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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.
- CSA Approved hockey helmets with a full face shield or cage are mandatory for skaters in the Pre-School classes. 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 are welcome
- 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.
- This is a non-equipment class. Please wear comfortable athletic wear.
- Helmets are mandatory with or without face cages/shields. Helmets should meet safety standards set by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and bear the CSA approval sticker.
- Hockey gloves are permitted but not recommended.
- Knee pads are recommended.
Learn to Skate/Figure Skating
- Proper fitting skates will ensure your child has the best chance for success. Skates should provide firm ankle support.
- Skaters in the Intro to Figure Skating and Figure Skating programs must wear figure skates. Skaters in the Learn to Skate program may choose Hockey or Figure Skates.
- Skates should be snug fitting and worn with tight, thin socks or tights. Heavy wool socks are not recommended.
- Checking the fit:
- Tie skates snugly. 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 or finger width.
- There should be no creases in the boot.
- Our recommendations:
- Jackson Skates. Recommended models include Artiste, Cameo, Classic, Elle, Evo, Excel, Fusion, Freestyle, Mystique, Ultimate. Available at SportChek, Canadian Tire, and Professional Skate.
- Riedell Skates. Recommended models include Pearl, Opal, Emerald, Topaz. Available at Professional Skate.
- Look for a skate with a brown bottom. These skates will provide the appropriate level of support.
- Shop at Professional Skate (3519 18 Street SW) for new and consignment skates, or Play it Again Sports (270 Stewart Green SW) for used consignment skates.
- If buying used skates, please check to make sure the toe picks are intact!
- We do not recommend any skate with the black bottoms, plastic skates, or any Softec or K2 brand skates. These skates do not provide sufficient support, regardless of the skater's skill level.
- Ensure you sharpen skates prior to the first session, and after approximately every 10 hours of skating.
- When sharpening figure skates, ensure the toe pick is not removed by the sharpener as the pick is essential to the performance of figure skating skills. We recommend getting figure skates sharpened at a store specifically trained to sharpen figure skates (like Professional Skate) and not at arena pro-shops.
- Helmets are mandatory for all skaters in the 5:30 Learn to Skate/Intro to Figure Skating program, face cages/shields are not required but may be worn at your discretion.
- Skaters in the 4:30 Figure Skating program may wear helmets at their discretion, but they are not required. Helmets with face cages/shields are not permitted in this program.
- Helmets should meet safety standards set by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and bear the CSA approval sticker.
- Hockey helmets are recommended, but ski helmets are permitted. Cycling helmets are not permitted as they aren't as protective on the ice.
- 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 are not be permitted on the ice as they provide insufficient movement and stretch.
- Skating tights and skirts/dresses should not be worn within the Learn to Skate/Intro to Figure Skating program.
- Each child is required to wear warm mitts or gloves. We recommend waterproof gloves in the Learn to Skate/Intro to Figure Skating program.
- Long hair must be tied back.
- 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).
Care of Skates
- 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 arena.
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