How to Get Started

Learn To Speedskate Class

Saturday mornings, 8:30am - 9:30am, Oakland Ice Center

The class is part of the Oakland Ice Center's (OIC) overall "Learn to Skate" program and runs 4 times (usually 12 weeks long) per year. The winter session starts Saturday, January 11, 2014.

Payment: You pay directly to the rink at the front desk. You can pre-register online, although that is difficult to find on the OIC web site. The rink allows skaters to do one "Drop-in", and then if they wish to continue with the class they pay for the remainder of the Saturdays. Speed skate rentals are available for the class. If you need to rent, please make sure to ask for SPEED SKATE rentals when you  pay for the class. We will do our best to find your size in our limited stock, but if we can't you are welcome to use/rent hockey skates.

About the session: NCSA provides the coaches, and we usually have about 4 of us on the ice each week. There are normally anywhere from 10-20 students per class, so the coach to student ratio is quite good. While the students range in age (4 - 60+) and ability (barely able to stand up - more advanced skaters that want to improve specific techique), this is a particularly good place to start if you have never used speedskates, before. 

Requirements: Helmet, long pants and sleeves, gloves. Knee pads, neck guard, optional.

Oakland
Practice/Training Session

Saturday evenings, 5:30pm - 7:00pm, Oakland Ice Center

This session is one of the two weekly training and practice sessions the club runs each week.

Payment: We buy this ice from the rink, so you pay us directly -- NOT at the front desk! There will be one of us collecting the drop-in fees near the ice surface -- should be easy to find. The cost is currently $20 for adult, $14 for juniors under 18 and for students. Again, speedskate rentals are through us, $5/session.

About the session: Each session is run by our head coach, Mary Wong (or her designate if she is not there). The coach normally breaks the skaters into 3 or 4 groups based on age/size/ability, and each group takes their turn on the track doing the drills or training sets that the coach lays out. When not on the track, skaters must stay in the middle, work on drills, or just socialize. With only one coach, we will not be able to handle young kids who cannot stay focused and following our simple safety rules. This time of year the focus is on heavy training to prepare our skaters for the NorCal Championships (Feb.), the State Championships (Mar.) and the National Age Group Championships (Mar.). That typically means lots of laps, fast laps, etc. and less emphasis on technique and drills. There are normally anywhere from 18-30 skaters on the ice each week, ranging in age from about 7 - 70 (Yes! We have a 70 year old woman skating with us!). There is also a wide range of abilities, from national-level elite skaters, to fairly novice skaters, to everywhere in between.

Requirements: Helmet, long pants and sleeves, gloves. Neck guard, knee pads optional.

San Jose
Practice/Training Session

Sunday mid-day, 11:30am - 1:00pm, Sharks Ice San Jose

This session is the second of our two weekly training and practice sessions the club runs each week.

Payment: The rink in San Jose runs this session as a "public speed skating session", so you pay the rink at the front desk. The cost is currently $15 per skater, regardless of age. Again, speedskate rentals are through NCSA, $5/session -- and you pay one of US for those, NOT the rink.

About the session: Identical to the Saturday evening sessions in Oakland, although the Saturday and Sunday sessions will often have different training sets and drills.

Requirements: Helmet, long pants and sleeves, gloves. Neck guard, knee pads optional.

We also have local races (including our NorCal Championships) from time to time.

If you wish to participate in these (and we will set up race groups for all abilities), then you must also join:

(a) the NCSA -- The annual membership runs from July 1 through the following June 30, and is $40 per person or $60 per family. (We also have a 1st Year Introductory Rate: $20 per person.) ... and ...

(b) US Speedskating -- Annual membership also runs from July 1 through the following June 30, and the cost there varies based on a number of factors. There is a 1st Year Rate, however.