Choosing the right skating club

The Jordan Adult Skating Club was established in 1974, and for the first few years averaged less than 20 members. Through word of mouth, the club grew in popularity and, for the past several seasons, has averaged 150 members. Club president Harry Lovgren, who has run the club for the past eight years, credits its success to a mix of physical activity and social elements. The following is a guideline to help you shop for a skating club in your area that’s just right for you.

  • Music is the key. The best songs for skating usually have 60 beats a minute (one beat a second), characterized by a distinctive lilt and a good melody, according to music co-ordinator Art Parker. Look for a good mix of tunes, including waltzes and marches. Hard rock and jazz are not good for skating… unless you’re Elvis Stojko.

  • Look for a rink with a room large enough to hold social gatherings. If not, members tend to get scattered throughout the change rooms. At the Jordan Adult Skating Club, there’s a large common room overlooking the ice where members have their mid-morning coffee and snack break.

  • A club should pay for its ice time and not depend on donated time. That waythere are no conflicts and you’re not treated as a “poor cousin.”

  • An adults-only skating club is best — you don’t want to be competing with kids.

  • A good club has an active committee to organize the skate and make sure everything runs smoothly, including: preparing music; setting up the coffee table; signing in members and collecting fees; designating a safety person to oversee activities on the ice; making sure members take off their guards before stepping onto the ice; and keeping a lookout for falls, knockdowns or other accidents.

  • A good club is welcoming and encouraging to new members, and helpful to beginners or those who haven’t skated in years. Are you greeted when you walk in the door, or do you feel ignored?

  • Is there an annual fee or per-skate fee? The Jordan Adult Skating Club charges only by the skate ($2 for two hours, including coffee and snacks).

  • Is the ice flooded before skating and during the break? Regular resurfacing is important after hockey or figure skating, which leaves gouges.
  • The extras:

    • Does the club offer alternative activities during the off-ice season, such as biking, rollerskating or hiking?

    • Is there a variety of social functions? For example, lunches or barbecues?

    • Is there a directory of membership? When anyone is absent for a number of weeks, the Jordan Adult Skating Club committee finds out why. If there’s an illness or other problem, the members pitch in.

    What to wear:

    • Think comfort and warmth. Wear lightweight layers that can be peeled off if necessary. Come prepared – a few extra layers are better than one heavy article of clothing.

    • A lightweight hockey or skating helmet is a great idea, for beginners and veterans alike. Falls do happen, but so can knockdowns. (A bike helmet is great in a pinch).

    • Wear gloves or mittens.

    • Take a headband or lightweight cap to cover your ears (you can wear it under your helmet).


    • New or used skates are fine — just make sure there are no rust spots on the blades.

    • Have your blades sharpened by a reputable skate sharpener.

    • If you’re not used to picks (on ladies figure skates) or haven’t skated in some time, have several of the picks taken off. Have this done at a good skate sharpener’s – they’ll know how to do it. Remember, you’re going around in a circuit, not doing pirouettes.

    • Make sure the boots fit properly.

    • Get skate guards and put them on when walking across non-ice surfaces.

  • If you buy skates, get the very best you can afford.