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.
Short Track skates can be rented through the Calgary Speed Skating Association.
We also occasioanlly have used equipment swaps and the Sale Board by the Olympic Oval Skate Shop frequently has fresh deals from other skaters.
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. For all speed skating, a helmet must have been manufactured within the past 5 years – any older and it may not be as safe as when it was new (this can usually be found on a sticker inside the helmet).
Why: To prevent cuts and puncture wounds on the hands from blades.
Full cut-resistant material gloves with a cuff must be worn at all times when 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:
- 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
- Medium to thick leather
- Other cut-resistant material approved by Speed Skate Canada
Example of gloves that are not cut-resistant (enough) are:
- wool gloves
- cotton gloves
- nylon gloves
- baseball batting gloves
- golf gloves
- thin leather ski/winter gloves
- non-leather ski/winter gloves
- non-leather soccer goalie gloves
CUT-PROOF NECK GUARD
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 which must be fastened securely. It must be made of Kevlar, Dyneema, or ballistic nylon. Any integrated protection built into the design of a skater’s skin suit is not sufficient.
SHATTER-PROOF GLASSES & STRAP
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. Lenses must be transparent. Hockey helmets with cages are NOT an acceptable alternative as the gaps in the cage would allow a skate blade through.
CUT-PROOF ANKLE GUARDS
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.
FULL BODY CUT-PROOF SKIN SUIT (ONLY REQUIRED FOR RACING OVER 11 YEARS OLD)
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 Calgary Speed Skating Association branded skin suits. 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.
KNEE PADS (SOFT)
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 GUARDS (HARD)
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.
HARD SKATE GUARDS
Why: To prevent damaging the blades.
Skate guards must always be worn when not on the ice. Put your hard guards on before putting your skates on and until you step onto the ice. Put your hard guards back on as you are getting off the ice and while you are removing your skates. Make sure to take off your hard guards and switch to soft guards after removing your skates for storage.
SOFT SKATE GUARDS
Why: To prevent blades from rusting.
Use soft skate guards while storing your skates.
Speed skaters use one of two kinds of skates – clap or fixed blade. This difference is also know as long track skates or short track skates. Long track skates are typically clap skates and short track skates are always fixed blades. Every skater must start out on fixed blades and may progress to clap skates after a certain ability and speed level on long track only.