Learn To Skate Frequently Asked Questions
Hi there! Thank you for taking time to look at this page.
Ultimately our goal is to ensure that skaters have an enjoyable and fun time on the ice while learning new skating skill. If at any point you feel that we are not achieving that goal, please speak with us and we will try to do everything reasonable to make the situation right.
Q: How much are your lessons?
A: Our classes are organized into 6-class sessions. Each session is $120 and on each day includes 30 minutes of practice ice and a 30 minute lesson with a coach.
Q: Are skates included?
A: Our organization has a mix of sizes available for skaters in our classes, and use of a pair of skates is included with registration. These skates are general purpose recreation skates, and have a figure skating toe pick and tail on the blade. While we have a variety of sizes available, we cannot guarantee availability of a particular size - please arrive early to ensure you get first pick. If we're short a size, we will attempt to have it available for the next class. Skaters are welcome to bring their own skates, and for higher levels classes, skaters will benefit from a pair of figure skates or hockey skates that have been molded to their feet.
Q: May I register for a classes if a session has already started?
A: If you register after the first day, the registration on the website will be prorated for the remaining classes in the session. The price for a full session is $120 for six classes. That amount is reduced by $15 for each class that has already occurred, down to a minimum price of $25 for the final class. Please bring a copy of the receipt either printed or in your email on your phone to show the person at the registration table.
Q: Will I receive a welcome message with instructions?
A: If you register at last 24 hours before the first class of a session, yes, you will receive a welcome message from us with all sorts of helpful information for your skater's first day of class. Messages for Wednesday skaters typically go our the day before, and messages for Saturday skaters will go out on Saturday morning - we try to ensure the largest number of people receive the messages before class.
Q: How old must my skater be to begin lessons?
A: The ideal age to begin lessons is when the child is old enough to feel comfortable being on the ice, away from their parents, and following the instructions of another adult. As you can imagine, this varies quite a bit - the youngest we've had in a class was approximately 2 1/2 years old. Our coaches receive training on how to mange group lessons with children, and we will do our best to ensure that all skaters in a class stay engaged and have fun while learning new skills.
Q: As a parent may I join my skater on the ice for their class?
A: Yes, a parent may register to join their skater for $25 per session using the "Snowplow Parent" registration on the website. This registration assumes that as a parent you already know how to skate and will not be taking lessons yourself.
Q: May multiple parents share the same "Snowplow Parent" registration?
A: No, a registration, whether for a skater or parent, is only valid for the named individual at the time of registration.
Q: May I register in-person instead of using the website?
A: Registrations and payments are only accepted through the website.
Q: I'm having trouble registering through the website.
A: Please ensure that you are not using an American Express card - we do not accept them and your payment will not be accepted.
Q: May we make up a class if we're sick or out of town?
A: Make-up classes are available during the scheduled Session on the other weekday, depending on availability of space in the class (for example, Saturday skaters may make up a class on Wednesdays).
Q: Do you supply helmets for skaters?
A: We do not supply helmets. Skaters are welcome to wear them, but we do not supply them.
Q: May our skater wear "double bladed skates" for their lessons?
A: No. Double bladed skates make a number of skills that we teach more difficult and encourage poor habits by skaters.
Q: Do you make "ice skating assist" or "ice skating trainer" devices available for skaters?
A: No. These devices encourage poor habits by skaters and our coaches and their assistants will work with your skater to teach them proper techniques.
Q: Do classes on Wednesdays and Saturdays have the same coaches?
A: Due to scheduling of our coaches, it is not uncommon for there to be different coaches on the different days for the same classes.
Q: Will we always have the same coach(es) for our class?
A: Due to scheduling of our coaches, there may be different coaches for the same class during the same session.
Q: What are your coaches' credentials?
A: As part of the Learn to Skate USA program, our coaches are either U.S. Figure Skating / Professional Skaters Association members, Learn to Skate USA Instructors, USA Hockey or Hockey Canada coaches. We have a number of assistants that are members of our organization they may assist with classes, or lead classes if scheduling demands.
Q: Is there another session after this one?
A: We run sessions throughout the fall, winter and spring season, generally from September through June. When possible, we will also summer classes as well. Keep an eye on our website and our Facebook page for all the latest news!
Q: When is my skater ready for a hockey class?
Our hockey classes are designed for all ages, children through adults, but we do ask that the skater has previously mastered basic skating skills including marching, swizzles, turning and snowplow stops. If the skater is completely new to the ice, we would recommend starting in our Snowplow Sam, Basic Skills or Adult class first for one session.
Q: Does our skater need hockey gear for their class?
A: For "Hockey 1 & 2" they do not, and sticks are not permitted in the class or on practice ice. They're welcome to wear it, but it is not mandatory. For "Hockey 3 & 4" we recommend helmet, gloves, elbow pads and shin pads. In this higher level class, skaters are welcome to bring sticks onto the ice for the class, and we need everyone to be safe during the class.
Q: Do you have hockey skates available?
A: No, we do not. We recommend purchasing them at a local store such as JT's Slapshot Hockey Shop.
Q: May we bring sticks onto the ice?
A: Hockey sticks are not permitted on practice ice. The only class that permits the use of sticks is the Hockey 3 & 4 class, provided the skater has the recommended gear. Please see the question "Does our skater need hockey gear for their class?" for a full list of what's recommended.
Q: May we bring pucks onto the ice?
A: No. Pucks are not permitted on practice ice or in classes.
Q: What skills do you teach in the classes?
A: Our classes focus on the skating skills included in the Learn to Skate USA Hockey Curriculum blended with USA Hockey's small area drills and games. Our primary focus is on developing skating skills - we are a "Learn to Skate" class, not a "Learn to Play" class. Having fundamental skating skills mastered first should allow your skater to jump into a Learn to Play program and find it much more enjoyable, having already developed many of the skating skills required. More information on the LTS USA skills is available here: Hockey (PDF)
Q: Where do we go after completing the hockey classes?
A: For children, the Des Moines Youth Hockey Association offers a Learn to Play program, more information is available here: DMYHA Learn To Play. For adults, the Central Iowa D-League offers a great introduction to the sport with a novice level available for skaters and goalies. More information on the CIDL is available here: Central Iowa D-League.