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    Synthetic Ice Installation & Maintenance

    10 Best Backyard Ice Rink Tips For Home Ice Skaters (2023)

    10 Best Backyard Ice Rink Tips For Home Ice Skaters (2023)

    Are you thinking about a backyard ice rink?

    If you’re a skating fanatic like we are or have kids that play hockey or figure skating, the thought must have crossed your mind a few times.

    It’s possible – and in some cases, easy – to build an ice rink in your backyard.

    The thought of lacing up your skates and stepping outside (with bumpers on, of course) and onto the rink seems too good to pass up.  

    Backyard ice rinks have been around for decades, and now, you have several options at your disposal.

    At the same time, the process can become costly and time-consuming if done incorrectly.

    We’ll go through some do’s and don’ts so you end up with an at-home ice skating solution that everyone will love. 

    types of backyard rinks

    Types of backyard ice rinks 

    There are a few options available for a backyard rink.

    The one you choose will be based on factors like weather, space, building ability, and budget.

    Here are the options to consider: 

    Snow and water

    Yes, you can build an ice rink with just snow and water.

    If it has snowed and built up a large enough mound of ice, you can dig out a big enough space, using the snow as rink walls.

    Fill the area with water, then let the weather get to work.

    Once the temperature is consistent, you can skate for weeks.

    A cheap, practical option, but messy with too many variables involved. 

    Tarp and plywood

    If you are good with your hands, you can consider crafting your own rink with some simple hardware items and Mother Nature.

    This method requires a large enough tarp or plastic lining to cover the backyard ice rink.

    Then, you’ll build the rink walls using plywood and steel brackets.

    Fill the rink with a couple of inches of water and wait for freezing temperatures.

    Add in a quick spray with hot water, and you have a smooth, skateable, at-home ice rink.

    This is the OG method and the most popular one for backyard rinks, but it does take some building know-how.  

    Skating rink kits 

    Think of the tarp and plywood method but with all the materials in one place, ready to go.

    There are several companies selling DIY rink kits.

    The lining, walls, brackets, and other necessary tools come in one package.

    Follow the instructions, fill the rink with water, and you can have a backyard skating option.

    The biggest challenge is choosing the right provider—quality matters. 

    synthetic ice

    Synthetic Ice tiles/panels/kits

    Synthetic ice rinks are growing in popularity thanks to their affordability, ease of installation, and durability.

    These are polyethylene tiles or panels that are skateable.

    You place them on your designated spot, connect the boards, and you have a rink!

    Synthetic ice is also easily scalable.

    Choose between our Home Starter Kits and Larger, bigger panels:

    These panels are easy to assemble and will have you ice skating in no time in virtually any location.

    Refrigerated ice rinks:  

    The rinks you see your favorite NHL team using?

    Refrigerated rinks.

    These rinks use the same concept it takes to keep your home AC or refrigerator cool using water, coolant, and refrigeration machinery.

    Refrigerated rinks were only for more extensive, commercial spaces, but now there are several at-home options.

    While these rinks give the closest professional feel, they are the most expensive and need time and expertise to install and continuous maintenance.

      backyard ice rink benefits

    Backyard Ice Rink Benefits  

    Choosing to build a backyard rink is a no-brainer.

    For instance, you can skate at any time in the safety of your home.

    It is also a great community-building tool.

    If you have neighbors or kids that like hockey or ice skating, they can enjoy it too.

    Backyard rinks are also easy to install, with many rinks or materials easy to access and set up.

    You also have more time to train, get stronger, and build a competitive advantage with your rink.

    If you’re ready to install a rink, you’ll have a few questions.

    Here are some DOs and DON’Ts that prepare you for at-home skating on your new backyard rink:

    DO consider the weather.

    Weather conditions play a significant role in building a backyard rink.

    What are your winter weather patterns?

    Can you rely on consistent temperatures?

    Is there constant snow or rain?

    These factors will determine your choice of the rink.

    For instance, if you want to build a rink but can’t rely on consistent weather, a synthetic or refrigerated rink may be the best choice.

    If you want to skate through the year, synthetic is the only option.

    The other methods are great for a consistent winter season, but even these are becoming shorter and more sporadic due to climate changes. 


    DON'T skip the design process.

    We often notice that rink owners overlook the other pieces that make a backyard space unique.

    So, take some time to design your space.

    For instance, you will want a longer, rectangular rink or a square one.

    Lights, goal posts, nets, and bumpers for safety are other accessories that will turn your rink from good to great.  

    DO make sure you’re on level ground.

    A common mistake from rink builders is installing on uneven surfaces.

    Most backyards are not entirely level.

    If you overlook this, you’ll have a poor skating experience.

    For rinks that need water, a sloped backyard can make the ice thinner in some areas.

    If you’re installing synthetic ice, the uneven surfaces can cause falls or damage to the panels.

    Check that the yard is level first. Use these steps to check the grade of the yard.

    You may need some thin sheets of plywood to compensate for uneven surfaces.  

    DON'T compromise on quality materials.

    There are several rink providers on the market.

    Some focus on quality items, ease of use, or versatility.

    There are also others on Amazon that you can get with a few clicks.

    However, some are low-quality materials that can cost more in the long run.

    For instance, an ice rink kit might have poor quality lining or rink walls.

    Others may have synthetic ice which is not made of High-Density Polyethylene, may break down, lose its effectiveness, or require constant application of a Slip Surface Conditioner.

    Take some time to research before choosing your rink.  

    DO consider rink walls or rebounder bars.

    If you choose a natural or refrigerated ice rink, walls are required.

    However, for synthetic ice, you don’t need rink walls to start skating.

    On the one hand, this is a great advantage if you want to reduce costs.

    However, rink walls are great for safety.

    Who wants to fall over the edge if you’re playing hockey?

    It also stops your puck from flying everywhere.  

    DON'T forget about safety.

    With ice skating, safety is paramount.

    Falls and collisions can happen, especially with hockey.

    If you’re building a skating rink for your kids, you want a space where they can skate without constant supervision.

    Installing foam on rink walls is an excellent example of a safety measure.

    It would be best if you also cleared the area around the rink to avoid injuries.  

    enlist some help

    DO enlist some help.

    Building a rink can be time-consuming and, in some cases, requires some handyman abilities.

    If you’re building a rink with water, you’ll need someone to help install rink walls and place the liner.

    For refrigerated rinks, you’ll rely on the provider to install the rink, but if you’re DIY, don’t do it alone.

    The advantage of synthetic ice is that you can install the rink without help.

    A soft mallet is enough to set up the rink.

    You should get some help anyway since it’s fun to set up your rink with a friend! 

    DON'T forget about maintenance.

    The best skating experience will require maintenance of your rink.

    For backyard rinks with water, snow and ice can pile up on the rink.

    You’ll need to resurface the rink with hot water.

    Synthetic ice rinks are easier to manage but do need to be cleared of dirt and shavings.

    In some cases, you’ll need to resurface the rink with conditioner.

    Set a schedule to clean and maintain the rink, with the right tools to make it happen.  

    DO have fun!

    When you’re in the process of building a rink, the anticipation builds as you get closer to the end.

    That feeling when you first touch the ice is priceless.

    You’re making the rink to have fun!

    Don’t forget to enjoy it and look for ways to mix things up so you can get the most out of your investment.

    Invite friends and neighbors over.

    Try different activities like curling or host an ice movie night.

    Focus on fun, and you’ll enjoy the rink for years to come.  

    DONT wait!

    If you're an ice skating enthusiast, beginner, or just want to have fun with your friends and family then learn how to ice skate at home!

    There are so many rink options you can consider: basement rink, garage rink, deck rink, patio rink, rooftop rink, travel rink, spin rink....the list goes on and on.

    Our PolyGlide Synthetic Ice has added diversity to ice skating in both affordability and access.

    You are only limited by your own creativity and ideas on what you can accomplish with your skating.

    time to skate

    It’s time to skate!  

    There are several considerations when building a backyard ice rink.

    During the winter, people gravitate to the plywood and tarp or rink kit methods.

    If you’re willing to invest the energy in maintaining the rink, it can be a truly fantastic experience.

    However, synthetic ice is becoming the go-to for at-home ice skating simply because it's easy to use, durable and scalable.

    Our synthetic ice has helped hundreds of homes transform their backyard into a winter skating staple.

    Follow the do’s and don’ts of backyard rink building, and you can have one too.

    Check out all of our rink packages to choose the ideal rink for you home. 




    7 Best Backyard Ice Rink Tips You Need to Know for 2023

    7 Best Backyard Ice Rink Tips You Need to Know for 2023

    What kid wouldn't want a little bit of Canada in their backyard in the shape of their own personal backyard ice rink

    This is the ultimate backyard DIY project for any parent that can be shared by the whole family and enjoyed by all. 

    It will also automatically put you on the list for the following awards:

    A project this size will keep you on these lists for years.

    If these acknowledgments are too much to pass up, we need to ask you to pause.

    Start Your Backyard Rink Project With The Polyglide Pro-Glide Panel 

    You've come to this article to understand what you're getting yourself into, and that's understandable.

    DIY ice rinks have a few moving parts.

    Here's how to get things set up and what you need to consider before pulling the trigger. 


    Backyard Rink


    Understanding Backyard Ice Rinks

    The backyard Ice rink has been around for decades.

    Long ago, skaters had to depend on lakes and other bodies of water to freeze before lacing up their skates.

    If these weren't available, they had to go to professional rinks, which were scarce and even expensive to use. 

    While there are more professional rinks around today, there's now the possibility of building your own rink using some simple materials and tools.

    Of course, rinks can take some time, so we recommend that you enlist a friend or two, regardless of the size. 

    Rinks need three things: a dedicated space, lots of water, and the right weather conditions.

    Backyard ice rink builders must have these tenets in place first before taking the next step.


    Take Notes


    Important Things to note

    With backyard ice rinks, there's a Golden Rule:

    Go big or go home. (Well, since you're already home, you can probably just go inside and get some hot cocoa.) 

    Use as much space as possible as the project is already time-consuming.

    You don't want a rink that's too small that you can't stretch your legs and build up some real speed. 

    The goal here is not only to build something that's effective but reusable.

    You want to easily disassemble your rink, store the components, and bring it back out for next winter. 

    After confirming your geographical location and referencing the Farmers Almanac (to know when it's freezing time), start to outline the materials and price out what the costs are associated with starting your rink project.

    Ask yourself the following questions:

    1. Size

    Yes, we said to go big, but you'll have to consider the age and sport of your skater(s).

    Smaller skaters just starting only need enough space to perform a figure eight to work both their inside and outside skate edges.

    Consider a bigger rink for more than one skater.

    Larger rinks allow for stickhandling for hockey players or jumps for figure skaters.

    2. Space

      Assess how much dedicated space (square footage) you have for your outdoor (or indoor for synthetic ice) rink.

      Using the total dimensions will help you draft a list of materials necessary to complete your rink project.

      If synthetic ice is your best or only option, you may want to choose a solid core panel that will withstand outdoor temperatures over time.

      More on synthetic ice later.

        Keep growing your rink as your skater grows and continues to show an interest in their sport which will help keep your start-up cost to a minimum.

        3. Survey

          The next step is to measure your rink.

          You'll need a combination of a tape measure, stakes, string, and a level.

          Place stakes at each corner while connecting the line to measure your rink.

          The string helps you to use a level to check the ground.

          An uneven surface will lead to a poor skating experience.

          If there is some uneven ground, you'll need some extra material to compensate.

          Keep this in mind. 

          With those particulars confirmed, it's time to get your materials.


          Things You'll Need

          4. Materials

          Here's what you'll need:

          • Several pieces of 2 in. X 12 in. X 8ft. Prime lumber. Since you know the exact length and width of your rink, you can purchase enough board to make your rink walls. 
          • Extra lumber is necessary for parts of the rink that is uneven. These walls may need to be slightly higher.
          • Several concrete stakes to secure each piece of lumber. Each will go into the ground and connect to the board with screws. 
          • Each piece of wood needs securing at the seams. Metal mending plates work well here.  
          • L-shaped metal brackets for the corners.
          • A large roll of white plastic or tarp. This tarp is the foundation of the rink and holds the ice securely. White reflects the sunlight versus another color like black, which can absorb light and melt your rink.
          • Enough screws to hold a small house together. 
          • Rubber bumpers that will cover the tops of the walls. These will prevent possible injury. 
          • We can't emphasize enough that you measure the location first. This simple step saves you time and money.

          5. Barrier Walls

          There are rink-building companies that provide rink walls made of plastic.

          These rink walls have pegs that connect, removing the need for mending plates.

          If you're only looking to keep the puck on the surface and want to save money, check out "The BounceBar" by PolyGlide Ice.

          Wood walls are very effective and reusable but run the risk of absorbing water, so the choice is yours. 

          rink installation

          6. Installation

          With all your supplies ready to go, it's time to install.

          It would help if you had your measurements already in place when it's time to put the rink walls together. 

          • Use the mending plates to connect one board to the other. Stand the board up and use the stakes or brackets to keep the walls upright. You should have a friend who can help with the brackets and ensure the rink stays level. Start with the length and then move on to the width and corners. If you're using plastic walls, lay them out and connect them using the manufacturer's mechanism.
          • Each corner needs at least one L-shaped bracket to hold it in place. Use the screws and a handheld drill to get them installed. Move on to the other length and final width to complete your rectangular rink.
          • In some cases, the backyard is uneven. When the rink fills, it can bring the ice to the top. You'd need to install an additional board above or below to compensate. Measuring in advance would ensure you purchase the extra material necessary for this change.
          • With the rink walls secure, it's time to place the white plastic. Make sure the area is clear of any debris that can puncture the plastic. Roll it out and cover the inner rink. 
          • A commonly overlooked step is ensuring there's enough to drape over the walls of the rink. The walls and ice place extra weight on the plastic. At least one or two feet is enough to prevent the plastic from slipping into the rink. 
          • Now, it's time to fill your rink. Get your hose, place it in the rink and turn the water on. The rink can take at least 8 hours to fill. Water will flow to the lowest areas first, then to the higher parts of the rink. You'd want at least 3" of ice, so be patient. 
          • It's time to get those feet wet! Check the liner periodically to remove any large creases or bubbles which can impact your ice. 
          • Now we wait! It can take at least two days for the water to freeze, depending on the weather. Once it's done, it's time to skate!

          7. Challenges

          Building the rink sounds easy and fun, but there are some challenges you'll encounter along the way.

          Understanding how to navigate these obstacles is essential for a wonderful skating season.

          These include:

          • Climate
          • Landscaping
          • Timing
          • Maintenance
          • Minor details

          climate factors

          Factors to Consider

          If you live North of the US, backyard rink cost border, you actually have a shot at an opportunity for some thick ice for a few months out of the year should mother nature decide to smile on your rink building dreams.

          Heading South into the States, the ice time duration starts to melt depending on which way the wind blows from January through February. 

          As you head South of Route 80, synthetic ice becomes a primary consideration as the actual duration of sustained ice seriously starts to dwindle.

          The rink building project itself may take longer than the lifespan of the rink, which you may wind up branding as a one-day "Winter Classic."

          Traveling further South becomes a polymer paradise for Artificial Ice as the only option unless you prefer to mortgage the house for an ice compressor, piping, and brine and 100 hours of labor (forget it).

          Synthetic Ice: The Difference Maker

          Even if the weather is not in your favor, you can still skate.

          Synthetic ice panels are made of a unique polyethylene material that connects and forms a smooth skating surface. 

          The material is infused with a special compound that allows for fantastic skating with reduced friction.

          The Benefits of Going Synthetic Include:

          Ease of Installation: Once you have your dimensions, you purchase the number of panels needed for the rink.

          The panels are shipped to your home, and you can have a fully installed rink in less than an hour.

          If you include the time to build the walls, it can take about 2-3 hours. 

          Cheaper than Refrigerated Ice: Refrigerated ice can cost tens of thousands of dollars in installation and maintenance costs.

          Synthetic ice is a one-time purchase. 

          Reusable: Ice panels are easy to clean and maintain.

          A soft brush and warm, soapy water are all you need to care for your rink.

          If ice forms on the rink due to a storm, you can shovel the top layer, use hot water to melt the additional ice, then clean it again.

          Once you're done, you can skate again!

          Time is On Your Side: With backyard rinks, the earlier you start, the better.

          There's a higher chance of the ice freezing, which will last longer.

          If you started late in the season, synthetic ice ensures you can skate well into spring.

          You Can Scale Over Time: Panels at a specific size means you can increase the size of your rink as needed. 

          Timing is Everything

          Backyard ice rinks work best at the beginning of winter as it preserves the health of your lawn.

          Lawns become dormant at the beginning of winter, making it the perfect time to lay down the components for a rink.

          Much later in the season and you run the risk of ruining your lawn.

          That's an added cost later in the year you could avoid.


          rink maintenance


          Rink Maintenance is Often Overlooked

          Wintertime could be unpredictable, and the changing weather can impact the quality of your rink.

          Snowstorms can add layers that can make skating impossible.

          You'll have to shovel out the excess snow, then use warm water to resurface the rink.

          Snow buildup will happen several times during the winter, so be prepared. 

          Even when snow does not build up, rain can freeze on the rink.

          To resurface your rink by misting the surface with warm water.

          You'd want to do that multiple times, avoiding over-soaking any one area.

          There are rink resurfacers on Amazon, or you can do a DIY resurfacer.

          Thanks to objects that melt it, your ice won't stay the same level throughout the year.

          Anything from a puck left on the ice to a leaf can absorb energy from the sun.

          Each can melt into the ice, disrupting the smooth surface.

          Make sure to clean the surface after use.

          If an object melts the ice, pack some snow in the groove, then use water to help freeze it. 

          Don't Skip the Minor Details

          A rink is not complete without some added details to make it feel authentic.

          If you're making a hockey rink, you can add a centerline by spray painting a piece of PVC or other plastic red or blue.

          Lay down the colored line before filling the rink.

          Also, consider dasher boards for the inside of the rink. Dasher boards line the walls so hockey players can have a smooth skating experience. 

          Skating is fun in the evenings, but you lose sunlight fast at this time of year.

          So you may need floodlights so that the kids can tire themselves out well into the night.

          Floodlights encourage your neighbors to come over and skate, so be careful when you're turning them on and off!

          Invest in goalposts, nets (so you don't lose a window), and an area where everyone can stay warm.

          Think about these features in advance, so you can get them all done beforehand.

          team project

          Make it a Team Rink Project

          Think about making your backyard rink a team project and enlist the help of family members and friends as volunteers that would surely enjoy lacing up and skating on your rink.

          If your construction costs exceed your budget, perhaps other teammates and their families would help you raise the necessary funds to complete your rink project if all will benefit.

          The skating community, be it hockey or figure skating, is dedicated to their related sports and can be pretty creative in fundraising ideas to make any rink build project a reality!

          For instance, you can have an ice skating party or event covering several days.

          Each person pays a cover charge, which goes towards building the rink. 


          A DIY backyard ice rink project can feel like a big undertaking.

          It can be a breeze as long as you prepare a budget, get the right supplies, and have some help.

          However, some factors are out of your control, like the weather.

          You'll need to navigate the snow or storms should they come while you're waiting for the rink to freeze.

          Rinks also need continued maintenance for a fantastic skate.

          A synthetic ice rink is a better option for warmer climates or shorter winters.

          You can install it without the hassle and start skating almost immediately.

          The other rink components remain; however, your synthetic ice replaces the water. 

          If you need help with setting up your synthetic ice, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team for help.

          We love building backyard outdoor rinks and can help you avoid many of the mistakes that are common with the project. 


          Synthetic Ice tips: Can Synthetic Ice Go on Carpet?

          Synthetic Ice tips: Can Synthetic Ice Go on Carpet?

          Synthetic ice has been around for decades.

          Thanks to research and technology, skatable tiles and panels can be made in customizable sizes and shapes.

          Now, we no longer have to wait for winter to ice skate.

          We can now take our ice skates out for fun any time of the year.

          We continue to be in awe of the ingenuity of rink owners.

          They develop rinks in garages, barns, spare rooms, decks, and even above pools.

          Pushing those limits means building on different surfaces, without necessarily transforming the surface itself.

          A common question we are asked is,“can synthetic ice go on your carpet?” 

          As the popularity of synthetic ice continues to grow, more and more people are wondering if synthetic ice can go on your carpet.

          Generally, you need a flat and hard surface where to place your synthetic ice.

          It could be outside - like your driveway - or inside the house - such as the basement or an extra room.

          However, provisions need to be made in order to install your ice over your carpet, as it may not be flat and hard enough to support the ice panels during skating. 


          Why Choose Carpet?

          Carpet is a great flooring option for homes.

          It provides style, warmth, comfort, and can even help absorb sound.

          When you install carpet, it’s a long-term investment. No one wants to rip it all up to install their ice rink.

          It’s an added expense and removing your carpet is a straightforward process.

          Since synthetic ice does not cause moisture damage, some rink owners would want to use a spare carpeted room or area. 

          How does Carpet Impact Synthetic Ice?

          Ice rinks, regardless of material, need a hard, flat surface.

          Outdoor natural rinks need a hard, grassy area to fill with water around wintertime.

          Refrigerated rinks that are outdoors need grass or concrete for set up.

          Indoor facilities also have a concrete foundation.

          The same goes for synthetic ice.

          Here’s why the sub-surface needs to be flat and firm: 

          • Flat surfaces provide power when skating. The skater applies force when skating to move, accelerate, and stop. If the surface provides less resistance, you’ll lose speed and have difficulty stopping quickly. 
          • Synthetic ice tiles and panels connect like puzzle pieces. If you place them directly on the carpet, the vibration of the air pocket between the tile and carpet can cause the panels to bounce and dislodge, leading to possible injury. 
          • Figure skaters need hard surfaces for a safe landing after jumps. A surface that cannot absorb the energy of the skater, they are more likely to fall and suffer ankle or foot injuries. 
          • Over time, there is a higher chance of damaging your synthetic ice, reducing its shelf life (as much as 10 years).

          If you want to get the best return on your investment, make sure you provide a flat, firm base for your synthetic ice panels.

          ridgid and flexible

          Where can You Set up Your Home Ice Rink?

          Rinks can be used for a variety of purposes - from hosting a backyard hockey game, and training, to ice skating with friends.

          There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a location for your home ice rink.

          First, you'll need a level surface that is large enough to accommodate the rink. 

          Next, you'll also need to make sure the surface is smooth so avoid uneven ice.

          There should also be no nearby objects that can pose a hazard to your skaters or damage the ice.

          Finally, make sure the location is in a well-lit area so that you can see clearly when you're skating.

          With these factors in mind, backyards, driveways, basements, hardwood floors, garages, and decks are great options.

          Time to Set it Up.

          First, measure your chosen space to determine the size of synthetic ice panels that you'll need to buy. 

          The next step is acquiring your ice panels.

          For instance, we offer the PolyGlide Starter Kit, which is specifically designed to help you quickly set up an ice rink at your home.

          The Kit has four individual panels, measuring 1/4" x 24" x 48" each.

          The ice panels are made of premium-grade, specially formulated polymer plastic, with a patented proprietary slip agent.

          These panels are portable and durable, perfect for skaters of any age.

          You’ll simply connect your tiles on your surface and you’re ready to skate. 

          Moving forward, if your space - especially carpet, driveway or basement, has uneven flooring, you need plywood that will serve as an underlay.

          PolyGlide "Slip Tape" also helps seal the ice panels on the floor, for added security and to keep them from sliding around.


          Setting up Your Synthetic Ice Panels at Home

          Is your location locked?

          Materials prepped?

          Got some help?

          Now it’s time to build.

          Here are the basic steps: 

          1. Clean Up the Space.

          Your ice rink needs a flat and firm surface.

          Clean the surface and remove any dirt, dust, or objects.

          This includes any rugs that will affect skating.

          The surrounding area should also be organized and free from any items that may break or cause injury. 

          2. Assemble Your Rink. 

          Synthetic ice rinks come in easy-to-assemble panels that fit together like a puzzle.

          Use a rubber mallet to connect the tiles smoothly.

          If your chosen location is uneven, place the plywood first, then the panels, using tape to secure them to the surface.

          2. Add Some Barriers. 

          Some areas will have enough space to add barriers around your rink.

          Barriers keep skaters contained and prevent stray pucks.

          Bounce bars, dasher boards, or netting are excellent options.

          3. Add Some Barriers.

           Once your rink is set up, invite some friends over and enjoy some fun skating all year long!

          Need inspiration?

          Check out this video of a family who transformed their living room into an ice rink.

          Maintaining Ice Rink at Home

          The work is not yet done, even after setting up your home ice rink.

          Now, you need to know about maintaining it but don't worry because it is much easier than maintaining ice rinks made of natural ice.

          With synthetic ice, you have to address three things: (1) surface shavings, (2) residue from panel conditioners, and (3) general dirt.

          Cleaning Surface Shavings

          Surface shavings accumulate every time your blade glides across the ice.

          They may be a minuscule amount, but when you just let them gather over time, they can ruin your skating experience.

          The good thing is that cleaning these shavings is pretty simple.

          Using a soft brush, you must sweep off the residue after each session.

          But make sure you wear shoe covers to protect your tiles while cleaning them. 

          PolyGlide Ice shavings can be disposed of with your weekly recyclables!

          Removing the Residue from Panel Conditioners

          As part of your ice rink maintenance, we highly recommend applying a surface conditioner.

          This will help provide a better skating experience on the surface.

          However, when using a conditioner, you must mix it with water and apply a light application to the surface with a fine mist spray and a flat microfiber mop.

          Be sure to check the surface afterward to wipe it thoroughly clean. 

          Removing dirt

          Naturally, bits of dirt and dust will accumulate on your rink over time.

          To limit dirt build-up, clean the surface regularly with a PH-neutral cleanser such as "Simple Green."

          Synthetic ice rinks are also subject to wear and tear.

          As the skaters trip and fall, scuffs and scratches on the ice are bound to happen.

          Examine the ice panels for these and fix them up accordingly. 


          Setting up a synthetic ice rink in your home is an excellent option if you're looking for a fun and unique way to practice hockey, figure skating, or even stay in shape.

          If your spare room has carpet - and you can’t remove it - we recommend prepping the area first with plywood to provide the flat, hard surface that you need.

          Once installed correctly, you can barely tell the difference between these rinks and the real thing.

          Get started with your synthetic panel skating journey today by checking out all of our rink packages and some great deals!




          Best Hockey Boards for Synthetic Ice Training (2023)

          Best Hockey Boards for Synthetic Ice Training (2023)

          When you’re done setting up your synthetic ice, you’ll begin to think about adding elements to make it look and feel like a real, competitive hockey rink.

          Two of the main objectives will be puck containment and making sure there are a limited amount of broken windows on each shooting end.

          Whether you have a backyard rink, a small rink in a spare room, or a large commercial synthetic ice rink, you must be wondering, “ Are hockey boards for a synthetic ice rink even necessary?”


          Here’s an answer based on our experience:

          You don’t need hockey boards to enjoy the benefits of synthetic ice, however, it’s an important part of the safety of skaters (and potential spectators) depending on the size of the rink.

          Hockey boards can also help with the strategic parts of the game when practicing though it's your choice whether to install them or not.

          Because it is a common practice to see hockey boards at your favorite NHL team rink, you may think it’s a requirement but if you're handy you can create your own board system that won't hurt your pocket book.

          Here is some more insight into some of the best hockey boards on the market and how great they work with any synthetic ice surface (backyard rinks, basement rinks, garage rink, deck or Den rinks)


          hockey boards


          What are Hockey Boards Exactly?

          Hockey "dasher" boards are simply the walls for your rink.

          Your standard regulation hockey rink has two side boards that cover the length of the rink with end boards and corner boards around each end zone.

          Near the center red line in the Neutral Zone, one of these side boards provides the doors for each player to enter and exit the game.

          On the opposite end are the doors for the penalty boxes.

          On your standard Collegiate or NHL rink, hockey boards are actually two parts.

          The bottom part is the dasher board with the white board that makes up the rink walls and on the top of the boards is tempered glass which can be several feet high, with higher glass shielding behind the goal.

          As a rule of thumb, the main purpose of hockey rink boards is to keep the puck in play and not injure a fan during the game. It also plays a key part in offensive and defensive strategy.

          Some of the best hockey boards are now accessible for smaller home rinks and larger recreational rinks as temporary or permanent installations.


           hockey rink boards

          What Materials Can Be Used for Hockey Boards?

          The best hockey dasher boards are made of polyethylene sheet, a material that has been around for decades and is known for its durability and versatility as it absorbs energy, making it perfect for puck-impact and checking.

          Dasher boards are at least 1/2 inch thick and at least 40-42 inches tall (but no taller than 48”).

          Standard rink hockey boards have a painted yellow "kick-plate" at the bottom and blue or red "cap-rail" trim on top.. In professional rinks, part of the board is painted with a blue or red strip to match the blue and red lines on the ice.

          Home rinks or commercial spaces do not need rink shielding systems and can be constructed using plywood to create rink walls, especially if they are making backyard rinks during the winter.

          Plywood boards are cheaper alternatives but lack the durability of polyethylene.


          pros and cons

          Pros and Cons of Hockey Boards

          If you have a synthetic ice rink, you may be wondering if you should take the next step to invest in the best hockey boards on the market.

          You should consider who will be using the rink and for what purpose.

          If you’re expecting the kids to have friends over and have friendly 3-on-3 action, the boards are a great investment.

          It will help them with a more enjoyable game that is similar to real competition.

          But if the rink is just for recreational use, side boards may not be necessary.

          Here are some pros and cons to consider:



          Provides safety 

          It can be costly to install

          Commercial advertising space

          Need skilled help to install/uninstall safely.

          Spend less time chasing pucks

          More time cleaning and maintaining

          Allows for more physical play

          The possibility of ‘boarding’ injuries at home rinks. 

          Durable and long-lasting.

          Requires UV Inhibitor for outdoor rinks 


          hockey rink boards

          Boards and Hockey Strategy.

          Hockey boards play an important part in the overall flow and strategy of hockey and learning how to use those boards intelligently instantly makes you a better player.

          If you have young Peewee or Bantam-level skaters at home, now is a good time to introduce dasher or rebound dasher curbs with your synthetic ice.

          For starters, having boards will help them learn how to quickly receive the puck as it bounces off the board.

          They can start working on using specific angles to give them an advantage in a game.

          The boards also come into play in passing, defending, and even setting up the play by "banking it" off the boards at the right angle to get it to a teammate in stride during the play.

          As a defenseman, you can also use the boards to shield the puck from an oncoming opponent as getting the puck from behind your body and stick is much more difficult when angling and using the boards properly.

          This technique gives the player enough time to assess the ice before making his next move.

          installing your boards 

          How Do You Set Up Hockey Boards On Your Synthetic Ice Rink?

          If you’re interested in setting up boards for your rink, there are a few things to consider.

          First, you have to think about the materials you will use and whether or not it will be a temporary of permanent installation.

          • Are you going to get wood, plastic, or stronger polyethylene?
          • Are you going to buy ready-made boards?

          There are advantages and disadvantages to both.

          Portable Boards

          If you want something easy to assemble and disassemble, ready-made polyethylene boards work but can be quite pricey.

          If you have more time but a smaller budget, you’ll probably want to build your rink walls yourself.

          First, measure the dimensions of your synthetic ice surface as these measurements will help you determine how many boards you will need to complete your project.

          Some rinks have curved, radius corners, so any measurements taken must consider this. 

          Your rink should already be on level ground, or the walls will be uneven.

          Anchoring Options

          Rink boards also need brackets to hold them in place which you can source from a hardware store, or the rink wall provider you purchased from so find out your anchoring options.

          Each bracket must be anchored into the ground to support the board's weight.

          You will have additional brackets to connect the corners and the boards together.

          Remember to recruit a friend or experienced builder to help you get this done right.

          • Lay down each board along the edges of the rink.
          • Start with the corners. Stand two boards up next to each other.
          • Connect one corner first using the brackets or attachment mechanisms provided. Then use the provided bracket to hold the board in place. Test the sturdiness of your first board. It should be strong enough to hold your body weight.
          • Move your way around the rink, carefully connecting each board with the brackets, then placing an anchor to keep them in place.
          • Some rinks walls have bumpers for safer collisions. Install your bumpers last or buy your own using some foam.

          It can take some time, but you’ll have a great hockey board that’s safe and gives your rink.

          Consider a Rebounding Dasher Curb.

          Some synthetic ice rink owners have time and budget constraints.

          Portable boards, such as a rebounding dasher curb is a great alternative.

          The BounceBar by PolyGlide Ice, for instance, is a strip we designed to give synthetic rice rinks a polished finish.

          The bar is about 3” high but doubles as a rebounder thanks to the unique, high-reactive foam built into each unit.

          You or the hockey player in your family can practice receiving the puck at different angles off of the bar. 

          Take a look at how the BounceBar responds in the video below:


          These bars are customizable and are easy to install, allowing you or your kids to practice those dasher board puck skills at a fraction of the cost.

          You can even stack the bars or outfit rinks with curved corners.

          Keep in mind that different types of hockey boards will produce different results when the puck hits them.

          Wood boards might slow the puck or not provide the same response as conventional polyethylene boards.

          If you’re installing panels for safety, the material won’t matter too much.

          If it’s for safety and training, you can always get professional-grade boards.

          The Bottom Line

          Hockey boards are an optional part of building a synthetic ice rink.

          Synthetic ice rinks have fantastic benefits like skating year round, easy installation, durability, lower costs and you can skate on the ice without hockey boards. 

          However, you’ll find some great benefits to installing your boards, including safety, aesthetics, and training key skills. 

          It’s great knowing that you can also choose smaller rebounders or bounce bars to complete your home synthetic ice rink project.

          Are you ready to take your synthetic ice rink to the next level?




          How to Plan a Commercial Ice Rink Project On a Budget

          How to Plan a Commercial Ice Rink Project On a Budget

          Ice skating enthusiasts always remember hitting the ice rink for the first time.

          For some, it's a nearby lake that's frozen just enough for the kids to risk it all on the ice.

          Others would have gone to a neighbor's backyard after their Dad spent hours with the hose filling the rink earlier in the week.

          Or maybe you experienced the magic that's The Rink At Rockefeller Center.

          These simple moments are the things that turn people like you into lifelong skaters.

          And now, sometime later, you're thinking about building a rink of your own.

          But not just any rink but a large, commercial ice rink. 

          However, setting up a commercial rink is no small task.

          Commerical rinks are massive, often capable of handling multiple skaters at once.

          When you think about commercial rinks, the ones that might come to mind are massive NHL rinks or rinks set up for Winter Olympics.

          However, commercial rinks can come in different sizes and have different uses.

          In fact, there are about 2000 commercial rinks in America (our skate-crazed Canadian neighbors have four times as many!), with some even on the west coast.

          There are many reasons why a business, group, or individual would install a temporary or permanent commercial rink.

          The top 5 reasons include:


          profit making

          1. A profit-making venture

          Commercial means profit.

          A commercial ice rink can attract new business to a current establishment.

          Or in some cases, the rink itself can be a stand-alone business that earns money for the owners over time.

          Hotels, malls, and other high-traffic areas install temporary rinks in the colder months to attract skating enthusiasts.

          Permanent rinks allow skaters to train and have fun year-round.

          Whatever the reason, most commercial rinks are in the business of making money.

          2. Training for a sports team or club

          A hockey team or other ice sports club may need a new rink.

          Having direct access to a rink means more time training.

          That investment can give a team a significant edge in competition.

          Of course, the biggest skating clubs and sports teams are in the NHL.

          However, that does not mean smaller clubs or communities can't set up a commercial rink for their junior teams.


          hockey coach


          3. Coaching or other skating related classes

          Are you a skating coach or part of an ice skating organization?

          Maybe you have access to a large space and need a dedicated rink to train your students.

          However, a smaller commercial rink can allow coaches to train hockey players, figure skaters, curlers, and much more.

          4. You Can Host Events

          Commercial rinks are great for individual skaters to enjoy one of their favorite hobbies.

          But the uses don't stop there.

          These rinks are perfect for larger private and corporate events too.

          The possibilities are numerous, such as dancing shows on ice, team-building activities, parties, and even an ice-themed wedding.


          community ice rink

          5. A new community rink

          Ice skating is a great way to bring communities together.

          If kids and young adults have a space they can easily access, they'll be healthier, happier, and stay out of trouble.

          A city council may decide to install a commercial rink for the community benefits.

          Consider Synthetic Ice

          Installing a commercial ice rink is easier said than done.

          Commercial rinks can be expensive in both installation and maintenance.

          Refrigerated rinks, the most common commercial rinks, require large-scale refrigeration machines, temperature control, and continuous resurfacing.

          These costs add up, and most commercial refrigerated ice rinks fail to turn a profit.

          Some outdoor commercial rinks are seasonal, using the elements to create a natural ice rink.

          The rink creator fills a specific space with water and waits for the "First Freeze", around mid-October in most cases.

          If you're looking to build a commercial rink on a budget, there's no better option than a synthetic ice rink.

          Synthetic ice rinks have been used for decades for large-scale projects in malls, outside of businesses, and community events.

          The materials mimic the look and feel of real ice, allowing skaters to use their metal blades as they would on other forms.

          These panels also have interlocking edges, enabling easy installation.

          There are a few advantages of going with a synthetic ice rink versus a refrigerated or natural rink:

          cost effective

          It's Cost-Effective

          If a cost-effective rink is music to your ears, then a synthetic ice rink is that symphony.

          You'd pay a set price for the panels based on your measurements.

          However, there won't be any ongoing costs for building the rink infrastructure, refrigeration maintenance, and resurfacing.

          A few persons can install synthetic ice rinks in a few hours (if you include the walls).

          To date, it's the best way to build a large rink on a budget.


          Natural rinks are contingent on the cold winter months.

          Even outdoor refrigerated rinks last a few months longer.

          Because of the materials used in synthetic ice, the rink can stay up all year.

          This is excellent news for athletes or trainers who want to use a rink throughout the year.

          It provides alternative training options and oppotunities for skaters at any level.

          It's Scalable

          Ready to build a larger rink?

          Do you need to scale it back a bit?

          Synthetic ice panels allow just that.

          You can easily order, reorder, or disconnect panels as needed.

          However, making these changes can be expensive for other types of rinks.

          It's Durable

          Your investment in a large-scale synthetic can pay off for years to come. Synthetic ice panels can last for at least five years with heavy use.

          The more durable commercial panels can last well into ten years if maintained well.

          The cost savings go on for years as smaller commercial rinks don't have to spend money removing and reinstalling rinks every year.

          Positive Friction

          Synthteic ice is the ideal "ice sumulator" for ice skaters much the same way golfers utilize golf simulators and the driving range.

          Since the panels aren't natural ice, there is some resistance.

          The PolyGlide-Ice infused Pro-Glide panel has roughly 10% more friction than natural ice which can be reduced by using a surface conditioner


          helpful tips

          Commercial Synthetic Ice Rink Tips

          If you're ready to build a commercial rink, synthetic ice should be the material of choice.

          However, it takes more than ordering your parts and laying them down in your spot of choice.

          There are some steps all builders must consider to make the process as cost-effective as possible:

          Do it yourself

          There's a time versus money dilemma but if you're trying to save money, you'll have to use some time.

          Enlist the help of some friends or volunteers and you can set up a synthetic ice rink in a few hours.

          The panels interlocking tiles fit together like a puzzle.

          Since these panels are larger than tiles, connecting them will be easier.

          If you're not handy, you'll need help setting up the rink walls, so make sure there's a handyman on your team. 

          measure first

          Measure Your Area

          It sounds like a simple step, but measuring your commercial space can save you money.

          Most commercial spaces need to cover a large surface area, but overestimating can mean purchasing ice you do not need.

          Instead, spend the time getting the measurements right, accounting for factors like the ice rink's walls.

          Tiles or Panels?

          Synthetic ice can come in tiles or panels.

          Tiles are usually for at-home use or a small group.

          Panels are a larger, thicker, and more durable commercial grade surface.

          These are perfect for larger rinks or commercial rinks with much more traffic.

          Panels are more expensive and need to be freight shipped but will last for years compared to panels.

          Make sure to choose the right one for your commercial rink.

          Factor in Your Maintenance

          Refrigerated rinks need consistent maintenance, which can cost thousands of dollars. Indoor and outdoor rinks would also require different levels of maintenance.

          Synthetic ice panels require less maintenance compared to refrigerated or natural rinks.

          The rinks need Slip Surface Conditioner application, depending on the foot traffic and surface dust or dirt that is visible.

          You'll also need to remove shavings that are common with metal blades. You only need a soft broom to clean it daily.

          Don't forget to factor in your maintenance costs.

          Consider Collaborating or Sponsorships.

          NHL rinks are sponsored by some of the biggest companies in the world.

          These sponsorships often offset the cost of maintaining the rink.

          So why not do the same?

          Collaborate with other businesses through sponsored events or labeled rink walls.

          This can make a commercial rink easier to manage and allows you to do it on a budget.


          Operating a commercial ice rink is a great way to earn additional income, increase foot traffic for businesses, and even bring communities together.

          However, they are expensive to build and maintain.

          Most struggle to keep up with the rising costs of maintenance.

          Synthetic ice rinks are a cost-effective option as the panels are durable, easy to install, and provide the same use as other conventional rinks.

          For commercial rinks, it's best to communicate with the synthetic ice provider first to discuss your needs.

          At PolyGlide Synthetic Ice, we provide synthetic ice panels that can be freight shipped for your first or next commercial rink.

          Feel free to reach out to us to bring that dream into a reality