FIGURE SKATING 101
INFORMATION FOR NEW SKATERS
How much does skating cost?
Like many activities it depends on how intensively you get involved. The following is a summary of costs that skaters may encounter as their training advances. Although this list is intended to provide an idea of the more significant expenses skaters may incur, please realize that it is not comprehensive. While some Club members may never require all of the services listed, other skaters may elect to make investments beyond those mentioned here.
Should I buy my own skates?
All skaters need to own a pair of well-fitting ice skates (boots). Note, beyond beginner skates, boots and blades will be purchased separately. Rental skates simply don’t provide the support or blade quality needed for serious skating. Consult your coach about the different options available in boots from used or gently used all the way to custom made. We cannot stress enough the importance of a well-fitted boot to avoid unnecessary foot problems. Never purchase a larger size with the idea of your skater growing into them as this can seriously injure their feet, not to mention create difficulty with balance. A stiffer boot dost not a better skater make! The health and well being of the structure of your skater’s feet will enable them to skate for years to come while avoiding seeing a Podiatrist.
What kind of blades do I need?
Discuss which blade model best suits your skater’s ability with your coach. A more advanced “rocker” will hinder a beginner as it takes more technique to skate on. Don’t buy blades on the advice of another parent as their skater may be more advanced than yours.
How often do I need to have my blades sharpened:
Skate blades need to be sharpened regularly. The frequency depends on how often your skater trains. Avoid letting blades get too dull as this can impede progress and cause difficulty with simple edge work. Don’t just go to anyone who claims to sharpen blades as there is a true art to this. Talk to more advanced skaters with some time invested in the sport to see where they take their blades to get sharpened. Average cost is about $15.00 to $25.00 a pair.
Do I need to wear any special attire?
To be comfortable yet safe. Baggy or bell bottomed pants can cause a skater to fall due to blades getting caught in loose material. Tights come in various types from in the boot to over the boot. Some skaters opt to where two pair if skating in a cold rink. Wearing several layers of thin, moisture wicking material works well. As the skater warms up, they can shed outer layers. Gloves help keep hands warm. Look for a stretchy knitted glove that fits well. There are new types of leggings that are a cotton/spandex blend that fit well and go over the boot. These are rather pricey, but work very well. In addition, skaters testing or competing will need special dresses, pants (boys) or costumes. Always make sure skates are well maintained and clean when testing or competing, laces tucked in or taped, as well as making sure hair is well groomed and away from face.
Should I hire a coach?
Each Coach or “Pro” charges by the lesson. It is your responsibility to interview the coach and find out his or her policy of payment. This is a business contract between you and your skater’s instructor, so make sure you compensate them according to their policy. With the new ruling by USFS and PSA it is your responsibility to ask your private coach if they are compliant and working on their continuing education requirements, as any coach in a non-compliant status will not be able to attend test sessions, competitions, exhibitions, club ice or any USFS sponsored event with your skater.
Do I have to pay for ice (freestyle or club) time?
Every time skaters take the ice, they essentially rent ice time from the rink. In freestyle sessions, for example, fees reflect the fact that the number of skaters on the ice is limited, allowing skaters to work on advanced skills without the distractions of crowding and recreational beginners. Check with the arena for current freestyle rate and or available “chip” cards. Your expense will depend on how many sessions you skate.
Each skater must pay a fee upon submitting his or her application for an upcoming test. This fee helps to offset testing costs, such as rental of the ice and judges’ reimbursement for transportation. Rates vary according to the kind of test taken and level. You will be billed by your coach for the time he or she spends with your skater at the test, usually equivalent to fifteen minutes to one hour of lesson time. Check with our Test Chair for information regarding test fees and policies regarding registration.
How much does it cost to enter a competition?
Every competition charges an entry fee, and these vary widely. In addition to the entry fee, you will be responsible for reimbursing your coach for time spent with your skater at the event. A coach’s lodging and transportation expenses will normally be divided equally among the skaters he or she is taking to the competition. Of course, you will incur travel expenses as well, including lodging and transportation, if the competition is out of town. Skaters may also sign up for practice ice at the competition rink for an additional fee. Check the competition rink’s website for their announcement and registration form for all costs and available practice ice.
How do I pick music for my program?
Music is an essential component to the success of any program. Coaches devote a great deal of time off the ice to cutting music for the best effect while adhering to competition time limitations. All coaches charge a fee for such program editing and recording services. The fee will depend on the number and length of the program(s) the skater will perform.
Should I be doing off-Ice training?
Many serious competitive skaters find off-ice training to be successful in gaining the strength, balance and flexibility needed in today’s demanding requirements. The cost for this varies according to the type of training, frequency and facility usage. Some rinks offer off-ice yoga, core or jump classes. Some skaters work with Personal Trainers. Make sure the Personal Trainer you select has a knowledge of skating, is certified and insured.