SKATING EXPENSES: How much does skating cost? My mother used to answer newcomers by saying, “well first get out your check book”. Like many activities it depends on how intensively you get involved. The following is a summary of costs that skaters may encounter as their training advances. Although this list is intended to provide an idea of the more significant expenses skaters may incur, please realize that it is not comprehensive. While some Club members may never require all of the services listed, other skaters may elect to make investments beyond those mentions here.
All skaters need to own at least one pair of well-fitting ice skates (boots).
Rentals simply don’t provide the support or blade quality needed for serious
skating. Consult your coach about the different options available in boots from
used or gently used all the way to custom made. I cannot stress enough the
importance of a well-fitted boot to avoid unnecessary foot problems. Never
purchase a larger size with the idea of your skater growing into them as this
can seriously injure their feet, not to mention create difficulty with balance.
A stiffer boot dost not a better skater make! The health and well being of the
structure of your skater’s feet will enable them to skate for years to come
while avoiding seeing a Podiatrist.
SKATE SHARPENING: Skate blades need to be sharpened regularly. The
frequency depends on how often your skater trains. Avoid letting blades get too
dull as this can impede progress and cause difficulty with simple edge work.
Don’t just go to anyone who claims to sharpen blades as there is a true art to
this. Talk to more advanced skaters with some time invested in the sport to see
where they take their blades to get sharpened. Average cost is about $15.00 to
$25.00 a pair.
Discuss which blade model best suits your skater’s ability with your coach. A
more advanced “rocker” will hinder a beginner as it takes more technique to
skate on. Don’t buy blades on the advice of another parent as their skater may
be more advanced than yours.
SKATING ATTIRE: To be comfortable yet safe. Baggy or bell bottomed pants
can cause a skater to fall due to blades getting caught in loose material.
Tights come in various types from in the boot to over the boot. Some skaters opt
to where two pair if skating in a cold rink. Wearing several layers of thin,
moisture wicking material works well. As the skater warms up, they can shed
outer layers. Gloves help keep hands warm. Look for a stretchy knitted glove
that fits well. There are new types of leggings that are a cotton/spandex blend
that fit well and go over the boot. These are rather pricey, but work very well.
In addition, skaters testing or competing will need special dresses, pants
(boys) or costumes. Always make sure skates are well maintained and clean when
testing or competing, laces tucked in or taped, as well as making sure hair is
well groomed and away from face.
PROFESSIONAL COACH: Each Coach or “Pro” charges by the lesson. It is your responsibility to interview the coach and find out his or her policy of payment. This is a business contract between you and your skater’s instructor, so make sure you compensate them according to their policy. With the new ruling by USFS and PSA it is your responsibility to ask your private coach if they are compliant and working on their continuing education requirements, as any coach in a non-compliant status will not be able to attend test sessions,
competitions, exhibitions, club ice or any USFS sponsored event with your
ICE TIME: Every time skaters take the ice, they essentially rent ice
time from the rink. In freestyle sessions, for example, fees reflect the fact
that the number of skaters on the ice is limited, allowing skaters to work on
advanced skills without the distractions of crowding and recreational beginners.
Check with the arena for current freestyle rate and or available “chip” cards.
Your expense will depend on how many sessions you skate.
TESTING FEES: Each skater must pay a fee upon submitting his or her
application for an upcoming test. This fee helps to offset testing costs, such
as rental of the ice and judges’ reimbursement for transportation. Rates vary
according to the kind of test taken and level. You will be billed by your coach
for the time he or she spends with your skater at the test, usually equivalent
to fifteen minutes to one hour of lesson time. Check with our Test Chair for
information regarding test fees and policies regarding registration.
COMPETITION FEES: Every competition charges an entry fee, and these vary
widely. In addition to the entry fee, you will be responsible for reimbursing
your coach for time spent with your skater at the event. A coach’s lodging and
transportation expenses will normally be divided equally among the skaters he or
she is taking to the competition. Of course, you will incur travel expenses as
well, including lodging and transportation, if the competition is out of town.
Skaters may also sign up for practice ice at the competition rink for an
additional fee. Check the competition rink’s website for their announcement and
registration form for all costs and available practice ice.
MUSIC: Music is an essential component to the success of any program. Coaches devote a great deal of time off the ice to cutting music for the best effect while adhering to competition time limitations. All coaches charge a fee for such program editing and recording services. The fee will depend on the number and length of the program(s) the skater will perform.
EXTRA LESSONS: When it gets close to test or competition time, your
coach may recommend extra lessons. This involves additional lesson fees, as well as possible expenses for extra ice time.
TRAINING: Many serious competitive skaters find off-ice training
to be successful in gaining the strength, balance and flexibility needed in
today’s demanding requirements. The cost for this varies according to the type
of training, frequency and facility usage. Some rinks offer off-ice yoga, core
or jump classes. Some skaters work with Personal Trainers. Make sure the
Personal Trainer you select has a knowledge of skating, is certified and