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
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