What Should I Expect at the First Lesson?
For the first lesson, students should arrive at the rink at least 15 minutes early. Make sure to check in with the Coordinator. You will typically find them inside the front door of the rink holding a clipboard. Be sure your child has the right equipment and clothes (see Skates, Helmets & Clothes below).
What Happens on the Ice at the First Lesson?
Generally, students are grouped according to ability and age. There are various instructors for different skill levels. At the first class, all students are evaluated and placed in the skill level that is most appropriate for them. As the skater masters the skills in their group, they are re-evaluated. Keep in mind that children’s rate of progress can vary depending on their age, motor skill development, equipment, and motivation. The goal is to have fun, while learning skating skills.
How Long is a Lesson?
Students are on the ice a total of 50 minutes. There is a 25-minute lesson and a 25-minute supervised practice. We encourage all parents to be supportive and enthusiastic. Watching your child skate is welcome and encouraged. Please make sure to stand back several feet from the ice surface and barrier so as not to distract students and Instructors during class time.
Can I Get On the Ice During My Child's Lesson?
No. People that are NOT registered for the class are not allowed on the ice during the 50-minute class. Parents and guardians do need to remain on the premises at all times during the class.
How Fast Will My Child Improve?
Every child is different. We’ve been doing this for over 50 years and there is no real average rate of improvement. Children’s rate of progress can vary depending on their age, motor skill development, equipment, and motivation. The goal is to have fun, while learning skating skills. We can definitely tell you that the more you skate, the better you get!
Be sure your child stays and skates all the way through the 25-minute supervised practice that is part of each lesson. Find as many opportunities to practice between classes as possible. Check our Rinks page for information on rinks all over the Boston area. Practicing the skills taught at lessons will improve your child’s skills faster!
Skates, Helmets & Clothes
What Equipment Will My Child Need?
SKATES: Students must provide their own single blade, sharpened skates (Figure, Hockey, or Recreational). No double blade skates. (see more below)
HELMET: Helmets are mandatory for ages 4-9 and strongly recommended for all students. (see more below)
WARM, COMFORTABLE CLOTHES: Dressing in layers is good, and don’t forget gloves or mittens. (see more below)
No equipment is provided by Bay State Skating School.
What Kind of Skates Do We Need?
It is best to have your own skates that are fitted for the season. Most sporting goods stores carry skates. See our Where to Buy Skates list for stores near each rink. Some rinks have skate rentals. See our Skate Rental & Sharpening list for options at or near each rink.
Here is some helpful information for purchasing skates:
- It is best to be fitted or at least have the skater try them on in the store.
- Choosing Figure, Hockey or Recreational Skates is a personal choice.
- Students need single blade skates that fit for the season, NO DOUBLE RUNNERS.
- Ankles should be up straight, not turning in or out.
- Keep in mind that the more snug the fit, the better the support for the ankles.
- Students need to be able to wiggle their toes.
- Figure skates run a half size smaller or the same size as the shoe size.
- Hockey skates can run big. Often hockey skates are a full size smaller than shoe sizes.
- New skates don’t come sharpened, usually. SHARPEN SKATES BEFORE THE FIRST LESSON.
What Kind of Helmet Do We Need?
Helmets are required for all children ages 4 through 9 years old and strongly recommended for all skaters.
There are many types of helmets available. The helmet you purchase should protect the forehead through the back of the head and fit snugly (not loose) and securely (won’t fall off).
Most sporting goods stores carry helmets – see our Where to Buy Skates list for a store near you.
Why is there a Colored Dot on My Child's Helmet?
A colored dot will be placed on the front of each student’s helmet. PLEASE DO NOT REMOVE IT. This indicates the student’s assigned group and will ensure that the student is in the correct class each week.
What Clothes Should My Child Wear for Skating?
Comfort and the ability to move freely are very important. We suggest warm, water resistant, and loose-fitting clothing. Sweatpants or warm up pants are ideal because they are generally loose fitting. First time skaters may find the added cushion of snow pants to be helpful. Avoid pants that are too long and are wide around the ankles as they can get tangled in skates.
Remember to dress in layers and have gloves or mittens. No matter what time of year, the skating rink is cold!
Can I Make Up a Class If We Miss One?
No. There are no makeup lessons or transfers to other classes.
Can I Get a Refund?
BEFORE THE FIRST LESSON – If you cancel your entire registration BEFORE the first lesson, we call it a cancellation. You must Contact Us in the office on a business day before the day of the first lesson. Your payment will be refunded minus a $25 transaction fee for processing your cancellation.
AFTER ONE LESSON – We understand that sometimes it becomes clear after the first lesson that skating classes might not be a good fit for your child at this time. If you notify the office within three (3) business days of the first lesson, you will be refunded the amount of the remaining lessons in your package.
AFTER TWO LESSONS – There are no refunds after two lessons. There are no makeup lessons or transfers to other classes.
How Do I Know if Class is Cancelled in Bad Weather?
Classes are cancelled only when the rink is closed, which does not happen often. In the event of bad weather, you will be notified of storm cancellations through the email address you used during registration.