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"Speedskaters are regarded to be generally better-looking than other athletes, to train harder, to have a higher tolerance for pain, and to be more freindly than most sport athletes, in the author's unbiased opinion." - excerpt from "Speed on Skates" by Barry Publow


What happened to the Broadmoor Speedskating Club?

In late 2009, the club decided to change its name to Colorado Gold. There were a number of reasons for the change but among the major ones were the desire to have a name that reflects our regional membership beyond just the Colorado Springs area near the Broadmoor hotel and to avoid confusion with the Broadmoor Skating Club which is a figure skating club. We didn't want to give up our historic association with the Broadmoor name, but felt this was best for the future of the club. We're still the same group of people and same great club, just a different name.



Where is the Colorado Gold located?

The club got its start at World Arena in Colorado Springs, but now skates at both Edge Ice Arena in Littleton (a suburb on the southwest side of the Denver Metro Area) and at World Arena on the south side of Colorado Springs. Our members hail from the Colorado front range from the Denver Metro area south including Longmont, Thornton, Boulder, Arvada, Golden, Aurora, Denver, Lakewood, Littleton, Highlands Ranch, Castle Rock, Larkspur, Monument, Colorado Springs, Pueblo and Trinidad.



Do I need to know how to skate?

If you know how to skate well enough to make it around the rink a couple times without falling down, you are welcome at our sessions. It can be a little intimidating to be out on the ice the first time, but don't that let that stop you. We love to work with new skaters and get them off to a good start. For those that don't know how to skate or want to get more comfortable on skates before trying speedskating, start with a learn to skate class at just about any ice rink. Both Edge Ice Arena and World Arena offer learn to skate programs.



How old do I need to be?

Skaters of all ages are welcome.



What equipment do I need?

Required equipment: Skates (speed skates or hockey, no figure skates), helmet (bicycle or hockey helmet is fine), long sleeves, long pants, gloves, knee pads

Recommended equipment: shin guards, neck guard



What are my options for skates?

If you are not ready to buy, your options for loaner skates varies by where you want to skate.

World Arena and Edge Ice Arena - Bont club speedskates are available to borrow during the session. These are a pretty good skate to get started with. The skates are not stored at the rink so contact the club to make arrangements in advance. The best thing is to email info@coloradogoldspeedskating.org with your skate and/or shoe size by Friday noon on the weekend you plan to skate. That will give us time to confirm that the correct size is available and make sure they are sharpened and ready to go.

EPIC (Eldora Pool and Ice Center) - Has rental speedskates. Contact the rink for more information.



Where can I speedskate in Colorado?

The Colorado Gold is involved with the programs at World Arena and Edge Ice Arena.

World Arena
3185 Venetucci Blvd.
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
(719) 477-2150
Website: http://www.worldarena.com/page.asp?id=8&name=Ice%20Hall
Map: http://www.arenamaps.com/view_arena.php?id=647

Sunday, 4:15-5:15 pm, at the World Arena Ice Hall
$20/session or $310 for the entire season
New skaters can get a pro-rated season cost.
Must be a member of US Speedskating skate at World Arena. See below for membership options starting at $1/session.

The Ice Hall is immediately south of the main World Arena.
To be safe, verify with our calendar a couple of days beforehand.

Edge Ice Arena
6623 S Ward St
Littleton, CO 80127
(303) 409-2222
Website: http://www.ifoothills.org/Edge_Ice_Arena.asp
Map: http://www.arenamaps.com/view_arena.php?id=2751

Saturday, 6:00a, $12/session or 10 session punch card for $100
Confirm with our calendar a couple of days beforehand.

Must be a member of US Speedskating skate at Edge Ice Arena. See below for membership options starting at $1/session.

EPIC (Eldora Pool and Ice Center)
1801 Riverside, CO 80525
(970) 221-6683
Website: http://fcgov.com/recreation/epic.php
Map: http://www.arenamaps.com/view_arena.php?id=651

Contact the rink for more information



What are the options for joining US Speedskating?

Membership in US Speedskating is required to skate at World Arena and Edge Ice Arena. Options to join are:

  • One dollar / One day membership - Intended for people interested in trying the sport. Limited to 5 times.
  • Introductory First-Time Trial Membership $10 - Good for 90 days.
  • 1st Yr Competing Athlete $30
  • Individual Membership $75 - You must use this option if you have ever been a member before or no longer qualify for one of the options above.
Forms will be available at the rink for the One dollar / One day membership. All other memberships must be done online:
https://webpoint.usspeedskating.org/wp/Memberships/Join.asp

If you register online, you will have the option of printing a temporary membership card. Bring your US Speedskating card to practice. Once we have the info recorded, you won't need to bring it again until it is time to renew your membership.



What should I expect at practice?

If you are ready to give speedskating a try, you'll likely wonder how practices are run. Here, step by step, is what to expect:

Arrival: The first step is to pay for your session and sign a waiver. At Edge Ice Arena, pay at the front desk, but see a member rink side to sign a waiver. At World Arena, payment and waivers are handled rink side by a member of the club. Waivers only need to be signed on your very first session.

Skates: Ask around and someone should be able to tell you who has your skates. Hopefully you've arranged for this ahead of time. (See "What are my options for skates?")

Pads: For safety, pads are put against the rink walls in the locations where skaters are most likely to fall. It takes several people to put out the pads and goes quicker when more people help. For a 6:00a practice at Edge Ice Arena, there is nobody on the ice before us so we start putting out pads around 5:45a. It works best if you can be ready, with skates on, at 5:45a so the pads can be put out in time to start at 6:00a. At World Arena, the pads can be put out during the Zamboni run prior to the start of the session, 4:00p-4:15p so we can start skating at 4:15p, after the Zamboni run. Please be ready with your skates on at 4:00p to start putting out pads. Don't feel like you need to help with the pads your first time out, just watch and see how it is done, but once you get a chance to see how things work, it is always appreciated if you can lend a hand.

Warm-up: For the first 5-10 minutes of practice, just skate around, get warmed up, and get a feel for your skates and the ice. During warm-up, someone will put out blocks to mark the track.

Practice: Someone from the club, whoever is the volunteer coach for the session, will call everyone to the center of the rink to get things organized. Practices typically start with drills to work on form and then progress to a variety of things to work on strength, endurance, or technique. Skaters are usually broken up into groups based on ability and there is usually a group appropriate for everyone.

Cleanup: A few minutes before the end of the session, everybody pitches in to put the pads away. The pads must be put back and we must be off the ice by the end of the session so the more people that help, the quicker we can get the pads put away and the longer we can skate.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. Our club members are very friendly and always willing to help out.



Where can I buy skates?

There are a lot of options for boots and blades. They are typically bought separately, but many of the shops also offer packages at a discount. By far, the most popular option for new skaters is the Bont Patriot or the Bont Jet. Either of these are an excellent choice and will last you a long time. Only the more elite or demanding skaters will ever need to upgrade although some do choose to by a higher level skate for various reasons. At present, there is not a skate on the market for less money that anyone has been statisfied with.

Special Equipment Company
http://www.specialequipment.com
Perhaps the best option currently available is the Bont Patriot with a Maple Premium Stainless blade for $360:
http://specialequipment.com/product_info.php?products_id=34

SkateNow
http://www.theskatenowshop.com
They carry the Bont Patriot-C (carbon/fiberglass boot version) with a Maple Premium ST blade for $415, Jr Patriot(fiberglass boots) + Bont Sonic for $319, and the Bont Jet (carbon/fiberglass boot version) with a Maple Premium ST blade for $394: http://www.theskatenowshop.com/ice-set-ups-st.html

I'd start by calling the shops to see what they suggest, but I wouldn't recommend quality below what I have mentioned. Of the skates I have seen of a lesser quality, you would find them frustrating and outgrow in too fast. Make sure that the blade comes rocked and bent, and that the shop checks both before sending them to you.

Another option to save money is used skates. Many shops carry used equipment, but it is pretty hit or miss. Call and ask what they have.



What is the difference between short track skates and long track skates?

Boots: Short track boots are slightly higher and stiffer than long track boots to provide the added support needed for short track.

Blades: Short track blades have a slight bend to help with the tight turns while long track blades are straight. In addition, modern long track blades have a hinge at the front, called a clap skate. Clap skates are not allowed in short track.

If you are interested in both long and short track but don't want to buy everything at once, I would start with a short track setup. While not ideal for long track, it can be used for both. Next add clap blades to interchange with your short track blades and finally, add short track boots.



What about the other equipment?

Knee pads
Any sort of volleyball/wrestling type knee pad will work, but our family prefers ones with a cut-out at the back of the knee for improved flexibility. Here is an example:
http://www.amazon.com/McDavid-Deluxe-Elbow-Black-Large/dp/B0000ASXP3

Shin Guards
Most people choose a pretty minimal soccer shin guard. Here is an example:
http://www.sportsauthority.com/product/index.jsp?productId=11145238

Neck guard
Neck guards are readily available in any hockey store. I'd recommend one with a bib. Here is an example:
http://www.sportsauthority.com/product/index.jsp?productId=11340657
A speedskating neck guard is a little more expensivie but most people find them to be more comfortable, and they are more protective:
http://specialequipment.com/product_info.php?cPath=32&products_id=58



How are speedskates sharpened?

Speedskates are sharpened by hand using a jig, stone, and deburring stone. Don't feel like you have to buy the sharpening equipment right away. There are people in the club who are willing to help you sharpen you skates and teach you how until you are ready to take this on yourself. The club also has a couple of sets of equipment available for loan to club members.

Jigs:
The best jigs I have used are the Ultimate Edge and the Maple Pro. The Ultimate Edge is made by Old School Industries in Dacano, CO, just north of Denver. It costs a little more but they give club members a pretty good discount on the jig and the stone so it probably comes out about the same as buying a Maple Pro and stone somewhere else.

Ultimate Edge:
http://www.osi-incorp.com/Speed%20Skating/UltimateEdgepage.htm

Maple Pro:
http://www.theskatenowshop.com/ia/access-sharpening/jigs?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=1394&category_id=35

There are options for those that want to spend less. Ask club members for advice.

Stones:
DMT Logo The best stones available are DMT diamond stones. They last longer than other stones and don't need maintainence to stay flat. Both sets of stones owned by the club were donated by DMT. You'll want to purchase a main sharpening stone and a burr stone.

Recommendations:
DuoSharp Bench Stone - 8" Double sided, two-grit, Diamond Bench stone, red/blue, W8FCNB http://www.dmtsharp.com/products/duosharp.htm
Mini Diamond - 70 mm, red, WS7F http://www.dmtsharp.com/products/ski.htm



What is a slideboard?

A slideboard used to simulate skating off ice. There is controversy regarding the use of slideboards because while they simulate the skating motion, improper use can also develop bad habits. For more detail on use and construction, see this document from US Speedskating: SlideBoardUseetc.doc

Here is a video of Derek Parra giving some slideboard instruction:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpDztV9btSI



Is the sport called "speedskating" or "speed skating"?
Is a participant a "speedskater" or "speed skater"?
Do you wear "speedskates" or "speed skates"?

There does not appear to be a clear answer to these questions. US Speedskating consistantly refers to the sport as "speedskating". A quick glance through their website indicates the USOC uses "speedskating" a majority of the time but occasional uses "speed skating". The IOC seems to consistantly use "speed skating". For yet another opinion, try out a spell checker. The ones I have tried prefer "speed skating" and will offer it as a correction for what it feels is incorrectly spelled as "speedskating". I suppose it is up to you to decide what you comfortable with. For consistancy, this website uses "speedskating" throughout.



Where can I get more information?

If you can't find the information you are looking for, email the club: info@coloradogoldspeedskating.org