Equipment and Clothing
As your child moves into the Skate Canada test system, it is important that they have good quality equipment. Better quality boots and blades will provide the needed support as your child advances technically and will help prevent injury. Used skates are readily available for a fraction of the cost of new ones and a good used pair is a better investment than a poor quality new pair (or ones that need a long period of breaking in). Your coach will be able to advise you what is best for your child.
Your child’s skates are an investment and need proper care. Make sure guards are worn when walking around and off of the ice. Once the skates are taken off, both the blades and the soles should be wiped thoroughly dry with a towel or chamois. Periodically check the screws holding the blades assuring they are tight.
Skaters need appropriate skating clothes. Skaters can wear skating skirts/dresses and warm tights. Athletic or jazz pants are also acceptable; however these should be tight at the ankle. A sweatshirt (no hoodies), sweater or jacket that is not too bulky or restrictive is great for warmth.
The most visible difference between CanSkate and the STARSkate level is the absence of helmets. It is imperative for kids in the CanSkate program to wear helmets for safety. The kids have very little balance and coordination at this level and they can take many spills. Once they progress to the STARSkate level, however, their balance and coordination have improved considerable and they have learned how to fall safely. Some STARSkaters are willing to wear helmets, but most will refuse because no one else wears them. Some skills are difficult to master in a restrictive helmet. Ultimately the decision whether to wear a helmet or not is between you and your skater.