ASSC Altrincham Speed Skating Club
logo Altrincham Speed Skating Club

SPEEDSKATER.UK

SHORTTRACK EQUIPEMENT....

.... AND HOW TO LOOK AFTER IT!

To be able to speed skate, you need quite some equipment.
Understanding how each part of your equipement works, will help you go faster on the ice.
Looking after your materials, clearly will help you to go faster on the ice too, moreover it will make sure you will enjoy them longer!


EQUIPMENT UNDERSTANDING... LOOKING AFTER..
SKATE - BOOTS
photo shorttrack boot Maple
Boots are constructed with heavy materials that help stabilise the foot and ankle around corners. Each boot has two laces, one for the foot (bottom) and one separate for the ankle (top).Using just one lace all the way up will not give you enough ankle stability. Shoe polishing: Treat the leather parts at least once a year with shoeshine.

Laces: Regularly replace your laces (you do not want them to snap during a competition). Laces can be bought in the skating shopje. One lace can be cut in two pieces, to create a top and bottom lace. Measure in your boot before you cut. Use a lighter to stop the end from railing.
Tip: always have a spare pair of laces cut in the right length ready, just so you have a replacement in case a lace snaps at a moment when you least expect it.

Laces & Velcro: After each training session put the laces together in the shoe and under the flap. Put the velcro back. These little things will keep your boots in good shape.
SKATE - BLADES
photo shorttrack blade Maple
Blades are longer than those of traditional skates (figure skating, ice hockey) and do not have a clap mechanism like longtrack speed skating blades do. Moreover, the blades are bend out the corner, and highly curved. This is all to make sure that when you hang in the corner, enough contact remains between blade and ice to have a proper push. Towel rack: to dry blades off after each skating session.

Towel or fluffy covers: to wrap blades whilst storing them.

Plastic guards: to protect your blades whenever you walk on them.

Sharpening: depending on your level of skating, blades need to be regularly sharpened. We can help you with that, but you can learn it yourself too!

Bending and Curving of blades: from a certain skating level it is of use to once a year check your blades to see whether the bend and curve are still ok.
HELMET
photo shorttrack helmet
Specially designed helmet: closed top (unlike bike helmet that has holes). Check: regularly whether the plastic cap is still attached to the foam underneath, and whether there are no cracks in the plastic cap.
KNEE PADS: photo shorttrack knee pad Knee Pads come in all kind of variations: as a beginner you can suffice with soft knee pads that you can wear over other clothes. When you become faster you might want pads that can be worn under a skating suit. If you have a club suit, you will notice that knee pads are sewn into the suit.
NECK GUARD:
photo shorttrack neck guard
Neck guards are made out of cut proof material. Need to we worn by all competition skaters. Washing: on 30 degrees cannot harm, and will certainly improve the smell.
GLOVES:
photo shorttrack gloves
Beginners can suffice with any type of glove. When you start to take part at competitions it is recommended to have gloves made from cut proof material (such as Dyneema or Kevlar), they protect you from cuts.
photo shorttrack gloves tips When you start to get fast and lean in the corner, you might have to use your left hand to stabilise yourself. In that case you can add protective caps on the fingertips of your left hand. The caps protect your gloves from wearing, and make you glide smooth over the ice.
CUT PROOF UNDERSUIT:
photos of cut proof under suit
More advanced skaters that regularly compete might want to consider purchasing a cut proof under suit. These suits contain dyneema or kevlar and protect the whole body against cuts that could be the consequence of a accident during competition. They can get fairly smelly, a regular wash on max 40 degrees and <1000 centrifuge, should do the trick.