Skate and Helmet Tips
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Objective: To maximize our skaters' skill potential and enjoyment in their skating lessons
Considerations When Purchasing Skates
- Determine if skater has a particular preference for figure skates or hockey skates.
- Have the skater's foot properly sized for length and width. Most sporting goods stores have experienced technicians to complete this accurately. Ensure you have confidence in the technician you are dealing with and don't be afraid to ask questions.
- We recommend skates have a stiff boot with laces for maximum support of the foot and the ankle.
- We do NOT recommend plastic moulded boots with buckles, clips or other fasteners. This design does not provide consistent tightness along the foot and the ankle. However, in cases of young children, where the child's foot is very small and a lace-up skate is not available in their size, the molded boot will be acceptable.
- We do NOT recommend plastic moulded boots with adjustable sizing availability because the blade size is disproportionate to the boot.
- Ensure the skates are sharpened when you purchase them. Most sporting goods stores will provide this first sharpening for free. A standard sharpening is adequate since a very sharp or very dull skate edges will inhibit new learn to skaters. Do not ever try to sharpen blades yourself because the correct blade profile is very important.
Note: At least one sporting goods chain has a 50% rebate program for youths to provide credit on a subsequent purchase of skates as the foot grows. Check the store for terms and conditions of any program offered.
Considerations for Maintenance of Skates
- Ensure the skate laces are tied tightly. You should not be able to put your finger under the laces and do not wrap the laces around the leg at the top of the skate. If the skater is going over on the ankles, the skate laces might be too loose.
- Always use a towel or soft absorbent cloth to dry the skate blades immediately after every use.
- Never leave skate guards on wet or dry skates.
- Consider using skate soakers to protect the blades of the skates.
- Never walk on bare concrete or other very hard surface as this will dull the blades.
- Allow inside of boot to dry after use.
- Have the blades sharpened by an experienced technician when they become very dull. Never remove the picks from figure skates as this changes the balance of the blades.
Considerations for Helmets
- Ensure the helmet is a CSA approved ice helmet. Helmets must have these stickers and check the expiry date sticker, also located on the back of the helmet, to ensure the helmet is current.
- If purchasing the helmet from a sporting goods store, have an experienced technician properly size the helmet to the skater's head.
- Wire face masks are optional but they do protect the face in a forward fall and they provide additional straps to secure the unit to the head. Ensure an experienced technician properly fits the unit to the helmet and to the skater's head, with the chin cup on the chin.
- Hockey helmets are size adjustable which could provide longer service to the skater as the head grows.
- Do not hesitate to ask questions to experienced technicians and consider their knowledge when purchasing any helmet and/or wire face mask. Protection of the head is of prime importance.