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    PolyGlide Blog, News & Updates

    The True Value of Synthetic Ice Home Training

    The True Value of Synthetic Ice Home Training

    Creating an environment to make home synthetic ice training a reality takes more thinking than money to make it happen. As with all modern-day sports physical fitness is the foundation for the potential of success one can achieve outside of genetics. Being a "gym rat" or in this case a "rink rat" can take a player with an average skill to the next level if the effort and desire is there. The challenge with ice hockey and figure skating is you need to spend an extensive amount of the ice time at the rink to excel at skating.

    There’s No Place Like Home

    Synthetic Ice Training

    With all of today’s modern day distractions (facebookinstagramtwitter) that unfortunately consume the bulk of any young athletes day, introducing home synthetic ice training is more acceptable today than ever before. Trying to find time between homework assignments and practices is difficult for any young athlete to continue self-training. Having a dedicated space in a home environment becomes even more valuable than ever especially for those athletes that need to master the art of ice skating.

    How to Start

    If you see you have a dedicated player or skater it's time to find a dedicated space to fit their needs. It's always best to optimize a minimal amount of space to maximize your overall training.  A bigger synthetic ice rink is not always better as a smaller space allows you to repeat the drill and correct the mistakes and limit the amount of wasted time. You'll only need enough space to work on your edges and skill sets.

    I know this is not what you’re used to hearing but can you see how this makes sense? The need when it comes to home ice training is to become a better skater or player.

    Get More for Less

    The goal is to utilize your synthetic ice surface to limit the amount of travel and maximize the amount of training.   The advantages you'll save on travel time and getting more workouts over the long term will only help you to maximize your abilities and become a better skater or player.

    This will put you on the fast track to accomplishing your goals and enable you to do it all in the comfort of your home by utilizing synthetic ice training.

    What is the ideal location for Your Rink?

    garage synthteic ice rink 

    This question doesn’t have just one answer. Synthetic Ice can be installed virtually anywhere, anyplace at anytime.

    Examples of Common Rink Project Locations for the Home:

    • Garage: Hands down, the family garage “takes the cake” as the most common indoor rink location in the home, A single car garage measures approximately 12ft. x 20ft whereas a 2-car a garage ice rink would measure closer to 20ft x 20ft. Both are ideal sizes and locations for your home training rink.
    • Basement: The basement has always been an ideal place for creating a playroom space for your kids to play. What better way to train AND have fun by converting this area into a home ice rink? (Something tells me the kids will not object.)
    • Deck: Home outdoor decks have grown tremendously over the last few decades and are now a commonplace in most homes. Decks provide the perfect flat, hard subsurface for any home synthetic ice rink project.
    • Driveway: When the weather starts to warm-up you can always move your garage rink out to the driveway for some fresh air (or just open the door)

    Advantages

    Utilizing home ice training is ideal because it can help you become an impact player or skater.  The additional resistance makes synthetic ice training ideal for any skater or player looking to strengthen their skating, improve on basic stickhandling drills and advance their skills and performance. Why not take advantage of a tool that can offer you maximum results?

    Find Your Ideal Rink

    synthetic ice rink

    Now that you’ve learned a little bit about synthetic ice, it’s time to find a rink that works within your budget. This can seem overwhelming—especially if you feel you don’t know enough about the product to make a decision. That’s okay. We can help.

    Worksheets

    First, there are a lot of products on the market that make claims to having the best synthetic ice. When you're researching about the different options and types of surfaces, you may want to have some paper handy. Browse through the different products and take notes as to what you may or may not like about each of them. Continue this process for each product you come across until you’re confident you’ve exhausted your search.

    Take your time to review this information and narrow your selection down to your top three (3) choices. Don’t be afraid to call the companies to discuss their product and allow yourself to get a feel of who you’re dealing with.

    Return on Investments (ROI)

    Owning your own home synthetic ice rink will certainly pay off in the long term when you consider less time spent traveling back-and-forth to the rink. Artificial ice is not meant to replace natural ice but only to enable athletes to advance their skills without relying on ice time at the local arena. Less time traveling in the car means more time training at home.

    The Road to Success

    Success

    I came up with a few quick questions you may also want to ask yourself about the player or skater you’re purchasing the rink for. You can add these few to your list:

    How would you best describe the Skater?

    When looking to purchase a synthetic ice rink try to evaluate where your child is on the development scale (beginner or advanced?). If you’re a parent this is often a subjective question as we are all a little biased when it comes to evaluating our own child…..but try to be honest.

    Think about how dedicated or committed your child is to their sport. If the rink is for you then fine but it’s probably not something you want to purchase to make your child enjoy it. That would not be a good start. Here’s some of the other things you may want to consider:

    Interests

    • Favorites: Does your child actively follow their favorite team, player or skater?
    • Games: Do they like to compete and play in other sports and games?
    • Hobbies: Have they shown an interest in other hobbies that they like….not influenced by anyone else?

    These are just a few examples of some different interests. What other ones may apply to their life?

    The Three “S’s”

    • Schooling: Will having a home ice rink allow your child to have some additional time to get their homework done?
    • Schedule: Are they being shuffled back-and-forth to the rink frequently with little “down time”?
    • Stress: How does your child handle stress? Children can easily be overwhelmed if they take on too much.

    Activities and Health

    • Exercise: Is your child involved in daily physical activities? Do you feel they get enough exercise throughout the week and in between meals?
    • Diet: Are you happy with your child eating habits and diet? Are they making good choices when eating on their own?
    • Passion: Is your child excited or passionate about Hockey or figure skating and ready to devote their time to the sport they love?

    These are just a few examples of some of the things you may want to take into consideration prior to purchasing your synthetic ice rink.

    Notice how this list contains a blend of specific talents that encompass both hobbies, schedules and specific skills. Not all of these apply to everyone—and they’re not meant to. Most players and skaters these days have busy schedules with limited time. There’s no better way to make use of that time than by synthetic ice training at home.

    By creating your own home training rink you can make the most of your valuable time and achieve maximum results. It’s a “win-win” for both the athlete AND the parent.

    Once you’ve decided which synthetic ice product to purchase and completed your installation the real fun begins. If you want to get the most out of your training you will need to create a workout program that will help you achieve your goals. Now it’s time to get real honest with yourself:

    What Are Your Weaknesses?

    Weaknesses

    While it is important to know your talents and focus on them, it is also a good idea to understand and admit your weaknesses. Knowing what they are and how to improve them will only put you on the fast track to achieving your goals.

    If you're great at making tight left turns, spend your time turning right. If you’re a skater that needs work on your spins, don’t waste time working on your crossovers. Once you can isolate and work on your weaknesses you can begin to improve your skills.

    Nicole Court Training

    (Nicole Court, @nicolecourttraining www.nicolecourttraining.com)

    Ice Hockey

    • Powerskating: Powerskating is designed to improve overall skating technique, speed and edgework. Starting, stopping, Pivoting, turning and acceleration drills are repeated at a high rate of speed until each skill is achieved.
    • Small-Area Games: Small-area games are game-like competitive drills that utilize a playing surface that has been reduced in size. Your home synthetic ice rink is the ideal space for your own small-area game drills. Be creative and have fun challenging yourself.
    • Basic Stickhandling Drills:  Practicing stickhandling at home with a simple shooting pad is one thing but doing it in your skates on synthetic ice brings it to another level. It's important to get your feet (skates) involved when practicing basic stickhandling drills.

    Figure Skating

    • Jumps: There are six kinds of jumps currently counted as jump elements in ISU Three are edge jumps—the Salchow, loop, and Axel—and three are toe jumps which use the toe picks on the front of the blade—the toe loop, flip, and Lutz. The Axel is the most difficult due to an extra half rotation.
    • Spins: There are many types of spins, identified by the position of the arms, legs, and torso, the foot on which the spin is performed, and the entrance to the spin. A combination spinis a spin where the skater would connect a spin with another separate spin. Spins are a required element in most figure skating competitions.

    Target your weaknesses and work hard on improving them.

    As you continue to train and address your weaknesses your overall skills will continue to improve until you reach your goals. Hard work, determination and dedication are the tools you’ll need to get you there.

    What Are You Passionate About?

    Passionate Skater

    These are the things that you are interested in that fuel your passion, and help build good character….it’s what makes you tick. The traits of many athletes are the core foundation for their success. Here are a few examples of Good Leadership and Character traits:

    Good Leadership Traits

    • Integrity & Honesty
    • Confidence
    • Inspire Others
    • Commitment and Passion
    • Good Communicator
    • Decision-Making Capabilities
    • Accountability
    • Delegation and Empowerment

    Good Character Traits

    • Respectfulness
    • Responsibility
    • Humility
    • Compassion
    • Fairness

    Other Examples

    Here’s some basic examples of Good Character and Leadership:

    • Helping others: Do you find it rewarding when you help someone other then yourself?
    • Showing Responsibility: Do you own-up to your mistakes or failures without blaming others?
    • Being Unafraid: Do you shy away from trying something new at the thought of failure or fear of being unaccepted by others?

    The Total Athlete – Mind & Body

    In today’s modern day of training it’s not all physical. If an athlete is not mentally tough they will fold at the first sign of failure. Building strong character traits will help build any athletes confidence and teach them how to pick themselves up after being knock-down.

      Next Step

      The next step is to look at your skills as the building blocks for you to achieve maximum performance. Find out how they fit into your passions. Feed off your character and use it to your own advantage because we’re all good at something.

      Progress Diary

      Now that you know what skills you need to work on be sure to chart your progress using your own notes. This way you can go back and see how you achieved success and continue to build confidence along the way. Measure each skill using your own scale (1-5) with 5 being the best.

      Video Tape

      The bottom line is if you can’t have fun doing the thing you love then you may need to reassess the situation or take a break. Getting rest and knowing when to take a break will only make the player or skater a stronger athlete in the end. Video-tape your progress, it’s the perfect way for you to allow yourself to look back and see the gains you have made.

      Reward

      There will be nothing more rewarding in the end than reaping the rewards of your hard work by winning that medal, trophy or team championship. Hard work and discipline will take any person or athlete a long way throughout their life in helping them achieve the goals they set out for themselves.

      The lessons you learned along the way are just as important as the accomplishments you achieved. They make us stronger and wiser. Life lessons, whether good or bad, make us who we are today. Learn how to work on your weaknesses and excel at your talents.

      Ready to get started?

      Get Started

      Follow each step we outlined and soon you’ll be on your way to owning your own synthetic ice rink. Understanding the benefits and "The True Value of Synthetic Ice Training" will help lead your Hockey Player or Figure Skater on their way to maximizing their full potential.

      Conclusion

      Now that you know more about the benefits of synthetic ice training you can map out a plan to get your rink project started. Remember, every person has different needs (and budgets), so you need to find out what’s best for you. Each new self-taught skill will provide you with the building blocks to achieving your goals!

      With synthetic ice, you’re provided with a new tool that can help you get an “edge” over the competition so why not take advantage of it? It’s time to “Bring the Rink Home”!

      Polyglide Synthetic Ice On Shark Tank!

      Polyglide Synthetic Ice On Shark Tank!

      "So what was it like to appear on shark tank?"...The question I'm asked most often can be answered in one simple word....Incredible! From the day I submitted my email entry to the Shark Tank executive producers until my scheduled air date had to be...no doubt.... one of the shortest and longest years of my life. Longest because throughout the process I couldn't tell anybody and shortest because so much took place during that year it's all a blur but I can tell you it was truly a great experience! After submitting my December, 2015 email and not having heard back from anyone for over four months I honestly forgot all about it. Then the call this entreprenuer's been waiting for came in April, 2016 asking, "So tell me about your synthetic ice panels" and that's when it all began.

      Video Submission Deadline

      The phone interview lasted all of about fifteen minutes and at the end of the conversation I jim-loughran-synthetic-ice-tilewas told "congratulations you made it to the video submission round." This next step involved producing a five-minute video submission explaining my product in an effort to wow the producers with my story. I had only a few short minutes to tell how PolyGlide Ice became a manufacturer of the best artificial ice on the market. I had only two weeks to complete the production as there were deadlines they were facing on their end. After submitting my video a week later I got another call with saying "Congratulations the producers loved your video and you're being considered for the show" however nothing's ever guaranteed in the television world.

      Ice Skating Into "The Tank"

      ice-skating-ishark-tankAfter continuing through with the process I was lucky enough to get my break and get a chance to pitch to the sharks. Once I was assigned a producer I had to create the draft of my first pitch which I thought I nailed until I read it to my shark tank producer. Lets just say my opening sentence was great but it was back to the drawing board for the remainder of the pitch until I got it right. It was obvious the synthetic ice panels were going to provide the visual attraction and having youth hockey players skating into the tank only added to the visual.

      Time to Pitch to The Sharks

      Fast forward to to August and final preparations are underway involving all the final detailsshark-tank-pitch right down to the set design and travel arrangements. At this point it's finaly official.....I'm going to pitch to the SHARKS!! (or am I?). The simple fact is even though your given the opportunity to pitch only 40-50% of all Shark Tank pitches ever make it on air. In fact contestants have to wait until just a few weeks before their "air date" to even confirm if they have an air date ...and throughout the process you can tell NO ONE!

      Shark Tank Season 8 , Episode 11 

      shark-tank-hallwayMy pitch date was set for September 20th, 2016 (season 8, episode 11) and after going through the whole process trust me when I say I was beyond ready. The common question is always "Were you nervous?" and I can honestly say I was much more excited than nervous. As it turned out because of the large synthetic ice set design I was to be the first pitch of the day and the Sharks were wide awake waiting for their first "taste of the day". Once the countdown began there was no turning back 3, 2, 1.....ACTION! All in all the entire pitch lasted about 45 minutes from which was trimmed down to 8-1/2 minutes of non-stop air time. WIth the average 30 second prime commercial costing around $400,000.00 that would put me about 6.8 Million dollars ahead of the game......Deal or no Deal.

      Let the Pitch Begin

      After my opening pitch things started at a rapid fire pace with the Sharks often talking polyglide-synthetic-ice-panels-displayover each other with their questions. My engineer who traveled with me was in the green room and said it looked like I was watching a tennis match as my head spun on a swivel snapping back and forth addressing the fast pace of the questions. There were many comical moments and smiles that were edited out from the pitch which took on a more serious tone in the final cut but the feedback from the Sharks along with retaining 100% of my company and valuable exposure was much more than I could ever ask for.

      In the end I can tell you if you're an entrepreneur that is ready to take the next step and put it all out there.... try out for Shark Tank. Even though I didn't get a deal the experience can be life-changing and can help take your business to the next level. If by chance you don't make it on the show then I recommend you pitch your company to both your friends and strangers whenever you can get the chance. Their feedback will help steer you in the right direction and help you better understand your customers and make the best decisions for your company and product.

      By Jim Loughran, PolyGlide Ice

      For additional information call: 855-765-9423
       

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      The 7 Ways a Synthetic Ice Rink Can Save You Money

      The 7 Ways a Synthetic Ice Rink Can Save You Money

      It’s important to weigh the cost factors when contemplating the purchase of a synthetic ice rink. Most importantly are the cost savings you may be affording yourself depending on the purpose of your rink or who it’s for.

      We put together a list of seven items that you may want to incorporate into your checklist when trying to access the true value of your new rink. It’s easy to just compare price tags of certain products when shopping but buyers need to be aware of those that come with a cost savings……synthetic ice is one of those products.

      1 – Travel

      travel to the ice rink

      There’s no doubt that the number one reason people consider purchasing a synthetic ice rink is to save on travel. We all know the typical costs associated with travel including fuel, tolls, bus, train, maintenance and repairs that all add-up with each mile traveled.

      We found out recently that the “typical” drive to the rink for most parents was not quite what we had originally expected. To try to get an idea of just how much the average hockey player and skater family travels to the rink weekly, monthly and annually, we posed the following question to our facebook followers:

      How Far Do You Travel Back-And-Forth to the Rink Every Week, Month and Year on the Average?

      Here’s a few Responses that do a Good Job at Summing it up:

      • Dana C.: We have three (not so) local rinks; one is 36 minutes to the East, one is 40 minutes West, and the third is 44 minutes West. At least that's what map-quest will tell you. But like Sammy Hagar, I can't drive 55. (but I do now because I got a ticket last week). I've got 2 boys, 5 teams, practices and clinics. Average 5/6 days a week driving to at least one rink. Saturdays can be all three. Since Star Trek transporters aren't available, PolyGlide could be a real help to our fuel economy as well as the boys' game.
      • Jennifer C.: Two kids. Two different rinks, sometimes on the same day 40 mins apart. So, drop one off, drop the other off, go back and pick up 1, then get two. Those days, probably 70 miles. The other days, 30 miles roundtrip for practice, 80-120 miles roundtrip for games. Average 5-7 days at the rinks. I *use* to get the low mileage discount on my insurance lol
      • Andrea R.: 220 to 420 miles a week depending on which team (my daughter plays on all girls league and the co-ed team). For an 8-month season it's between 880-1680 miles a month, 7,040-13,440 miles a season of travel. During the summer months we do dry land on rollerblades since our town only have ice Oct thru May.

      Cost Assessment

      empty pocket budget

      So now ask yourself the same question and see if you can estimate how many miles you plan on traveling to the rink between now and next year. At the time of this writing, the one-year cost estimator for a gallon of gas is $2.89 USD.

      So, in estimating our three responses above using 8 months per season and 20 mpg as the average, the breakdown would show that Dana C. would take home the Gold Medal for stops at the gas pump:

      • Dana C, 800 gallons $2,984
      • Jennifer C., 592 gallons $2,208
      • Andrea R., 512 gallons $1,910

      Once you’re able to see how much you’ve been spending on travel you can get a better idea on how you can trim it back by creating your own home training rink.

      2 – Time

      wasted time spent traveling to the rink

      How do you value your time? Unlike materialistic things, time is something we never get back though we sure know how to throw it away. It is something we cherish, and it passes WAY too fast. Though travel may be the most popular reason people consider purchasing a synthetic ice rink, it’s the travel time that can wear us down and is lost forever.

      Players and Skaters

      For players and skaters, by training at home they can eliminate some of that extra travel and afford themselves more time for other things. More time for homework, chores, games and just plain fun with that time usually spent on the road traveling to the rink. Maybe even more time for an early family dinner and getting to bed at a decent hour and a good night’s sleep.

      Parents

      Walter Gretzky, Father of the “Great One” Wayne Gretzky once said:

      Everyone wonders why I made the rink in the backyard. I used to go to the outdoor rinks when winters were a lot colder years ago. Everybody had an outdoor rink, the Parks and everybody. I used to sit in the car while Wayne was skating. I remember one night I came home to my wife and said, “This is so stupid, I go to these outdoor rinks and freeze to death night after night…you know what I’m going to do?.…I’ll make a rink in the backyard he’ll go when he wants as long as he wants….I’ll be in the house where it’s nice and warm.” …It truly, truly was self-preservation but it worked-out pretty good!

      For parents, not having to rush home to get your child to practice can allow yourself more time to be productive at work or with your own business which itself can translate into additional revenue. Having just a few extra hours each week to address your business or personal needs adds up and helps make life a little easier even if it’s just to kick back, relax and stay warm.

      Analyze your schedule and see how you can trim back your trips to the rink by having your player or skater train at home. Attached a value to your time per hour saved and challenge yourself to come up with an annual plan. You will be astonished when you find out just how much time you have been wasting and how much you can start to save.

      3 – Lessons

      coaches whistle

      Let’s face it, everyone wants to be the next “Great One” or “Alina Zagitova” and will take endless lessons and training to try to get there. The need to build a solid foundation by learning the fundamentals are critical for any player or skater’s development and taking lessons from an accomplished Coach will lead them on the right path.  Just as important is the child’s need to develop on their own to keep it fun and enjoyable enough to want to get better.

      By allowing a child more time to develop and love the sport they follow on their own will only nurture their desire to want to get better. As mentioned previously, the worlds most accomplished Ice Hockey Player of all time started learning the game on his own backyard rink. Give your child the time and space to try out new moves or jumps on their own without being on a clock, watched or judged. When training in their own home environment you will quickly see how dedicated they are to their sport.

      The overall need for additional lessons once the skill sets have been taught will become fewer and fewer as the athlete progresses. Some Coaches may offer home lessons if they know you have your own home rink and may actually charge you less as they don’t have to pay an additional fee to the rink for the ice time. Any cost savings associated with self-teaching at home will put more money in the pocket of the parent that utilizes home training to their child’s advantage.

      4 – Camps & Clinics

      camps and clinics

      As with lessons, Camps and Clinics are organized group lessons that can be both a huge help and at the same time a detriment if not implemented properly. Sad to say, some facilities will run camps and clinics just to fill the open ice to bring in additional revenue for the rink so be sure to make sure it’s an established program with a history. There is a Social element that comes with attending camps as sometimes a child may want to attend for recreation, team building or because a friend may be going which is understandable.

      The price tag for some camps and clinics can be quite costly and would provide a huge savings to anyone owning their own home rink. For the purpose of player development, it always will be the amount of time they practice on a weekly basis that will beat out any short-term camp or clinic. Many portable home rink packages can be purchased for the same price as sleep-away summer camp and will provide a year-round “endless summer” of ice for any skating athlete.

      5 – Off-Ice Training

      hockey gear for off ice training

      Another great thing about owning your own synthetic ice rink is that it can be utilized as a multi-purpose surface unlike natural ice. If a player or skater wants to just come home and work on their shot or spins without lacing-up it’s an added luxury to have with a synthetic ice surface. They can create their own personal off-ice training program to address their specific needs.

      Off-Ice training has grown tremendously in popularity in recent years with the advancement of synthetic ice surfaces as facilities continue to pop-up throughout the USA and Canada. Having your own home training center is like having your own “ice gym” that you can utilize anytime you want without relying on group workout schedules or ice time.

      By creating your own “Home Ice Gym you are just one step ahead of the competition when it comes to strength and conditioning. It does not require a lot of space to get in your edgework and drills. Think of your new synthetic ice rink as your own private training center less the annual membership fee.

      6 – Value

      price and value of synthetic ice

      One thing that many customers don’t realize is that synthetic ice is a unique product that retains its value over the lifetime of the surface and can easily be resold as “Used” if maintained properly. In fact, many rink surfaces are re-sold at more than 50% the original cost allowing customers to recoup a good part of their original investment without losing much value.

      When combined with many of the other cost-saving characteristics synthetic ice offers, depending on the overall size of the rink, the surface may well eventually pay for itself. Be sure to properly maintain and keep your rink in good shape in case one day down the road you decide to cash-in on your investment. Save the receipts from your original purchase along with warranty information.

      7 – Long Lasting

      reusable

      Synthetic ice is a Green” product in every sense of the word. As opposed to traditional ice facilities that burn hundreds of thousands of dollars on electricity for refrigeration systems and compressors, synthetic ice burns zero fossil fuels. You will never have to worry about your electric bill after purchasing a synthetic ice rink. Because of the durability of the polymer plastic it has quite a long-life expectancy outside of just surface scratches from ice skating.

      It is also portable and re-usable year after year without the need for liners or leveling. No special boards, accessories or pins are required for the PolyGlide Synthetic Ice one-piece interlocking system that can be assembled and disassembled in a short period of time. There’s also a lot less labor involved as compared to traditional rink systems and natural ice rink liner systems that depend on additional accessories, leveling and Mother Nature for ice.

      Start Saving

      As you can see with synthetic ice there are many ways you can efficiently reap the rewards from your investment. Consider all the ways you can utilize a home synthetic ice rink to improve as a player and skater in the comfort of your own home without relying on your local rink for ice time.

      Look at the big picture and soon you’ll understand there’s no reason why you can’t better your skill sets and save money at the same time. When you lay out just where you’ve been spending your time and money it starts to make sense that purchasing a synthetic ice rink for the home can be a great overall investment and asset.

      Pass the Ice and Turn Up the Heat

      cold weather hockey



      arctic-blizzard
      With the recent arctic cold snap needless to say there were a lot of cautious parents  out there worried about their kids getting frostbite after spending 15 minutes in the sub-arctic temperature. Though the conditions may have been ideal for ice-making skin exposure became a real issue for even the most purest of hockey players. With temperatures reaching dangerous levels needless to say staying indoors quickly became a priority. You know it's really getting crazy when northern Florida starts getting snow flurries and driving conditions throughout the USA became a total mess from coast to coast.

      Turn up the heat

      Creating a home ice skating rink indoors was never much of an option In the old days but
      wind-chill
      not anymore. Today's modern day synthetic ice offers a viable solution to those who prefer to leave the wind chill where it belongs…. Outside! It's also a great way to keep the sniffles away by working out in a controlled environment. Hockey players and figure skaters have been taking advantage of this new-age product more more with each passing season as the quality has improved dramatically over the years. 

      Car Time Share

      garage-synthetic-ice-rink
      Garage synthetic ice rinks have been popping up throughout the US as an ideal space that can be utilized for an indoor rink. A typical single garage area measures roughly 12' x 20' and allows plenty of room for skaters to pivot and turn and work on their inside and outside edges. For figure skaters it's a great place to work on their spins and skating routine. Hockey players have enough space to hone their deking and stick-handling skills along with strengthening their stride.

      Put the hose Away

      The thought of not having to worry about your hose freezing up for once is one of the
      frozen-garden-hose
      many advantages to owning your own synthetic ice rink. Those who reside in warm climate areas can have a little bit of Canada in their backyard which will only continue to help grow the game of hockey in areas where it's not quite as popular. Figure skaters could take lessons at home on their own time without having to run back-and-forth to the rink.

      Practical Ice Solutions

      synthetic-ice-rink
      I think if we could all paint the perfect picture we would all own a natural ice rink in our backyard under ideal weather conditions year-round but it ain't gonna happen. The fact is there are now other options that make perfect sense and can achieve the same results in the comfort of your own home. We no longer have to be prisoners of the ice arena in deciding when or where our next ice session will be. The fact is It's easier now more than ever to bring the rink home!

      Where Can Synthetic Ice Be Installed?

      Where Can Synthetic Ice Be Installed?

      Synthetic ice surfaces are no different than any other flooring products with the exception that you can ice skate on it. With this I mean that in order to install any typical flooring products such as ceramic tiles, hardwood flooring, flooring laminates or linoleum you must have a firm and flat sub-floor. This will help insure that your synthetic ice panels lay flat and the connections are virtually seamless.

      Be sure to thoroughly clean your sub-surface area free of debris before installing your synthetic ice panels. If you plan on installing your ice on concrete flooring be sure to check for flatness first with a straight edge. Remember that concrete is not a manufactured sub-surface and any sudden dip or deviation can cause your panels to lift or “bounce”.

      Should you have any issues with your concrete one easy solution is to lay down aDriCore plywood underlayment to even out the sloping before installing your synthetic ice. First test out the area by installing a few panels to check for flatness. If you are installing a larger outdoor surface that will be exposed to the elements a polymer tarp or underlayment can help with expansion and prevent any raised panels or edges.

      Expansion Provisions

      Much the same way flooring laminates require a gap around the perimeter synthetic ice must also be treated in the same way....like a "floating floor" that is allowed to expand and contract with temperature changes. To do this a slight gap must be made around the perimeter or outside edge of your rink. Mechanical fasteners are NOT to be used to secure your ice in place as this will prevent expansion and contraction and stress out your surface. Making these provisions will help lessen stress on the surface especially on outdoor rinks in cold climate areas with large temperature "swings" between the night and day.

      Dasher BoardsIf you plan to install a Dasher Board System with your new rink it is advised not to install it on top of your surface as this could also restrict expansion. Over the lifetime of the rink you may develop stress fractures by using this method. There are many ways to create an expansion gap below the perimeter kickplate that creates a space for expansion and is virtually invisible.

      Taking the time to “Pre-Plan” before beginning your rink project will pay off in the long term and help avoid unnecessary issues that otherwise may occur. Be sure to follow the manufacturers instructions and ask questions if you’re not sure what is the best way to install your rink.

      Preventive Maintenance

      As with any outdoor backyard product preventive maintenace plays an importanant role in the longevity and upkeep of your synthteic ice rink. Sometimes season care is required for outdoor rinks depending on where you live and your surroundings.

      Extreme Weather

      One of the biggest enemies of synthetic ice is REAL ICE. During extreme cold weather freezing of the surface from ice build-up must be prevented. A frozen rink will not be able to expand when temperatures rise which can stress-out the surface and can cause stress cracks over time if provisions are not made.

      If the weather report calls for a heavy ice or snow storm when you know you willstormy weather not be using your outdoor rink, it would be wise to cover or tarp your surface. Maintaining your rink over the long term, keeping it clean and allowing it to “breath” will insure it will maintain optimal glide and performance for many years to come.

      Exposure

      falling leavesIf you live in a region that is seasonal and have a rink that will be exposed to falling leaves this is the ideal time to keep your surface covered when not in use. Also, areas that may be exposed to sand or dust storms during different times of the year. A common sense approach with preventive maintenance will go a long way to keeping your rink in top shape while in use.

      Tarp Options

      When selected a tarp to cover your outdoor rink be sure to get one that is Poly Tarpprotected from the UV sunlight. Also, you will want to opt for a light color or white tarp to help reflect the sun. Dark colored tarps will attract sunlight and heat-up your surface that could present issues for your connections.

      Quick Outdoor Solutions

      Synthetic ice rinks can be installed virtually anywhere, anyplace at anytime and because of the cost of refrigerated natural ice, it truly is the ultimate Green product substitute and the next best thing. That being said, we included a quick few ideas here on how you can prep any outdoor space for your ice. Here’s a few quick outdoor solutions that will provide an adequate sub-floor for your rink project or event:

      Shed Deck (wood)

      Shed Deck - If you are considering installing your synthetic ice rink on grass or a slightly uneven surface you will need to install a sub-floor FIRST to make sure the subsurface is flat enough to support your rink. A simple way to achieve this is by shed deckconstructing a "shed deck" by using exterior grade plywood on top of pressure-treated stringers. Using manufactured pressure-treated sheeting or similar flat materials will provide a good base for your rink surface.

      FastDeck Temporary Flooring (Polymer Plastic)

      FastDeck There are many different types of snap-together temporary eventFastDeck flooring. FastDeck temporary flooring has many applications, is strong yet still lightweight and easy to store. These polymer panels easily snap together with no need for tools or trained labor of any kind and can quickly be dissembled.

      Staging (Metal)

      Staging – In areas where extra provisions may need to be made ( for example: Portable Stagingover a swimming pool or open space) an aluminum or steel frame staging structure may the best solution. Of the three options this is clearly the most costly but may certainly makes sense if your rink project will be for an extended period of time not short term.

      Cleaning Options

      Synthetic ice rink maintenance is really no different than many types of hardwood surfaces. The main difference is the surface is white and dirt becomes more apparent over a shorter period of time. Here’s three basic cleaning methods and applications you may want to consider:

      Hose Spray

      hose sprayWhen you start to see your panel connections (dovetail or tongue and groove) become more visible or pronounced, it’s probably time to hose it down. Don’t wait too long because it will only make the job that much more difficult. It won’t be long to your able ascertain how frequently you’ll need to clean.

      PH Neutral Soap

      With an indoor rink you are limited to the amount of water you can use to clean Simple Greenyour surface. To break-up the dirt apply a PH Neutral soap applied with a spray mist. Wipe clean with a flat micro-fiber mop until dry and repeat until the surface is clean.

      Power-Washing

      power washerIf you're guilty of neglecting your outdoor rink for a prolonged period of time and are in need of some immediate help, then power-washing is a perfectly fine option. Using a power washer is a great way to clean-up your rink "grout lines" at the connections and make your surface look new again. It's always a good idea to scrub-down your rink first to loosten the dirt before you start to powere-wash.

      Plan for Success

      A little pre-installation planning will help make your rink project a successful one. Take out the time to consider all the costs and factors to make sure you limit the amount of potential issues that may arise before getting started. The main thing is to be sure not to rush your installation, just follow these few simple guidelines and you’ll be happy you went the extra mile once you see your rink up and running!