Where should I buy skates?
How do I know if my skates fit correctly?
How should I take care of my skates?
How often should skates be sharpened?
How do you tie skates?
My skates hurt my feet. What should I do?
What is the Club’s policy on helmets?
What should I wear for skating?
What is the year-end ice show?
What is a Skate Canada number and why do I need one?
How do I know what program is suited for my child?
What is the Club’s policy on missed lessons?
What are private lessons?
Can I go on the ice with my child?
It’s my first day at the rink. Where do I go when I arrive?
Where should I buy skates? [back to top]
A knowledgeable skate shop should have a range of products and its salespeople should be helpful, pressure-free, and be able to answer your questions.
The salesperson should ask you what you will be doing on your skates, what skill level you are at, and how much time you will be spending on the ice. Any salesperson that does not ask you these questions will not be able to fit you with the most appropriate skates. Salespeople should measure the size and width of your feet and have you walk about to see if your skates feel comfortable. They should also check the alignment of the blades while you are standing. Remember that the most expensive skates may not necessarily be the most appropriate for your purpose.
For locations recommended by the Club, check out our Links.
How do I know if my skates fit correctly? [back to top]
You should buy skates that fit you today – not next year. Buying skates with “room to grow” will result in ill-fitting equipment, sore feet, and slower progress. Ask a salesperson to measure the size and width of your feet. One way to tell if skates are the right size is to remove the insole, place it on the floor, and stand on it: if your foot hangs over the insole, your skates are too small. Ask your skater how their skates feel – do they feel tight? Are they comfortable?
How should I take care of my skates? [back to top]
Use hard skate guards at all times when walking off-ice to prevent nicks.
Remove hard skate guards when storing skates to prevent rust.
Wipe your blades with a soft, absorbent towel after each use to prevent rust.
Use soft skate covers when storing skates to absorb excess moisture and prevent rust.
When not in use, store skates in a place where they can breathe (i.e., not in a closed sports bag) to prevent moisture damage (and odour!).
Sharpen your blades regularly.
How often should skates be sharpened? [back to top]
How often you sharpen your skates depends on how often you skate and the type of skating that you are doing. For most skaters in group lessons, the start of every 10-week skating session should be sufficient. If you skate outdoors or more often, you will need additional sharpenings. Your skate shop can advise you.
For figure skaters, skate shops offer different types of sharpenings for different disciplines. Talk to your coach to see which sharpening is best for you.
Automatic skate sharpening machines at arenas are not recommended. For locations recommended by the Club, check out our Links.
Note: all new skates must be sharpened before first use – yes, even brand new skates. When you buy new skates at quality skate shops, they will do your first sharpening for free so that your skates are ready to go when you leave the store.
How do you tie skates? [back to top]
Loosen the laces from the top all the way down to the bottom of the skate.
Place the foot inside the skate making sure it is lying flat on the foot bed.
Tighten the laces in the lower half of the skate first – make sure to tighten each criss‐cross.
Make sure the tongue is straight, tucked into the skate evenly on both sides, and does not slip under the laces.
Tighten the top laces so that the skate fits snugly around the ankle. You should only be able to fit one finger down inside between the skate and the leg.
Tuck long laces into the sides of the skate to keep them out of the way.
Never wrap long laces around the ankles – this can cut‐off circulation and can cause injury when a skater falls. If the laces are too long, cut them or tuck them.
If you wear hockey skates, you can buy special laces coated with a thin layer of wax. The wax stops your laces from slipping so that they stay done up nice and tight.
If you wear figure skates, you may want to buy a thinner pair of laces – they will stay done up better and tighter than thicker laces.
If your feet keep cramping when you skate or they get cold all the time, you may be tying them too tight around your toes or you may be wearing socks that are too thick.
My skates hurt my feet. What should I do? [back to top]
It is normal to feel some discomfort the first few times you wear new skates or if you are new to skating. This, however, should not last.
If the discomfort persists, take your skates back to where you bought them or, if unavailable, to a reputable skate shop and explain the issue. Ask the salesperson to check whether the skates are the right size for your feet. To make skates that are the right size more comfortable, skate shops can do a heal mould, punch out the leather to make a bit more room, or fit you with special insoles.
What is the Club’s policy on helmets? [back to top]
All skaters enrolled in Pre‐CanSkate, CanSkate, and CanPower are required to wear a Canadian Standards Association (CSA) approved skating or hockey helmet. Bicycle helmets are not acceptable. Skaters will NOT be allowed on the ice without an appropriate helmet.
The Club will not compensate skaters for missed lessons due to inappropriate headgear. There are no exceptions.
Helmets are recommended for beginner skaters in Adult CanSkate. For outline of the policy laid out by Skate Canada, click here.
What should I wear for skating? [back to top]
All skaters should wear clothes that allow them to move freely and stay warm. Gloves or mittens are required. Clothes that can get caught easily or items that can fall on the ice should be avoided. Scarves, long necklaces, long skirts, small hairpins, etc. should not be worn. Long hair should be tied back or tucked into the helmet out of skaters’ eyes.
Elbow/knee pads are not recommended, as they restrict skaters’ movement and may make it difficult for them to get up if they fall.
Skaters enrolled in private STARSkate or GroupSTAR are expected to dress appropriately, with longer hair pulled away from the face in a bun or ponytail. Figure skating dresses or skirts may be worn. Jeans are not permitted.
What is the year-end ice show? [back to top]
The year-end ice show is an opportunity for all Club skaters to demonstrate what they have learned to an audience of their friends and family. Skaters in group lessons and private lessons perform a routine to music, which they practice during their lesson time throughout the season. There is costumes, music, food, and fun! The ice show is typically held in March.
What is a Skate Canada number and why do I need one? [back to top]
Skate Canada is the country’s national skating organization. If you are enrolled in Pre-CanSkate, CanSkate, GroupSTAR, or any other of the programs offered by the Club, you are enrolled in a Skate Canada, nationally organized and accredited program. Your Skate Canada number is your membership number in this organization. Your progress and test scores are linked to this number, as are test and competition results. Skaters need a Skate Canada number to take tests and participate in competitions. Once you have a Skate Canada number, it is yours for life – it travels with you from Club to Club.
Federation Skating Club is a Skate Canada sanctioned club and its coaches and programs are certified by Skate Canada.
How do I know what program is suited for my child? [back to top]
Our Skating Programs area has descriptions of each program. You may also talk to any of the Club coaches or Executive Committee members if you are unsure about which program to choose. Contact the Club if you have any questions – we will be happy to guide you through the process if you still have questions after looking through our website.
What is the Club’s policy on missed lessons? [back to top]
The Club will not provide a refund or make-up lesson time for skaters who miss their regularly scheduled group lesson or stroking time. There are no exceptions.
Matters relating to private lessons are at the discretion of the contracting coach.
What are private lessons? [back to top]
Private lessons are great for skaters of all ages and skill levels. They can nicely complement skaters in group lessons who need to spend more time mastering a particular skill, or for those who want to speed their progress. As skaters progress through the figure skating stream, private lessons are the norm.
Unlike the Club’s group lesson programs, private lessons have two parts: the ice fee, which is paid to the Club, and the instructional fee, which is paid directly to the contracting Coach.
Ice Fee: [back to top]
Skaters pay their ice time fees to the Club, and still register with the Club as a private skater.
Instructional Fee: [back to top]
Skaters are responsible for contacting the coach of their choice directly regarding inquiries and bookings for private lessons. Coaches typically ask the skater to sign a contract, outlining the details of the lessons (time, place, lesson type, and fee). This contract is an agreement between the coach and the skater – the Club is not involved.
To find out more information and contact one of our Club Coaches, check out the Coaches page.
Can I go on the ice with my child? [back to top]
Only registered Club skaters wearing skates (and helmets, where applicable) are permitted on the ice during their lesson time. Parents and family members are kindly asked to watch lessons from the bleachers. Players’ boxes must be kept clear for safety reasons and because people in the boxes distracts skaters from their lessons. People in the boxes will be asked to leave.
It’s my first day at the rink. Where do I go when I arrive? [back to top]
All arenas have a whiteboard posted close to the front doors. On the whiteboard, the arena attendant writes our Club name, ice time, and which dressing rooms are ours. Just look for “Federation” or “Federation Skating Club”. Please proceed to one of the dressing rooms listed under our name and put your skates on. Please do not put your skates on in the players’ boxes or in the hallways, as it causes a traffic jam.