Top Speed Skating Questions
Short track speed skating is racing on ice on a 111m track in an indoor arena. It is tactical and requires good technique, strength and endurance. Short track is pack-style racing among groups of 4 to 6 skaters. A standard meet will have 4 sets of races at different distances which vary depending on the ages of the skaters.
The winner in a short track race is the position in which the skaters cross the finish line.
Majority of speed skaters in Canada start with short track speed skating before getting into long track speed skating.
Long track speed skating is raced on a 400 meter track. It is tactical (dependent on the distance and pace) and requires good technique, strength and endurance. Long track can be pack style (mass start multiple skaters) or Olympic style (two skaters on the track). A standard meet will consist of sets of races at different distances which vary depending on the ages of the skaters.
The winner in a long track Olympic style race is designated to the fastest time in the meet at the specific distance or overall distances.
Long track is currently available in Ottawa and Sault Ste. Marie in Ontario . Other clubs may construct 400m ovals depending on availability of volunteers and the cooperation of the weather.
The Lakefield Oval Committee is raising funds to build a long track facility in Lakefield (near Peterborough ). Check www.ontariospeedskatingoval.com for more information.
The Durham Speed Skating Club offers;
- OPEN HOUSE skate session one time free trial and demonstration (TBA to be announced)
- Tryb4joining program 4 sessions
- Other trial sessions may be provided by the club (TBA to be announced)
Tryb4joining program is developed by the OSSA Development to allow new skaters to try speed skating before joining for a full season. Skaters may register at the local club for this trial period. This Tryb4joining program is available to new skaters to skate on speed skates for four sessions with coaching. This allows individuals to join in this activity for trial sessions before committing to a full season membership.
The Ontario Speed Skating Association (OSSA) is the provincial sport body which oversees the development of speed skaters of all ages. OSSA offers support in the development of coaches, officials, clubs and membership with the goal of placing skaters on the National Teams.
OSSA is affiliated with Speed Skating Canada (SSC) the national sport body. SSC offers opportunities to speed skaters to perform at the high performance and national team levels.
The long and short of it is…ice speed skating is a sport for all ages and skill levels, from the beginning novice through Olympic and world class speed skaters. Whether you choose entry level skating, are looking for a recreational experience or a viable cross training alternative, or want a chance at the Olympic rings, speed skating offers unique developmental opportunities for athletic involvement and success.
OSSA will assist you in achieving your speed skating goals.
Anyone can speed skate. Our members are from 7 to 70+ years old, from beginner ability up to the national level and Olympic Speed Skating Teams. . OSSA members vary from recreation skaters who skate for fun and fitness to competitive skaters. You get to choose when you are ready to enter your first race / meet; check with the club coach on how to sign up for your first meet.
Cyclists, runners and inline skaters use short track for cross training.
Contact the club registrar to find out when an OPEN HOUSE skate (free one time trial and demonstration) or sign up with the Tryb4Joining program (applicable fee) for 4 sessions with Durham Speed Skating Club.
OPEN HOUSE and Tryb4joining sessions may vary at our club, sessions are booked based on ice availability at our arena.
No experience is required, as the Club coach can start teaching you the basic positions and the proper speed skating techniques.
If you have hockey or figure skating experience background it may or may not help you with the change of speed skates. Each individual will adapt to the long blades differently. Athletic skaters may make the changes to skating technique based on the blades they are skating on.
Yes, some of the skating techniques may be transferred from speed skating to hockey. However, results may vary among between athletes. The blades are different and may require some time to adjust to them. Adaptation is the key to good results.
Some hockey athletes think a short term skate session(s) may be a quick fix (Tryb4joining program) to make them faster skaters. Multiple or full season skating sessions will help all athletes skate faster.
The regular season starts in October and continues through March.. Dedicated skaters may continue through the spring and summer months to maintain their fitness off ice by using other sports to cross train to maintain their fitness or following as set training plan.
Meets are scheduled across the province ranging from fun regional meets to the more competitive provincial level meets. Provincial meets in Ontario require the skater to meet time standards to qualify to race.
Prior to signing up for a competition, a skater should check with your coach to prepare for racing.
The annual meet schedule may be found on the OSSA web site
All speed skaters must have:
- Speed Skates i.e. boots, blades (these may be available through our club)
- Helmet (hockey, bicycle or inline helmet allowed for practices). Mandatory racing requirement is to have a speed skating ISU certified helmet (LAS or LG) for the short track meets.
- Cut resistant gloves (no knit gloves)
- Long-sleeved shirt or jacket
- Neck guard
- Knee pads
- Shin pads
- Eye Protection
Information on the required equipment can be found on the OSSA website or you can ask your local club for advice.
Skinsuits, tights or sweats with long-sleeved shirts, and a warm-up jacket. The skater should wear clothing that is form fitting, as the skater would like to be as aero dynamic as possible; rather than skating with baggy clothes which can slow you down by acting as a parachute (wind drag).
Go to the OSSA website www.ontariospeedskating.ca home page and click on the Shopping Online Catalogue shop . Here you will find the full selection of boots, blades, sharpening gear and all speed skating related products.
You can also find the OSSA equipment table at all the Ontario meets (see competition calendar).
All profits from the sales of speed skating equipment through the Ontario Speed Skating Association Store are invested back into the association and its athletes. Thank you for supporting the Ontario Speed Skating Association
Short track boots are made of carbon fiber, Kevlar, fiberglass and leather. There are two studs or bolt holes spaced 6 1/2″ apart on the sole.
Check with our club coach or equipment manager to discuss options prior to purchasing speed skate gear. It might be better to rent a pair for the first season. Rental rates may vary.
Blades vary in length from 13″ to 18″ to best match your boot size, body size and ability.
Check with our club coach to discuss further. Before investing in speed skates, check with our club to discuss renting a pair for the first season. Rental rates may vary.