This page will help identify what type of equipment is required in order to speed skate. Safety is paramount for everyone participating at practices and competition. Skaters will be instructed to leave the ice if they are missing one of the following listed items.  There is no exception.

There is no dedicated speed skate store in Vancouver. Our athletes tend to order from I Love Speed Skating (based in Kamloops) or the Calgary Olympic Oval store  (based in Calgary), or some other speed skating store in Canada. You may also try Amazon, but it can often be difficult to find specialized speed skating equipment. The delivery times of online sellers can vary so please order well in advance of the first session. If you are missing some pieces of equipment on Day 1, we may be able to lend some equipment.

Below is a checklist you can use to ensure you’re ready for day 1. A detailed description of each item can be found below and a photo of all the equipment is at the very bottom. Please send an email to at any time if you have any questions and we’ll be happy to help.

Equipment Checklist

1HelmetPurchase or bring hockey/ski helmet 
2Protective EyewearPurchase online 
3Neck GuardPurchase or bring hockey neck guard 
4Cut-Resistant GlovesPurchase online 
5Knee PadsPurchase or bring volleyball/soccer pads 
6Shin PadsPurchase or bring soccer pads 
7Cut Proof SocksBuy online or from VSSC during registration 
8Skin Suit*Optional. Bring outerwear if no skin suit 
9Outer-clothing Required if not wearing skin suit 
10SkatesVSSC will provide rentalsN/A
11Skate GuardsBuy online or from VSSC during registration 
12Skate Blade Covers/SoakersBuy online or make yourself 
13Water BottleAny bottle is fine but no metal please 
14Positive AttitudeMost important! 
 *If wearing skin suit, don’t forget thermal under clothing and outer hoodie or jacket


Equipment Descriptions

1. Helmet

Most of our skaters will wear a dedicated speed skating helmet, however some will choose to instead initially to wear a hockey or snowboard/ski helmet. These types of helmets are fine as they will typically meet the ASTM F 1849 – 07 guideline. Note that bike helmets are not permitted. You can buy speed skate helmets at any online speed skate vendors. Please purchase a helmet prior to the season start date OR bring a hockey/ski/snowboard helmet.

Here are some examples of a speed skate helmet:  

2. Protective Eyewear

Skaters need to wear shatter-proof glasses (generally clear lenses) for practice. For competition you’ll also need a retention strap for the glasses that goes around the head. Here are some examples of shatter-proof glasses and a strap:

3. Neck Guard

Skaters will need to have a neck guard made out of cut-proof material.  This can be purchased from speed skate vendors, OR you can use a dedicated hockey neck guard which can be purchased at any sports store in Vancouver. Please note: as of 2023, when skating in meets, the neck guards must high enough reach the top of your throat (level with the chin).

Here are some examples of a neck guard:

4. Cut-Resistant Gloves

Skaters need to protect their hands with cut-resistant material. You can either wear normal gloves with a light cut-resistant liner underneath, OR wear cut resistant gloves. They do not need to be speed-skate specific.

Here are some examples of cut-resistant gloves:

5. Knee Pads

Knee pads can be any type of knee pad that adds protection from a fall, but we request that you use soft knee pads, not ones that have hard plastic. These can be purchased from any sports store.

Here are some examples of knee pads:

6. Shin Pads

Shin pads need to be hard plastic but don’t need to be speed skating specific. Inserts are great if they’ll be worn with a skin suit (there is typically a pocket in the skin suit for the shin pad to fit into) or if they’ll be worn with a long sock such as in soccer. Otherwise, shin pads with straps are also fine.  Shin pads can be bought at any sporting goods store. 

Here are some examples of shin pads: 

7. Cut Proof Socks

Skaters wear normal sports socks, however, on top of these, they are also required to wear cut proof socks These can be purchased when you register for the Vancouver Speed Skating Club season (look for the tick box when you are going through the registration process).  You can also purchase at any speed skating retailer.

Here are some examples of cut-proof socks:

8. Skin Suit (Optional)

The club will have some VSSC skin suits for purchase at $125, however stock is limited. We will do a bulk order after the season starts. Suits will take approximately 8 weeks for manufacturing and shipping so skaters will need to wear alternate clothing until the skin suits arrive. There will be one or two additional orders throughout the season depending on demand. Skaters who have a skin suit will typically wear a thermal under shirt and long thermal pant for warmth underneath their skin suit, plus a hoodie or a jacket as an outer layer to stay warm.

9. Outer-clothing for Those with No Skin Suit

Skaters do not need a skin suit to skate with our club. New skaters can wear a winter sports jacket (ie. snow/ski/snowboard), a warm layer underneath, and snow pants or warm tech pants. Generally skaters can wear whatever they are comfortable in but clothing that does not restrict movement is best. Because of this, bulky jackets are discouraged. As mentioned above, skin suit orders will be made a few times during the season for those who eventually decide to purchase.

10. Skates

Skaters are required to wear speed skates. Speed skate rental is included in the cost of registration and will be supplied before the season starts. We have a wide variety of sizes for you to choose from. Skaters will take the skates home after each practice and will also need to hand-sharpen them from time-to-time at the club. Sharpening is not difficult and we provide a tutorial for all skaters and parents.

11. Skate-guards

Skate-guards are mandatory to ensure the skate blades do not get nicked/damaged, and to prevent the blades from cutting others. The guards are worn while skaters tie their skates, and also worn while walking to the bench before getting on to the ice. These can be purchased when you register for the Vancouver Speed Skating Club season (look for the tick box during the registration process).  You can also purchase from speed skate online shops. 

Here are some examples of the type of guards most of our skaters use:

12. Skate Blade Covers – Soakers

After taking off the skates each session, the skate blades will be covered in water/ice/frost. Placing and leaving the skates as-is in the plastic skate guards over night will result in the blades rusting. Therefore, after the session, once the skates are taken off, the blades should be wiped with a cloth and placed in the soakers. 

Here’s an example of a soaker:

You can also sew some if you’re feeling creative:

13. Water-bottle

Skaters should bring a non-metal water bottle to each practice to stay hydrated. Metal is discouraged as it will stick to the ice surface.

Example of Equipment Worn