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Learn to Speedskate FAQ

Who is able to participate?

Skaters ages 6 through adults are invited to participate in the program. We do expect that program participants will have some skating ability. Skaters must be able to stand and move independently while wearing skates.

What do I do when I arrive at practice?

When you arrive for practice, please sign in and check for announcements at the information desk or bulletin board.

Please write your skater’s first name on a wide piece of tape and stick in on your skater’s helmet, outerwear, cap or jacket. This will help us get to know each skater individually. After putting on skates and other warm clothes, your child should wait by the doors before going out on the ice.

What should I do about skates?

Speed skates are not necessary, but are available for rental.

Skate rental is $50 for the season (Nov - Feb) and $40 (April-June).  Information about skate rental and an online payment option will be sent to you after registration.

All skates have been sharpened and are ready to go. Participants will be responsible for the maintenance of the skates including; sharpening, wiping off the blades after sessions, etc. Skates will be returned after the last practice.  Skates not returned at the end of the season will be subject to a $250 replacement charge.  Skate Try-on (fitting) will be announced at the parent meeting and/or via email.

What about Skate Sharpening?

Skates WILL need to be sharpened during the season. If your skater starts to feel like he/she is slipping a lot on the ice, that is a sign they should be sharpened.  ALWAYS use blade guards when walking to and from the ice, wipe off the skates after every use, and avoid “hockey stops” to extend the time between sharpening. NEVER store skates with the plastic blade guards attached - this encourages rust and pitting of the blades. 

Speed skates should NEVER be sharpened on a machine ­–like figure or hockey skates. They have to be sharpened by hand using special equipment. Machine sharpening makes the blades concave and changes the curvature of the blades, both of which damage the blades and change the way they skate on the ice.

The novice coaches are available to sharpen skates for you for $10.00/pair. Another option is to take them to Strauss Skates and Bicycles - 1751 Cope Avenue, Maplewood, 651-770-1344.

What is your Cold Weather Policy? (Fall/Winter only)

The Roseville Parks and Recreation Department has a general policy of closing if -25 F (wind chill, temperature or a combination). We abide by this policy for both practice sessions and meets. If in doubt, please call the Oval recording at 651-792-7191 one hour before practice time. Please use your best judgment. You know your child and it will ultimately be your decision if your child should participate in cold weather.Are helmets required?

For the indoor spring sessions, helmets must be worn. For the outdoor fall/winter session, helmets  are optional, BUT strongly recommended. Bicycle or hockey helmets are acceptable. Parents may also want to consider elbow and knee pads for younger children. Older skater’s safety apparel is at the parent’s discretion. General skating ability should be a major factor when considering safety apparel.

What should my skater wear/bring to practice?

Skaters are expected to have and use the following equipment:

  • Helmet
  • Warm hat or ear band, neck warmer, warm jacket and warm athletic pants (not jeans)
  • Warm gloves or mittens 
  • Warm socks (Best to layer. Smart Wool brand is encouraged)
  • Mole skin (found at drug stores) is used for sore feet/blisters due to breaking in skates
  • Skate bag with skates, guards and towel for drying skates

When is practice?

Fall/Winter sessions are Tuesday and Thursday nights from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm (Nov-Feb)

Spring sessions are Monday nights from 7:00pm to 8:00m (April-June)

The ability to skate improves with practice. We encourage skaters to go to open skating at the Oval or an indoor arena as often as time permits. The more time devoted, the better the results!

What about competitions?

All the skating competitions (“meets”) are optional. Skaters may attend if they desire and feel comfortable. We encourage all skaters to try it at some point. It may be helpful to just come and watch.

Meets will consist of three types: 

• Closed - These meets will ONLY be for Roseville Novice Speed Skating Program skaters 

• Open to All Novice Speed Skating programs - These meets will be for all Roseville Novice Speed Skating participants, PLUS, participants from other novice speed skating programs in Minnesota. 

• Open to the Public - These meets will be open to the general public.

At the end of the Fall/Winter skating season, the combined results of all races will be tallied on a “points basis” and awards will be presented at the end of the year banquet.

What about volunteers?

To put on a meet, we will need volunteers to determine the finishing place of each skater. The job is easy and fun. Parents and adults, please dress according to the weather at meets, since you will be asked to be a volunteer judge alongside the ice during the races.

Who will my skater race?

Races are grouped according to the skater’s age as of July 1st.

Can I sponsor speed skating?

Yes! We are always looking for civic organizations, corporations, individuals, etc., to sponsor our speed skating meets. If you are interested in sponsoring a meet, please let one of the coaches know. The name of the sponsor can be engraved on trophies or medals.

How do I stay up-to-date with what is going on?

We will attempt to have any pertinent information readily available. Information will be sent via email. There is a bulletin board for the Novice Program near the entrance to the outdoor ice. Please check to make certain you provided current information when you sign in at practice.  Updates will also be posted to this website.

Is there an end-of-the-year banquet?

Yes. The Fall/Winter year-end banquet is potluck style. The program will provide pizza and drinks. Please bring a dish to share. There is no charge and all family members are invited. Year-end awards will be given to all Roseville Novice Program participants. Please return rental skates at the end of the last practice. Skates not returned will be billed for the full amount of the skate purchase (minimum $250).

Novice Speedskating Program