Good equipment is important for comfort and safety, as well as ensuring effective progress. All skaters should have their own skates, preferably fitted by a skate shop or by a qualified skate dealer. A good fit in a pair of quality used boots is better than a pair of low-quality new boots for skaters starting basic figure skating skills. Leather boots with firm support around the ankle and properly sharpened blades are essential.
Molded boots are often too stiff and inflexible.
The boots should be fitted with one pair of socks/tights and there needs to be room to move the toes, but the foot should not slide. Skates need to be laced fairly loosely over the toe and the front of the foot, but snuggly over the ankles. Laces should be tucked in and not wrapped around the top of the skate. The heel must fit firmly and should not be able to move up and down. The child stands up, bends their knees slightly and walks in the skate without the ankles dropping to either side. The skate should feel comfortable.
The blades should be sharpened regularly for the skater’s benefit. Skaters need to get their skates sharpened approximately every 20 hours. If the skater is skating more often then more frequent sharpening is recommended. It is very difficult to learn to skate on dull blades. All newly purchased skates must be sharpened. Guards are recommended. The blades need to be clean and free of any rust, nicks and ridges. Blades and sole plates should be cleaned and dried thoroughly after each session and covered with cloth blade covers to prevent rusting. Skate guards protect the skate blade from dulling and should be worn while walking on all surfaces. It is not recommended to walk outside due to the possibility of gravel getting into the guards and damaging the blade.
The more experienced skater should wear a skating dress or skirt with warm tights, bodysuit or warm-up pants. The male skaters should wear straight-legged stretch pants and sweater. This enables the coach to see proper body positions. Gloves should be worn for practices and warm ups. Long hair needs to be tied back.