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    How to Ice Skate Like a Pro Without Ice (2022)

    How to Ice Skate Like a Pro Without Ice (2022)

    There's no better feeling than lacing up some ice skates and gliding around with friends or competing in ice hockey or figure skating.

    Ice skating has been around for over a century, yet less than 5% of Americans still know how to do it.

    On a positive note, ice hockey has been growing in demand, so more people want to learn how to ice skate today than ever before.

    Yet, there seems to be something holding even more people back and it may just be the perceived difficulty.

    Ice skating may look like this crazy feat as you see the best in the world figure skating, speed skating, or playing ice hockey.

    It's a challenging skill to learn but trust me when I say, If you can learn to walk, you can learn to ice skate!

    The difficulty lies in consistent practice, which can only happen with access to ice.

    We're not only going to break down the fundamentals of skating, but we will also cover learning to skate without ice.

    If that sounds too good to be true, read on to find out!

    physical benefits of ice skating
    Benefits of ice skating

    So why ice skate in the first place?

    People initially created ice skating out of necessity and was critical for transporting goods across miles of ice in frigid climates.

    Now, it's part of hobbies, sports, and entertainment.

    Skating is more than gliding across a glorified ice block and in time skaters who practice will improve balance, agility, and lower body strength.

    Ice skating is a fun way to stay in shape, and you can build fantastic cardiovascular endurance.

    Over time, your body and mind will thank you for investing in this fun, physical activity.

    What we've enjoyed about skating over the years is its community.

    With skating, friends and families come together to enjoy a shared experience.

    It's a path for kids and adults to express themselves, learn a skill, and possibly pursue a skating-related sport.

    Overall, it's just fun!

    When winter rolls around, it's hard to find physical activities that will lift your mood.

    If you've been thinking about learning, now's your time to get started.

    hockey player on iceCan you learn how to ice skate without ice?

    You need three things if you want to learn how to ice skate:

    • Ice
    • Skates
    • Someone to teach you

    But what if you don't have ice or skates can you still learn how to ice skate?

    It seems ridiculous to suggest you can skate without ice as it is called 'ice skating', after all.

    The fact is that everyone does not have access to an ice rink and in some states, the ratio of ice rinks to people is as high as 1 in 15,000!

    That means you may need some other way to learn how to ice skate.

    Here's three options to consider:

    1. Try cross-training in a similar discipline

    You can learn the basics with inline skates, like rollerblades.

    Inline skates are relatively inexpensive and provide another way to practice that's always been quite popular.

    It's not the exact science as you can't practice your "edge work" but inline skates will emulate the balance and control that's required on ice skates.

    You'll be able to skate with them on any hard surface like concrete, wood or sport court to get in a workout.

    2. Get socks and a slide board

    If you're looking to emulate a pro skater's positioning, balance, and technique, consider a slide board.

    Slide boards are long, rectangular boards that are available in multiple sizes and have foot stops on each side of the polymer, flat surface.

    This smooth, slick board allows you to push off and slide side-to-side emulating the skating stride that will strengthen your leg muscles.

    All you'll need is a pair of socks or special booties, and you can begin improving your stride and deep knee bend.

    3. Invest in synthetic ice

    Synthetic ice is perhaps the best and closest option for skating without 'ice,'

    Skaters have been utilizing synthetic ice for off-ice training for many years using traditional ice skates with metal blades.

    Synthetic ice is square tiles or panels made of special polymer material that can handle the wear and tear of hockey and figure skates.

    The tiles or panels are infused with a special slip agent and connect like puzzle pieces to form a surface where you can use ice skates.

    We have three size options for you to consider:

    While the friction is slightly higher than natural ice, this is as close to the real thing as it gets and makes for the ideal "ice simulator".

    There are a significant amount of public skating rinks, backyard rinks, and commercial spaces that implement synthetic ice for off-ice training.

    This option provides the ultimate training tool in helping you learn how to skate like a pro.

    5 helpful tipsLearn to Skate Using these 5 fundamentals

    To start off, it's important for us to cover some basics and for you to practice these core moves so you can get a feel for skating.

    Before you do anything, make sure you're dressed for the occasion.

    Wear warm but breathable clothing if you're outside during Fall or Winter.

    Bundle up or strip down according to the situation as it's important that you don't have too many layers that restrict your movement.

    If you're using ice skates or inline skates, make sure they are the right size so they fit comfortably.

    Your next stop is to get on the surface without falling by steadying yourself on a wall or railing. From there, push off and start learning the following:

    1. Learn to march

    Marching is one of the more popular basic moves in skating.

    As the name suggests, you'll be moving forward in a marching motion.

    Keep the hands spread apart to form a 'T' with the knees slightly bent for balance.

    Then raise one foot up and back, repeating the process until a smooth marching movement pushes you forward.

    2. Practice falling and getting up

    Falling is a significant part of skating and is inevitable so it's important to practice falling correctly.

    If you feel like you're about to fall, bend your knees and place your hands in front of you to try to stop all movement and regain balance.

    If that fails and you still fall, make sure to lower yourself and adopt a sitting position when you fall, if possible.

    Let your butt take most of the hit, and avoid falling on your knees or outstretched hands.

    To get back up, move onto your hands and knees like a dog or cat and get one knee up, then place one foot on the surface (synthetic or roller)

    Take both hands on that knee and apply a little force to hoist the rest of the body off the floor.

    The more you practice falling and getting up, the less intimidated you become by the concept and the more fun you'll have skating.

    3. Learning to glide forward 

    Gliding is an upgrade from the marching technique as you start off for a few steps, then glide with both feet on the surface (synthetic or roller).

    The momentum will allow you to move and glide for a few feet and you can repeat the process until eventually, you'll march and glide on each foot.

    This technique helps you to establish a smooth stroking movement by pushing off of one foot and gliding onto the other.

    Keep your hands apart to maintain balance, with knees bent and torso upright.

    4. Practice turning

    Turning will help you navigate the ice, especially when there are other skaters around or you're playing hockey with friends.

    If you want to turn left, you'll bend your knees (a deep knee bend helps) and shift your weight to the left.

    The outside edge of the left skate and the inside edge of the right skate will help with turning.

    Then let the left skate drift in front to help steer your body in the right direction.

    Turn your head and shoulders to help you naturally turn to the left.

    The opposite strategy is needed for turning right.

    5. Learning to stop

    Stopping is one of the coolest things you can learn, as there are many ways to do it.

    Hockey Stop: While gliding with two feet, turn the hips to the side, bend and drive the feet into the ice. A great exercise at a skating rink is holding onto the rink wall and making clumps of ice by repeatedly sliding your skate away from the body.

    Snowplow Stop: Hold your arms and hands out to the side for balance with both legs apart. When you're ready to stop, bend your knees and turn one foot inward to form a V position (you can also turn both feet inward slightly).

    T Stop: When you're in a glide, place the feet in a T position (heel of one foot lined up to the middle of the other) and shift your weight to the back leg.

    Stopping takes lots of time and practice to master so find the easiest one for you, get comfy, then move on to the next one. 

    Now with the basics in mind, let's try to apply these fundamentals to scenarios where we don't have actual 'ice.'

    cross training with inline skatesHow To Skate Without Ice – Cross Training With Inline Skates

    Inline skates can help with the feeling of balance, movement, and agility while building up your power and stamina.

    Furthermore, confident inline skating can translate to confident ice skating.

    Inline skating surfaces have much more friction than natural ice also, the wheels constantly make contact with the surface, unlike ice skating.

    You'll also need to learn to stop without the breaking mechanism that's built into these skates so be sure to add some protective gear.

    If you already know how to inline skate, focus on turning, gliding, and stopping (without using the breaking mechanism).

    For beginners, the marching and gliding techniques are a great starting point.

    The goal of training for ice skating is to practice the same stances you'll use when gliding, turning and stopping.

    Keep your knees bent and hands out to the side while working on maintaining your balance, especially on one leg.
    .


    How To Skate Without Ice – Using A Slide Board

    Slide boards are somewhat limited in what you can learn but you can still strengthen your stride and practice skills that will make you a stronger skater.

    Here's what you can do with your slide board:

    • Work on your balance: Start on one end of the slide board, facing the other end. Push off the edge, practicing a balanced stance. Keep your knees bents and your arms outward until you get to the other end. Turn around and repeat the exercise.
    • Practice gliding: Keep your body in a low skier's pose and slide from one end of the board to the other. Repeat at many times as possible. Another great drill is to push off on one foot and glide to the other end, maintaining your balance. Try pushing off forward and backward with a focus on balance. Build up speed and strength by performing these exercises faster.
    • Practice snowplow hockey stops: Start on one end and slide to the other before you reach the end, turn your body and practice the hockey stop or snowplow stop.

    Slide boards are perfect for building strength and learning the fundamental stances and motions for skating.

    Check out our Glide-Infused SLIP SLIDE BOARD - LOW IMPACT TRAINING

    There will still be a learning curve when adding ice skates, but you'll have the basics.

    As a bonus, you can get a slide board made with synthetic ice, then try these techniques with your ice skates.

    ice skate with no ice

    How To Skate Without Ice – Synthetic Ice

    Synthetic ice is the best way to train without 'natural ice.' There's a slight difference in friction, but beginners won't feel the difference.

    A big advantage is falling won't feel as painful as the hard ice.

    Set up your synthetic ice rink by connecting the tiles or panels on a flat surface. We have several articles and tutorials on setting up a backyard ice rink.

    Start skating by practicing the earlier marching technique. March and glide to one side and back to the other.

    When comfortable, move on to gliding and stroking from one side to the next.

    Finally, practice different types of stopping and turning. Because synthetic ice is the only ice simulator where you can use your metal ice skates, you'll learn the fastest!

    Conclusion

    Ice skating is all about working on the basics that provide balance, strength, and confidence.

    It also requires lots of practice to achieve some level of mastery, which can be difficult without access to a rink.

    You don't need to use that as an excuse to hold you back from something you're interested in or enjoy.

    Start with any of the options we mentioned; inline skating, slide boards or synthetic ice.

    Ice skating is fun with company, so get friends or family to join in your journey.

    Once you get gliding, falling, turning, and stopping down to a science, you can add neat tricks to really look like a pro.

    If you need help sourcing slide boards, synthetic ice, or other helpful tools on your ice skating journey, feel free to connect with our team.

    Most of all, have fun and keep practicing!

     

     

    10 Best Hockey Skates under $200 (2022)

    10 Best Hockey Skates under $200 (2022)

    Hockey is one of the few sports that maximizes the capabilities of the human body.

    It requires strength, speed, dexterity, power, and intelligence.

     

    To achieve that, you need the best equipment possible.

     

    Undoubtedly, hockey skates is the most important tool for a hockey player.

     

    Skates must be built for comfort and high performance, so finding the best hockey skates is crucial.

     

    At the same time, hockey skates are also the most expensive piece of equipment you will buy.

    The skates your favorite NHL forward wears, like the Bauer Vapor 2x Pro, can retail at $1000.

    Customizable skates can cost much more.

    If you’re a beginner player, or your kids are moving up in rank, this could be way outside your budget.

    A common question asked by our synthetic ice customers is, “ What skates should we buy?”

    That’s why we put together this short list of the 10 best hockey skates under $200.

    At $200 - and just below (or above) - you can find a low-to-mid-tier skate that can provide an excellent fit, comfort, and protection.

    These are also beginner skates, perfect for recreational players or those just getting into hockey.

    When it’s time to upgrade, you (or your child) will have a feel for the fit and performance.

    So it will be easier to transition to a pro-level skate.

    When it comes to hockey skates, there are a few brands that you can trust for their experience and quality:

    • Bauer
    • CCM
    • Graf
    • Botas
    • True

    Some of these brands start well beyond our $200 ceiling, so you won’t see them on this list (we’re looking at you, True).

    However, that does not mean they aren’t exceptional skates.

    Our mission is to keep coins in our pockets and excellent skates on our feet.

    So, without further ado, consider one of these 10 hockey skates to help you crush it on the ice.

    Bauer-XLP

    1. Bauer X-LP

    When you think about hockey skates, Bauer is often the first brand that comes to mind.

    Bauer has been around for over 90 years and is a subsidiary of Nike.

    Its focus is on performance and comfort.

    The X-LP (and X-LS) is a great beginner skate and usually comes in Medium Volume (more on volume later).

    The X-LP is a single, 3-D injected boot made with a durable polycarb material. It’s quite firm yet durable, providing maximum protection.

    The large, 30” tongue - an important part of hockey skates - has extra padding to provide maximum instep and ankle protection. 

    It’s also microfiber-lined, 

    The X-LP is also equipped with the TUUK Lightspeed Pro Holder and Blade, similar to the holders on most Bauer Professional-level skates.

    This blade means more durability and increased speed.

    For an entry-level skate, Bauer’s X-LP can provide hours of durable fun.

    Buy Bauer X-LP Here

    CCM-Jetspeed

    2. CCM Jetspeed FT475 Hockey Skates

    Next is CCM, one of the more popular hockey skate brands today.

    The Canadian-based company is over 100 years old and was once owned by Reebok and Adidas.

    Today, CCM makes a range of hockey and recreational skating products, but their CCM skates are their standouts.

    As the name implies, The Jetspeed leans toward a lightweight boot to maximize speed. It’s that perfect blend of stiff, yet flexible.

    But that does not mean it's uncomfortable. CCM Jetspeed comes in Narrow, Normal, and Wide fits, allowing more players access to this skate.

    It has an updated one-piece package that gives a closer fit, with memory foam lining and a special footbed that adjusts to your foot over time.

    Closer fits allow you to move faster and make bigger strides.

    The tongue does not have the center padding like the Bauer but still provides double-layered protection.

    You can also swap the tongue out for adjustable volume and a better fit.

    The stainless steel runner is great for edges and achieving maximum speed.

    There’s also a locking system on the XS holder that allows you to change the runner as needed.

    At the maximum $200 budget, you get comparable features on a higher-end skate.

    Buy CCM Jetspeed FT475 here

    Graf-Peakspeed

    3. Graf Peakspeed PK2900

    Swiss-made skates Graf has been a choice of skaters at all levels for years.

    The Peakspeed PK series a particularly popular and the PK2900 is their affordable, mid-tier model.

    One thing you’ll notice off the bat is that Graf has a sleeker silhouette, particularly by the heel pocket.

    It allows comfort in the heel area - a particular struggle with hockey players - using two separate pieces for the boot.

    This improves comfort and reduces irritation and the possible development of bone spurs.

    There is still that sleek, carbon fiber materials and look.

    Inside the boot are added ankle protection, a special dry liner, and a foam-lined toe cap.

    The patented Graf holder and 10’ stainless steel runner allow for hours of skating.

    Graf still has that old-school look with modern comfort and protection.

    Buy Graf Peakspeed PK2900 here

    Botas-Attack

    4. Botas Attack 181 - Men’s Hockey Skate

    European-made Botas are known for their entry-level skates. The Attack 181 is geared to beginner and recreational skaters.

    These lightweight skates have a hard quarter made of two parts.

    This brings additional stiffness to protect against pucks and stray sticks.

    The plastic toe cap provides support to the front of the foot.

    The boot has soft, inner padding which is comfortable but does not form to the foot like the Bauer or CCM models.

    However, the boot does have side ventilation to reduce moisture.

    The runner and holder are standard with the runner needing sharpening immediately so it can hold its edge.

    This skate is great to test your skills before upgrading to advanced skates.

    Buy Botas on Amazon here

    Bauer-NSX

    5. Bauer NSX Junior Hockey Skate

    Another Bauer makes the list, specifically for the junior skaters in your life. It’s also the cheapest on the list.

    The NSX is great for Juniors with some skating experience, as they are a bit firmer than other skates at that level.

    Like some of the advanced Bauer models, it's constructed using their 3D injected system, meaning the quarter package is one piece made of poly carbon.

    The Bauer NSX comes with microfiber lining for more comfort and to reduce moisture that comes from the ice and sweat.

    There is also added anaform foam near the ankles for added support.

    While it contains the Tuuk holder and runner, the runner is not replaceable so the boot may not last as long as more expensive brands.

    It also has a Low Volume silhouette, so size and fit may be an issue for kids with higher insteps.

    Overall, it’s a great entry-level skate that won’t break the bank.

    Buy Bauer NSX Junior Hockey Skate here

    Bauer-Vapor-X35

    6. Bauer Vapor X3.5

    Another Bauer makes the list and this one is under the famed Vapor series.

    This model has a Low Volume and tailored fit. It is great for those with a slimmer foot and is designed primarily for recreational use.

    At the same time, it is effective for beginner players or experienced skaters.

    The stiffness of the single, 3D injected quarter is what stands out.

    The single piece allows for durability, without compromising speed.

    The Vapor X3.5 is quite stiff and great for added protection.

    It also has the TUUK lightspeed Pro 2 holder and 10’ profile stainless steel runner.

    The 40-ounce tongue is double-layered adding protection from ‘lace bite’, stray sticks, and pucks.

    Unlike the NSX and X-LP, the Vapor 3X.5 has a memory foam inner lining that’s great for long-term use.

    The more you use it, the more comfortable it feels.

     

    CCM-Super-Tacks

    7. CCM Super Tacks 9370 Player Skates (Junior)

    Another popular model, the CCM Super Tacks 9370 is great for Juniors looking to take their games to the next level.

    This CCM has a two-piece boot with a synthetic material, which does not take away from its durability and safety.

    The stitching gives it a sleek look and connects the toe cap seamlessly.

    Like the Jetspeed, the Tacks have a replaceable tongue, allowing you to further customize the fit and function of your skates.

    Inside the skate, you get soft microfiber that’s still sturdy to protect your upper foot.

    The Super Tacks 9370 has the fantastic XS Speed Blade holder with its mechanical lock system for the runner.

    This allows skaters to change their blades on the fly.

    These are connected to a redesigned, vented outsole that helps reduce moisture as you skate.

    The CCM Tacks 9370 stands out with quality construction and support, giving you more power and durability.

    Buy CCM Tacks 9370 here

    CCM-Tacks-9350

    8. CCM Tacks 9350 Player Skates

    Another CCM Tacks makes the list, with some noticeable differences from the 9370.

    For starters, the 9350 is much cheaper, making it a great entry-level skate, perfect for families who need multiple skates at an affordable price.

    The Tacks 9350 is a plastic, 3D-injected quarter that’s great for learning the basics.

    It’s the right balance of stiffness and flexibility, allowing players to skate comfortably.

    However, you do lose the added carbon fiber that makes it lighter and faster.

    The 9350 comes with a standard holder and runner.

    Sorry, but you won’t get the XS holder with a detachable runner system or the excellent blades.

    However, your skater family can still get hours of skating without losing their edge.

     

    Botas-Draft-281

    9. Botas Draft 281

    Rounding out the list is the Botas Draft 281 model.

    This Czech-made skate is recommended for advanced skaters and is available for kids and adults.

    The boot can feel more like a stitched shoe, with two pieces of synthetic plastic that create the boot, with a hard plastic toe cap.

    It provides an effective fit but may not form to your feet over time.

    However, the soft inner foam combined with the hard plastic provides a sturdy boot that protects against slashes and stray pucks.  

    A sleek carbon blade is attached to a special plastic holder, meaning the runner is durable, providing hours of skating before sharpening.

     

    American-Athletic-Shoe

     

    10. American Athletic Shoe Ice Force Hockey Skate

    American Athletic is a great entry-level skate at a competitive price.

    With a light PVC boot, this boot is built for speed and agility.

    The stainless steel blade allows you to hold edges while competing.

    It has a square, rigid toe box which helps with protection from pucks but may impact fit for skaters with wider feet.

    The padded, microfiber lining helps skaters with comfort, without excess moisture.

    With a stainless steel blade optimized for speed, you can get great milage out of these skates before upgrading.

     

    The #1 thing to consider when choosing a hockey skate

    If someone told you that size does not matter, they have never worn an ill-fitting hockey skate before.

    So your number one priority should not be price, but comfort.

    If they don’t fit well, your feet hurt. ...A lot.

    Then they swell and hurt even more. 

    Finding the right fit can be difficult.

    While we all wear the same shoe sizes, our feet take on different shapes.

    Hockey skates aim to cater to different feet as balancing on blades for several hours can be uncomfortable.

    Each brand has different styles that cater to narrow, normal, or wide feet.

    It is recommended that you visit a skate shop first, so you can try on your skate.

    If you can’t there are still steps you can take to ensure you have the best skate possible.

    Get your skate size

    As a rule, skates run big.

    Manufactures make skates 1-1.5 sizes larger than your regular pair of sneakers.

    In other words, don’t buy the same size as your (or your child’s) shoe as the boot will be too big.

    Large skates mean slower skating, falls, and an overall poor experience.

    Use the size guides of Bauer, CCM, or your provider of choice to find the right size.

    Consider the skate volume

    Boot size is the easy part, as that will just determine the length of the skates.

    The volume is the total space inside the boot, which is even more important.

    Volume takes into consideration the skater’s foot width in relation to its length.

    There are several handy videos online to help you trace your size and calculate your volume.

    Based on the results, you can find a High, Medium, or Low Volume skate.

    Most people fall in the Medium category.

    Choose your width

    Skates also have additional width measurements which further help performance.

    These measurements vary by manufacturer.

    For instance, you can get a High volume skate with a more tapered look or a Low volume skate with a wider fit.

    Like volume, most skaters choose the Standard fit but you can always adjust as you move onto other skates.

    Check your brand of choice for their width measurements.

    Your skates should be snug, with your toe just touching the toe cap (with your socks on of course. Make sure to measure your feet with socks).

    There should be an inch off space in the back, just enough to place your finger.

    Make sure to check your warranty or return policy.

    If it’s not feeling quite right, do not hesitate to replace it.  

    Skate measurements are fluid.

    For instance, Bauer introduced the “1,2,3 Fit system” to simplify what can be a difficult process.

    Should I buy hockey skates or recreational skates?

    You may be tempted to spend much less on a recreational skate on the shelf at Walmart.

    Some can look like hockey skates and are much cheaper.

    Recreational skates are great for leisure skating a couple of times per month or just for the winter season.

    Hockey skates provide more ankle support and protect the foot from the inevitable bangs and clashes from sticks, pucks, and opponents.

    You can skate recreationally with your hockey skates but it’s not recommended you play hockey in your leisure skates.

    It’s Time To Skate!

    Finding the best hockey skates at a reasonable price can be a challenge.

    Luckily, most of the best brands on the market have a tier that can provide excellent performance at a reasonable cost.

    They should last at least one year with heavy use on both natural and synthetic ice.

    The best ice skates don’t need to break the bank.

    Focus on comfort and fit, then performance.

     

     

    Hockey 2022: The 12 Gifts of Christmas

    Hockey 2022: The 12 Gifts of Christmas

    Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday are always a challenge to find the ultimate gift with each passing year.

    The holidays are always a special time to share special memories.

    And one of the biggest problems we face every year?

    Stressing to find the perfect gift for your kids, relatives, and loved ones.

    If you have some hockey-playing kids or relatives in your life, then you’re in luck.

    This holiday gift guide for hockey lovers is right up your alley. 

    This gift guide will cover the at-home essentials and some great stocking stuffers that will make anyone smile.

    So keep scrolling so you can get some hockey gift-giving inspiration!

    1. A Stick and a pair of skates.

    holiday gift guide hockey

    What’s hockey without its two most essential tools?

    Do you have kids raring to get into the sport?

    Or a relative who needs an upgrade?

    They’ll love a new stick or a pair of skates.

    The right stick or skates could make a massive difference in power and performance.

    In terms of both sticks and skates, Bauer and CCM are the most popular brands.

    If you need some stick ideas, consider:

    And for skates:

    Make sure to get the right size and fit, so you don’t have a disappointed loved one on Christmas Day!

    2. A Sweet Grip Stocking-Stuffer

    Having a good grip on your hockey stick is crucial for performance.

    Tape has always been the go-to for professional hockey players and squirts alike.

    While taping is almost synonymous with hockey, it can be a painstaking process.

    Taping can also get dirty, smell, and lose its luster, needing continual replacement. Investing in a grip not only makes the process faster, but it lasts much longer.

    Companies like Sniper Skin allows you to customize your grip in the color and style of your choice.

    Get your loved one a sweet hockey stick grip that gives the user a consistent performance, even when wet.

    3. A Shooting Pad or Stickhandling Pad.

    holiday gift guide 2020

    Do you know a hockey lover looking to improving their skills but has no access to a rink? Get them a Pro-Skill Infused Shooting Pad.

    Shooting pads are large solid panels made of high-quality polyethylene material that feels just like natural ice.

    It’s also infused, meaning it will always feel smooth like ice and won’t need future treatment.

    The pad can be used on a flat surface to practice their stick control or shooting. 

    4. Polyglide Pro-Curve. A 360-degree training surface.

    Those who need to work on the basics need a small space and lots of motivation.

    Our Pro-Curve Training Surface is a durable synthetic ice panel to practice anything from stick handling, puck control, and shooting.

    The panel consists of materials that mimic real ice and are crafted in a solid 60-degree curve.

    Six can combine using their interlocking ends to create a 360-degree training surface.

    This is great for multiple persons looking to practice in the same space.

    5. A Hockey Net with shooting targets.

    hockey gift guide 2020 holidays

    The future Maurice Richard Trophy winner in your life will need a net to practice their shooting.

    Gift them an at-home hockey net complete with shooting targets.

    Most goals come with targets in the lower and upper corners to become excellent scorers, preparing them for their next game.

    The EZ Goal steel goal with net backdrop is a perfect example of a hockey net they can use to practice indoors and outdoors.

     

    If they already have a hockey net, the Franklin Shooting Targets can strap on to any corner of your goal.

    Or try the Forza Hockey shooting tool that wraps over any net and provides five scoring zones. 

    6. Give the gift of agility.

    hockey cones holiday gift guide

    What you do off the ice is just as important as what you do on it.

    The great hockey players know that agility, speed, and acceleration can give them an advantage.

    Learning those fundamentals is as simple as performing consistent agility drills.

    A set of agility cones will be a perfect gift for the person ready to level up with some simple agility drills in their back yard or driveway.

    You can also gift a set of agility ladders, which helps with improved footwork and balance. 

    7. Sharpen At Home With The Sparx Skate Sharpener.

    hockey gift for holidays

    If there are multiple hockey players in the home, they would need their skates sharpened as often as possible.

    Sharpening skates at a shop can quickly add up.

    And while some local rinks have skate sharpening services, there is often a gap in quality.

    Getting the Sparx Skate Sharpener for a hockey family is an investment they’ll truly appreciate.

    The Sparx Sharpener allows you to adjust the grinding ring, sharpening cycles, and ‘radius of hollow.’

    You can sharpen with just the push of a button, and Sparx even uses RFID technology to tell you when those blades need replacing. 

    8. A Way To Hold It All

     

    Who wants hockey sticks, gloves, skates, and training equipment scattered everywhere?

    To keep everything organized, you can gift a hockey equipment bag.

    After training at home, kids or professional athletes can keep all their equipment in one place.

    And when it’s time to head to the actual rink, they can just grab and go.

    Try the Grit HTFX Hockey Tower Equipment Bag or the Pacific Rink Player Duffel Bag.

    These Ice-skating duffel bags have compartments for sticks, gloves, skates, and other hockey essentials. 

    9. Synthetic Panels For Their Own Rink

    polyglide ice

    What's hockey gear without ice?. So why not gift a hockey rink?

    While it sounds crazy, it’s possible with synthetic ice panels.

    Synthetic ice panels are made of durable polyethylene that connects like puzzle pieces to cover any flat surface.

    These panels feel like real ice as you skate on them with your metal skates.

    Gifting a few of our panels will be enough to set up their basement, driveway, garage, or spare room with their own rink.  

    10. Passing Aid or Rebounding Dasher Curb.

    Wit their synthetic ice rink installed, your kid or loved one would be eager to practice. But who will pass the puck?

    Adding The Bounce Bar’s Rebounding Dasher Curb keeps the puck contained while using special rebounding foam to help them play off the walls.

    Besides curbs to fit your rink, you can also gift stand-alone passing aids so they can practice shooting off of quick passes.

    11. Give the Gift of Hockey Classes.

    Does the hockey enthusiast in your life need some extra help?

    Why not gift some coaching classes? Coaching can help youth and adult players alike improve their skills.

    More importantly, a coach holds them accountable!

    While others are slacking off, they will be making an immense progress.

    You can gift one or a bundle of classes so they can get expert advice and training.

    With the pandemic, training has become increasingly difficult.

    So make sure the trainer or coach can provide online classes.

    12. Rep Your Favorite Team!

    This year’s NHL was unlike any we’ve experienced.

    But at the end of the ‘bubble,’ the Tampa Bay Lightning were the eventual Stanley Cup winners.

    For the hockey fan in your life, gift them with a Championship Tee or an authentic hockey T-shirt from their favorite team to get ready for the upcoming season.

    Or be the first to get some merch from the Seattle Kraken, the latest NHL franchise. 

    13. For The Hockey Gamer

    If the hockey lover in your life is a gamer, you can’t go wrong with NHL 2K21 for PS4 or Xbox.

    The Great Eight, Alex Ovechkin, has both his face and fingerprint on the game.

    Players get to follow Ovechkin’s career, play NHL ‘94 in Past Meets Present, and create the next superstar in Be A Pro mode.

    They’ll enjoy learning the game and skills while having fun with their favorite NHL players.

    Help them have a hockey Christmas!

    These gifts are sure to make the hockey lover in your life happy.

    Sure to make it a special one to remember for years to come!

    Throughout the last few years, more and more persons were not getting to enjoy the ice sports they love.

    Gifts like synthetic ice panels, rebounders, and our infused training surfaces can help them train at home at their will.

    If you need ideas on some of our products to help with your holiday shopping, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

     

     

    Best Winterfest Ice Rink for Your Holiday Event (2022)

    Best Winterfest Ice Rink for Your Holiday Event (2022)

    Winter brings cold temperatures and lots of snow. 

    But it also brings the Holidays, hot chocolate, and winter events, like Winterfest.

    If you've never been to Winterfest, you're missing out on days of fun ice and winter activities. 

    And if you're a part of a Winterfest committee, you know that ice skating is a must-have attraction.

    Planning and installing a rink that accommodates hundreds, if not thousands, of people is no small task. 

    It's all about choosing the best Winterfest ice rink for 2022 participants.

    So what rink will work best for a successful event?

    winterfest ice rink

    What is a Winterfest?

    Winterfest is a multi-day festival held in different cities across North America.

    Winter festivals aren't new.

    Some of the first events were held in Minnesota in 1886 and in places like Montreal, Canada.

    Despite the state's prosperity, people were still turned off by its harsh winters.

    The Saint Paul festival was an ingenious way to have fun events while marketing the state's beauty.

    Ice castles, sculptures, sledding, and ice skating evolved into one of the more popular events of that time.

    Soon, other states started winter events, eventually becoming 'Winterfests.' 

    Today, almost all Winterfests are held by Communities, Carnivals, and County Fairs.

    It's a way for them to stay open throughout the year, transforming the space into a Winter Wonderland that creates a lot of foot traffic.

    Some Winterfests run for select days during the entire season.

    Others are a few full days of fun. 

    Most focus on Holiday themes with competitions that combine ice with the things unique to that county, town, or state.

    Winterfest attracts thousands of visitors to many small towns and is a huge revenue source. 

    Some of the popular Winterfest programs include Oregon's Winterfest,

    Winterfest at Canada's Wonderland, Cedar Fair Amusement Parks, Winterfest in Pennsylvania, and much more.

    Now, you can find some form of Winterfest in almost every state and province in Canada and the US.

    curling rink

    What should you expect at a Winterfest?

    It's everything you love about the Holidays and winter all in one space. 

    • Fantastic music and live entertainment
    • Great food (Gingerbread, eggnog, and Christmas-themed funnel cakes, anyone?)
    • Holiday-themed games and attractions
    • Tree-lighting ceremonies
    • Competitions based on local traditions
    • Carnival rides (if weather permits)
    • Sledding, tobogganing, curling, and of course, ice skating

    Vendors, businesspeople, and other stakeholders set up shops and booths, all coordinated and managed by the owners of the county fair, amusement park, or community. 

    commercial ice rink

    The Best Winterfest Ice Rinks For 2022

    An ice skating rink in Winterfest is non-negotiable.

    It's often a centerpiece of the event, surrounded by tall, beautiful pine trees, lights, and holiday decorations.

    Ice rinks are in high demand during Winterfests, so skaters must book time in advance.

    They pay a cover charge for a short time on the rink (about 30 minutes) and extra for skate rentals.

    Hundreds of people may visit the rink each day during some Winterfests, with some staying for hours.

    Ice rinks should be large enough to accommodate multiple skaters at the same time.

    If you're in charge of setting up a rink for Winterfest, the type of rink is a vital step in the process. 

    Here are some of the surfaces you should consider.

    These are the best Winterfest ice rink surfaces for 2022:

    Natural ice rinks

    The original ice rinks in cold climates came from a body of frozen water thanks to the surrounding ambient temperature.

    The water remains frozen, and we can have our ice-skating fun on the surface.

    Today, this process can be duplicated in an outdoor space. 

    First, you'll need to prepare a flat surface to accommodate the liner.

    Once the liner and rink walls are set, you will need water – sometimes well over 5,000 gallons – to fill the space a couple of inches high.

    The cold weather that's common during Winterfest freezes the water, creating an ice rink.

    You will need to resurface the rink periodically to clear shavings and buildup from snow and rain. 

    refrigerated ice rink

    Refrigerated ice rinks

    Refrigerated ice rinks use water and a refrigeration process to keep water frozen in almost any climate.

    Refrigerated ice can be set up indoors and outdoors and can withstand most temperatures. 

    The rinks start with a flat surface made of concrete or compact sand.

    Pipes are placed on the surface, and a coolant or brine water flows through constantly being pumped through a large chiller.

    This keeps the base at a set temperature, freezing any water applied to the surface. 

    From there, you apply layers of water – sometimes over 10,000 gallons – to create the frozen surface.

    Refrigerated ice rinks use machines for the coolant and to keep the rink frozen at a consistent temperature. 

    Synthetic ice rinks

    If you're looking for a water-free way to ice skate, synthetic ice may be the answer.

    This option is growing in popularity, with more synthetic ice rinks popping up around the country. 

    Synthetic ice is made of polyethylene, a strong plastic designed for using metal blades for skating. 

    Each piece is called a tile or panel, cut at a specific square foot based on its size and weight. 

    Multiple pieces are connected like puzzle pieces to form a large, skateable surface.

    Synthetic ice is appealing because of its ease of installation, durability, cost, and use in any space or climate. 

    Some synthetic ice is infused with a unique slip agent to help with skating.

    Others need the agents to be sprayed and reapplied periodically.

    Both tend to have slightly more friction than natural and artificial ice.

    However, most skaters are recreational and just love the experience of skating on an artificial surface if they never tried it before.

    Synthetic ice rinks can come in multiple colors and shapes, making rink builders more creative.

    It's important for buyers to do their research prior to purchasing an artificial ice rink as some surfaces may not stand up to the skating traffic at Winterfest.

    Curling Rinks

    Synthetic ice curling rinks are the ideal interactive Winterfest attraction for people of all ages that like a little competitive fun.

    It provides a lower entry cost with regard to the overall budget and has been growing in popularity over the last few years.

    Winterfest planners can schedule league games if the event is planned for multiple weeks or months throughout the Holiday season.

    It's also a great add-on to attraction to event planners that are looking to add some new fun and excitement to their annual Winterfest activities.

    things to consider

    Which rink should you choose?

    You must consider location, budget, weather, and traffic for rink setup. 

    Some towns or states have perfect weather for natural ice rinks.

    They have a tradition of freezing a particular space, so natural ice rinks are the best bet. 

    Larger spaces that cannot depend on the weather have the option of refrigerated and synthetic ice.

    Refrigerated ice requires the set up of the location and several thousand gallons of water and along with the additional electrical cost of running the chillers.

    There are refrigerated ice rink rental companies that will help with setup. 

    Synthetic ice is cheaper, so the committee can focus on decorating and designing.

    Like refrigerated ice, you can rent or purchase these rinks, reducing the space's cost. 

    Synthetic ice rinks are trending more and more as an option for Holiday Events for both its affordability and for providing a green energy solution for ice skating

    value for money

    Here's how to maximize your investment

    Rinks aren't just at your local Winterfest for guests to enjoy.

    They are also opportunities to generate income for the organizers of the event.

    Thousands of people look forward to ice rinks, but there are still ways to maximize your investment.

    Here are some examples:

    • Set a day pass or season pass for your rink. Some groups want to skate at any time without the hassle of booking and paying every time.
    • Guests can bring their skates, but most have not been maintained for years. Charge for skate sharpening services.
    • Have a volunteer who can teach kids a 30-minute skating crash course. Charge for the service.
    • An ice show can bring extra income through merchandising.

    With an ice rink, the possibilities are endless. 

    Set up your next Winterfest ice rink

    Preparing for Winterfest can be stressful yet challenging.

    Adding an ice rink is one of the most significant projects but one of the most rewarding.

    The type of ice rink matters as it affects cost, performance, and durability.

    While natural ice rinks may be effective in some spaces, others that can't depend on weather will benefit from synthetic ice.

    Do you need help planning and building your rink?

    Are you thinking about a long-term rink rental?

    Or maybe it's time to invest in your rink to use year-round.

    If you are interested in a quick quote to get an overall idea of what a synthetic ice rink surface may cost to invest in for your event simply >CLICK HERE<

    Give us a call here at PolyGlide ice to make the next Winterfest one to remember.

     

     

    How to Train Like a Hockey Player for Better Health

    How to Train Like a Hockey Player for Better Health

    There's no doubt that hockey players are some of the fittest athletes in all of sports.

    The great thing about it is that it can be played on all surfaces, not just ice, for those who are looking to have some fun while getting into shape.

    We put together some hockey workouts and exercises that are commonly used by hockey players to get into shape and can be used by anyone.

    So if you are sick of the same old routine and workout programs and are in need of something new that will help you get away from that office desk or off the computer, then hockey may be just the sport for you!

    Do you love watching hockey and would love to play?

    Do you want to know that feeling of scoring the winning goal?

    So grab a hockey stick and let's get going!

    train like a hockey player 

    What Hockey Training Involves

    One of the most important things that you need to do when training like a hockey player is to focus on your conditioning.

    Hockey players are some of the most well-conditioned athletes in the world, and they need to be able to skate for long periods of time without getting tired.

    In addition to conditioning, another important part of training like a hockey player is strength training.

    Hockey players are strong and powerful, and they need to be able to generate a lot of force when they are skating.

    If you want to train like a hockey player, you need to make sure that you are doing some form of cardio and strength training every day.

    This can be anything from running to swimming to biking and weightlifting.

    It's also critical to make sure to eat a healthy diet and get plenty of rest and allow your body to get used to your new routine.

    hockey health benefits

    Health Benefits 

    Hockey is a great way to stay active and healthy, and will also help improve your overall fitness level.

    It also offers a variety of health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, increased strength and endurance, and better joint health.

    Additionally, hockey training can help improve your balance and coordination.

    And because hockey is anaerobic exercise, it can also help improve your aerobic capacity.

    The constant movement helps to increase your endurance and stamina, making it a great workout for your heart.

    In addition to the physical benefits, hockey training can also have some mental benefits as well.

    The skills required to be a successful hockey player can help to improve your focus and concentration.

    The sport can also be a great way to relieve stress and build self-confidence.

     

    7 - Steps to Getting Started

    If you're just starting out or looking to improve your hockey skills, you need to start with a training program.

    First, make sure you have all the necessary equipment.

    You'll need a decent pair of hockey skates and some protective gear.

    You should also have a good understanding in the sport of Ice Hockey before you start your own hockey training program.

    Once you have all the equipment and understanding of the game, start by planning out your program.

    Decide how many days per week you want to train, and what kind of exercises you'll do each day.

    Make sure to include a warm-up and cool-down in your program, as well as some basic hockey training drills.


    1 - Diet

    Hockey players have to be very careful about what they eat.

    They need to make sure they're getting enough calories and nutrients to fuel their training, but not so much that they'll gain weight.

    A typical hockey player's diet will include lots of lean proteins, complex carbs, and healthy fats.

    Foods like chicken, fish, rice, pasta, vegetables, and fruits are all important staples.

    Hockey players also need to make sure they're staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.

    As for workout routines, hockey players need to focus on building strength and stamina.

    hockey core training

    2 - Balance and Posture

    Have you ever wondered how hockey players maintain such excellent balance and posture?

    While playing hockey may look effortless, the reality is that it takes a great deal of training and practice to execute all the skills to play the game efficiently.

    Fortunately, there are some things that everyday people can do to train like a hockey player and improve their own balance and posture.

    Balance: Paying attention to your body's natural center of gravity can help you maintain better balance.

    When standing, keep your weight evenly distributed between both feet.

    Avoid slouching or leaning to one side

    Some great exercises for this include Pilates, yoga, and even basic sit-ups and crunches.

    Posture: Posture is one of the most important things to focus on when it comes to having good health.

    Having poor posture can lead to a number of different health problems, including back pain, neck pain, and headaches.

    One of the best ways to improve your posture is by strengthening the muscles in your back and abdomen and being more conscious of your overall posture.

    This can be done by doing core exercises.

    arms and legs strength training

    3 - Strengthen Arms and Legs

    Most hockey players train their arms and legs separately.

    They will use a variety of exercises to build strength in their arms, such as weightlifting, resistance training, and even yoga or Pilates.

    Hockey players need to have strong arms and legs in order to execute the quick starts, stops, pivots and turns required in Ice Hockey.

    Some hockey players also use cross-training methods, such as swimming or biking, to help them build endurance and stay in shape during the off-season.

    Swimming is especially beneficial because it is a low-impact activity that still provides a good workout.

    Biking can also be helpful for building-up your leg muscles while getting in some cardio at the same time.

    hockey core training

    4 - Core Training

    There are many ways to implement a core training program.

    Some factors to consider include the intensity of the program, the frequency of sessions, and the duration of the program.

    Some people prefer to train their core every day, while others may only train a few times per week.

    The intensity of each session will also vary depending on the person's goals.

    For example, someone who is looking to improve their overall fitness may do lighter core exercises more frequently, while someone who is trying to build muscle may do more intense exercises less often.

    The duration of a core training program will also vary depending on the person's goals.

    A person who is looking to improve their overall fitness may do shorter sessions more frequently throughout the week.


    5 - Sprints

    Hockey players invest a lot of time improving their quickness and overall speed with off-ice training by performing wind sprints to help them become faster skaters.

    Off-ice running is a key element in hockey conditioning that helps players get into shape quickly through cardiovascular training.

    To help add some speed to your stride here are some quick tips to get you going: 

    First, it's important to build up strength in your legs and glutes.

    Quick starts in hockey require a lot of leg strength, so make sure to include some exercises to target your quads, hamstrings, and calves in your workout routine.

    Squats, lunges, and calf raises are all great options.

    Stronger leg muscles will help you generate more power when you push off, allowing you to execute quicker starts.

    Next, having quicker reactions will help you execute starts and stops "on the dime" and perform at a higher level.

    Include some stretching and mobility work in your warm-ups and cool-downs, and consider doing yoga or pilates on days when you're not skating.

    And of course, last but not least.....Practice, Practice, Practice!!


    6 - Power and Agility

    There are a few ways hockey players can train to be more agile and powerful.

    One way, believe it or not, is through stretching exercises.

    Stretching helps lengthen the muscles, which can make hockey players more explosive and quicker on the ice.

    These exercises help improve core strength and balance, both of which are important for any hockey player.

    Finally, hockey players can also try swimming or peloton classes to help them become more agile and powerful.

    Swimming is a great workout for the whole body and peloton classes can help improve quad strength and skating stride.

    By incorporating these activities into their training regime, hockey players can become more flexible and graceful athletes.


    7 - Staying Active

    One way to stay active is to add movement to your everyday life and consider this part of your training routine.

    This could involve doing some cardio exercises at home or going for a run outdoors.

    You could also join a gym and take classes there, or even hire a personal trainer to help you stay on track.

    Another way to add movement to your everyday life is to simply be more active in general.

    This means taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking or biking instead of driving, and just generally moving your body more.

    Even small changes like this can make a big difference in your overall health and fitness levels.

    So, if you’re looking for ways to add movement to your everyday life, consider making these little changes along the way.

     staying motivated

    Tips for staying motivated

    There are a few key things that hockey players can do to stay motivated while training.

    First, it's important to set realistic goals for yourself and your overall game.

    If you're constantly pushing yourself to improve, you'll be more likely to stay motivated.

    Secondly, figure out what you love about hockey and focus on that.

    Whether it's the feeling of making a great play on the ice or the satisfaction of advancing your game, keep your love for the sport at the forefront of your mind.

    Finally, make sure to take breaks and enjoy your free time; hockey should be fun!

    If you're feeling burnt out, take a few days off and come back refreshed and ready to play.


    Sample Workout Routine

    Here's a sample of what your daily routine could look like:

    Wake up and eat a nutritious breakfast to fuel your body for the day ahead.

    Try oatmeal with fruit or eggs and toast.

    Head to the rink (or home ice rink) for a morning practice.

    During your workout, focus on perfecting each skill.

    Take breaks as needed to catch your breath and stay hydrated.

    After practice, refuel with a protein-rich snack like yogurt or a peanut butter sandwich.

    Then it's time for some strength training.

    Work on core exercises and upper body strength to help with your lifts.

     

    Recommended Resources

    If you're thinking about training like a hockey player, there are some key resources you'll need to get started.

    You'll need to start thinking about what kind of training program you want to create.

    There are many different ways to structure a hockey training program, so it's important to do some research and figure out what may work best for you given your schedule.

    There are many excellent resources available online and youtube that can help you plan and implement your hockey training program and take your game to the next level!

    CONCLUSION

    If you’re looking for a fun and challenging workout that can help improve your balance, coordination, and overall health, then train like a hockey player!

    Also, you don’t need to live near an ice rink to get you started!

    All you need is a little bit of space in your home and some PolyGlide Synthetic Ice and you'll be skating in no time!

    We put together some rink packages for the home hockey player that you may want to consider to get you going.

    So If you’re looking for an invigorating and challenging workout that can improve your balance, coordination, and overall health, then training like a hockey player may be perfect for you!

    Now that we outlined some ways you can get started with or without access to your local ice rink it's time to take the next step!

    Before long, you'll be training like a hockey player and in the best shape of your life!