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    PolyGlide Blog, News & Updates

    10 Ways To Go Greener With Ice Skating

    10 Ways To Go Greener With Ice Skating

    With each passing "Earth Day" we couldn’t help but think about how we could do our part to take care of our one Earth. The event celebrates the environmental movement and helps to bring awareness about pollution, climate change, and how we can keep a clean habitat.

    Some recent statistics show that we have a long way to go to help our environment. The energy consumed in homes contributes to almost one-quarter of greenhouse gas emissions. More than 8 million people die every year due to air pollution.

    So what do these things have to do with ice skating? Skating involves putting on some boots with blades and moving across the ice. It may not seem like it, but ice skating also impacts the Earth in its own way. As a company focused on serving skaters around the country (and the world), we know firsthand what it takes to run a large ice rink, and we know what it takes to start your own ice rink at home.

    As the saying goes, every drop fills the bucket. Regardless of your niche, there is something you can do to help. You can go greener with ice skating. Here are ten tips that can help you do your part to stay green and nurture your environment while still enjoying your time on the ice.

    Halogen Bulbs

    1. Invest in Energy-Saving Bulbs For Your At-Home Rink

    Since the 2020 pandemic, there has been a rise in at-home skating rinks. With public and private rinks closed, skaters needed some way to train or enjoy their favorite pastime. These at-home rinks, like their larger counterparts, take up their fair share of energy. For instance, the family could install floodlights for skating at night if the rink is outdoors. There may be other lighting options for indoor skating as well.

    Installing energy-saving lightbulbs is one of the simplest (and best) ways to go green while skating. Eco-friendly light bulbs can save up to 75% of energy consumption compared to incandescent light bulbs. Swap them out on your floodlights or in the room for your indoor rink. You’ll even save some money on the electric bill!

    2. Manage Energy Consumption When You’re Not Skating

    Going green means taking care of your environment, even when you’re not skating. After packing up your skates for the day, make sure to do your best to keep energy consumption at a minimum. Start by switching off your eco-friendly lights when you’re done. 

    If you have a refrigerated ice rink, you’ll need to consume large amounts of energy even when you’re not on the ice. The ice rink has to stay on to keep the rink frozen, similar to the refrigerator in your kitchen. It’s constantly removing heat and adding cold through its compressor and chiller. Over the winter months, your ice rink can consume lots of energy. Make sure to invest in an energy-efficient refrigeration system. Get sound advice from the service provider, making sure to select the equipment that saves energy and helps the environment, even when it’s not in use.

    Synthetic Ice Rink

    3. Opt For A Home Synthetic Ice Rink Instead Of Refrigerated

    If you’re concerned about the carbon footprint of a refrigerated rink, why not go for something else? A synthetic ice rink is a durable, polyethylene material that you can skate on with regular metal skates. Synthetic rinks are quite popular for malls and special events. Today, companies like ours have optimized these rinks to fit almost any space. The rink comes in panels that connect like puzzle pieces and can work on most flat surfaces.

    That means no energy consumption, costly maintenance, and a healthier environment. Some refrigerated ice rinks are chilled with ammonia or R-22, both of which can be toxic. Leaks can sometimes go undetected, sending harmful gases into the air. These can also require more energy to pump through the rink (though there are more cost-effective options like brine or glycol). Opting for synthetic instead of refrigerated is the ultimate green approach to ice skating at home.

    4. Natural Rinks Are Great, But You Can Save Water.

    Okay, so you’ve decided to ditch the refrigerated rink and go for a natural rink instead. Natural rinks use the elements to freeze water, starting at the “first freeze” during winter. To make a natural rink, you’ll have to build a large frame, fill it with water and let the elements do their thing. 

    While it’s a lot more energy efficient than a refrigerated rink, there is still a large amount of water needed to fill the rink. The average American home of four uses about 260 gallons of ice water a day. A standard ice rink can take about 10,000 gallons or more. Switching to a synthetic ice rink can save gallons of water in filling and resurfacing your rink. 

    Friend Skate

    5. Encourage Friends And Family To Skate On Your Home Rink.

    If you have an at-home rink, nothing’s better than having fun with your family playing hockey or figure skating. But you should also invite your friends! Not only is it fun to build relationships and competition on the ice, but it’s also a great way to go green. Rather than everyone going to separate rinks or using energy in their separate spaces, they can all save energy by skating on your rink instead.

    6. Support Your Local Business For Equipment And Accessories

    Whether you have a synthetic ice rink, refrigerated, or natural, you need more than ice to skate. Do you have the proper ice skates? If you’re playing hockey, you’ll need pucks, sticks, goals, and other training equipment. Where do you get your stuff? You can hop online and buy your stuff on Amazon, which can add to your carbon footprint. Or you can support your local skate business! Not only can you help your local business, but you can also get a little greener reducing the distance it takes to get your gear.

    Old Equipment

    7. Consider recycling or donating old skates and equipment.

    Recycling is one of the best ways to impact your environment. According to Eco-Friendly Habits, “for every one ton of recycled paper, 17 trees, 2 barrels of oils, and 4,100 kilowatts of energy are saved.” On the flip side, we produce millions of tonnes of plastic waste each year. If you have used skates or equipment, you can find ways to recycle or reuse your equipment. Or maybe you’ve outgrown your gently used gear. 

    Start by looking for organizations that take sports equipment donations. Or you can find ways to recycle or dispose of your gear sustainably. Take things a step further and gather used equipment from your friends and teammates that you can donate to others that need your help.

    8. Use Green Or Energy-Saving Techniques When Maintaining Your Gear.

    Taking care of your gear is another essential part of being a skater. You’ll have hockey clothing, figure skates, and other pieces of equipment. You can find simple ways to go greener while taking care of your gear. Use an energy-efficient washer and dryer. Clean your gear with organic cleaning products. If you need to resurface your synthetic ice rink, you can use our non-toxic, environmentally safe slip surface conditioner. These are simple ways to stay green and clean!

    9. Save Time, Energy, And Money By Investing In A Skate Sharpener.

    Sharpening your skates is a critical part of skating. You’ll need to keep them sharp, especially when you’re using synthetic ice. To do so will take you time and energy to head over to your local shop. Over time, sharpening your skates can add up. If you’re skating several times a week, consider investing in your own home sharpener. It seems like a small step, but it can help you be just a bit greener.

    Green Products

    10. Support Sustainable Skating Equipment And Brands

    Finally, you can do your part by investing in sustainable, non-toxic, and environmentally friendly products. For instance, some brands don’t involve animal skin or products in their materials. You can also try hockey uniforms or figure staking uniforms that use sustainable materials or make sure to lower their carbon footprint. Take the time to research and choose the brands that align with your choices. 

    Do Your Part To Go Greener With Ice Skating.

    No matter what you do, there’s a way to make the Earth a better place. We continue to use more power and plastics than we need and everything we do can have a long-term impact on the environment. Some of the simple ways you can start is finding ways to recycle, reuse, save energy, and support those doing the same. 

    One of the best ways ice skaters can do this is to opt for synthetic ice. Synthetic ice saves significant energy compared to refrigerated ice and water compared to traditional rinks. At Polyglide Ice, we could do our part, like providing non-toxic, environmentally friendly products to our customers. You’ll also have the opportunity to skate longer throughout the year and invite others to your rink. What are some of the ways you’ll stay green? 

    The True Value of Synthetic Ice Home Training

    The True Value of Synthetic Ice Home Training

    Creating an environment to make synthetic ice training a reality takes some thinking, planning and research but the rewards are invaluable. 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”!

      Convert any Room into Your Own Synthetic Ice Rink

      Convert any Room into Your Own Synthetic Ice Rink

      Are you an avid ice skater? Do you have kids who are hockey-crazed and can’t get enough? Millions enjoy ice skating and ice sports in America. Sports like ice hockey, figure skating bring out creativity, competitiveness, and joy. Although getting to a rink to get some ice time can be a hassle for some. It's seems like more and more rinks are closing down or becoming less accessible. So it might be time to have your personal rink.  

      Now, the first thought that will come to mind is the expertise needed.  On top of that, well, all that ice! But with our synthetic ice panels you can easily create an at-home rink. In fact, you can convert any room into your own synthetic ice rink. Here’s everything you need to know about the process.

       

      Polymer Resin

      First, What’s Synthetic Ice?

      Like you, someone had the same problem several years ago. They wanted to skate but didn’t have access to a rink. The solution was to create a durable material smooth enough to skate with your actual metal skates. 

      Over time, companies like PolyGlide ice have perfected these panels to create high-quality panels. Our synthetic ice panels are made of HDPE or High-Density Polyethylene and UHMWPE or Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene. Companies developed these panels to outfit large rinks in places like malls and recreational centers in the past. These panels are now designed at a much smaller scale and interlock like puzzles to fit any space. 

      Synthetic ice panels are also infused with a self-lubricating formula, meaning they have less friction and a reduced need to reapply a liquid like a glide enhancer. Because of the durable material, the panels can last several years. 

      With synthetic ice panels, ice skaters can skate anywhere and anytime. You can even use these panels to create a rink in any room. \

      Decisions

      Does It Make Sense To Convert A Room Into A Rink?

      Even with the availability of synthetic ice, you may be wondering if it makes sense to convert a room into a rink. Let’s address some of the benefits of owning a synthetic ice rink.

      Building a natural rink is costly

      You can create a rink with natural ice. However, there is a high cost in outsourcing the equipment and manpower to do so. Furthermore, you can spend hundreds of dollars on maintenance costs every month. A synthetic ice rink takes away the time and cost involved. You can set it up and even remove it in less than an hour, depending on the size of the rink. 

      You can safely skate any time of the year

      If you decide on a frozen backyard rink, you will only have your rink during the winter months. Some ice sports and events are only active during this time as well. So what will you do? A home ice rink lets you put on your ice skates at any time during the year. If you or your kids love to skate, you don’t have to wait!

      You can stay ahead of the competition

      Is hockey taking a hiatus? With a home rink, you won’t have to. In the offseason, you can work on your skating, agility, power, and skills. While everyone is at home, you or your kids will surprise their teammates and the competition.  

      Reinforce the love of skating

      If you and your kids are passionate about ice skating, figure skating, or ice hockey, why not encourage it? The feeling you or your kids will receive from skating will be priceless.

       

      Project Tools

        Here’s What You’ll Need To Set Up

        Converting a room of your choice into a synthetic room is a relatively simple process. First, you have to decide on your room. The room should be easily accessible since you will need to put on your skates before going onto the synthetic ice. The space should also be free of any objects of value that can break or fall and hurt skaters. Next, you will need to measure the room to determine the size and number of synthetic ice panels you will need to construct your rink. From there, you’ll need:

        • Your purchased synthetic ice tiles (based on your measurements). 
        • A rubber mallet to connect the tiles evenly. This would prevent any bumps that can create a poor skating experience. 
        • Plywood for uneven flooring since the panels need a flat surface.
        •  Rink accessories like tape and bounce bars (for hockey).
        • A helping hand depending on the size of your rink. 

        Now it’s time to get to work. Let’s look at some of the rooms you can set up to have some epic skating moments.

        Converting Your Garage

        Garages are the most popular rooms our customers convert into their ice rinks. It’s easily accessible and many double as storage rooms. By removing the clutter, you can set up your tiles to cover the entire surface area. Get some help to clear the space, then place your tiles down using a mallet and some help from a friend. If you have bounce bars, you can set your bars around the edges of your synthetic ice. Garages can have high temperatures, causing the tiles to swell slightly, so make sure to leave less than an inch of space to compensate for this. If the garage is in use, meaning cars will park there, a tarp or similar spread can cover the tiles. Garages are great for two or more persons practicing hockey. Persons practicing advanced ice skating moves may also benefit from using their garage.

         

        Basement Rink

        Ramping Up Your Basement

        Your basement is another excellent place to set up your rink. Basements tend to have much more space than your garage making it a great place to work on speed drills and more advanced skating moves. It’s also a great place to skate or play ice hockey without disturbing the rest of the family. 

        Ensure you clear out the basement, possibly placing items in external storage or selling off unwanted items. Measure the space accurately - some basements have corners and turns that can be a bit tricky. If needed, reach out to us for advice on custom synthetic ice tiles. These panels need a flat surface, so make sure to remove any carpet or rugs. Use plywood as additional flooring if required. As a side note, make sure to have proper ventilation as some basements tend to be hotter than the rest of the house.

        Skating In Your Spare Room

        Have a spare bedroom available? It’s an excellent opportunity to turn it into an ice rink. Extra rooms are perfect for people on a budget but still want to have fun skating. They are usually smaller than the garage but better than using one large tile in the driveway or deck. Your spare room should have a flat surface. Like your basement, make sure to remove any carpet and measure for any uneven surfaces. An extra room is often a permanent fixture so that you can seal your synthetic ice tiles to the floor with a Double-Sided Seam Tape. For hockey players, set up bounce bars and protect windows with curtains or reinforced glass. Spare rooms are great for kids, so you can still monitor their progress and safety.

        Living Room Rink

        Flipping Your Living Room Or Kitchen Into A Rink?

        Let’s face it. Sometimes, we don’t have the room we want to set up. For example, a small apartment in the city won’t have the extra space to set things up. That means we need to improvise. You can turn a living area into a multipurpose room. While it won’t give you the space to skate freely or practice advanced tricks, it’s still a great alternative to no skating at all! For example, you can move around your sofa and set up a mini rink right in your living room. For instance, this little tyke got to practice his stickhandling right in his living room. They can easily set up and put away the rink at a moment’s notice. 

        But one famous example is how Coach Michelle Hong was able to convert her kitchen into her own skating rink! With limited apartment space, the skating coach was able to improvise so she can skate even under quarantine. Her kitchen skating exploits have garnered massive attention on Tik Tok, and she shows no signs of slowing down!

        If you want to recreate a multipurpose space, envision the part of the room that’s the least cluttered and easiest to set up and tear down. You can even place a throw rug or mat over your tiles so you can still use the space for its original purpose. 

        Let’s Help You Get Started

        Now it’s your turn to get your synthetic ice rink up and running. It will be a great addition to the home for the Holidays! You and your family will enjoy hours of skating and practice. Nothing’s better than having fun skating while getting better and better in your field. And that goes for the kids, too! If you’re unsure about how many synthetic ice tiles you’ll need or what accessories will help, then contact us today. We can help you get started.

        Make the Most of Your Home Environment with Synthetic Ice Tiles

        Make the Most of Your Home Environment with Synthetic Ice Tiles

        The Challenge of Excelling at Ice Skating 

        We love ice skating in all its forms. Whether we’re skating at the rink during the holidays or practicing our jumps or hockey stops in the offseason, skating is a thrilling experience everyone should try at least once. Skating this year, like everything else, has been a challenge. You need to get your skates and gear and find a local ice skating rink to practice or play with your friends. 

        Unfortunately, ice skating and hockey rinks have been hit hard, effectively shutting them down for 2020 and beyond. And while there has been some traction of late, we see it start to regress yet again. To keep the sport and your skill alive, you have to be a bit creative. That means skating at home. And you can make your home environment into your own skating sanctuary with synthetic ice tiles. Stay tuned. We’ll give you some fun tips on making spaces your own. 

        synthetic ice tiles

        It’s Time to Improvise with Synthetic Ice Tiles

        What are synthetic ice tiles? These are specially made panels that imitate the feeling of ice. Don’t be fooled. Skating on synthetic ice tiles is not akin to using your rollerblades. You use your actual metal blades on a high-quality, ultra-dense, polyethylene material. Synthetic ice tiles have been around for several years. In fact, it’s the same material that spaces like malls and hotels use to set up skating rinks for the holidays. These panels are smaller and interlock so that you can skate on any flat surface. That means you can take them home and get a little creative. 

        Using Synthetic Ice Tiles at Home vs. Natural ice

        A common question that arises is, “Why not create a DIY ice rink at home?” Without a doubt, this is a great option. In fact, with some elbow grease and a little creativity, you can create a large, natural ice rink that can last for years but it does have some drawbacks. If you decide to go with synthetic ice tiles instead, you get all the benefits with none of the hiccups. For example:

        Weather is Not a Problem

        While natural rinks feel amazing, to create one, you need ideal conditions. For instance, you must have a few consecutive days at a steady temperature for your rink to freeze. That means time is of the essence. Furthermore, you’ll need to shovel off snow, slush, and freezing rain. Synthetic ice tiles aren’t dependent on the weather and can clean with a simple wipe or soft broom. 

        You Save on Water and Other Materials

        To create a natural ice rink, you need water. And lots of it. You can spend a day filling your rink and several hundred gallons of water, with the hope that it freezes well. You need to have a tarp for the weather, plywood boards, and poles to keep everything in place. With synthetic ice, all you need is to purchase the number of tiles for your space and Rebounding Dasher Curbs to cordon it off with synthetic ice tiles. These can be used for years to come without having to waste precious time and resources.

        Easy to Set-up and Uninstall

        Setting up a natural rink makes excellent use of your environment. But it can be a task to set up and take it down. You’ll need a little help with measuring, setting up the walls, and filling up the rink. With synthetic ice tiles, you can set up by yourself with just a soft mallet to interlock the panels. When you’re done, you can break it down and store it away (but who will want to do that when you can skate all year!).

        It’s Safer for Your Kids

        Most parents love that their kids are crazy for hockey. But playing at a local rink can bring some safety concerns. Older kids could be a bit rough, and parents tend to worry about stray pucks flying everywhere. By using your home environment, you have a more controlled space where they can have fun. Furthermore, if you’re still a bit concerned about heading out due to the ongoing pandemic, you can safely skate at home in your own bubble. 

        A Great Way to Release Some Energy

        If the kids have a little energy to burn, they can put on their skates and have some fun! Ice skating, figure skating, and hockey are great ways to burn off some energy. And if you want a way to stay in shape, you can get a great workout on your synthetic rink.  

        Happy SkaterYou’ll Get Better at Skating

        The more hours you put in something, the better you get at it. Ice skating is no exception. If you or your kids want to get an edge on the competition, having space to practice will quickly improve your speed, strength, and stickhandling skills. While everyone is resting, you’ll be working.

        How to Take Advantage of Your Environment

        Now it’s time to put on your thinking cap and see how you can make the most of your surroundings. Opting for synthetic ice tiles gives you the advantage of setting up almost anywhere. Make sure to measure your space so you have the necessary tiles for your area. For uneven surfaces, you’ll need additional plywood to have a smoother skate. Here are some ways to make the most of your space.

        backyard rink

        1. Set-up a Backyard Rink

        This is one of our favorite locations to set up a rink. People often use their backyards for natural, DIY ice rinks because they’re spacious. We love space when it comes to skating though you really don't need a lot! With as little as 200 square feet, you can set up a space for hockey training or a manageable enough rink to practice figure skating. You can go larger if you have older kids or have practice matches. Having a level surface is critical, so check grassy areas and use plywood if needed to keep things even.  

         2. Use Your Driveway

        Sometimes, all you have is your driveway! Park the cars in the street or the garage and get your tiles down to start skating. You’ll have significantly less space compared to the back yard. However, you can still get a nice sized rink if you have a large area. You can even get creative and use your front lawn!

        3. Skate on Your Deck

        Decks are flat surfaces created outdoors and connected to your house. They are usually made of high-quality wood and elevated from the floor on concrete or wooden pillars. Decks are great for lounging in the summer but can double as your skating rink all year round! Decks are some of the best places for skating since they are usually large spaces with level floors. All you’ll need to do is set up your rink based on the dimensions of your deck.

        4. Garage Ice Arena

        Probably one of the most popular spaces for a home rink is right where you park your car (or store all your possesions....the Garage! It's the ideal location that provides the nesessary space just enough to practice your edge work while away from the riink AND stay warm! The great thing about synthteic ice is thta the polymer plastic is strong enough to park your car on it with no damage to the surface. Just remember to cover your rink first to prevent dirt, oils and debris from mucking-up your rink.

        ice court

        5. Sport Court Conversion

        If you have a backyard basketball court or tennis court, you can quickly convert it into your rink for the holidays and beyond. Since these have flat surfaces, you can easily place multiple tiles in any shape you like so you or your family can start skating. To have the best of both worlds, you can invest in a pad or covering where you can still play basketball or tennis while having your rink in place. 

        6. Turn Swimming into Skating

        Earlier this year, our friends at the Faze Clan mansion took our tiles and created a skating runway around their pool. That gave us an idea. Why not cover your pool in ice! During the cold months, swimming will be at a minimum. It’s a great way to use the space by installing a synthetic ice rink. If the pool is shallow, you can drain it and install the rink on the pool floor. This can save you money on energy and water! Place a sub-layer of foam or board to protect the floor of the pool. You can go over the pool, but this may be a bit more difficult. You’ll need to create a sturdy structure to hold everyone safely before placing the skating panels. Speak with a contractor or structural engineer for this option. 

        rooftop rink

         7. Take it to the Roof

        Sometimes we don’t have space in our environment to create large rinks. Some people live in apartment complexes or other living arrangements where space is a premium. Why not take advantage of the space on the top floor? Set up a synthetic ice rink on the rooftop area away from the ledge. It will feel fantastic skating closer to the clouds, or even under the stars!

        Get Creative with Your Environment

        If skating is as important to you as it is to us, it makes sense to make the most of your environment. Using synthetic ice tiles, you have the versatility to set up almost everywhere while still having a skating experience comparable to real ice. From your deck, pool, and even the street, you and your family can have fun skating again! If you need advice on measurements and set up or need special pricing, don’t hesitate to contact us today!

         

        Synthetic ice Tiles: Expectations vs. Reality

        Synthetic ice Tiles: Expectations vs. Reality
        If you’ve been thinking about getting synthetic ice tiles, you’ve probably done some research. Based on the blogs and YouTube videos around, it’s easy to build up some ideas around skating on a different surface. We’re here to address some of those expectations and give you the reality.   

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