Choosing the correct pair of skates is based on several points. Below are the most important ones along with some common "Do's and Don'ts" regarding skates.
- Age of Skater
- Current Skill of Skater
- Type of Skating
- Frequency of Skating
Age of Skater
At all ages a skate must be strong enough to support a skater's weight and help support the ankle joint. The boot portion of a skate must resist bending without the skater's foot inside. The boot must be strong where the skater's ankle will be. Often a good test for this is to grip the skate (not while it is on the skater) from behind and just above the heel area. If an adult can squeeze the boot together with one hand, it is probably not a strong enough boot. A good boot should offer substantial resistance to an adult's hand strength just above the heal.
So a skate needs to be stronger relative to the weight of the skater. Children still need lots of support read about that in the next point.
Skill of Skater
Generally, the less skill a skater has, the more the boot needs to make up for some of that lack of skill. In other words, a beginner skater needs to have a strong enough boot to compensate for their lack of skill.
The strength of the boot of a skate needs to be relative to the weight of the skater and their skill.
Cost of Skates
The cost of a pair of skates can range from $40.00 for a used pair to over $1500.00 for a competitive-level figure skate. Of course a good quality used skate is fine for all levels of Preschool and Learn To Skate lessons but try not to spend less than $40.00. Any skate that costs less than that may be in such poor condition that it inhibits the skater's development.
Skate rentals are available at City National Arena if you do not have your own skates.
Type and Frequency of Skating
As with everything else in our lives, the more that you demand from a piece of equipment, the better quality it should be. If you intend to skate once per week and strictly on a recreational basis, the skates can be of lessor quality. As frequency and the type of things that the skate is used for increases, so should the quality. Hockey skates for hockey, figure skates for figure skating and speed skates for speed skating (we do not offer speed skating at all).
Common "Do's and Don'ts"
- Spend $40.00 or more for skates.
- Used skates are fine.
- One size larger than required is fine for beginners.
- Sharpen the skates at time of purchase.
- Plastic moulded skates are fine for beginners except the ones that have an adjustable-size boot.
The blade is usually poorly balanced
- Buy skates that have an adjustable-size boot. The blade is usually poorly balanced.
- Don't tie the skates too tight. Tension should be relative to their weight and strength, not yours.