Care & Maintenance Of Speed Skates
Whether you have rented a pair of the Club’s speed skates or you have purchased your own, they are an expensive piece of equipment that you rely on to skate your best. The better you care for them, the longer they will last and the better they will serve you. A few simple precautions will suffice to keep new speed skates in good condition over the years. First, the blades should never be allowed to get dirty or rusty and the boots should be kept clean and dry so that the leather remains in good condition.
- To care for your rental speed skates properly, you will need to have an old towel or rag, a set of soft blade covers, and a set of hard guards.
- You should never walk on your speed skate blades on any surface without having a set of skateguards on them. Speed skating blades are not as tough as hockey or figure skate blades and will lose their edge or be further damaged if you walk on the rubber mats in the dressing room or halls (the dirt on them from shoes is enough to dull the blades). You should always put your guards on before tying on your skates. Walk to the edge of the rink and only take them off when you are ready to go on the ice. You should put your guards on as soon as you leave the ice.
- When you take off your skates, you should dry off the boots and the blades with the old towel that you keep in your bag. This is important to prevent rust. Then, you should put the soft blade covers on your skates. DO NOT store your skates in plastic or leather skate guards. If rust does develop on the blades, put some oil (mineral oil/baby oil) on the blade and rub the spot with a burr stone. Rust acts like a cancer on the steel, eating at the surface and weakening the blade, so it is best to get rid of rust as soon as it develops.
- When you get home, you should open your skate bag and let your skates and equipment dry out properly after practices.
- Every few weeks check that your blades are still on tight. Try to wiggle or move them – if they shift, check with one of the coaches to make sure the position is correct or return them to the correct position. Do not over-tighten the bolts or you will strip them.
- Depending on how you treat your skates, how much you weigh, and how often you skate, your skates will need to be sharpened between every couple of practices. Your coach can show you how to tell if your skates are in good shape and if they need to be sharpened.
- Speed skates cannot be sharpened the same way as hockey skates and must be sharpened in a special speed skating jig. Parents and skaters may borrow a Club jig to sharpen their skates. Older skaters are expected to start learning how to sharpen their skates.
- When storing skates for the summer, make sure they are clean and dry. Coat the blades with a lite oil to prevent any corrosion caused by damp conditions. Make sure there is no weight acting upon the blades, which might bend them during a summer in storage.