Generally, the best clothing for speed skating allows for full freedom of movement, while conforming to the body shape so as not to cause unnecessary wind resistance. It should also, of course, provide necessary warmth. In general, several thin layers are better than one bulky garment. For the Learn to Skate groups, water resistant clothing is recommended for the lower body.
In the older divisions, skaters generally wear some form of skin suit and a long sleeved t-shirt or hoodie in practice. If you are wondering what is best to wear and where to buy skin suits, talk to some of the older skaters. Hockey pants should be avoided.
Protective Helmets: Must be worn by all skaters, coaches and parents on the ice. For skaters in Learn to Skate, a hockey helmet can be used. If you would like to purchase a speed skating helmet, please contact your coach. All helmets must be CSA approved.
Elbow Pads: Recommended for younger skaters.
Neck Guards: Bib style is required. The neck guard is to be cut resistant, made of ballistic nylon, Kevlar or Dyneema material. It has to cover the neck and the upper chest area. Neck only guards are not acceptable. Any sports store selling hockey equipment will have these.
Cut Resistant Gloves: Acceptable styles are padded ski mitts, leather gloves or Kevlar speed skating gloves. In Lloydminster, Mark’s Work Warehouse, and Northern Factory Workwear are businesses that carry this style of glove. Hockey gloves are not allowed. You can purchase speed skating gloves on the websites such as Red River Speed and I Love Speed Skating.
Shin Pads: Required for all skaters. Please purchase hard plastic soccer shin pads that are available at any sports store. Wear them under your sweat pants or speed skating skin. Hockey shin pads are not acceptable for speed skating. Do not purchase soft shin pads or shin pads that have plastic strips.
Kneepads: Required for all skaters. Soft volleyball style kneepads (Nike, Asics etc) or speed skating kneepads are preferred. Hockey shin pads are not acceptable, as they slide on the ice and can be dangerous in a racing situation. Soft kneepads protect and slow the skater during a fall.
Protective Eye Wear: Safety glasses or goggles are mandatory for all skaters. For competitions, they must be clear (no colour tint). Full face protection in the form of a hockey mask is also acceptable for beginning skaters. All glasses or goggles must be held on with a strap. Glasses cannot usually be worn with hockey helmets as there is not enough room and it puts a lot of pressure on the skater’s temples, often giving skaters a headache. Glasses can be purchased at Northern Factory Workwear for under $10.
Kevlar Ankle Guards: mandatory for any skater wearing speed skates. They are not required for those wearing hockey skates, as those skates protect the Achilles tendon. These guards can be purchased online from a speed skating outlet, but you can purchase these at a store like Northern Factory Workwear. They are yellow, cut resistant (Kevlar) welder sleeves and are relatively inexpensive.
To care for your rental speed skates properly, you will need to have an old towel or rag, a set of soft blade covers, and a set of hard guards.
You should never walk on your speed skate blades on any surface without having a set of skate guards on them. Speed skating blades are not as tough as hockey or figure skate blades and will lose their edge or be further damaged if you walk on the rubber mats in the dressing room or halls (the dirt on them from shoes is enough to dull the blades). You should always put your guards on before tying on your skates. Walk to the edge of the rink and only take them off when you are ready to go on the ice. You should put your guards on as soon as you leave the ice.
When you take off your skates, you should dry off the boots and the blades with a dry towel that you keep in your bag. This is important to prevent rust. Then, you should put the soft blade covers on your skates. DO NOT store your skates in plastic or leather skate guards. If rust does develop on the blades, put some oil (mineral oil/baby oil) on the blade and rub the spot with a burr stone.
When you get home, you should open your skate bag and let your skates and equipment dry out properly after practices.
Every few weeks check that your blades are still on tight. Try to wiggle or move them – if they shift, check with one of the coaches to make sure the position is correct or return them to the correct position.
Depending on how you treat your skates, how much you weigh, and how often you skate, your skates will need to be sharpened after every 3 or 4 practices. Your coach can teach you how to determine if skates are in good shape and if they need to be sharpened.
Speed skates must always be sharpened by hand using a jig and proper sharpening stones. NEVER have them sharpened by a machine. If you have them sharpened by a power grindstone just once, the correct rocker can be removed and the blade will be permanently damaged. You will be held responsible for this.
The Equipment Manager will hold a sharpening clinic early in the year. Then club jigs will be available during practice times Monday and Thursday for use.
All club skates must be returned at the end of the year so that we have an opportunity to check them over.
When the Husky Energy Oval is prepared sometime in December, we will be practicing Long Track outside. You may be renting clap skates (hinged) at that time. This involves a rental fee. These blades will likely have to be sharpened after each practice as there is often grit on the track that will strip the blade edge.