Are there mandatory competitions?
No competition is mandatory, but we encourage all skaters to attend as many meets as possible. It's a great way to increase skill and it's a lot of fun for the whole family. Don't worry - skaters of all ages and abilities are included, so new skaters won't feel out of place!
Do you have adult members?
The NBSSC has a long history of including adult members and we are very interested in having adults participate. Each season, the number of adult skaters varies.
The speed skating season lasts from mid-September to mid-March. First year skaters have the option of signing up for only a half-season at a time. Returning skaters are expected to commit to the full season.
What is the required uniform/gear/ etc?
When skaters first start, we try very hard to have loaner equipment available. Most skaters want to purchase a "skin" - the team uniform. Skates are the most expensive part of the gear, but there are almost always other members wanting to sell or rent used gear. By the second season, a skater is expected to have their own gear.
Do I have to have experience with speed skating to join your club?
Not at all. Everybody has to start somewhere! That's why there are clubs like the NBSSC. We cannot accommodate very young or very new skaters (those who cannot be steady on the ice) because we do not have one-on-one coaching. For the very beginner skater, check out the Learn to Speed Skate classes through the Northbrook Park District. But don't assume you're not ready! Talk to us and take advantage of our four "try it" sessions before making a commitment. Coaches will let you know if you or your skater is not ready for club skating.
Is it an expensive sport? What will it cost me?
For a full 6 month season, a novice skater fee is $1150 (less than $200 per month). First year skaters have the option of paying for half a season at a time. Skaters who are in the higher groups pay a little more. Members must also join US Speedskating (roughly $30) and our state association ($15 for new skaters). Competitions are approximately $50. There are no additional coach fees. These fees are significantly lower than you will pay for other ice sports! Skaters/Parents are required to participate in additional fundraising activities which are necessary to offset the expenses of the club.
When do you practice?
We practice twice weekly: Tuesdays at 6:40pm and Sundays at 6:30pm. We also offer dryland training weekly for skaters who are ready to take their skill to the next level.
I can only make one night per week. Can I join as a part-time member?
Skaters are under no obligation to attend practices. However, there is no financial difference between full-time and part-time members.
If I want to try it out, what is the process? Do I need to wait until the beginning of the next season?
We have new members joining throughout the season, so no need to wait! Fees are pro-rated. If you want to try, simply stop by! It's a little easier if you let us know beforehand by completing the Contact Us form - that way we can make sure to provide as much help as possible. Read the Membership page on this website to find out what you need to bring.
Are there different practices for different levels of ability?
No. Part of the excitement about being part of the NBSSC is that newer skaters share ice time with the more advanced skaters. More advanced skaters do stay on the ice an additional 30 minutes after our novice skaters finish. We find that skaters improve faster (and enjoy it more) when they feel part of something "big". During almost every season, skaters will find themselves skating with Olympians from time to time, too!
Northbrook Speed Skating Club
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