Embracing the Rink Parent’s Mantra: “Cold never bothered me, anyway”
Fact: Ice rinks are chilly. However, bundling up your skater with excess clothing that restricts movement and triple layers of socks to fill old hand-me-down-skates adds to the frustration and subtracts from a positive skating experience. Just imagine attempting to glide gracefully across the ice in 3 snowsuits and floppy “clown shoes.” If that’s what you skater has to deal with, they’ll likely spend more time sitting than gliding. So what is appropriate attire for lessons?
- Properly-fitting skates. It is extremely important that skaters at all levels have skates with support that fit properly. If you have some used skates, but are not sure if they are appropriate, rent skates and bring the others so that you can have them evaluated by a coach or skate technician in the pro shop. (Hint: If you hold the skate upside down and it flops to one side … those skates should never see feet again.) To check if you’ve got the right size, take out one of the insoles and have your skater stand on just that. If there is more than ½” of space at the tip of the longest toe, they are probably too big. Depending on what you are looking for, you can visit these pages for recreational and beginner, respectively.
- Thin socks. Thin socks that are long enough to rise above the top edge of the skate, like knee highs, create the most comfortable fit for your skater. Low-cut sneaker socks will result in rawness or blistering along the top of the skate. Heavy socks add toe-cramping bulk and increase perspiration inside the skates — combine that added moisture and the cold ice surface and you have frozen “toe-sicles.”
- Warm gloves. Gloves are essential. Curiosity alone will create an irresistible urge to touch the ice, scrape up snow with blades and make mini-snowballs. While breaking a fall with hands is discouraged (because that encourages wrist and hand breaks), there will surely be times when hands do come into contact with the ice. Extremities get cold more quickly than the rest of the body and the object is to keep the skater on the ice for as long as possible, so keep hands and feet warm. It’s a good idea to bring along an extra pair of gloves, in case the first pair gets too wet to wear.
- Layers, layers, layers. Layered clothing that is flexible and easy to remove will keep your skater comfortable. Ice rink temperatures vary, but bodies in motion on the ice get warm faster than those sitting in the stands or standing by the boards, so don’t assume that because you are bundled up, your child should be.Leggings and sweatpants worn with turtlenecks and sweatshirts will keep skaters warm and make emergency trips to the restroom easier than a one-piece snowsuit.
Okay, you’ve got the sweats and socks covered from your skater’s closet, but the rest, not so much. Let’s make it easy. You can find a whole skate package of everything your skater will need for an awesome skating experience right here as a special offer on our website: Pretty in Pink First Glides package and Little Champion First Glides package.
Now let’s go skating!