New to Speed Skating?

Having the proper equipment is an integral part of the sport of speed skating.  Purchasing equipment can be an arduous task if you are new to the sport.  Below is information to help you understand the equipment required.

Equipment can be purchased through the Oval Skate Shop at the University of Calgary Olympic Oval, please contact the Skate Shop at ovalshop@ucalgary.ca or at (403) 220-7917.  Another great resource is www.ilovespeedskating.com.  Also, Many of our members sell their gently used equipment through our Classified link on the CSSA website.

Oval Skate Shop Hours

Monday – Friday 8:30am – 7:00 pm
Saturday – Sunday 8:30am – 5:00 pm
Helmet

Helmet

Why: To prevent major and minor head trauma and traumatic brain injury due to impacts with ice, boots, blades, bodies, boards and crash pads.

A helmet must be worn for all on-ice activities. It must be securely fastened under the chin at all times. A skate blade should not be able to penetrate any ventilation holes in the helmet.

For Learn to Speed Skate and Introduction to Speed Skating Programs, as well as training for Active Start and FUNdamentals aged participants, helmets must be ASTM F 1849 certified or CSA approved (hockey, snowboard/ski skateboarding helmets only). For all other competitions and activities, helmets must be ASTM F 1849 certified.

Gloves

Gloves

Why: To prevent cuts and puncture wounds on the hands from blades.

Full cut-resistant material gloves with a minimum 1 cuff must be worn at all times while skating. All the surfaces of the glove must be made from cut-resistance material, including the palms, sides, tops, fingers and cuffs. Appropriate cut-resistant materials include;

  • Medium to thick leather
  • Kevlar mixed (minimum 12%) Nylon and/or spandex or similar material. Kevlar lined leather gloves provide the most protection.
  • Dyneema mixed Nylon and/or spandex or similar materials
  • Other cut-resistant material approved by the Canadian Speed Skating Association

Example of gloves that are not cut-resistant (enough) are;

  • wool gloves
  • cotton gloves
  • nylon only gloves
  • baseball batting gloves
  • golf gloves
  • thin leather ski/winter gloves
  • non-leather ski/winter gloves
  • non-leather soccer goalie gloves

Neck Protection

Neck Protection

Why: To prevent cut and puncture wounds to the neck area, especially in the areas of the major arteries.

All skaters are required to wear bib-type neck protection. It must be made of Kevlar, Dyneema, or ballistic nylon. Protection may be integrated into the design of a skater’s skin suit or worn tucked into a skater’s skin suit. If separate neck protection is worn it must fastened securely.

Eye Protection

Eye Protection

Why: To prevent eye injuries resulting from ice chips or a collision with a blade or other object.

Shatter-resistant protective sport glasses or a complete visor are required for all skaters. Glasses must be held securely in place by a strap. Hockey helmets with cages are NOT an acceptable alternative.

Full Cover Protection

Full-Cover Protection

Why: To prevent cut and puncture wounds on any other part of the body not already covered by other protective equipment.

No skin below the mid-line of the neck can be visible (bare).

Skaters aged 11+ (L2T) participating in events sanctioned SSC Championships and/or as Selection/International competitions must wear cut resistant clothing meeting or exceeding the minimum standards established by the ISU.

Several times a year, the Club will place an order for CSSA branded skin suites. Communication will be sent out as to when samples are available to try on, and to place an order. It typically takes 8 – 10 weeks for our supplier to fulfill an order.

Ankle Protection

Ankle Protection

Why: To prevent cut and puncture wounds of the Achilles tendon from blades during the thrust phase of the stride.

No skin can be visible between the skater’s boot and skin suit. Puncture resistant anklet made of Kevlar or Dyneema must be worn on both legs, covering the legs from the tops of the boots to 10 cm above the tops of the boots.

Knee Protection

Knee Protection

Why: To prevent puncture and blunt force impact wounds to the knees.

Full frontal knee coverage providing complete coverage of the patella. Made of puncture resistant (e.g. Kevlar or Dyneema) and impact absorbing (e.g. high density foam) material. Protection may be worn over a skater’s skin suit or it can be integrated in the suit.

Shin Protection

Shin Protection

Why: To prevent cut and puncture wounds along the shin from blades, as well as some measure of blunt impact protection from hitting hard objects/bodies.

Skaters must wear hard plastic or built-in cut and puncture resistant material with some impact energy absorption. Full frontal shin coverage is from within 2.5 cm of the top of the boot to within 2.5 cm of the bottom of the knee protection.   Protection may be worn over/under a skater’s skin suit or it can be integrated in the suit.

Skate Blades

Skate Blades

Why: To reduce the puncture making capacity of the blades.

The rear and front tips of all skate blades shall be rounded to a minimum radius of 1cm. Skate blades need to be sharp and well maintained. All skates rented from the Club will have the skate blades rounded appropriately.

Ankle Booties

Ankle Booties

Why: to help prevent blisters.

Form fitting pull-on anti-blister booties that allow your foot to grip your footwear better, yet offer protection from rubbing and blistering. Highly recommended.

Skate Guards

Skate Guards

Why: To prevent damaging the blades.

Skate guards must always be worn when not on the ice. Put your guards on before you step off of the ice and do not walk on the toes of the skates, walk on the flat of the blades.

Soft Guards

Soft Guards

Why: To prevent blades from rusting.

Use blade protectors while transporting your skates and storing skates.

Jig

Jig

Why: To help keep the blades sharp.

Speed skates are sharpened by hand, using a jig and stone. Instruction sessions on how to sharpen your skates are held during the skating season. If you rent club skates you are responsible for sharpening them throughout the season. The club has jigs available for club members to use.