Frequently Asked Questions

Important Policies and Information to Know

Q: Why do I have to be a member of US Figure Skating to participate in classes?
A: It is mandatory that each skating school participant be a member of the Basic Skills Program through US Figure Skating, as only current registered members are insured.  The Basic Skills membership year is July 1-June 30.

Q: What do I get with my USFS Membership?
A: All registered Basic Skills students will receive a record book with stickers to keep track of the levels they complete, a member patch, a year patch, information about skating, Sports Accident Insurance coverage and the opportunity to participate in group lessons, exhibitions, ice shows and Basic Skills competitions.  For each current registered member, a $2,500 deductible Sports Accident Insurance policy (PDF) is available for injuries sustained as a result of skating-related accidents.

Q: What do I do on the first day of class?
A: If you have not paid for classes before the start date, you will want to arrive at least 45 minutes before class begins to register at the Ticket Office.  If you registered for classes online, you will sign in at the Check-In table.  You may have to pay the annual USFS insurance fee if you did not already pay online.  You should receive your name badge, class wristband, and if eligible, your Early Bird Passes.

Q: Do I have to sign in at the Check-In Table each class?
A: Yes, as skaters must receive their class wristband to take the ice.  Also, be sure to check the table for any important information and updates.  Around the third or fourth class, your USFS Basic Skills Record Books should have arrived.

Q: How will my child know where to go on the ice for class?
A: We use a color coding systems to identify and coordinate classes. Your name tag will match the color of the class. Staff will be on site to assist participants to their classes.

Q: In general, what time should I show up at the rink prior to my lesson time?
A: Please arrive 15 to 20 minutes prior to class start time. If you need to register for classes, please allow more time to do so.

Q: Are helmets required for class? What kind of helmet is acceptable?
A: Helmets, such as a bike helmet or an HECC (Hockey Equipment Certification Council) helmet, are recommended for beginners and highly recommended for participants in Snowplow Sam.

Q: Are there rental skates available for class?
A: Rental skates are available on a first come, first served basis and are included in enrollment for class participants.

Q: What size and type of skates should my child wear?
A: Any single blade skate is appropriate however hockey skates can be more challenging to a beginner because of the blade shape. Sizing varies depending on the manufacturer and type of skates and therefore there is no general rule. If you are using rental skates, be sure to come early to allow time to find the right fit. If you are purchasing skates, it’s best to be fitted or at least have the skater try them on in the store.

Q: How do I put the skates on my child?
A: Make sure that the skater’s foot is fully in the boot by asking them to stand up in the skate. Also, because they look alike, make sure the skates are on the correct feet. Just as you would a work boot, tighten the laces over the foot so they are snug and don’t pull if you run your finger over them. Work your way all the way up to the top making sure that all hooks or loops are used then tie the laces like you would a shoe. For further assistance, please see a staff member.

Q: What should I do if my child has never skated before?
A: Many of our skaters have never skated before and this will be their first experience. Arrive 15 to 20 minutes early to allow enough time to get skates on and find your class. While waiting for your class, have the child march in the skates to help learn balance (be sure to stay on the rubber mats to protect the blades).

Q: What is the appropriate attire for classes?
A: Skaters should wear long pants and sleeves, gloves or mittens. Layers are recommended. Water proof pants can be beneficial to beginners as they will spend time on the ice, although thick snowpants can hinder movement. Avoid shorts, jeans, and be sure to wear socks. Long hair should be pulled back to not obstruct vision.

Q: Where can I purchase skates and skating apparel?
A: Gear Up Skate Supply offers entry level skates and apparel. The pro shop staff and our coaches may assist you in helping fit your child for skates. Online stores sometime offer sales and there are a lot of used skates and apparel on eBay. To ensure a good investment, it is recommended to talk to your child’s coach and ask before purchasing skates. When purchasing skates, it is important that they fit snug and are not too advanced for your child.

Q: Where can I get my child’s skate sharpened?
A: Gear Up Skate Supply offers this service.  Know your skating level and they can recommend a hollow for your skates, or talk to your coach.  A general rule of thumb is to have them sharpened every 20 hours of skating time.

Q: Are there weather related class cancellations?
A: Generally, classes are not cancelled for weather. Should classes need to be cancelled, reasonable efforts will be made to notify participants and provide reasonable accommodations.

Q: Can I pay for just one class?
A: Class Walk-Ons are only permitted at the discretion of the Skating Director and for this reason, may not be allowed. Should the Skating Director allow entrance to a class as a Walk On, the fee to walk on to a Learn to Skate class is $30.00.

Q: Is there an incentive to sign-up early or for classes?
A: Classes can fill and sometimes class times closeout altogether. Therefore, to ensure your space in the class of your choice, register for classes at least a week prior to the first day of class. Doing so earns you Early Bird passes, each good for a public session during your duration of classes.

Q: Do you offer a multi-sibling discount?
A: During the typical 8-week sessions, enrollment for the first child in a family is full price, $135. Each subsequent child (sibling) receives a $10 Sibling Discount, making the 2nd child’s enrollment $125. This is not to be used in conjunction with any other discounts. Registration for both siblings must take place at the same time.  Note: Prices and discounts are subject to change.  Shorter sessions (like 5-week sessions during the summer) are priced lower and receive smaller discounts.

Q: Are there other skaters/classes out on the ice during my child’s lessons?
A: Because the ice surface is large, we can accommodate several classes on the ice at one time. These different classes allow us to separate skaters into like groups of ability and age and support participants as they learn and master skills.

Q: How many skaters are in a class and what is the student to teacher ratio?
A: We do our best to provide instructor to student ratios that promote a successful class environment. Generally, class sizes and instructor to student ratios will vary depending on the level and the number of registrants. The average ratio is 1 to 10 with more teachers assigned to Snowplow Sam classes which serve a younger age group.

Q: What is the make-up policy for classes?
A: Make ups may be made on the alternate day of class. For example, if your class is regularly held on Tuesday evening, you may make up your class on Saturday afternoon.  You must sign in at the Check-In Table to receive your class wristband.