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Salmon Arm Skating Club's Beginners Guide to Skating

The Salmon Arm Skating Club offers lessons for people of all ages and abilities! Skaters will learn everything to excel in skating, from basic skills to competitive skating.  Here is some information to help you get started. 

What to wear

  • Dress warmly in comfortable clothing that will not restrict your movement.

  • Baggy or restrictive clothing may hinder proper movement and may not enable the coach to see how the skater is positioning their body. 

  • Layers enable the skater to remove clothing as they warm up.  

  • Leggings or tights with a practice skirt, an athletic top, a warm-up jacket, gloves and a water bottle are recommended. 

  • No jeans or dangly jewellery. 

  • Hooded sweatshirts can impede jumps and spins.

  • Tie long hair back. 


See Skate Canada’s recommendations on helmets:


  • Properly fitting skates are very important. 

  • One way to tell if skates fit properly is to pull out the insole and stand on it. Another method is to get your skater to push their foot as far forward as they can in the skate, do the skate up and slightly bend their knee, and then you should be able to fit in one or two “fingers” of room at the heel when they bend (one finger is ideal).

  • Skates should be worn with thin socks or tights.

  • The club often has second-hand skates and coach Jen can help you find some that fit.

  • If you are looking for new skates, blades or other skating accessories, Dave Drake from Blade Runner in Coldstream provides excellent service.

  • Do not tie the extra lace around the ankles. This can cause injury. 

Skate Sharpening

  • Sharpen skates after every 20 hours of skating (approximately).

  • We highly recommend Blade Runner Skate Services: Dave Drake (Coldstream) at 250-260-2083. 

Skate Care

  • To prevent rusting, wipe the blades dry with a clean cloth after every use.

  • Store skates in cloth guards (not hard, plastic guards).

  • Store skates in the house (not in the garage or trunk of car) to prevent blades rusting from changes in temperature.


  • Testing is where a skater’s progress is measured.

  • There are three disciplines: skills, freeskate and dance tests.

  • Testing is optional and is highly recommended because it helps a skater see the results of their hard work.

  • When your skater is ready to take a test, you will get a message from the Club Director in charge of testing.

  • Once you have paid the fee, coach Jen will administer the test (Note: the whole test fee for Star 1-5 levels goes to Skate Canada, the club does not keep any of the fee).

  • Your skater does not need to wear anything different on test day.

  • For tests above Star 5 an evaluator needs to be brought in.  Ice and coaching fees will be added to the test fee for those tests. Skater needs to wear dress attire.

  • All test results are kept on file with Skate Canada.


  • Competitions are optional (but a lot of fun!).

  • Skaters who choose to compete can do so at competitions in our region.

  • Generally, Coach Jen and the Club will inform skaters that a competition is coming up and provide everything you know to register.

  • There is a fee for the competition (per event) and a fee to coach Jen (who must attend with skaters from our club and who guides skaters at the competition).

  • Skaters wear dress attire for competitions and need to have clean skates, a warm-up jacket and water bottle. 

  • If your skater plans to get ready at the competition rink, know that parents are not allowed in the dressing rooms.  If you need to help your skater get ready at the rink, you have to do so in the public restrooms.

  • Competitors need to arrive at the rink where the competition is taking place at least one hour before their scheduled event. 

  • Competitors submit their music electronically prior to the committee and need to remember to bring a second copy (on a USB key) to the competition.

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