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    PolyGlide Blog, News & Updates

    Pass the Ice and Turn Up the Heat

    cold weather hockey



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

    Turn up the heat

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

    Car Time Share

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

    Put the hose Away

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

    Practical Ice Solutions

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

    The 7 Ways a Synthetic Ice Rink Can Save You Money

    The 7 Ways a Synthetic Ice Rink Can Save You Money

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

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

    1 – Travel

    travel to the ice rink

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

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

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

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

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

    Cost Assessment

    empty pocket budget

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

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

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

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

    2 – Time

    wasted time spent traveling to the rink

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

    Players and Skaters

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

    Parents

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

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

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

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

    3 – Lessons

    coaches whistle

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

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

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

    4 – Camps & Clinics

    camps and clinics

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

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

    5 – Off-Ice Training

    hockey gear for off ice training

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

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

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

    6 – Value

    price and value of synthetic ice

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

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

    7 – Long Lasting

    reusable

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

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

    Start Saving

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

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

    DIY Backyard Ice Rink Project

    DIY Backyard Ice Rink Project

     

    Do it yourself backyard rink AWhat kid wouldn't want a little bit of Canada in their backyard in the shape of their own personal Backyard 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.

    Climate Factors

    If you live North of the USbackyard rink cost 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 - 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

    family team rink projectThink 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

     

     

     www.polyglideice.com

    How do I know what synthetic ice panel to buy? https://youtu.be/Ly-GjTcMr78

     

     

    It's Never Too Late to Learn How to Ice Skate

    It's Never Too Late to Learn How to Ice Skate

    Do you find yourself gaining weight during the long, cold winter months? Is it difficult to stay motivated to exercise, particularly when there's frost on the ground?

    If your home exercise equipment or local gym is failing to get you up and out of your easy chair, it may be time to try a new type of exercise this winter.

    How about something that not only gets your heart beating faster, but also improves your balance, physical fitness, and coordination?

    Why not try something that’s so much fun, you'll forget you're working out?

    Ice skating might be the perfect fit for you. You may follow figure skating competitions during the winter Olympics or enjoy watching your favorite hockey team square off against its rivals — but do you skate yourself? It’s never too late to learn.

    You can learn to ice skate at any age. Learn more about the benefits of this fun and invigorating winter activity.

    Health benefits of ice skating

    Ice skating is great for your heart and lungs. It provides an aerobic workout, getting your heart pumping and improving your circulation.

    This can help you feel more alert and energetic, while lowering your risk of heart disease.

    Ice skating can also help you lose weight, especially if you combine it with a healthy and well-balanced diet. Y

    ou can potentially burn more than 200 calories for every half hour of skating, reports Harvard Medical School.

    Ice skating also tones and stretches your muscles as you learn to engage your abdominals, thighs, and calves to maintain your balance.

    The more you skate, the more strength and endurance you’ll develop.

    Finally, skating can improve your mental fitness. As you learn to skate, you’ll challenge your mind and body to develop new skills, increase your self-confidence, and exercise mental control.

    This fun seasonal activity is also a great way to spend time with friends and family members.

    Hitting your local ice rink together can help you unwind and relieve stress in the company of loved ones.

    Before you get started

    Before you start ice skating, take these simple steps to prepare.

    Talk to your doctor

    As with any exercise program, it's wise to check with your doctor before starting to ice skate.

    They can help you decide if you're in good enough health to take on the challenge.

    They can also help you understand the risks and benefits, and strategies to avoid injury.

    Stock your closet

    It’s important to dress warmly but in layers when you skate, so you can shed clothing as you start to warm up.

    Leggings and stretchy fitted tops allow freedom of motion. Wear microfiber socks rather than cotton socks. They will absorb moisture and fit well on your feet, reducing your risk of blisters.

    Wear gloves, not only for warmth, but also to protect your hands if you fall.

    Consider wearing hip, knee, elbow, and wrist pads or guards to protect your joints against injuries. A helmet can also help you stay safe by avoiding head injuries. Wearing protective equipment is especially important if you're not confident in your balance. These precautions can help you avoid injury and continue skating, even after a fall.

    Rent or buy skates

    When you first start, consider renting your skates instead of buying them. That will give you the chance to try different styles to learn what you like and don't like.

    When it comes time to buy, you’ll have more experience and knowledge on which to base your purchasing decision.

    If you want to buy skates right away, get some advice from a reputable skating instructor. They can help you determine which skates may be best for you. Whatever you decide, make sure your skates fit well.

    Skate sizes don't always match shoe sizes. Your heels should be snug against the back of your skates, and you should be able to wiggle your toes up and down.

    Hitting the ice

    Once you've got your doctor’s approval and basic apparel, you're ready to go skating. You can choose a public skate time at your local rink and try it out on your own.

    You can invest in group or private lessons. Or you can ask a friend or family member who knows how to skate to help you learn.

    You’ll probably fall a few times along the way, so it’s important to learn how to fall in ways that will minimize your risk of injury. Tuck your hands in close so other skaters don't run over your fingers when you are down.

    Try to relax as you fall, so you don't land too stiffly. Protect your wrists, elbows, hips, and knees if possible. If you can, land on your backside. That's the least likely part of your body to get injured.

    Practice stopping as soon as you can. This will be your most important skill.

    You can use the T-stop, where you drag one skate behind the other at a 45-degree angle. Or you can use the snowplow stop, where you push your skates apart and form a pigeon-toed position, using the inside of the blades to shave the ice and slow your momentum.

    Try not to become discouraged. Remember you're learning something entirely new. It’s important to be patient with yourself and enjoy the journey.

    Before long, you may find yourself dreading the summer months because ice skating is so much fun!

    Written by The Healthline Editorial Team

    Infused vs Non-Infused Synthetic Ice?

    Infused vs Non-Infused Synthetic Ice?
    There are many things to consider when purchasing a synthetic ice rink including whether to go with an "infused" or "non-infused" surface. Infused or "self lubricating" synthetic ice panels are manufactured with a slip agent additive... 

    Read more