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 What age to start skating?

Fall is just around the corner and DH's hockey season just started back up. (I guess that means the NHL is about to kick off again meaning I'll be losing DH to the TV on game nights!)

What age do most kids start skating? Is ODD too young to be introduced to it? Do you have any recommendations for skates for little ones? I know a lot of people say the bob skates are counter-productive to skating due to balance but others swear by them. There are also the adjustable ones that you can get at Canadian Tire. Does anyone have any experience to share?

Any advice is appreciated smile

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 14 Sep 2011 7:01 AM
 10 Jun 2004
 Gatineau, Quebec
ladybub101
Devotee
1,930
Ava started at 2 yrs, 8 months and did absolutely fine (no parent on the ice). She was in the CanSkate program. However, there were other kids her age who cried and refused to stay on the ice without their parents, which is common, so our club prefers them to start at 3+. We bought regular white figure skates and had no problem. I've heard great things about the Softec type of skates. I can't say I've seen any bob skates on the ice, so I can't comment.

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 14 Sep 2011 8:29 AM
 4 Jun 2005
mama2boys
Postaholic
9,681
ODS will be taking skating lessons (unparented) this fall - he is 4.

I would have liked him to learn before, but I havne't been on skates in 15 yrs, and DH doesn't know how. I found this program, and it is for 4 and 5 yr old first time skaters

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 14 Sep 2011 9:19 AM
 14 Aug 2005
 Toronto
M_&_M
Addict
3,834
We put DD on the ice at 1 year 4 months but obviously it was mostly to introduce her to the activity. The next year she went on again with bob skates and still couldn`t really do much on her own. I`m hoping she will start to learn how to actually skake a little this year.

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 14 Sep 2011 9:22 AM
 7 Sep 2010
Nathan'smom
Devotee
1,327
Nathan was in Canskate last year (age 4) and this year is his 2nd year.
There were not many kids who looked younger than him last year so I would say the youngest might have been 3 1/2.

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 14 Sep 2011 9:26 AM
 14 Feb 2007
 Ottawa, Ontario
tory
Devotee
2,376
YDS: We started YDS last winter at 14 months with the strap on ones from Canadian Tire and he loved them (bob skates with 4 blades)! He was an early walker (10 months) so he was quite sturdy on his feet by the. Not sure what we'll do this winter; maybe try real hockey skates since he's way more athletic than ODS.

We had ODS in bob skates at nearly 2 years old, but he just waddled along in them. We tried real hockey skates last year at 2.75yrs but he was too young; the ones from canadian tire would have been better. We bought him a pair for this winter to see if it'll be better; he'll be 3.5.

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 14 Sep 2011 9:28 AM
 20 Apr 2006
 Ontario
Glor
Devotee
2,377
We started lessons last year when ODS was 2 years, 8 months as well. He wore regular hockey skates and did fine. His program was for 2 and 3 year olds and they all skate without parents. Well, "skate" is a relative term at that age - most of them just sort of "walked" along on the ice. Still great to introduce them to the sport though and I would definitely recommend it for others.

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 14 Sep 2011 9:53 AM
 13 Dec 2006
MPsGirl
Postaholic
8,795
DS will be starting in November - he will be 2 years and 10 months. We might take him out before that. We bought him a tiny pair of Bauer hockey skates from a consignment sporting good shop. At this age, used skates are barely used and this pair was about $17 so well worth it. The helmet we bought new and it was almost $50, plus we grabbed some knee pads and elbow pads for about $10 more. DS also wants hockey gloves which will be about $20 but he doesn't need them, he just wants them! LOL

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 14 Sep 2011 10:57 AM
 9 Feb 2007
sweetsunshine
Fan
973
When learning to skate do your kids have a helmet with a cage? I am just starting to gather all DS's stuff for skating and I am not sure what kind of helmet...

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 14 Sep 2011 11:53 AM
 13 Dec 2006
MPsGirl
Postaholic
8,795
Yes we bought a helmet with a cage - we bought it originally for sledding and boot skating with daycare and my kid is a clutz so cage it is!

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 14 Sep 2011 12:18 PM
 10 Jun 2004
 Gatineau, Quebec
ladybub101
Devotee
1,930
Cage is not required. My son didn't use a cage, my daughter did. I would recommend it. When in a circle or close together, skate to face could hurt!

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 14 Sep 2011 12:19 PM
 4 Nov 2005
 BC
pollysusie
Devotee
2,219
We will take ODS for the first time this year at 3. He wouldn't have been able to do it last year. He's very cautious and not one to try new things well.

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 14 Sep 2011 1:04 PM
 14 Feb 2007
 Ottawa, Ontario
tory
Devotee
2,376
We bought helmets with cages for both kids. They will inevitably be carrying a hockey stick around and those eyes are precious.

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 14 Sep 2011 1:15 PM
 16 Dec 2005
 Ottawa, ON
emmy_jayne
Postaholic
8,298
They have a free parent & tot skate here twice a week and I'm going to try taking DD next week I think (she is 2 years, 3 months old). I've got no real expectations but I thought it'd be fun to give it a try since it's free! You should come wink

As for skates, my mom happened upon a pair in DD's size at a garage sale for $2.. they are just simple hockey skates, made by Bauer. I'm going to use her bicycle helmet for now.

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 14 Sep 2011 1:22 PM
 17 Sep 2005
spmay20
Rookie
237
It really depends on the kid. I coach skating and some of the 2 years are ready to go, and some of the 4 year olds just aren't ready yet. I think the big thing is if they are independent and wanting to skate. I would say *most* 3 year olds could start and enjoy skating!

As for skates, I would have them try them on and walk around in them in the store. You want to make sure their ankles are supported. If their feet tip in or out, then they are either the wrong size or not enough support. Lots of used skates are great! I would personally suggest staying away from the skates that have buckles on them. For some they work fine, but I've seen way to many pairs where the buckles constantly come undone!

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 14 Sep 2011 1:53 PM
 22 Feb 2007
 Northern Ontario
Stevie
WB Addict
3,113
We just registered DS in the Canskate program. He's in the pre-school class which said 2-3 year olds. It's mandatory that they wear a helmet with cage. I haven't gotten him skates yet, so I'm not sure which ones we will go with. FH is an avid hockey player, and wanted his DSS to learn skating early. wink

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 14 Sep 2011 3:27 PM
 28 Oct 2006
irongirl
Postaholic
5,563
we've been talking about this lately and will be starting DD this year - not sure what kind of skates - most likely hockey skates - hopefully from play it again! smile

that's about as far as we've thought/looked into it.

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 14 Sep 2011 3:40 PM
 21 Mar 2007
lauren_b
Raving Lunatic
10,608
The local skating clubs here don't start until age 3, so N will start next winter.

I think I'll do drop in with him this winter - there's an outdoor arena up the street.

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 14 Sep 2011 5:56 PM
 2 Feb 2005
 Calgary
SkaterGirl
Devotee
1,367
When I coached, we allowed 3 yr olds in to the program. From time to time we would a 2 yr old, but it was at our discretion. We would try one or two classes and decide if the kid was ready. At 2, lots of times it's not even the skating issue, it's the ability to be away from Mom and Dad and be part of a group for half an hour. As for skates, we didn't have bob skates in lessons, but I actually started my own daughter in them at 2, because I couldn't find any other skates small enough. Maybe they're not the best, but I guess they're better than nothing. I wouldn't keep them in them long though. Can be tough to transition from bob skates to real skates because there is such a difference in difficulty level and they get frustrated because they could skate before.

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 14 Sep 2011 6:41 PM
 8 Apr 2011
 The Vag
Dar*
WB Devotee
1,538
My oldest son had a pair of fisher price ones that you wear with shoes on the ground, you know? he was in them by the time he was 2 yrs old for sure! and knew caught on pretty quick.
3 yrs old on ice.

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 16 Sep 2011 12:56 AM
 7 Sep 2008
 Ontario
Canaci
Fan
813
Thanks for all the help ladies smile We won't be putting her in any structured classes just yet, it'll be DH and I that will be taking her out. Plus, there is an outdoor rink super close to our house when the time comes.

Any idea as to how long helmets generally fit?

Also, did/does anyone use the skating support thingys?

Emmyjayne - where is the skating? I just may take you up on it! (and what will you do with YDS?)

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 31 Oct 2012 11:59 PM
 30 Apr 2012
 buzzle.ca
buzzle
New Member
0

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