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New to Skating?

Check out this Skate Canada video for information on CanSkate Equipment.

Having the proper equipment keeps your skater safe, helps them develop stronger skating skills, and lets them enjoy skating.

This page is dedicated to helping you get the right information on the best equipment for your skater, and how to use it.

There is also information about skater safety, and information on common injuries, with tips about prevention and care.

With the right gear, and proper skating technique, a skater is very unlikely to have an injury. As a club we do our best to promote safe learning environments in every way possible. A safe skater is a happy skater, and one that will want to keep skating!


For anyone not familiar with skating, skates can seem complex.

Here are some tips, recommended by our coaches:

  • Skates should fit snuggly. A skate is generally 1-2 sizes smaller than your regular shoe size. 

  • Skates should have strong ankle support (feels stiff and doesn't bend side-to-side).

  • When putting a skate on, make sure your heel is placed against the back, and that you have socks that are taller than the boot.

  • Different skates are tied differently. A well tied skate has little room for ankle movement (side-to-side) and only one finger can fit inside.

  • Laces should be just long enough to tie the skate without dragging on the ice. If the skate has extra lace, try to tuck it in. Laces tied around the skate, wear at the boot and can slip and move around, causing pain.

  • Before getting on the ice, have the skater stand up in the skates and make sure they can bend their knees, but their feet are not wobbling inside the skate.

Skate Care

  • Sharpen the blades before first use and regularly throughout the season. 

  • Things like outdoor rinks, walking on hard surfaces (not recommended) and poor after care can wear blades down quicker.

  • Skates and blades should be wiped down after each session, and stored with a soft cover or towel on the blades to prevent rust and damage.

  • Hard guards are for walking around the rink.

  • Plastic skates, buckled skates, or skates that 'grow with your child' are not recommended. These skates don't stay done up, they don't offer ankle support, and can make it harder for your skater to balance.

CanSkate Mandatory Equipment


Can be new or used. Must be sharpened before use (and regularly after). Strong ankle support in both hockey and figure skates will help your skater develop proper balancing techniques.


Must be CSA hockey helmet. These helmets are specially designed to protect the areas most at risk during on ice falls. Skaters wearing a bicycle helmet will not be permitted to skate.


Preferably waterproof and insulated.

Recommended Equipment


Layers that don't restrict your skaters movement, and are breathable. Snowpants are good for skaters who are just learning to stand up, but please make sure they don't drag on the ice.

Helmet Cage:

Cages are not mandatory, but are recommended for new learners. Skaters that plan on entering hockey and ringette will eventually need one.

Useful Equipment links

Where to Buy & Maintain Equipment

Plan to purchase your new equipment a few days before the first day of skating. Give yourself time to get a proper fit, and ask a lot of questions. Here are some local businesses that are known for good service and knowledgeable staff.

East Side Sports

6-805 East Lake Blvd   Airdrie, Alberta

- Has a range of new and used skates

- Has a range of equipment for helmets, and other skating gear

- Offers Airdrie Skating Club apparel

- Offers skate sharpening for hockey and recreational skates

Dangle Show Hockey

200 East Lake Blvd SE   Airdrie, Alberta

(inside Ron Ebbesen Arena)

- Offers skate sharpening for hockey and recreational skates

- Offers skate and helmet repairs

Please ask your coaches about options for figure skate sharpening. Parents sometimes take turns, taking a load of figure skates to Calgary (or United Cycle in Edmonton) to help each other out. Ask your club members!

The Skate Lab


- Has higher end figure skates

- Offers range of clothing for practice and competitions

- Skate sharpening for quality figure skates

Pro Skate Shop


- Has higher end figure skates

- Offers range of clothing for practice and competitions

- Skate sharpening for quality figure skates

(located above a hockey shop, that has sharpening for hockey skates, and lots of equipment)

On Ice Safety

Useful Safety links

Our programs are designed to keep skater safety as a top priority. Having proper gear, following the rules, and learning proper skating techniques, all go a long way in preventing accidents.

In the case of an accident or injury the coaches on the ice are trained to deal with it. All NCCP coaches must renew their first aid and CPR every 3 years. A stocked first aid kit is kept at all rinks.

Should an emergency happen the club and coaches have an action plan. The coaches are responsible for getting the skaters off the ice and out of the building in a safe and controlled manner. Once a safe distance from the emergency, skaters can be released back to their parents. There may be circumstances where skaters have to walk on hard surfaces, but skates can be sharpened and skater safety is top priority.

The club is under the City's (Airdrie's Staff) for when to evacuate, as we are only renting their facilities.

In the event of a concussion there are necessary steps to take for a successful recovery. Information about concussions, signs and symptoms, and treatments can be found under the links. This also includes a 'return to sport protocol' adhered to by the club and coaches.

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