The basic equipment you require for figure skating are boots, blades and comfortable, warm clothing.
The Essential items
Unlike most winter sports Ice skating is more enjoyable to be in sweatpants or athletic gear as this will be more comfortable than bulky snow gear. The key to dress warm and layers so that you can take off layers as you warm up. Some of the items you may want to have are:
- Comfortable, warm clothing is required for figure skating, with layers that can be removed once you have warmed up.
- Warm-up pants, sweat suit pants or leggings can be worn. They should not be baggy and should allow you freedom to stretch.
- Many female skaters choose to wear thick skating tights with a skating dress or skirt.
- Long sleeve top.
- Jacket or sweater.
- Gloves or mittens.
- Comfortable thin, well-fitting socks
Properly fitting figure skating boots are very important for injury prevention and performance. The back of each boot should fit snugly against each heel. Heel slippage can lead to heel bumps, callouses, and hammer toes. There should be just enough room to wriggle your toes slightly and you should not lose circulation in your feet once the laces are firmly and completely tied. When buying boots, try them on and check for defects such as asymmetry or poor leather condition.
Beginner and recreational figure skaters can use "recreational blades" usually already mounted to the boot. If you have progressed beyond the beginner level you will want a more specific blade based on your skating style and ability. Professionals at specialized figure skating stores can assist your selection. Keep in mind that better quality blades require less sharpening, have a better flow on ice and can effect your spin and jump quality.
Where to Buy & Sharpen your skates locally
It's recommended that you talk with your coach on the best place to get skates from. They can help guide you to vendors that will have the correct skates you will need to correctly support you in the current/future skills you are working on now.
NOTE: It is highly recommended that you do not have your skates sharpened by the South Davis Rec Center rental skates team. They are not trained to hand sharpen skates, they use a machine that does not cut the blades properly and can lead to damage of the blade.
Blade Guards (aka "Hard Guards")
Blade guards protect blades while walking to the ice, the bathroom, the snack shop or even out to your car. They can also help maintain your skates blade edge from going dull quickly. Don't forget to remove the guards before you step onto the ice or after you are done skating.
Note: you should never keep your hard guards on when storing your skates.
Soakers & Towel
Soakers come in many shapes, sizes, and patterns. Soakers are one of the most important items in your ice-skating kit essentials. Soakers are used after you are done skating and you have wiped off as much water from your skates as you can with your towel. The main job of the soaker is to soak up the extra condensation your sakes produce as they slowly come to room temperature. Soakers also help protect the blades in your bag. Soakers can be left on in the open air but should be removed if the skates are going to be in a closed container over a long period of time.
Soakers should be snug and tightly hold onto the blade so that they properly soak up the extra condensation. Some soakers you buy that are hand made may look cool but they might not hold onto the blades properly to keep your skates dry.
Bag / Suitcase
Choosing a Skating bag can be hard a hard choice. Wither you are looking for a specific look, functionality, size, or weight, there is a bag for you. When shopping for a bag there are several key things you should consider.
A lot of bags have the shape of a triangle to fit the ice skates. Is it a good idea? That depends on if you are carrying other things in your bag such as clothes, a water bottle, a towel and so on (and chances you will). So, you want a bit more space than just for your skates.
Think about all you want to transport in your bag and choose one that can hold all. If you have plans to go to competitions later, will you need something that can expand to hold more items
How you carry the bag
There are three main designs out their Backpacks, shoulder bags and bags on wheels. Each one has its pros and cons. Carrying it on one shoulder might not be good for your back, especially if you have lots of items in your bag.
Backpacks work great if you are in large cities where wheeled bags would just get in the way.
However wheeled bags allow you to carry more items with less impact on you physically.
Check out how the bag holds itself when empty - is there a good framing, is the material thick enough.
The better it stands on its own, the more it will protect your skates.
If your skates stay a long time inside the bag, then it is better to choose a bag with an aeration grid (mesh), so that the air flows inside and moisture does not stay.
However, it is always better to take them out of the bag as soon as possible so that they dry. Remember rust is not a skate’s friend.
No matter what bag you decide to go with, keep it simple. If you have an old carryon suitcase laying around the home, that works great. Just remember to open the bag up when you get home to air out the skates.
Other Items to consider
- Bag to take out on the ice to the boards with tissues, water, gloves, lip balm, extra hair ties and clips.
- Small notebook and pen or pencil.
- Healthy snack.
- Hip and / or tailbone pads.
- Extra knee-high socks or practice tights.
- Extra laces for your skates.
- Gel tubing sleeves - only use if ankles need the extra layer so they don't hurt in your ice skates.
- Wrist guards, elbow and knee pads.
- Helmet / headgear / head guard / cushioned stocking cap - something to protect your head.
- A spare outfit in which you can skate comfortably and safely in case you arrive in non-skating clothes by accident someday.
- Gloves or mittens.
- A jacket.
- Refillable water bottle.
- Small sewing kit with extra safety pins.
- Extra hair ties and clips to keep your hair back and secure. brush or comb.
- Payment for your sessions
- Multitool - for tightening skates or other items and check to see that your screwdriver matches the style of the screws in your blade
- For older girls a pouch with items for their period.
Maintaining your Gear