Speed Skating – Equipment
The equipment used in Speed Skating varies for Short Track and Long Track. For the short track, the needed equipment are speed skates, spandex skin suit, protective helmet, specific cut proof skating gloves, knee pads and shin pads(in suit), neck guard and ankle protection are required. Protective eye wear is optional. National level skaters should wear cut-proof Kevlar suit to protect themselves from other skater’s blade during fall.
For long track, the equipment is same as the above. Helmet, shin pads, knee pads, and neck guard are not required. Eye protection is optional. There is no need of Kevlar suit as hood is built inside the suit.
Skaters prefer form-fitting, Lycra skin suits for lower air resistance. Kevlar patches (built-in) protects vital body parts. For every player, the skin suit is designed by taking the overall measurement of body parts. Chest, waist, and thigh are measured and then the design is made. For normal purposes, there are predefined sizes which can easily fit for skaters who are willing to afford the suit.
The boots used in this sport are made from graphite and kevlar. Reinforcement at ankles counteracts centrifugal force while skating. It is more common for people with difference in lengths of their feet. So selection of boots should be done well.
The length of the foot has to be measured and if foot of a player is large then it is suggested to give an extra length of 5-7mm for comfort.
Blade length is between 14 to 18 inches. They are curved to the left to help in turning. The pushes from ice on the player depend on length of the blade. Longer blades get greater pushes from the ice on the player.
In addition to the above equipment, speed skaters also use quite a few protective gear to protect their body parts.