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A pre planned figure skaters competition checklist, for your ringside competition bag, is essential prior to the skating event. As a skater, you must prepare for the competition, because you will be on edge and jumpy on the big day. When you are going to compete you do not want forgotten items to stress you out as things can go terribly wrong in a split second. In a crunch situation, when you are minutes away from your performance, you want every necessary thing in your bag in case you need it.
Winter World Master Artistic Champion, Free Skate Silver Medalist, and Chique Sports Ambassador – Lulu Alexandra- provides Skateperfect with a wonderful video summary further down in this article.
Clean Ice Skate Boots!
Why would you add skates in the checklist of never-to-forget items before going to figure skating competition? It is like leaving a pen behind when you are going for a written exam. It would be the last thing a figure skater forgets, so the reason to put it in the list is to put a check on necessary items and examine that your skates are in great shape for the competition. You may want to sharpen the blades prior, on a few practice runs on the ice beforehand, just so you don’t cut too much into the ice on the big day.
A skaters bag which suits you!
First and foremost, you need a bag in which you can put all your necessary stuff. The choice of bag is totally subjective according to your likings and budget, there are many options available such as the revolutionary rolling Zuca bag (Amazon Link), or any ventilated figure skating bag, figure skating backpacks, etc. You can have any type of bag according to your requirement. Finding a smaller ringside barrier bag is also a clever solution.
Skating Dress / Costume
Don’t be silly you say, but never say never. Decide upfront what dress you will wear with your coach, make sure you have practiced in it on the ice – is it itchy, might it rip? On route, protect it in a dry cleaners bag to prevent wrinkles. Look at Lulu’s dress bag with her name personalised on the front – good idea!
Bring spare safety clips and a mini sewing kit, sometimes the zips on a dress can go on the warm-up! Interested in how dresses are made, read our article here.
One of the most important items in a figure skater’s bag is hard blade guards. You can not afford to enter a competition without a pair of blade guards. The skates can not be worn off the ice, therefore, you need to protect them from being ruined and damaged. They are very cheap and do not cost you much but they are an extremely necessary item to protect your valuable and precious skates.
A Piece Of Cloth Or Towel
You want to keep your skates clean and dry straight after any performance and for this purpose, therefore you must have a piece of cloth or towel that can wipe the blades clean. This is an absolutely essential item to wipe away ice slush and water, the cloth must be absorbent to take the moisture away. An essential item in your skater’s competition checklist to maintain the blade quality and eradicate moisture to prevent rusting.
It is another necessary protective item for your skater’s competition checklist. Their purpose is simple, they protect your blades from getting rust during travelling or just lying in the bag and protect other materials from the sharp blade of the skates. After you finish a good time on the ice rink, you want your skates to have a good time resting in your bag as well, no matter how carefully you dry your blades, the moisture in the surrounding air will end up getting condensed due to the cold metal. Therefore, you need to put soaker on your skates to let them rest peacefully. Read our article here concerning Soakers.
Extra Pair of Spare Tights
Anything can happen before or during a competition, so you need to prepare yourself for a worst-case scenario. You might at any time need a pair of tights, though they are expensive and will hurt your pocket, sooner or later you will eventually need them. So it is not a bad idea to invest in them and have them in your bag as an alternative because you never know when you need them. Again we have written about tights in this article and mentioned why they are so expensive.
Water Bottle pre filled.
Competition day is a tough day, whether it is your first time or hundredth time, you will feel nervous and jittery, you will need to keep yourself hydrated over and over again. So, you need to bring a water bottle with you. Don’t ever think to rely on other people for any of the things mentioned in the checklist. You might think to borrow water from someone or you might think it would be available in the arena. But, as already mentioned you must prepare yourself for the worst-case scenario. Remember to take small sips of water and do not guzzle too much at once to prevent any bloating or stitches on the ice.
Bag of Sweets or chocolate
Stress can get the better of many athletes. It can reduce your sugar levels and make you feel dizzy and low in energy. In this situation, a bar of chocolate will do the trick and will keep your sugar level at the right place. Having a few sweets can reduce stress and make you concentrate more on your performance.
A nice zipper upper is always required during a warm-up to keep your body warm and to avoid numbness. If you do not have your jacket during a warm-up session, your body temperature will fall with inactivity and you risk potential injury. So a warm-up jacket will keep you nice and warm before your performance and even after the performance. Other skaters might bring a blanket or sweater – but mind the hair! Wear a pair of sneakers/ trainers so you can practice a few off skate warm-ups.
Prior to the competition:
Before a big competition, you need to make your mind and body relax a bit from all the drama, stress, and worry. You have a big task to do, so you need to be absolutely flawless in approach and need to get away with any distraction around. Hearing some good music will keep focus on your main objective.
Always keep a good music collection with you that will give keep your mind peaceful without any disturbance and intrusions. Many star athletes in every sport, before their match, listen to music or read a book to keep them in focus. Make sure you have a good headset and a fully charged device so that nothing distracts whilst being isolated for a little while.
Your Skating music:
Bring clearly marked back up copies and never rely on anyone else with your CD or other digital link.
Some figure skaters feel numbness in their hands during a warm-up session or when they enter into the ice rink before the start of their performance. In such situations, woollen gloves are handy and they become essential as numbness would affect your performance badly.
Personal Grooming Gear
If the competition is not far away, try to complete your hairstyle before you leave home or the hotel and get there at least 1hr before – check and plan the route. Your hair must be tied back neatly off your face. Unless your mum or partner is there to do this at the rink, you might want to get this tricky, sometimes painful bit done beforehand.
Many female figure skaters wear hair clips to tie up their hair, so for female skaters, extra clips are essential to have in their bag in case they need them, they definitely would not want their hair to come in the way of success. Makeup, hairbrush, hairspray & gel are other prime candidates for the competition checklist.
Maybe another item for both male and female figure skaters have a good perfume with them that they could wear after an exhaustive and sweaty performance.
Clean Tissues are another necessary material in the list, you will want it badly when cold weather causes a runny nose.
Skate boots laces can snap unexpectantly. It might be unlikely that you would need them during competition but prepare for the worst case. They do not take too much of the space in your bag so you really have no disadvantage carrying them. Any USA Amazon account holders can find some Edea laces here and UK here
They are also a very useful item for figure skaters who do not have custom made skates or are new to this sport. Bunga pads are used to protect and cushion your ankle from rubbing, chafing and friction caused by figure skating boots. It is a great tool to protect your ankle from stiff skates and keeps your jumps and spin smooth.
A small screwdriver is also an essential material in case the blades of your figure skating boots need some tightening before the performance, you never know some screws might loosen up a bit just before the big time and you do not want to be helpless in that situation.
Your phone is a great tool for you to grow as a skater and generally as a sportsperson. You can analyse your performance during a training session or even your performances in a tournament by recording them and watch later. You can record the important things that you think are necessary. You can even watch your older performances for motivation or performances of your favourite skaters. Or you just listen to your songs anytime to get relax a bit before the performance and calm you down after a tough day in the competition.
A Lucky Charm
Lastly, in the list, a figure skater must have a lucky charm in the bag that motivates them and just give a positive vibe to them. It could be anything and completely subjective according to personal preferences. Could be a picture of loved ones, a toy, some type of medal or award or anything that spread positivity for the skater. Yuzuru Hanyu brings Winnie the Pooh bear-shaped tissue box as a lucky charm for him and he taps his head every time just before his performance.
Your Figure Skaters Competition Checklist – just copy and paste!
- Clean Skates
- A Bag
- Blade Guards
- Spare Tights
- Bottle of Water
- Warm jacket/body warmer
- Grooming Gear
- Spare Laces
- Bunga Pads
- Screw Driver
- Mobile Phone
- Lucky Charm
Thank you for reading our figure skaters competition checklist , do check out our other posts supported by Lulu Alexandra.
Lulu can be followed on Instagram , Twitter, follow her to inspire your path to being a great figure skater. She continues to offer great advice for any age group on posts.