Special Equipment is one of the oldest and respected speed skating equipment specialists in North America. We continue the tradition of bringing value and performance to our customers.
Founded in 1975, Bont began when Inze Bont, a recreational skater decided to fiberglass the back of his leather skates to gain extra support.
The SkateNow shop’ by Skatenow, llc evolved out of pure love and devotion to the sports of speedskating, both ice and inline. Owner's Eric Kraan and Kimberly Simons-Kraan established the business in 2001 in response to an inherent need to support the local community of skaters in Utah, USA where they reside.
Whether on wheels or ice, speedskating is their sport. Both Eric and Kimberly compete in inline racing, with marathon skating as their first choice to go that extra mile. As avid inline skaters, together they opened Utah's first ever inline skate school with IISA/ICP/ISA certified inline instructors in 2001, the SkateNow Skate School, llc.. Both teach inline classes and clinics throughout the greater Salt Lake area through programs established with local Salt Lake area parks and recreation facilities, the University of Utah's BIP program, and the new Park City Ice Arena, as well as offering Private and Group Instruction. And, it doesn't stop there. SkateNow plays hosts to a number of local inline events during the summer seasons, including the Greek Festival, Draper Days, West Jordan inline 5Kand 10K race events, Fun-Roll BBQ's, a summer Skate Tour, and Salt Lake's Friday Nite Roll, and Freestyle Slalom Skating, and is active in numerous community events that help foster healthy lifestyles through skating sports. With a small and growing enthusiastic group of local skaters, Eric and Kimberly established Salt Lake's first ever "Friday Nite Rolls" in summer of 2004, and they've been rolling around town ever since. Their personal involvement as well as professional efforts and expertise have had a rewarding impact in supporting the growth and fostering development of the local community of skaters in Utah. The Utah Olympic Oval won the Mayors award for a float SkateNow designed and built for the Utah Olympic Oval 2003, as part of the Salt Lake Pioneer Days Parade. They also held Utah's first ever' Ice to Inline' Skate Clinic, introducing top elite inline speedskaters to ice speedskating sports, some of which have gone onto participate in the Olympics. SkateNow has been the single advocate and supporter, and actively instrumental in bringing Utah's first ever inline banked track facility to Utah, the project is now underway in Draper, Utah. As advocates of skating sports, they work with local municipalities to ensure mutli-use bike paths receive input from the skating community, and they are working to re-write legislative laws pertinent to skating to make Utah a more skater-friendly place to live and enjoy skating sports. If they are not personally out hosting SkateNow skate events, they are actively giving back to the community in sponsoring a multitude of ice and inline speedskating skating events throughout the USA.
Eric is a level II USS certified ice speedskating coach, and coaches independently at the Utah Olympic Oval facility, when he is not busy training and working towards his own personal speedskating goals. Eric is the pioneer and founder, and first ever member of the Mexican National Speedskating Team of Long Track Speedskating. With Eric's individual due diligence and hard efforts, an official Long Track Speedskating Team for Mexico was established in the 2001-2002 season. Eric completed in World Cup events, proudly representing his native country of Mexico. There are currently 4 members of the Mexican National Long Track Team. It is his hope to achieve an actively participating Mexican National Olympic Team with goals for Olympic for participation in the sport of long track speedskating, and to further facilitate development of the Mexican National speedskating team. Eric & Kimberly were invited to Mexico City in 2007 to demonstrate the sport of short track speedskating, in the zocalo of Mexico City, to upwards of 50,000 spectators, a perfect opportunity to promote the sport of speedskating. The event was internationally televised live in 7 countries, and was so successful they were invited back for closing ceremonies in January 2008.
Eric is also USARS certified, and has coached Salt Lake's very own: 'Salt City' and the 'Red Rockets', Women's 100 meter Flat Track Roller Derby teams.
Both Kimberly & Eric are also PSIA certified alpine ski instructors and actively promote the benefits of cross-training on skates to skiers during their off-season. Skiing & Skating are a perfect marriage of sports to help you stay conditioned for sport & competition all year round. In Utah, skating is the perfect cross-train sport for skiing.
Kimberly has been skating for over 15 years, initially discovering skating as a means to cross-train for ski season... skating soon dominated as her sport of choice. Within a few years time she pursued marathon skating as a means to achieve personal goals, stay fit, and skate in cool places such as Tahiti, France, and elsewhere around the globe. Kimberly is also a professional architect, with an environmental eye for sustainable design. Her goals include being able to design and build a velo-drome facility for skating and cycling in Utah, and design ice ovals internationally. She also runs both the skate school and 'the skatenow shop' in partnership with husband Eric, and is the web-mistress for the SkateNow Skate School, llc., 'the SkateNow shop', and Team Mexico.
Putting their respective careers on hold, and their love of skating first, they embarked on the SKATENOW project in 2001, bringing you skate for all aspects of: ice and inline speedskating, cross-training, fitness and recreation, slalom and freestyle, quad and derby skating sports.
We look forward to keeping you geared up for the sports you love, ice and inline speedskating!
All the best to you in your skating endeavors,
Eric R. Kraan and Kimberly Simons Kraan
owners, 'the SkateNow shop'