With the school year almost gone, skating season ended two months ago, what can skaters do with skating during the summer?  An excellent question! Read on for suggestions!  The more experienced skaters and their parents started making plans in March/April for skating summer schools in Eagle River, Wisconsin (June) Minocqua, Wisconsin in July, and Michigan Tech in August.

Most probably want to try completing the set of Moves in the Field they’re currently working on before the additions and changes to the Moves Test Schedule take effect on September 1st. They also want to assure themselves of the availability of professional dance partners who will teach at these schools knowing the skill and experience of their partner becomes more important as they move up the dance test schedule.

The MTU Summer Skating School, held at the SDC in August each year, will be directed this summer by Meghan Hayden who has assured CCSA that it will run from Monday August 16th through Friday August 20th with testing on Saturday August 21st. Each CCSA skater and MTU Learn to Skater should receive a brochure for the school and it is important that skaters fill these application sheets out as soon as they can and return them to the SDC if they plan to participate. The concentrated ice time and instruction received in this 5-day period can be worth more than weeks of skating during the season!

It is always a good idea to seek help from any of CCSA’s teaching professionals regarding sessions skaters should skate during the week of skating school. A teaching professional can assist skaters and parents in setting and clarifying goals. These goals dictate how many lessons to request. Don’t hesitate to ask for help.

Regardless of where skaters decide to do their summer “school” skating, many will also take advantage of the summer skating sessions CCSA offers at the SDC on Fridays. These sessions will begin on June 25th if enough skaters commit to them by purchasing “packages” of ice time in groups of 4 skating sessions for $50. CCSA will hold two sessions each Friday all summer beginning at 5:30 pm (when the hockey school ends each week) and finishing at 7:20 pm. Skaters may choose to skate one or both of these sessions each Friday. Each session skated will use up one of the four sessions a skater purchased in his/her “package”. Of course, skaters may purchase more than one “package”, but each one purchased entitles the skater to skate four separate sessions and to use those sessions on the Fridays of their choice.

At present, some of CCSA’s teaching professionals plan to teach on some of the Friday sessions. Like skaters, the teaching professionals will be out of town on some of the evenings, so it is important for skaters to contact one or more of them NOW if they want a lesson on one of these sessions and to tell that teaching professional if they plan to skate the earlier or later session, or both. Make arrangements for lessons ahead of time and take the ice at its scheduled starting time: Session 1 5:30-6:25, Session 2 6:25-7:20 pm.

Skaters who want to “put their feet on the ice” a bit more often than just one or more Fridays here at the SDC can always arrange with any of the 3 schools listed above to go to the rink in Eagle River, Minocqua, or Marquette, or anywhere they may be traveling, and skate a session or two on a drop-in basis. Check websites for info on sessions and contact info for arranging lessons. Also, Synchro Coach Michelle King plans to hold two “evaluation” sessions in July so anyone thinking of skating synchro next season would be wise to get some ice time before stepping on ice for those evaluations.

Remember to keep active during summer with lots of conditioning play or exercise like riding bikes, swimming, rollerblading, basketball, soccer, volleyball and get lots of sunshine! Skating skills and overall health benefit from all of these.

So, get CCSA Summer Ice package forms from the website and mail them to CCSA Registrar Carrie Lentowich so she’ll know if enough skaters plan to use the Friday sessions. Contact CCSA teaching pros for lessons and any help you need with MTU Skating School brochures as soon as you can and get ready for fun with skating this summer!

Summer is also an excellent time to purchase new or nearly new used skates if a skater’s current skates now feel “cramped” and uncomfortable. Depending on yearly growth, skaters may need a full-size or size-and-a-half-larger skate for the upcoming season. Fit is critical and the salespeople at Center Ice in Houghton can help parents determine which length and width their skater needs. (Remember that a properly fitted skate boot has no more than one thumbnail’s length of “growing space” in its toe.) Skates can be ordered at the store or online, or parents can put a note on the CCSA link asking if anyone has a good used skate in their skater’s size. It never hurts to find out what the options are.

Another consideration to keep in mind when purchasing skates is the quality of the blade if it is sold with a boot as a “set” already put together. Examine the blade in the “set” being considered closely. It should have slightly larger picks on the top and bottom of the toe pick area. Skaters use the larger picks for jumping and spinning. All skaters need a full set of picks on their blades! Otherwise toe-assisted jumps are more difficult to learn and spins don’t center as easily. Remember to wipe all blades down with a soft cloth when leaving the ice and store them between uses in cloth soakers to protect the sharpening. Blades should be sharpened regularly; most probably need sharpening after the heavy use of tests and shows at the end of a season. Get that done now before the ice goes up for summer.

The remaining major consideration in purchasing new or used skates after size and blade design is support for skaters’ ankles. Skate boots should be made of quality leather; it’s okay if the boots have lighter-weight heels made of plastic but the boot must be quality leather. The boots must have sufficient support for the skater’s weight so that they crease neatly but don’t “crumple” at the ankle. Boots should be laced firmly in place from the toe of the boot to the ankle and then a little more loosely across the ankle and up the leg to allow ankle flexibility so necessary for good skating balance and posture. Always consult the skater’s teaching professional for help with tough decisions on new or nearly new used skates.

Once the boots/blades/skates have been purchased they will take time for skaters to “break in”. This is where the Friday CCSA sessions or a day spent at the camp in Eagle River, Marquette, or Minocqua can come in very handy! Don’t hesitate to drive to one of these destinations to get skaters a bit more acclimated to their new skates than one can do by walking around home in guards or protective soakers. It is also possible to help mold skates to a skater’s particular fit by softening the interior lining with heated damp/wet cloths first before putting them on and walking around in the heated boot.

As always, feel free to call me at 523-4746 or shoot me an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I promise to get back to you if you have questions I can answer.

Sherry Karnosky
CCSA Pro Liaison
Spring 2010