Learn to Skate
Frequently Asked Questions
I am interested in registering my child for skating lessons, how does your CanSkate program work?
The Nepean Skating Club’s goal is to provide classes that are both age and skill appropriate. CanSkate is Skate Canada’s official “Learn to Skate” program. It is regarded by other ice sport organizations as one of the most preferred curricula to develop the skills needed to participate in ice sports. It is also an excellent program to teach everyone to skate for the joy of skating at any age or ability. The CanSkate program is designed to teach the fundamentals of skating and to ingrain a love of not only skating, but physical activity for life. All CanSkate programs are taught by professional coaches who are assisted by Program Assistants. For more information on how CanSkate laid the foundation for professional athletes, please click the link HERE!
- Parent & Tot Canskate: This 30-minute class is designed for skaters who are 2-3 years old and wish to have their parent join them on the ice. Parents will assist their skater while they are instructed by our qualified NCCP Coaches. To register for our Parent & Tot session, your skater must be registered as a “Child” and the parent must also register as an “Adult” as both parties must purchase a Skate Canada Membership ($43.70). Only adults will be charged the Skate Canada Membership fee.
- Pre CanSkate: This 30-minute class is designed for children 3 years of age who have little or no skating experience. Skaters are taught how to fall down and get up, skate forwards, make snow, walk backwards, etc. Skaters move on to the CanSkate ‘1’ session once they have received their Pre-CanSkate certificate.
- CanSkate: This 50-minute class is designed for children 4-11 years of age who range in experience from having no time on the ice (what we call crawlers) to those who have extensive experience on the ice but are looking to brush up on the fundamentals. There are six stages to the CanSkate program and skaters are grouped together by skill level/ stage progression. The ice is divided up into groups and there may be as many as six different groups during one session. If you have already skated with us we have a record of what levels you achieved during your last program session. If you are new to us we will assess and place your skater in the appropriate level. It usually takes a few weeks to assess all of the groups and move skaters according to their ability, so please be patient, and we will check every child to make sure they are in the right group. For more information on the Stages of CanSkate please click HERE
- Teen/Adult CanSkate: As with CanSkate, this is a 50-minute class for skaters who range in experience from having no time on the ice to those who have extensive experience on the ice but are looking to brush up on the fundamentals, but for skaters 12 years old and up.
- Advanced CanSkate: This is a 50-minute class for skaters who have already completed Stage 2 of the CanSkate program. This is the fast track program that leads into our “Rising Stars” program for figure skating as well as improves speed and agility for skaters who aspire to move into hockey, ringette, or speed skating.
All CanSkaters Are REQUIRED To Wear CSA Approved Helmets
All Skate Canada member clubs and skating schools who offer a CanSkate program must ensure all CanSkate and Teen/Adult CanSkate participants Stage 5 and under 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 you fall while riding a bike. It is important to make sure that when a skater is on the ice, they are protected with equipment designed for their activity.
Equipment is not provided by the Nepean Skating Club. You must have your own equipment. Rentals are not available at any time or location. Skaters who arrive to class without the proper equipment will not be allowed on the ice.
When can I register for a program?
- Registration dates can vary from year to year and by season. We recommend that you create a profile on our website ahead of the registration date and be ready to register your skater online once registration opens.
- For Fall-Winter Sessions: Registration usually begins early August.
- For Winter Sessions: Registration usually begins early December
- For Spring/Summer Sessions: Registration usually begins early April.
- Dates will be announced ahead of time on our website.
How should I register for a program?
- The only way to register for our programs is through our website 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 profile so you can be ready to register right when it opens.
- Be sure to enable email notifications as this is how we will provide you with important information regarding your sessions such as cancellations. Nepean Skating Club does not use your email for spam or any non-pertinent information.
Do I need to stay in the arena while my child is on the ice?
- Yes. Skaters are required to have a parent or responsible guardian in the arena at all times.
My child is four and has no skating experience. How do I know if I should sign up for Pre CanSkate or CanSkate?
- The biggest question is whether your child would better suit a 30 or 50-minute session. If your child is active and has been exposed to different group classes, they may do well in the CanSkate session. We suggest coming to one of our CanSkate sessions with your child and see how your child responds while observing the session, see if he or she is excited or intimidated by the prospect of skating in the session. Also, speak with one of our coaches about whether a 30 or 50 minute session would be best for your child. It is always possible to start off in one of our 30 minute sessions and, if you and the coach think it is time, move up to a 50 minute session.
What is the ratio of coaches to skaters?
- We aim to have one coach for every ten skaters on the ice. There are also Program Assistants to ensure that skaters get the help they need.
How does my child move up a stage?
- Coaches evaluate their skater’s skills continuously. Skaters in Pre CanSkate will receive a ribbon once they have completed all of the skills in this level and our CanSkate skaters receive ribbons for each of the fundamental movements of Agility, Balance and Control at each of the six Stages. Once they have received the three fundamental movement ribbons on a Stage, they will receive their Stage badge. Sometimes this means changing groups, but your child can remain in the same group if other skaters are progressing at the same rate.
How do I know my child’s progress?
- At the end of each season, you will receive a report card with a record of their accomplishments with accompanying badges and ribbons. If your child is absent on the last class, you may pick up their report card at our club office. If you choose to continue lessons, your child will continue from where they left off.
What should my child wear to skating lessons?
- All you need are skates, a CSA-approved hockey helmet, long pants, mittens and a warm sweater or jacket. Dress in layers as some rinks are warmer than others.
- There are no skate rentals available at any locations, so be sure to purchase them before your lessons. Both figure skates and hockey skates are appropriate for our Learn to Skate programs. We do not recommend molded plastic skates with velcro or buckle closures, “Grow with Me” skates, or BobSkates. 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:
- b-Sharp Ottawa
- Figure 8/Hockey One
- Check out this video for tips on equipping your skater properly for CanSkate.
My child plays hockey but wants to work on his/her skating skills. Should I register for CanSkate or CanPower?
- CanSkate teaches the fundamentals of skating, so if your child is a strong skater who is working on skating backwards, skating the rink using alternating strides, and stopping on command without using boards, we would recommend our Advanced CanSkate program. CanPower is more geared towards skaters six years old and up who are looking for an intensive program to master the fundamentals.
What should my child wear to his or her CanPower sessions?
- 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, or group cool down.
My child wants to figure skate, do I need to register for CanSkate first?
- Skaters must learn the fundamentals of skating before they can start figure skating. All skaters must start in CanSkate and progress through the stages to prepare them for figure skating lessons. Our Rising STAR program is a great place to start when it comes to figure skating as it is multiple days per week and can start at CanSkate level 1. Learn more about our Rising STAR program HERE!
Can I register for more than one session?
- Absolutely! The more time a skater spends on the ice, the more chance for progression, practice makes perfect after all! We do not offer private instruction to skaters at the CanSkate level.
If I have more than one skater in my family, does every skater have to pay the Skate Canada Membership Fee or is it one fee per family?
- The $43.70 Skate Canada Membership Fee and $20.00 Skate Canada Fundraising Fee must be paid for every skater registered with the Nepean Skating Club. The membership fee provides insurance for each member, providing our club and skaters a safe environment in which we can enjoy skating. It also allows our club to purchase CanSkate supplies such as badges, report cards, etc from Skate Canada. Our fundraising fee provides funds for training our coaches and program assistants. It also lets us purchase new teaching aids and incentives for our skaters.
Do Sessions fill up quickly?
- Yes! Our CanSkate program is very popular and many classes offered will reach the maximum number of skaters before the starting date. We do have waiting lists when sessions fill, but it is best to register early to guarantee a spot.
Is it possible to get a credit/refund/make-up session for missed sessions due to sickness or vacation?
- Credits or refunds are issued when a doctor’s note can be provided. Due to the size of our program, we are not able to provide make-up classes for sessions missed due to illness or vacation.
What if we try a few lessons but do not like it, is it possible to get a refund?
- Our Skate Canada Certified Professional Coaches are fun and enthusiastic individuals who are committed to providing quality skating programs for our skaters. However, please remember that ice is slippery and hard and not all children feel comfortable on the ice right away. It may take a few sessions before your child settles in to skating. If you find your child is unhappy, please talk to your coach and ask their advice or speak to one of our office personnel. The Nepean Skating Club will provide a pro-rated refund if requested before your third session. For more information about our refund policy, please click HERE.
Does CanSkate run all year long?
- Yes, the Nepean Skating Club offers CanSkate all year long, even the summer!
What happens if I miss the first the first few sessions?
- As long as there are still openings in a session, you will still be able to register for sessions at a pro-rated price.
If you have any further questions, please fill out the “Contact the Office” form found HERE.