Does your arena provide rental ice skates? Having rental skates available can make an ice rink much more accessible for beginner skaters.
Whether it’s someone who wants to try ice hockey for the first time or a novice who wants to try public skating, there are tons of different beginner skaters who could benefit from using rental skates.
Ice skate rentals can allow a person to take a try at ice skating without a need for a big financial investment. Plus, proving skate rental services can open your arena up to different activities and revenue streams! How so? Let’s explore.
Benefits of Providing Rental Skates
There are plenty of benefits to providing hockey skates to rent at an arena. A lot of these revolve around new revenue opportunities in your venue. These can include:
Public Skating Sessions
If your venue has rental skates, one of the easiest ways to use them to make money is by providing public skating sessions.
Public skating sessions are a great way for a new skater to try out the ice for the first time. Visitors pay the price of admission, as well as the fee to borrow a pair of rental skates to use for an hour or two during their visit.
This process makes it easy for beginners to visit your arena, and for your arena to open up to new kinds of ice users.
Private Ice Rental
When you’re not hosting a public skating session, you could always utilize your rental skates for private use, if someone rents the ice. It’s becoming increasingly popular for groups, whether they be clubs or companies, to rent out a skating rink for a private skating party.
These gatherings often rely on rental skates so even beginner skaters in the group can still participate and enjoy ice skating with their party. Private ice rental combined with skate rentals can make for some great revenue for your space.
New Sports Players
Having rental skates on standby can also be useful for new sports players who may not have the money to invest in gear, such as young children trying skating lessons or youth hockey for the first time.
By providing rental skates, a young skater visiting your venue can try out a sport without that initial equipment investment. This can make it easier on parents who have young kids that want to try ice sports, but may not want to invest right away. (Though, if you want to learn figure skating or hockey, it is recommended you do so with your own personal skates.)
Rental Skate Guide
Before you invest in rental ice skates for the general public, there are some things you should keep in mind.
Type of Ice Skate
When investing in skates to provide for rentals, the first thing to consider should be the kind of ice skate you plan to invest in. For most venues, this will come down to choosing between a hockey skate or figure skate.
In general, we recommend investing in hockey skates if you want a skate for rentals. A hockey skate tends to be more stable than a figure skate, and is built for fast skating, easy stopping, and has a boot that can withstand impact better.
In comparison, a figure skate has a longer blade, requires a bit more finesses to use properly, and has a toe pick stop that can make it hard for beginners to use properly. Hockey skates are generally seen as more accessible for a beginner, or someone who wants to casually skate rather than play a sport like hockey or figure skating.
You’ll also want to ensure the skates you provide come in a wide range of sizes, suited to both adults and children. Both hockey and figure skates will be available in youth, junior, and adult size ranges.
For your ice rental skate shop, invest in a wide range of sizes of skates. The amount you buy will depend on the size of your rink, and how many people you intend to serve.
Ice Skate Storage
Ice skate storage is also something to consider when providing rental skates. It’s a good idea to invest in a professional shelving system to keep your rental skates organized by type and size.
This storage will make managing and giving out rentals easier. It can also help to keep skates safely stored and well maintained, so they deteriorate less quickly.
Ice Skate Sharpening
It can also be a good idea to have some kind of skate sharpening tool available at your skate rental shop. This can make it way easier to take care of your rental skates, and increase their longevity over their lifetime.
Having a skate sharpener can also be beneficial in other ways. Those with their own skates can still benefit from the provided service, opening up even more revenue opportunities for your space. It can also be beneficial to your arena’s home hockey or figure skating teams, giving them the equipment they need to keep their gear in top shape.
Ice Skate Accessories
It can be handy to have a few accessories on hand, to go alongside your rental skates.
One of the best investments you can make is into skate trainers. These handy devices are amazing for beginner skaters, allowing them to more easily get used to the ice without clinging to the dasher board edge the whole time.
Accessories like skate guards and extra laces can also be useful for quick replacements and repairs with your rental skates. Having these things on hand can make providing skate rentals a much smoother experience.
Tips for Using Rental Skates
If you’re using rental skates for the first time, keep the following tips in mind:
- Wear Warm Clothes: Arenas are colder than you’d think! You’ll want to layer up, with a hat and gloves.
- Wear Proper Socks: Always wear socks and tights to keep your feet warm, and avoid blisters.
- Lace Up Tight: Lace up your boots tightly, and secure them around your ankle for more stability. (If you feel any numbness, though, loosen your skates! That’s too tight.)
- Stretch and Warm Up: Skating is a full-body workout, so doing some stretches can help for your first time.
- Keep Knees Bent: This can massively help with balance if you’re skating for the first time
- Have fun!