Skates, stones, sharpening jigs, helmets, gloves, apparel:
Go the Vendors’ websites to find out what is available. Make sure you know the difference between Long Track and Short Track equipment.
Short Track is practiced in the Bay Area.
We hope you will patronize these vendors. They are skaters. They care about skaters and they stand behind the products they sell.
Special Equipment Co. , Pittsfield, MA
SkateNow, Salt Lake City, UT
If you are an inline skater and you want to purchase ice blades for your boots, please contact the vendors first to find out what they recommend, or contact me.
We hope you will patronize Special Equipment Company, Skate Now, and Bont. They have proven to be very helpful to the skaters and they stand behind their products. Contact Skate Now or Special Equipment for information about having your blades re-rocked or bent.
Once you mount blades to the boots or heat mold them, they can not be returned to the vendor for credit.
Ask the vendor to sharpen your blades before shipping them. This costs a little extra, but it’s worth it.
Hundreds of designs available. You must specify whether you want a Long track or Short track suit. Short track suits do not have a hood.
Contact SD to order an NCSA club skinsuit.
This is NOT an endorsement of any product. I also can not comment on any vendors, other than those I recommend on the Vendors page. This is a product review only.
NSC roll up slide board
Comparison between NSC slide board, other plastic slide boards on the market, and home-made board:
NSC and home-made boards are 2 feet wide. Less expensive roll-up style boards are lighter, and vary from 20″ wide to 22″ wide. The NSC board and the plastic boards come in lengths from five to eight feet long. The home-made board can adjust to just under eight feet long. The home-made board is shower-board glued to 1/2 inch plywood. The NSC board and plastic boards can be rolled up and is easy to transport. The home-made board is heavy and awkward to transport.
I use the NSC board at home. I place it on a yoga mat to protect it, and to help keep it from moving around.
If you want a less-expensive board, there are a few cheaper roll up boards on the market. Read the reviews. Some seem to have problems lying flat. A light coating of furniture polish, such as Pledge, will restore the slickness of the sliding surface. Be very careful with the spray. We have accidentally “waxed” our tile floor (shown in the photos), and made the floor slippery.
“How to build your own” slideboard articles are available on-line. If you have access to power tools you can probably construct your own board for under $50. The materials, including the sliding surface can be purchased at your local building materials store. (scroll down for details.)
The training program at the Oval in Utah has 20 inch by 8 foot boards, but they now recommend using the 6 foot length for emphasis on good form.
The best video you will see is this one, by Andrew Love, of Derek Parra, 2002 Olympic Gold Medalist:
Detail showing shower board glued to 1/2 inch plywood. Bumper is 1×2 with padding duct-taped to it, screwed into the plywood.
Home supply stores sell Melamine Shower Board (aka White Board or panel board) for $15 to $30. You would need to look at the surface to be sure it is smooth and slippery enough. If it is already backed by particle board, like shelf or counter top, you might only need to make bumpers to attach to it. You can also look for laminate counter-top material at home improvement stores. Laminate is tricky to cut, and will need to be glued to plywood.
Bumpers may be mounted at a slight angle so side of foot hits at a more natural angle.
TAP Plastics sells white high-impact PVC plastic 20 inches by 60 inches by 1/8 inch thick for about $45. The same plastic in dark grey, 18x60x 1/8 inch is about $30. This plastic should be glued to plywood so the end stops can be securely fastened.
Three roll-up style cheaper boards on the market are the “Balance 1” board, or one listed at hockeytrain.com, and Proguard, which is sold by many vendors. Please check various vendors before selecting one. If you go to Amazon, please go through Amazon Smile and designate Northern California Speedskating Association as your choice for non-profit organization. Thank you.
Other training equipment:
Used on ice, a coach can hold up a skater practicing edge drills slowly.
Off ice, a helper can hold the strap, or, one end can be tied to a stationary object so the skater can practice leaning position and crossover motions. Or, the skater can practice crossover motions while the strap is held by another person.
Make your own: Purchase 2 inch wide Heavy Tubular Nylon Webbing. This type of webbing is very durable, will not stretch, and is smooth and pliable enough to be comfortable wrapped around the body, and on the hands.
19 feet of material will yield loop a little over 9 feet long. You need to overlap the ends by six inches and stitch by hand with heavy thread or dental floss.
The longest strap we use is about 11.5 feet long, or 24 feet of material. The shortest strap we use is about 7 feet, or 14.5 feet of material.