What an exciting milestone it is when you’re little one is ready to take their first steps on the ice. It is as much of a special moment for the parent as it is for the child. Part of what really helps to make the transition a stress-free, successful one is to be prepared with the proper skating equipment, attire, and a few helpful tips. Below is a list of 10 essentials for getting started on the ice!
- Purchase skates that fit your child. It is tempting to buy skates a few sizes up but this can hinder the development of your child’s skating skills. The skates can either be hockey or figure skates from a good retailer. We recommend the ‘Figure Skating Boutique’ (FSB) for figure skates. Ankles should be supported and the leather should not be floppy. For hockey skates, any sports store will have a good selection. Make sure you get a first sharpening before taking to the ice!
- Beginners must wear a CSA approved hockey helmet with face mask for best protection. Ski or bike helmets will not provide the same protection and will not be acceptable head gear in any skating program.
- Dress them with warm layers, waterproof pants, jacket and gloves. Especially for the little ones that will likely spend more times sitting on the ice, it is so much more fun to skate when you’re warm, dry and the extra padding always helps!
- Be sure your child uses the washroom before putting on snowpants on top of all of the layers for skating. This will ensure that your little one lasts longer on the ice 🙂
- Hard blade covers go onto the blades as soon as the skates are put on so that the child can walk to the rink surface safely without getting nicks in the blades. This is important to preserve a smooth running blade and will prevent the need for more frequent sharpenings.
- Bring a water bottle to keep your skater hydrated.
- Bring an absorbent cloth to wipe down the whole blade. This is to help prevent any rust from building up over time.
- Soft covers (like the fun animals they have at the ‘FSB’) are to be put on after you have dried the skates. They will absorb any moisture still left on the blade and also protect the blades while they are sitting in your skate bag and being shuffled around.
- If you don’t already have one, get a great skate bag to carry all of your ice skating swag. Keeping all your skating essentials in one bag, really helps to stay organized and prevents forgetting anything for the next ice time!
- Find a great skating program with friendly and skilled coaches that will take pride in your child’s skating development 🙂
*Check out the ‘First Time Skaters Package’ at the Figure Skating Boutique: