In our last blog post, we talked about all of the gear necessary to get going with the sport of hockey.
If you or your child wants to be a figure skater, you can be thankful that getting into this sport doesn’t require nearly as much stuff and the basic requirements haven’t changed a whole lot since the 13th century.
Ice skating boots have one main purpose; to provide support to the ankle and foot. The most important thing to consider when buying your boots is getting the right fit. Without causing any numbness or pinching, the boots should be snug and not allow the foot to move around much. Rinkside Sports is proud to have some extremely talented pro shop experts on hand to ensure you get the right boot. Your typical shoes size rarely equals your skate size and different brands will also vary in fit. Measuring your foot, looking at your arch, factoring in weight, skating ability and style, our pro shop associate will take the time to find the size and brand that works the best for you. When we find the best pair of skates, we then put them in a special oven. After we bake the boots, you will put them back on your feet while they are still warm. Over the course of 10-15 minutes, the boots will cool down and form around your feet to provide a custom fit. New skates usually need a little time to break in and become for comfortable but don’t tolerate pain after the first few sessions on the ice.
Many boots sold in sports equipment outlets come with the blades already attached, which is okay for a beginner or recreational skater. But competitive skaters should buy their boots and then have the blades custom fitted and attached.
If you look closely, you will notice that ice skating blades aren’t completely flat from one tip to the other. The overall curve sharpened into the blade is known the the rocker. The width side to side isn’t flat either. Instead, it actually has two sharp edges on either side and a concave middle section. The front of the blade is known as the toe pick and is used for jumping and foot work. All of these blade parts can be customized according to the skill level, weight and preference of each skater.
These essential items are used to protect the blades while you walk around off the ice and can help immensely with maintaining good blade condition. They are usually made of plastic, easily fit right over the blades and should be used as soon as you come off the ice to prevent chipping, dulling and losing an edge (also known as blowing a tire). Figure skaters of all ages really have fun with the hundreds of color and pattern options available.
When you are ready to put a pair of skates away for the day, these absorbent blade covers prevent rusting and help protect the blades from damage while they are being stored in their bag. Just like their name implies, they soak up excess moisture and can be a lifesaver for your blades. Usually made of a terry cloth type material, they are a fantastic way to improve the life of your skates. They can wear down and develop holes, so check them often and replace as needed.
Although there’s no strict dress code, you will do best if you think along the lines of yoga on ice. You want to wear clothing that moves and stretches with your body. Leotards, Nylons, tights, thin socks, stretchy tops and pants are your best bet on the ice because they don’t restrict your movement. Trust us, you will be working very hard out there and you need to be comfortable! Jeans and an oversized coat with do nothing for you, so leave them at home. If you are taking lessons, it is also important that your coach can see the lines of your body.
Random Smaller items you should have
Gloves 1-2 pair
A towel or chamois cloth for sweat and wiping down skates
Extra laces- just in case
Water bottle- this is a sport and you can get dehydrated
Tissues- noses run in the cold
Extra hair ties
Now that you have a collection of smaller stuff, you need something to organize and carry it all. Just like any other sport, you have options when it comes to finding the right bag. At first, you will do fine with something simple to transport your skating gear but usually over time, the benefit of having a bag specific to figure skating will start to make more sense. Besides being practical, your bag is your chance to show off your personality.
This ZUCA bag is a really popular brand because the frames and inserts come in lots of fun colors and pattern.
Now that you have an idea of what you need to get going with figure skating, the next step is to visit us for a custom fitting and consultation. The experts at Rinkside Sports are here seven days a week and we love newbies!