FAQ - CANSKATE PROGRAMS
Is skating experience required to register for the CanSkate programs?
No experience is necessary for any of our Learn to Skate programs. There is a Stage 1 group at every age level. You do not need to worry about the Stage when registering for one of our programs, just select the proper program (CanSkate / Pre-canSkate / Pre-Power CanSkate / Teen/Adult CanSkate) and the date and time that work best for you!
Does my skater need their own skates?
Yes, every participant need to supply their own skates and a CSA approved hockey helmet. Rentals are not available at any location, at any time, for any reason. Skaters that show up without the proper equipment will not be allowed on the ice.
What kind of skates does my skater need?
Both figure skates and hockey style skates are fine for our learn to skate programs. Leather, lace up skates are preferable to vinyl. Molded plastic skates with velcro or buckle closures are not recommended. The "Grow with Me" skates are also not recommended. BobSkates with the double blade are not suitable for our programs.
Skate Canada Video - Proper Equipment
Where can I buy skates?
You can buy used skates from places like Play it Again Sports.
Canadian Tire and SportChek often carry the proper type of skates for our programs as well.
Other places you can purchase skates:
Does my skater have to wear a helmet?
Yes. A CSA approved hockey helmet is required for all skaters in learn to skate programs. No exceptions will be made to the helmet policy.
All Skate Canada member clubs and skating schools who offer a CanSkate program must ensure all CanSkate and Adult CanSkate participants up to and including Stage 5 must wear a CSA approved hockey helmet while on the ice.
Hockey helmets are designed to help protect against head injuries occurring on ice, whether from a fall or collision. A bicycle helmet, for example, is designed to protect against head injuries should a fall occur while riding a bicycle. It is important to ensure that when a skater is on the ice, they are protected with equipment designed for their sport or activity.
Equipment is not provided by Rideau Skating Club. You must supply your own equipment. Rentals are not available at any time or location, or for any reason. Skaters who arrive to class without the proper equipment will not be allowed on the ice.
I forgot my child's helmet. Can they go on the ice this one time without it?
No. All Skate Canada member clubs and skating schools who offer a CanSkate program must ensure all CanSkate and Adult CanSkate participants up to and including Stage 5 must wear a CSA approved hockey helmet while on the ice.
No exceptions will be made to our helmet policy. All participants must have a CSA approved hockey helmet in order to participate in our classes. We do not have extras for skaters to borrow, nor do we offer rentals for any reason, at any time, during any of our programs. Skaters who arrive to class without the proper equipment will not be allowed on the ice.
Do I need to stay in the arena while my skater is on the ice?
Yes. Skaters are required to have a parent or responsible guardian in the arena at all times.
For the Pre-Power CanSkate program, what does my skater wear on the ice?
Along with hockey skates and a hockey helmet, skaters may wear their hockey gear. Skaters may also choose to bring their sticks for use during lesson time. Sticks will not be permitted to be used during the group warm up, group activity and group cool down.
For the Pre-Power CanSkate and Teen/Adult CanSkate programs will the skaters be placed in their own groups?
Yes! The skaters will be a groups specifically for the Pre-Power skaters and for the Teen/Adult skaters.
In which locations are the CanSkate programs being offered?
In the Fall and Winter we offer our CanSkate programs at the Mike O'Neil arena (5572 Doctor Leach Drive, Manotick) and the Fred Barrett arena (3280 Leitrim Road).
How do I register my child for the right level?
Make sure you register your child for the CanSkate program and we will take care of the level. If you have already skated with us we have a record of what levels you achieved last session. If you are new to us we will assess and place your skater in the appropriate level during the first week.
When can I register for a program?
Registration dates vary from year to year and by season.
We recommend that you create an online profile ahead of the registration date and be ready to register your skater online once the registration opens.
For the Winter Sessions: Typically registration begins early to mid-August. Dates will be announced ahead of time on our website.
Spring Sessions: Typically registration begins in mid-February. Dates will be announced ahead of time on our website.
How should I register for a program?
The only way to register for one of our programs is online. Our online system is live and will give you the most up to date information on available sessions.
Create an account with us online before the registration date and set up your online profile so you can be ready to register right when it opens.
Do you offer one-on-one or private lessons for beginners?
We do not offer one-on-one or private lessons for beginners, we only offer the group format CanSkate program. Once skaters are passed Stage 3 of CanSkate and participating in the Future Stars (StarSkate) program they are able to take private lessons from a coach.
The session I want is full, how do I register for it?
You can place your skater on the wait list for the program that you prefer. This can be done through your online profile. Should a spot become available, you will receive an email letting you know that you can register. You are also able to register for another session and be on the wait list for your preferred session. This is highly recommended as skaters on wait lists are not guaranteed a spot in the program.
When will my skater come off the wait list?
There is no guarantee that a spot will become available on your preferred session. Withdrawals from sessions are unpredictable and there is no way to know if there will be movement on any specific session.
Will you be adding more sessions or opening up more spots on sessions to accommodate skaters in the wait list?
We cannot always accommodate more skaters on a session or add sessions to accommodate wait listed skaters.
Do I need to wait until I receive my skaters’ report card to register for the next session?
No! We keep track of your skaters’ progress through our online system. This ensures that they are placed into the correct group for their level each time they register with us. We recommend registering as early as possible to ensure enrollment in our programs.
How many times a week should my skater be skating?
For those just starting out, once a week is plenty. If your skater really enjoys skating, is looking to progress faster and you have the flexibility in your schedule, you can register for more than one session a week.
I have a question about my skaters’ report card. Who should I talk to?
Please speak directly to the resource coach of your session. They are typically stationed at the name tag table before and after sessions, and are available to answer any questions you have regarding your skater's progress.
Do you offer drop in sessions?
No. You must register your skater for a specific day and time and you are only permitted to skate on your registered session.
Do you offer public skating?
No. You must register your skater for a specific day and time and you are only permitted to skate on your registered session. Public skating is offered through the City of Ottawa. Please visit their website (ottawa.ca) for more information.
Do you offer make-up classes if my skater misses a session?
No. Participants are to attend all classes as scheduled for the program in which they are registered. In the event that a participant is unable to attend a scheduled class(es), make-up classes, refunds, or credits for the missed class(es) will not be provided.
How do I know about No Skating Days (scheduled cancellations)?
We always have a list of No Skating Days posted online, you can also view these No Skating Days in your family calendar through your online account. Emails are sent out a few days in advance. Be sure you are subscribed to Member Information Messages to get these emails.
How long will it take my skater to learn how to skate?
Each skater learns at their own pace. Some skaters will catch on quickly and others will take a little longer to get going. It is important to encourage your skater to continue going to lessons and to participate fully with the rest of their group as you would with other sports. If you have questions about your skater's level, please speak to the resource coach for your session. The resource coach is typically at the name tag table before and after sessions.
What does my skater have to accomplish before moving to the Figure Skating program?
Skaters must have passed Stage 3 of the CanSkate program before moving on to the Future Stars (StarSkate) program. Skaters in the Future Stars program are required to wear figure skates.
If your skater has passed Stage 3 of CanSkate at another Skate Canada club, please provide us with their report card so you are able to register for the appropriate program.