Frequently Asked Questions
What is a sanctioned club?
It is a club run under the Skate Canada rules and regulations. Abbotsford Skating Club is a Skate Canada sanctioned club. Each registered member receives a Skate Canada Member number which stays with the skater for life. This number is used when the skater takes a Skate Canada test or participates in a competition.
We are new to Skating, where to we start?
CanSkate is the best place to start if your child has no skating experience or has basic forward and backward skating skills. The skater will develop and improve the basic skills in a fun and exciting environment under the watchful eye of experienced coaches and our elite skating program assistants
How old do you have to be to start CanSkate?
You must be at least 3 years old to join the CanSkate program.
Who teaches CanSkate?
Currently we have 3 professional coaches that teach the CanSkate Program: Stacy Geddes, Tami Kerr and Angie Verma. We also have several PA's that assist the coaches where needed.
How will my child be grouped?
During the first week of skating coaches will assess the child's ability. They will then be placed in groups with several children of the same level.
Will sessions fill up quickly?
Yes! Our CanSkate program is very popular and most classes offered will reach the maximum number of skaters before the starting date. We do start a waiting list when a session fills, but it is best to register early to guarantee a spot!
Why is my child not getting much attention?
Naturally in the beginning the children who can not stand will get a bit more attention that those who can. However all children will receive the same amount of attention.
How much time will my child get with the coach?
Coaches rotate between each group for every lesson. Sometimes your child will start off their lesson with a coach and sometimes they will finish the lesson with a coach, but each group gets the same amount of time.
Why is my child not learning as fast as other children?
Every child learns at his or her own rate. The way they interpret information is different as well. Some children catch on to things faster than others. This does not mean your child is not understanding it just means they need a bit more time.
When can my child stop wearing a helmet?
Once your child has completed their level 5 badge they can stop wearing their helmet.
How will I know what progress my child is making?
At the end of each season you will be given a report card letting you know what your child has accomplished during the season. As your child accomplishes levels, they will be given a badge to represent that they have passed that level.
What can we expect at skating lessons?
Skating lessons are a fun and exciting challenge for young children. Our Skate Canada Certified Professional Coaches are fun and enthusiastic individuals who are committed to providing quality skating programs for our members. But parents please remember that ice is slippery and hard, not all children feel comfortable on the ice right away. Our coaches are well-trained in alleviating skater's fears, just be patient and your child will soon be gliding across the ice with a smile on their face.
Parent or Guardian?
Please remain on-site at the rink for the duration of each lesson. We would like to reinforce that parents cannot leave their children unattended at the rink. If you must leave, you must provide another adult to be responsible for your child. There is always a risk of injury and it is imperative that a responsible adult be present at all times in case of emergency.
My child doesn't have music, do I still have to play music?
Yes, even though your child does not have music yet you are still required to play music on each private session you are registered for. The amount of times you will be required to play is determined by how many skaters are registered for that session.
Do you have a different mailing address than your physical address?
Yes! If you apply for Jump Start or are mailing us some information, we won't receive it if you send it to the MRC. We have a separate mailing address. #341 - 4 - 32465 South Fraser Way, Abbotsford, BC, V2T 0C7.
Skates Equipment and Care
What is proper practice attire?
NO EVERYDAY SHORTS OR SKIRTS unless you are wearing warm tights underneath. Proper skating attire can be anything that allows a skater to move freely, example: for groups the boys can wear jogging pants, track pants, the girls can wear long yoga pants (not too flared though), jogging pants, tights with skating skirt, etc.
What type of skates should I buy?
Where should I get my skates sharpened?
We recommend you get your FIGURE SKATES sharpened at either Leading Edge, Skaters Edge Boutique or Cyclone Taylor.
What is the difference between figure skate sharpening and hockey skate sharpening?
The simple answer is A LOT! Figure skating blades must be ground to create a hollow. The depth of the hollow depends on the skater's preference and the discipline they skate in (freeskate versus dance). The hollow created two edges, inside and outside. The big rule of thumb is: NEVER EVER give your figure skates to someone who only sharpens hockey skates or use any automated skate sharpening machines which are found at some arenas. Trust your skates to someone who knows what they are doing.
Where can I get my hockey skates sharpened?
You can get your hockey skates sharpened locally at Centre Ice or Sports Zone.
How frequently should I sharpen my skates?
Once you feel that your edge is slipping, skidding or you lack the control you feel you normally have, it is time to sharpen. Some skaters don't mind slightly dull blades while others find that the require them to be really sharp. Skaters should take notice how they like their blades so that they can get them sharpened early enough (or close enough) to competition and tests so that they are perfect when the time counts.
Where can I buy skates and skating appareal?
Skates can be purchased from any skate shop. Leading Edge Skate Shop, Skaters Edge boutique, Cyclone Taylor or any other sports store (Sport Check, Mad Dogs, Sports Zone). Both Leading Edge and Skaters Edge carry a wide range of new and used skates and skating apparel, and are trained to properly fit skates. You can also purchase Good quality used Skates and apparel from the Music Room through the Abbotsford Skating Club.
Can my child compete while she/he is in Star Academy?
Yes. If your child is wanting to compete she/he can begin while they are in Star Academy. You should speak to one of our coaches to find out what steps you need to take.
When is my child ready to compete?
This is something you and your child's coach can discuss. Don't be afraid to ask questions, remember your coach doesn't know what you want unless you discuss it with them.
Does every child have to pay the Skate Canada Membership Fee or is it one fee per family?
The $40 Skate Canada membership fee must be paid for every skater registered with the Abbotsford Skating Club. This fee provides insurance for each member providing our club and skaters are in a safe environment in which they can enjoy skating. It also allows our club to purchase CanSkate supplies such as badges, report cards, etc from Skate Canada. If you move away from BC, you can register in any Skate Canada club in your new city and start at the badge level you left off at in ASC!
What is a "buy on"?
If you are a Junior, Intermediate or Senior Skater you have the opportunity to "Buy-On" to a session that you are not registered for but qualify to skate on. Often this happens when a coach, skater and/or parent want an extra session to work on a difficult skating skill, or a little extra ice time when preparing for a test or competition. If a session is "full", then no Buy-Ons are allowed. You are not permitted to buy only parts of a session skaters must buy the entire session.
How do I purchase a "buy on"?
When you choose to come for an extra Buy-On session and BEFORE going on the ice you must: 1. Sign in, in the Buy On binder located by the front door. 2. Pay the current fee by cheque or cash. This can be found on the schedule posted on the door. 3. Ensure that you have written the skater's full name and session(s) chosen on the front of the little brown envelope located in the buy on binder. 4. Put the payment into the slot located on the club door. Do NOT leave payment in the binder!!
What are Skate Canada tests?
These are the tests that are taken after the CanSkate badge level has been completed and the skater has moved into the Star program. These test days occur on regular session or on specific days throughout the year. The dates will be posted by the club. These tests will either be judged by qualified evaluators (judge) or you coach depending on what test you are taking. All Clubs in our Region give a portion of their ice time to have a Test Day. This may require the skater to travel to his/her necessary test.
Can my child test?
Yes, if your child is in Private Lessons you are able to begin training for different disciplines. Please setup a meeting with your coach to discuss the best options for your child.
What is a Star 1-5 Test?
A Star 1-5 test is the Skate Canada testing system in Freeskate, Skills, Dance and Artistic. Each discipline has 5 levels.
Where is a Star 1-5 test held?
These tests are held on home ice during your regular skating session and are administered by your coach.
What is a Star 6-Gold test?
A Star 6-Gold test is the Skate Canada testing system in Freeskate, Skills, Dance and Artistic. The discipline of Dance offers Diamond tests as well.
What is a centralized test day?
Star 6 to Diamond are centralized, which means that skaters from throughout the BC Coast Region are expected to travel to designated club rinks in te Lower Mainland to do their tests.
What does my child wear when they are testing?
The answer depends on the type of test but normally FreeSkate tests are done in a competition dress as they skate their solo. Skills & dance are normally in a dress. Or a skirt and sweater, if the skater does not have an appropriate dress. Hair - ALWAYS tidy and off the face. Make-up, is up to the coach. Usually no gloves.
Who are the older skaters helping in the CanSkate session?
ASC program assistants are advanced skaters in our club, who have been trained to assist our professional coaches on the CanSkate sessions. They are volunteers; their role is to help young skaters practice the skills they have learned with the professional coaches and to make sure the children are having fun while they are learning to skate. Anyone who is 8 years or older can try out to become a PA.
Will a coach approach me to let me know my child should take private lessons?
No. Coaches will not approach you in regards to private lessons. If you are interested in knowing if your child should take private lessons you can talk to any of our coaches and they would all be happy to help answer the questions you may have.
How do I pick a coach for private lessons?
You should always take into consideration who your child works well with and appears to have built a connection with. You can read about all our coaches on our coaches page on our website or in the lobby on our bulletin board. Once you have decided on a coach you will need to contact them to discuss your options which can be done in person or via email. Once you have signed on with a Coach they become your Primary Coach.
When I register for Private lessons, are there any additional costs?
Yes, when you register you are paying for Ice ONLY. You are still responsible to pay for coaching fee's and any Off-ice classes that are not built into your session. Each coach charges a different rate. You will need to contact the coaches to find out their current rate. Please respect your coaches billing dates and pay them accordingly.
If I take private lessons does that mean I have to compete or test?
No. You can take private lessons just to further your knowledge in skating. There is no pressure to compete or test.
Star Program & Competitive
The Star Programs are Star 1, Star 2, Star 3, Star 4, Star 5, Star 6 (Formerly Senior Bronze), Star 7 Short Program, Star 8 (Formerly Junior Silver), Star 9 Short Program, Star 10 (Formerly Senior Silver), and Gold. The Competitive stream is Pre-Juvenile to Senior. When a child completes Star 5 and is within the required age limit they can either skate towards Star 6 (Formerly Senior Bronze; Star Program) or they can choose Pre-Juvenile (Competitive). Pre-Juvenile and Juvenile have an age pre-requisite. Asking your coach about these two programs and which way you would like your child to go would be advisable when they enter the Junior/Intermediate/Senior program.
When is my child ready to move to Star Academy?
In order to join our Star Academy program, your child MUST be finished his/her level 6 badge. No exceptions will be made.
What is offered after Star Academy?
There are no other group programs offered after Star Academy. Your skater can enter private lessons if they so choose to.
How long does it take to complete each program?
Many factors can affect a skater's rate of progress - amount of ice time, equipment, age, natural ability, whether or not they are attentive during instruction time, and extra instruction in the form of private lessons are key factors in how quickly your child learns the skills. Remember there is no set standard of time. Let your child progress at his or her own rate of development. If you are concerned about your child's progression please speak to one of the professional coaches. Remember to do this off the ice or email them directly.
How do I know if my child is ready for private lessons?
Is your skater interested in moving forward with figure skating? Do they show a keen interest in the sport? Are they enthusiastic about participating? Can they work on their own? If you answered yes to these questions your child is ready to take on private lessons.
What is Off-ice? What do I need for Off-Ice class?
We are pleased to offer strength and conditioning sessions, dryland training sessions, and creative movement and dance. These sessions are an important component of figure skating training. They help to improve on ice performance and to reduce injury risk. The sessions are taught by our Club Coaches and are designed to teach skaters the basics of warm-up, cool down, stretching & strengthening as well as balance and technique for jumps and spins, and creative expression. Attire and equipment: athletic shoes (runners), stretch activewear clothing. Bring a water bottle and a skipping rope.
Can I take lessons from more than one coach?
Yes you can, however lessons from other coaches MUST be set up through your Primary Coach.