Family vloggers "April and Davey" have been inviting followers to share in their everyday lives documenting their journey along the way on thier popular YouTube channel. Together with their five children (Zade 12, Daisy10, Ambree 7, Ender 5 & Eb 2) the Lehi, Utah natives have been "keeping it real" in sharing their family life experiences and everyday trials and tribulations.
Backyard Ice Rink Project
In December of 2016 the family decided to start their own backyard ice rink project with some wood framing, tarp and the help of mother nature. Throughout multiple vlogs April and Davey captured the challenges of what it's like to create and maintain a home ice rink including making sure NOT to store the hose outside in the cold weather. The family rink vlog caught the eye of the people at PolyGlide Synthetic Ice who recently reached out to the Orgill family to offer a year-round solution to fullfill their ice skating needs.
Living Room Rink
The family was sent 128 square feet of the PolyGlide Home Ice portable 2ft x 4ft panels which when assembled created a 8ft x 16ft ice rink. Davey Orgill documented the installation which was completed in the family living room in just under an hour prior to the kids returning home from school. Needless to say once the kids returned home from school the look of dismay on their faces was priceless when they gazed their eyes on their new home rink. The afternoon quickly morphed into a family public ice session that included Mom donning her figure skating attire, Ender honing his ice hockey skills and Dad capping-off the day by showing off his "spinderella" break dancing moves.
Check out April and Daveys video link above for a special PolyGlide Ice discount offer. For additional information on Polyglide Ice and how you can "Bring the Rink Home" contact or call: email@example.com / 855-765-9423
So What was My Shark Tank Synthetic Ice Experience Like?
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 was 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"
After 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 details 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
My 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 over 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 along with the valuable exposure was much more than I could ever ask for.
In the end I can tell you if you're an entreprenuer 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 you company and product.
Jim Loughran, AFter Buzz TV Interview: After the Tank
When things start to get a little crazy it's always best to take a step and evaluate the reasons why you started your search in the first place. This can help you access what makes the most sense moving forward BEFORE buying your synthetic ice rink.
There are many things to consider when purchasing a synthetic ice rink including whether to go with an "infused" or "non-infused" surface. Infused or "self lubricating" synthetic ice panels are manufactured with a slip agent additive...
What kid wouldn't want a little bit of Canada in their backyard in the shape of their own personal ice skating 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 "Parent of the Year" along with "Parent of the Neighborhood" for years to come along with "Super Cool Parent" status. If these acknowledgements are way too much to pass up there are things you need to consider before pulling the trigger.
Weigh the Costs and Duration
If your lucky enough not to be affected at all by global warming and live North of the US 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 starts to become a primary consideration as the actual duration of substained 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 your prefer to mortgage the house for an ice compressor, piping and brine along with 100 hours of labor (forget it).
Staying under Budget
After confriming your geographical location and referencing the Farmers Almanac start to price-out what the costs are associated with starting your rink project. Ask yourself the following questions before beginning your project:
1 - Consider the size, age and sport of your skater(s) as smaller skaters just starting out really only need enough space to perform a figure eight to work both their inside and outside skate edes. Consider going a little bigger for more than one skater or to allow for stickhandling for hockey players or jumps for figure skaters.
2 - Assess how much dedicated space (SF) you have for your outdoor (or indoor for synthetic) ice rink. Using the total dimensions draft a list of materials you'll need (heavy mill plastic liner, wood framework and supports for natural) to complete your rink project. If synthteic ice is your best or only option you may want to choose a solid core panel that will withstand the outdoor temperatures over time.
3 - As much as we'd all love to "go big" consider starting small and 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.
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 constructions costs exceed your budget perhaps other team mates 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 are dedicated to their related sports and can be quite creative when it comes to fundraising ideas to make any rink build project a reality!