Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Please review some of the more common questions and answers. If you still need assistance, please feel free to contact us by telephone or email.


Following is a list of required equipment and a list of suggested equipment depending on the skater's ability and age**.
Required Equipment
  • Skates - of course
  • Helmet - hockey style, CSA approved
  • Clothing appropriate for colder temperatures
  • Gloves - winter gloves⁄mitts are fine
  • Hockey Fundamentals requires full hockey equipment
Suggested Equipment
  • Facemask on the helmet - strongly recommended, especially for young children
  • Knee⁄elbow pads - roller blade type is acceptable.
    About half of the children wear some sort of padding. The other half do not.
  • Water resistant clothing - Preschool skaters especially

Back To Top


Choosing the correct pair of skates is based on several points. Below are the most important ones along with some common "Do's and Don'ts" regarding skates.
  • Age of Skater
  • Current Skill of Skater
  • Cost
  • Type of Skating
  • Frequency of Skating
Age of Skater
At all ages a skate must be strong enough to support a skater's weight and help support the ankle joint. The boot portion of a skate must resist bending without the skater's foot inside. The boot must be strong where the skater's ankle will be. Often a good test for this is to grip the skate (not while it is on the skater) from behind and just above the heel area. If an adult can squeeze the boot together with one hand, it is probably not a strong enough boot. A good boot should offer substantial resistance to an adult's hand strength just above the heal.
So a skate needs to be stronger relative to the weight of the skater. Children still need lots of support read about that in the next point.
Skill of Skater
Generally, the less skill a skater has, the more the boot needs to make up for some of that lack of skill. In other words, a beginner skater needs to have a strong enough boot to compensate for their lack of skill.
The strength of the boot of a skate needs to be relative to the weight of the skater and their skill.
Cost of Skates
The cost of a pair of skates can range from $40.00 for a used pair to over $1500.00 for a competitive-level figure skate. Of course a good quality used skate is fine for all levels of Preschool and Learn To Skate lessons but try not to spend less than $40.00. Any skate that costs less than that may be in such poor condition that it inhibits the skater's development.
Skate rentals are available at Cambridge Ice Centre, but only in Cambridge. They are managed by the arena and we are not in control of the rental equipment. It is Cambridge Ice Centre itself, not this skating school.
Type and Frequency of Skating
As with everything else in our lives, the more that you demand from a piece of equipment, the better quality it should be. If you intend to skate once per week and strictly on a recreational basis, the skates can be of lessor quality. As frequency and the type of things that the skate is used for increases, so should the quality. Hockey skates for hockey and ringette, figure skates for figure skating and speed skates for speed skating (we do not offer speed skating at all).
Common "Do's and Don'ts"

  • Spend $40.00 or more for skates.
  • Used skates are fine.
  • One size larger than required is fine for beginners.
  • Sharpen the skates at time of purchase.
  • Plastic moulded skates are fine for beginners except the ones that have an adjustable-size boot.
    The blade is usually poorly balanced
  • Buy skates that have an adjustable-size boot. The blade is usually poorly balanced.
  • Don't tie the skates too tight. Tension should be relative to their weight and strength, not yours.

Back To Top

Skate Sharpening & Skate Care

Skates need to be sharp even if the skater is young. Most often children's skates require sharpening every 2 months depending on how much they skate.
All skates should be sharpened to a grind radius of 5⁄8 inch (15 mm) or less.
Some people think that a child needs a flatter grind often 1 inch (25 mm). This is generally not true and usually a child with a flatter grind will slide noticeably. This is only a recommendation and can be adjusted if experience has proven differently.
Between skating sessions, skate blades must be kept dry and free from damage. Don't store them on concrete or steel surfaces that can dull the blades. Blades will rust and corrode as any other steel product does. If rust and corrosion are present, sharpen the skates before the next use.
Do not allow skaters to walk on concrete or other hard surfaces with an unprotected skate blade. Use a good pair of "skate guards" if you need to walk anywhere other than the rubber mats inside of arenas. If you do walk on any hard surface the skates will need to be sharpened right away.
Back To Top

Coach to Skater Ratio

Coach ratios are some of the lowest in the region and surrounding area. Our coaching ratios are as low as 3 to 1 for some Preschool levels or at the most 5 to 1. For the older children and/or adults it is 10 to 1.
Our coach ratio for our hockey program is usually a 6 to 1 ratio and the goalie program will be 1 coach for 2-3 goalies.
Back To Top
**Suggested equipment only, except for helmets that are mandatory. Each skater's needs may be unique.
© Ice-Tech Skating Programs 2020