Proper equipment will ensure your child gets the best chance to succeed in our programs. Improperly fitting skates or helmets can be uncomfortable and obstructive to their learning and success.
- Helmets are mandatory for skaters in Learn to Skate. Hockey or skiing helmets are recommended. Cycling helmets are not recommended. Helmets must meet safety standards set by the Canadian Standards Association and bear the CSA sticker. Helmets should fit snugly and cover the forehead.
- Hockey skates are recommended for early beginners as they teach skaters to push to the side to stride instead of relying on their toe pick
- Figure skates - we recommend without the toe pick
- NO bob skates (skates that strap to a boot)
- Water proof gloves.
- Snowsuits are allowed but not expected. They can hinder movement so clothes that keep them dry but also allow movement is suggested. Consider light weight waterproof shells wearing layers of clothing underneath.
- Full hockey equipment is required for skaters in the Hockey Buddies program:
- hockey skates
- mouth guard, neck guard, shoulder pads, shin and elbow pads
- CSA approved helmet and full face mask
- stick, gloves, hockey pants, any colour hockey jersey, hockey socks, water bottle (labelled with child's name)
- We do not provide jerseys.
- Helmets are mandatory for all skaters in the Power Skate and Intro to Figure Skating programs.
- Helmets should meet safety standards set by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and bear the CSA approval sticker.
- Hockey or ski helmets are recommended. Cycling helmets are not as protective on the ice. Aerodynamic helmets are not allowed.
- The helmet should fit snugly and cover the forehead.
- Clothing should be warm but also allow for movement. We recommend you dress your child in layers.
- Blue jeans will NOT be permitted on the ice as they provide insufficient movement and stretch.
- Skating tights and skirts/dresses are not expected but allowed. Preferably not worn within the Intro to Figure Skating program.
- Each child is required to wear warm mitts or gloves.
- Long hair must be tied back.
- Proper fitting skates will ensure your child has the best chance for success. Skates that are too big or too small will impair progress and be uncomfortable.
- Skates should be snug fitting and worn with tight socks or tights. Heavy wool socks are not recommended.
- Skates are usually slightly smaller than your street shoes. This is not the case for all.
- Skates should provide firm ankle support and consist of good quality leather. Molded plastic skates are not recommended as they are inflexible and provide less control. They are not allowed once the child has increased in skill levels in our program.
- Hockey skates or figure skates without a toe pick are good for beginning to learn to skate because they have to stride to the side instead of relying on a toe pick.
- Checking the fit:
- Loosen the skate laces and slide the foot forward to the front of the boot so that the toes touch the end.
- Stand with the weight over both skates, bend the knees but do not lift the heels.
- The space at the back of the heel should be no more than a pencil width.
- Tie laces loosely over the toe and snugly around the ankle with some room for movement of the toes.
- There should be no creases in the boot.
- For highter level skaters, we recommend purchasing figure skates from a reputable figure skate shop such as Professional Skate in Marda Loop (3519 18 Street SW). They have a consignment program as well. We encourage you to shop around for the skate that best works for your child.
- Skates should be sharpened when purchased and after approximately every 10 hours of skating. Sharpen skates more often if they have been used on outdoor ice.
- Take care to ensure the bottom toe pick is NOT removed by the sharpener. It is part of the design of figure skates and it is used for performance of some skills and is essential to proper balance.
- Figure skates should be sharpened by shops that are specifically trained to sharpen figure skates. The shape of a figure skate blade is vastly different to a hockey skate blade. This is especially important as the skater advances through our programs.
- We recommend getting figure skates sharpened at Professional Skate in Marda Loop (3519 18 Street SW)
- Dry blades with a soft cloth immediately after use.
- Do not store skates in hard plastic skate guards. Blades should either be uncovered, or covered with a soft fabric skate blade cover.
- ALWAYS wear skate guards (the hard plastic type) when not on an ice surface or the special rubber floor within the areana.