New skaters will be fitted with long blade skates at registration. Please replace laces prior to the last skating session. There is no extra charge for the use of these skates but a post-dated cheque deposit of $250.00 is required at registration.
At a minimum cost of $500.00 a pair, you will be expected to take very good care of them!
- Never walk on blades without your leather guards.
- Keep blades sharp.
- Always dry blades after use. Cover with knitted guards or wrap carefully in a dry towel. As soon as you get home, take skates out of your bag, remove covers, and hang to let air dry. This will avoid rusting.
- Never leave your skate bag in the car. (theft)
- Never wrap your boots with tape.
- Replace laces and guards as required.
- Return skates at end of season.
- Do not throw around– this could cause damage to skates and blades.
Skaters/Parents will be responsible for any loss or damage beyond normal wear.
There are basically 2 types of speed skates, one for Short Track and one for Long Track. The Short Track skate is of a heavier construction for stability and durability. The blade is thicker than that of a Long Track skate's because of the tighter corners and higher stress loads that occur on them. Long Track skates have a lower cut boot and a softer leather boot to facilitate ankle movements while skating outdoors.
Speed skates are a specialty item and as such are quite expensive. Beginner skates start around $250.00 for a child to $2000.00 for a custom molded skate for the advanced skater.
Matsqui is primarily a short track club, however we do have skaters who compete in Long Track meets. Speed skate rental is covered with the registration. Advanced skaters can purchase their own customized skates.
The following equipment is what we require you to have to speed skate:
A new rule on eye protection. All skaters will be required to wear shatter-resistant protective sport glasses or a complete visor. Those wearing corrective lenses (glasses) will be required to wear the "safety" glasses over their corrective lenses (glasses) if they choose to wear their prescription glasses when skating.
Shin guards, such as those used in soccer are used to protect the lower leg from skate blades. The plastic type are popular and are usually just slipped under the skin-suit and over the Shin, The snugness of the suit holds them solidly in place. These are quite inexpensive, usually ranging from $10.00 to $15.00.
Knee pads volleyball type are used to protect the skater's knees in a fall. There are many different models on the market and most skaters choose the model that they feel offers the best comfort and protection. The proper size must be purchased for the skater so that it will stay in position over the knee.
Gloves are required to prevent cuts to the fingers and abrasions to the hands when falling. The glove must be made of leather or cut resistant nylon. Short Track skaters because of the lean in the corner and the forces acting on them often place a hand on the ice inside the corner to help them hold the corner. Bare skin on the ice would be friction burnt and fingers would be susceptible to cuts if hit by a blade.
A neck protector is worn to keep the neck area protected from a skate blade in a fall. Hockey neck guards are generally used. They must be the bib type, to cover the neck and upper chest, and made out of kevlar for cut resistance. Tucked under the skin-suit they stay in place well and are comfortable to wear as long as the appropriate size for the skater is worn. These cost around $17.00 to $25.00 depending on Brand name, a lot of skaters use the ITECH models.
Safety-type headgear which has a seal of certification meeting the actual ASTM F 1849 standards and which must be securely fastened under the chin. This certification is required for helmets at all SSC Sanctioned competitions.
Both LAS made after 2000 and the Louis Garneau helmets for Speed Skating have have these standards.
These helmets are light and protect while providing good visibility for the skater when in skating position. For now, beginner skaters may use a bicycle helmet at club practices. We would suggest that if you need to purchase a helmet that to first speak to someone in the club. Whenever on the ice skaters must wear a helmet to protect themselves when they fall.
Skin-suit optional for skaters
The skin-suit is used while racing. It is usually made of spandex and snug fitting to help the skater be as aerodynamic as possible, with nothing loose to pick up the wind. Each club has it's own colors. When Practicing outdoors in colder weather skaters will wear lined warm-up suits as well as toques, neck warmers, mitts, and skate covers to keep themselves warm. At competitions where the weather is very cold the skater is not allowed to race unless they are dressed sufficiently to keep warm. The last thing that anyone wants is a case of frostbite.
Large enough to keep all your equipment organized and protected.
Your skate bag is an important part of your equipment, and if stocked with a few things as suggested, you should have a worry free season. Your bag should be waterproof and large enough to carry everything. Remember to label your things.
What To Put In Your Skate Bag
- Guards - skates should be stored without guards. The blades should be protected by wool guards or wrapping them in cloth.
- Helmet - should fit properly and be in good repair.
- Knee pads, shin guards, and neck guard - all mandatory.
- Rag - to dry off skates properly.
- Socks - a spare pair should always be kept in your bag.
- Gloves - a spare pair should always be kept in your bag.
- Laces - a spare pair should always be kept in your bag.
- Clothes - a pair of jogging pants to change into after practice.
- Miscellaneous - band-aids, Kleenex, safety pins, etc.
For beginner and younger skaters, we recommend warm, comfortable clothing for practices. In general, several thin layers are better than one bulky garment. Sweat pants will be more comfortable than tight fitting jeans. Mitts are warmer than gloves, as they allow for finger movement. Turtleneck sweaters keep the neck area warm and protected. Many speed skaters prefer to wear lycra/spandex race suits– these are streamlined and lightweight to allow for optimum performance. These are optional.
Skaters must have with these items, whenever they go on the ice to skate
- Neck guard
- Shin guards
- Knee pads
Without these items, you will be asked to leave the ice. This is for your safety and protection.
In order to skate your very best, it is important to keep your skates very sharp. Top level skaters will sharpen their blades after every ice time. Newer skaters may find it more difficult to sharpen blades without having their own jigs and stones but they should be sharpened at least after every 3-5 sessions. There are several skaters in the club who will be happy to sharpen your skates for a small fee. Check the newsletters and bulletin board for their names. There is also sharpening equipment in the skate room, which you may use to sharpen your skates, before or after practice. If you need a lesson, please ask and someone can show you how a skate sharpening is done.
If you have any questions regarding equipment, please contact Bette Roberts or Yvonne Warkentin. They will be happy to assist you with it. Some equipment you can get through the club (e.g.) helmets, jigs, stones, and if not, they will try to direct you to how you can get what you need.
We hope this booklet will assist you with questions on speed skating equipment and care.
Speed Skate Care
To do your best in speed skating, your skates need to fit well and the blades must be super sharp and properly rockered. Whether you use club skates or have your own, the responsibility for their care and condition rest with you.
- Dry and clean one pair only of a cotton/wool/nylon mixture – avoid 100% nylon.
- Use soft, cotton laces which slide through eyelets easily.
- Lace up firmly through instep to top– looser over toes.
- If too long, remove a piece from the middle and tie cut ends together at toe. Wrapping excess around ankle or instep cuts off circulation.
- Keep polished with good leather dressing.
- When wet, dry slowly, and away from direct heat.
- Have back seam sewn and eyelets replaced as soon as repairs are needed. Tape back heel if you are cutting the leather.
- Leather guards are expensive and need as much care as your skates.
- The only walking you do in them is between the dressing room and the ice. More than that takes the edge off your blades and cuts holes in the guards. Patch holes as soon as they appear.
- Keep elastic at back snug and the inside clean and dry.
- Dry all metal parts immediately after each use as blades rust very easily.
- Wear guards whenever you have to walk off the ice in your skates.
- Keep sharp – blades are dull when the edges do not grip the ice.
- Poor sharpening habits reduce the life of the skates and ruin your skating.
Check yours and get help if you need it.
- A normal sharpening should take 10-15 minutes. If it takes longer
- Skates are not set up evenly in the jig.
- Skates were allowed to get too dull.
- Stone is no longer flat.
- Too heavy a lip is being raised.
Those having Bont skates with adjustable blades carry a 13mm wrench with them in their bag. Every so often and with every sharpening, check to make sure bolts are tight. Do not over tighten. Loose blades could cause a bad fall.
- Sharpen by hand and always on the same jig.
- Skates should be sharpened after every four to six ice sessions or at least every 2 weeks.
- Dry the blades after every use. Even a few drops of water on the blades will cause rust.
- Storing: Leave the guards off your skates if they are even slightly damp and hang to dry.
- Always wear guards when walking off the ice.
Tips To Keep Skates Sharp
- Dry blades well before storing.
- Keep your skates stored in skate covers (knit or cloth) not in leather or plastic guards.
- Walk to the ice surface with guards on.
- Sharpen your skates regularly to keep them in good condition.
- Sharpening is much easier of you do not allow the skates to get too dull. Small nicks in the blade will smooth out sharpening.