Is this your skater’s first time on the ice?
Here are a few things to know before lacing up those skates for the first time:
- HEAD GEAR – For first timers ages 3-5, we strongly recommend wearing a helmet or a knit winter hat. A standard bike or hockey helmet works just fine.
- SKATES: Renting skates for first timers is recommended. Not all skates that you might find in big box retail stores or online are appropriate. Unfortunately, many retailers still sell skates with boots that are not strong/stiff enough or with blades that are poorly crafted, which are not only a waste of money, but can actually be downright dangerous for your child.
- Check with a pro before using a ‘hand-me-down’ pair. Some hand-me-downs, if they are old enough, may have leather that is too worn down for safe use. Likewise, using a pair that is too big, hoping skaters will ‘grow-into’ them is NOT SAFE. Skating with skates that are too big does not allow the skater to properly center their weight over the middle of the blade.
- Our professional instructors can help you on the first day of class if you have questions about which size your skater needs for rental.
- If you are interested in investing in a good pair of skates, please reference our ‘Buying and Caring for Skates‘ page.
3. CLOTHING: Please dress warm (sweatpants/athletic pants and sweatshirt/fleece are good options). However, please steer clear of snowpants or very bulky winter jackets, because you want your child to be able to move.
4. SOCKS: A sometimes overlooked item for first-timers – make sure your skater has on thinner socks that come up well past the ankle. Many athletic socks nowadays are those short ‘ankle’ socks – these will not cover the area of the ankle that touches the top of the skating boot – and if that boot rubs on bare skin it can rally hurt and cause blisters!
5. HANDS: Gloves or mittens are also a must. Little skaters fall down a lot and the ice is cold and wet 🙂
6. MOST IMPORTANTLY – Have fun! It’s normal (and expected!) to have a lot of falls on day one, but you will be surprised to see how quickly your skater will soon be moving across the ice all by themselves!