlaced boot. Have skater force foot forward in the boot until toe(s) touch the front. At this point, tip of finger should fit behind the skater’s heel at the top of the heel cup (up to ½”)
2. Lace boots snugly up to eyehooks, lace the boots looser through lace hooks. The lacing process should force heels into the heel cups and draw toes back from front of boot.
3. Skater should stand straight with weight evenly distributed. Toes should be able to move (wiggle). Width of foot (at ball) should be snug, but lie flat and comfortable.
4. When heel of boot is held firm to the floor, the skater’s heel when raised should have little or no movement.
CARE OF BOOTS AND BLADES
1. Boots and blades should be dried after every use. Skate guards should NOT be left on the blades when the skates are not being worn.
2. When not in use, boots should be allowed to dry in an open area (not in closed skate bag). This should stop premature deterioration of the leather.
3. DO NOT remove toe picks from the skates, even for a beginner.
HOW BLADES SHOULD FIT BOOTS
1. The blade should not be more than ¼” less than the length of the boot (to heel).
2. The front of the sole plate should be right to the front of the boot. This ensures that the toe picks are located at the sole of the boot and blades balance point is well forward.
3. Blades should be mounted to the boots by a competent figure skate sharpener/mounter.
HOW LONG SHOULD A SHARPENING LAST?
This is mainly a case of how sharp a skater wishes his/her skates to be. A rule of thumb, which seems to satisfy most skaters is 25 to 30 hours of ice time. Skates should be sharpened approximately two weeks prior to Carnival. Skaters should skate on newly sharpened skates at least once or twice before trying a test.
More Skating Tips from our Coaching Staff
Did you know that properly fitted skates and sharpened blades are essential for advancement in skating? Never let a skater walk on any surface without guards. Even one step off the protective rubber matting can lose an edge. On the other hand, never leave plastic guards on blades between skating sessions. Always take them off and dry blades.
The coaching staff will be watching for skate problems in the first few days of skating. If we find any problems, we will send a notice off the ice with your skater. We’d be happy to explain what we have concerns about and how it might be fixed.
Breaking in new skates is NEVER fun. Skaters should have bandages and sponge pads with them the first day of skating! If their skates begin to rub make sure they cover that spot with a bandage and sponge pad to stop blisters before they start. They may find that their new skates can’t be tied all the way to the top the first skate or two. This will allow them to bend their ankles while slowly breaking in their skates. If possible your child should wear their skates (with guards) around the house a few times before they take to the ice.
Wearing skates for the first time is a challenge. If a skater has never been on skates, we highly recommend that they try and walk in them first. Put guards on and let them walk around at home. It will help them get the feeling of walking on blades before they have to deal with walking on a slippery surface as well.