What program should I register my skater in?
If your skater has little or no experience of skating, once they are 4 years old (or starting JK in Sept 2016, ie born in 2012) they belong in our Pre-CanSkate program. Our Coaches and Program Assistants will be happy to help them find their feet, get them comfortable on the ice and teach them the basic skills they need to participate in figure skating, hockey or speed skating.
Skaters new to our club must register for Pre-CanSkate. They will be assessed on their first day and placed into a group based on their skill level.
Returning skaters that have not passed the complete Stage 1 must register for Pre-CanSkate.
Skaters that have passed CanSkate Stage 1 should register for CanSkate. Skaters that have passed CanSkate Stage 4 should register for Advanced CanSkate (figure skating stream) or PowerSkate (hockey skating skills)
Adults and children over the age of 14 will be more comfortable in the Adult/Teen CanSkate program (Note: We run some Adult CanSkate and CanSkate programs at the same time, to allow all members of the family to learn-to-skate regardless of age! Adults/Teens will always be in their own group and not mixed in a group with younger skaters)
What should my Skater wear?
- All pre-CanSkate, CanSkate and PowerSkate program participants must have a CSA approved hockey helmet until they pass CanSkate Stage 5. Full face masks are highly recommended. Bicycle, multi-sport and snowboarding/skiing helmets are NOT acceptable.
- Pre-CanSkate and CanSkate skaters are welcome to wear either hockey or figure skates. Skaters registered in PowerSkate sessions must wear hockey skates. Molded plastic skates with velco closures are not recommended. BobSkates with the double blade are not permitted for any of our programs.
- All participants must dress in warm, comfortable clothing in layers, including gloves or mittens. Waterproof pants or snow pants are recommended.
- While Skaters are learning to skate, figure skating dresses alone are not warm enough. Layering them over pants or warm leggings and putting a sweater or jacket on top might be warm enough.
What will happen in a CanSkate lesson?
We provide a small group environment where children aged 4 and over are encouraged to stand on their own and balance and control at their own pace. The children, who are grouped by ability, will be greeted at the boards by the Coach and/or Program Assistants assigned to their group. Snowpants or waterproof pants are recommended as skaters start by sitting on the ice. Once Skaters are able to stand and move on their own they begin working on the STAGE 1 badge. Parents/guardians are welcome to register for an Adult CanSkate session and participate in skating at the same time as their child. However, only Coaches and PAs are allowed on the ice with Skaters during an instruction period.
SkateCanada has re-designed the CanSkate program to make it even more fun and to keep young Skaters moving throughout every session. They have produced a video to explain what to expect. It looks a bit chaotic to observers, but the kids love the noise and energy of CanSkate and they pick up the fundamental skills even faster with this new format. Every session starts with 'fast-track' skating around the circumferance of the rink, followed by a warm-up period all together. We keep track of your childs progression through the Stages and group them accordingly. Skaters are assigned to a group based on ability and rotate with their group through a series of stations which are designed to teach aspects of agility, balance and control. Skaters new to us are grouped on the first day. At the end, Skaters participate in a Coach-led group cool-down period before leaving the ice.