Starting a DIY Backyard Rink Project?>
What kid wouldn't want a little bit of Canada in their backyard in the shape of their own personal ice skating rink? This is the ultimate backyard DIY project for any parent that can be shared by the whole family and enjoyed by all. It will also automatically put you on the list for "Parent of the Year" along with "Parent of the Neighborhood" for years to come along with "Super Cool Parent" status. If these acknowledgements are way too much to pass up there are things you need to consider before pulling the trigger.
Weigh the Costs and Duration
If your lucky enough not to be affected at all by global warming and live North of the US border you actually have a shot at an opportunity for some thick ice for a few months out of the year should mother nature decide to smile on your rink building dreams. Heading South into the States the ice time duration starts to melt depending on which way the wind blows from January through February. As you head South of Route 80 synthetic ice starts to become a primary consideration as the actual duration of substained ice seriously starts to dwindle. The rink building project itself may take longer than the lifespan of the rink which you may wind up branding as a one-day "Winter Classic". Traveling further South becomes a polymer paradise for Artificial Ice as the only option unless your prefer to mortgage the house for an ice compressor, piping and brine along with 100 hours of labor (forget it).
Staying under Budget
After confriming your geographical location and referencing the Farmers Almanac start to price-out what the costs are associated with starting your rink project. Ask yourself the following questions before beginning your project:
- 1 - Consider the size, age and sport of your skater(s) as smaller skaters just starting out really only need enough space to perform a figure eight to work both their inside and outside skate edes. Consider going a little bigger for more than one skater or to allow for stickhandling for hockey players or jumps for figure skaters.
- 2 - Assess how much dedicated space (SF) you have for your outdoor (or indoor for synthetic) ice rink. Using the total dimensions draft a list of materials you'll need (heavy mill plastic liner, wood framework and supports for natural) to complete your rink project. If synthteic ice is your best or only option you may want to choose a solid core panel that will withstand the outdoor temperatures over time.
- 3 - As much as we'd all love to "go big" consider starting small and growing your rink as your skater grows and continues to show an interest in their sport which will help keep your start-up cost to a minimum.
Make it a Team Rink Project
Think about making your backyard rink a team project and enlist the help of family members and friends as volunteers that would surely enjoy lacing-up and skating on your rink. If your constructions costs exceed your budget perhaps other team mates and their families would help you raise the necessary funds to complete your rink project if all will benefit. The skating community be it hockey or figure skating are dedicated to their related sports and can be quite creative when it comes to fundraising ideas to make any rink build project a reality!
By Jim Loughran, PolyGlide Ice
There are a plenty of Hockey fans out there that love the sport but are total "benders" when it comes to ice skating nor do they have any desire or time to improve on this skill. They are the Kings and Queens of the deck hockey world and would like to keep it that way. But there is a new sport rising out of the depths of the knee hockey world that may challenge those deck hockey enthusiasts.......introducing SOCKEY!!!
As explained in www.sockeyfun.sockey.com: Sockey is an Elementary-level indoor co-ed activity created to learn the game of hockey, exercise, and have fun! It is a safe variant of hockey played in a gymnasium with sock-covered hockey sticks, soft indoor hockey balls, and players wear sneakers instead of skates! What sets our program apart from others is our philosophy. We believe in an overall sense of community for everyone involved: participation in charitable events, financial support for students and teachers, convenience for parents, and fun & exercise for all!
Well it is our job here at polyglideice.com to keep our readers and followers informed about what appears to be brewing out there in the deep dark depths of hockeyland that is slowly emerging as a trend. It appears a hydrid version of Sockey meets Knee Hockey is forming that involves the use of a synthetic ice panels and you guessed it.......SOCKS!! Players emulate the ice-skating motion while playing their favorite sport (less the bent ankles) on a slippery synthetic ice surface..... thus a true, "pure" version of Sockey!
The sock itself has been relocated from the stick blade back to the foot of which we've been told nylon works best. The results are one giant slip and slide mess (without the water) of incredible hockey fun for kids of all ages that brings a lot of great plays between the giggles. Just imagine being on a slippery break away and being taken out by your own ill-timed deke. We can see how this sport is starting to gain momentum as there's something really funny about a bunch of unstable-footed athletes (or adults) taking themselves too seriously.
So if you have the guts and are crazy enough to try something new Sockey awaits you! Start out by waxing the hardwood floors and grab a pair of your holely nylon socks in the back of your draw that hasn't seen the daylight in fifteen years. Work your way up to form your own Sockey league, recruit only the best scouted talent and maybe.... just maybe you and your Sockey comrades will raise.....
(well timed pause).....The Stanley Sock!!
- Jim Loughran, PolyGlide Ice
Snap it's cold!
Turn up the heat
Creating a home ice skating rink indoors was never much of an option In the old days but
Car Time Share
Put the hose Away
The thought of not having to worry about your hose freezing up for once is one of the
Practical Ice Solutions
Creating an environment to make home synthetic ice training a reality takes more thinking than money to make it happen. As with all modern day sports physical fitness is the foundation for the potential of success one can achieve outside of genetics. Being a "gym rat" or in this case a "rink rat" can take a player with an average skill to the next level if the effort and desire is there.
WIth all of todays modern day distractions (facebook, instagram, twitter) that unfortunately consume the bulk of any young athletes day, introducing home training is more critical 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 have to master the art of ice skating.
Whether it be a hockey player or figure skater, creating a "go-to" familiar space for the athlete to push past their comfort level to the point of failure in a private environment is the envy of any "rink rat". As much as it seems that Moms and Dads like to oversee every increment of development during practice athletes prefer to test their boundaries training on their own as they progress their skills....Savoring that head-turning moment when they hear, "Did (He or She) just do that?"
Creating a synthetic ice training area can begin with a minimal amount of space and investment. With the average cost of skates ranging $300-$500 a pair of skates synthetic ice is becoming more of a bargain. A lot can be accomplished with just a little bit of space for figure skaters practicing their spins or hockey players practicing their shot... in their skates! Quite honestly "small games" training has become widely accepted at every level from youth to Pro's.
Most any highlight reel of some of the most impressive head-turning moves are accomplished in less than 200 square feet of space. Most all trainers are also firm believers in repetition...repetition...repitition until muscle memory makes it second nature and the skill set has been ingrained into the athlete. This can be accented by limiting the amount of time and space for the athlete to recover and allow them to quickly repeat the skill.
Creating a natural ice outdoor rink would be the ideal scenerio that any skater would love to enjoy depending on their geographical location. The facts are that for a large percentage of all the skaters in the world the ice arena is the only solution.....but it doesn't have to be that way anymore. The little bit of added resistance with todays modern synthetic ice makes it more and more of an acceptable substitute to the real thing. There is also a warm element to synthetic ice training when it's much too cold to go outdoors when the wind chill guarantees frost-bite in 15 minutes. When such is the case....synthetic ice is truly priceless!
By Jim Loughran polyglideice.com