Click on the link below for a document which provides an overview of equipment requirements for skaters by group.
Skaters start on hockey or figure skates in the Group 1 – Learn to Skate Level.
For Group 2 – Learn to Speed Skate skaters coaches will recommend a transition to speed skates when skills have developed sufficiently for each individual skater.
The SLSSC has a large inventory of skates (short track and some long track) to rent to members. A damage deposit is taken and a seasonal fee is applied ($50 for older models, $100 for new model skates). Speed skates are an expensive commodity and renting allows families to change skates as needed.
Speed skates require special treatment: skate guards must be worn when coming to and from the ice. Once skates are taken off, the guard is put on the blades. The blades rust extremely quickly, so it is imperative to remove all moisture. Speed skates require frequent sharpening. The club owns jigs for this purpose and clinics are held to train parents and older skaters.
More experienced skaters will have both short track and long track skates. Long track skates are equipped with longer blades and have a significantly different boot. Clapskates are becoming popular with the older skaters as these allow the blade to be in contact with the ice longer, therefore increasing speed.
Clothing and Protective Gear
Skaters are required to wear a hard-shell helmet, protective eyewear, neck protector, cut-resistant gloves, kneepads and shinpads. The youngest skaters will be most comfortable in wind pants with sweats or long underwear underneath (not snowpants) and a long sleeved shirt with a light close-fitting jacket over top. As skaters progress, they begin to wear skinsuits made of lycra to reduce air resistance. During practices they may also wear a shirt over top for warmth.
For Group 3 and 4, during long track season from rougly mid-December to end of February, skaters will be skating outdoors at the oval. It is important to keep an eye on the weather. A toque and neckwarmer become a necessity as well as long underwear and sometimes goggles.
Rink boards are padded for short track training and meets.