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    Synthetic Ice Rinks Enjoying Some Southern Exposure

    Synthetic Ice Rinks Enjoying Some Southern Exposure

    Ice skating and all it's sports (hockey, figure skating, curling) are popular in Canada and the northernmost states in the US.

    However, as we head south, ice sports are less accessible.

    Local ice arenas are few and far between, and backyard ice rinks are pretty much nonexistent.

    But now, we're happy to report, the days when ice skating was only available to the masses throughout the winter months has come to an end.

    Thanks to advancements in synthetic ice plastics, skaters of all ages and levels can practice and play at their own leisure....in any region, warm or cold.


    The King In The North

    The local ice arena was typically the only option for anyone that wanted a leisurely skate at a moment’s notice.

    Years ago, you needed to live in the Northern Hemisphere and wait for the pond to freeze over with each passing winter.

    Yes, in Canada, ice skating - and snow sports, in general - is king.

    Finding a space to skate is easy at almost any time of the year.

    There are a few reasons why.

    Warm and Cold Climate

    An Ice Skating Climate

    Climate is the first obvious reason.

    Canada is notably colder and has longer winters.

    Yes, officially the winter season starts mid-December until mid-March.

    However, Canadians start to experience freezing temperatures as early as October and as late as April.

    As you head further North, cold temperatures can last even longer.

    That means Canadians have the perfect climate for frozen ponds, backyard rinks, and everything in between.

     


    The Origins of Rinks (and Ice Hockey)

    We have Canada to thank for the original concept of an ice rink.

    The earliest introduction of ice skating in the Northern Hemisphere came in the 1800s.

    From there, the first outdoor rink in a defined space appeared in Montreal in 1850.

    Some 12 years later, Canada created the first-ever indoor rink, the Victoria Skating Rink.

    Soon, the first indoor hockey game was a nine-on-nine game with a wooden disc.

    These events led to a groundswell of rinks, skating, and all things ice, which quickly spread to the United States.

    While field hockey has been around hundreds of years before, they were willing to push the bar, responsible for many of the rules and leagues popular today.

     canadian hockey

    A Skating Culture

    Ice skating is embedded in the very fabric of Canada.

    Hockey is their national winter sport.

    Canada also has over 7800 ice rinks, by far the most in any country.

    Some of the most famous ice skaters, hockey players, and curling teams are from up North.

    Canadians are protective and fanatic about their winter sports, leading to fierce rivalries with opponents like the USA and other Nations.

    You can’t help but marvel at their devotion to sport, especially around Christmas time.

    Skating in Canada has no doubt impacted the USA over the decades.

    As we cross the border, there's lots of skating activity in states with particularly long, cold winters.

    Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin come to mind.

    However, that does not mean that more populated states like Michigan, Massachusetts, and New York lack a skating culture.

    It is alive and well.

    In fact, some of the most successful hockey teams and figure skaters come from urban cities and states.

    However, more and more skaters that want to pursue the sport full-time find themselves moving to spaces and countries that can better facilitate their progress.

    health benefits of ice skating

    The Benefits of Ice Skating

    So what’s the big deal about skating?

    And why do we love it so much?

    There’s an exhilarating feeling you get from lacing up those skates and gliding across the ice, for starters.

    The speed feels fantastic.

    And the creativity you develop with skating is invaluable.

    It’s a way to release your stress, calm your mind and enjoy the movement.

    Or it’s a way to focus your mind and get an edge on your competition.


    It’s a Great Workout.

    Ice skating is a great form of exercise.

    The stress relief comes from endorphins that we release from physical activity.

    But we also burn calories.

    An hour of ice skating can burn up to 650 calories.

    For kids with fast metabolisms, this may not matter.

    For adults looking to stay in shape, it’s a fun way to shed those extra pounds.


    Balance and Coordination

    Falling is a part of ice skating, but not for long.

    The more you practice, the better and stronger you get.

    Ice skating targets your lower body, helping you build those hamstrings, quads, and glutes.

    The strength and power translate to better balance and coordination.

    Both on the ice and off it.

    happy kids

    Kids and Sports

    Tens of thousands of kids compete in ice hockey or enjoy figure skating.

    It’s a great sport to start if you have access to a rink or it’s colder in your neck of the woods.

    But that does not mean your kids can’t enjoy it if you live further south.

    You can start teaching your kids to skate as early as five years old, then see which level or sport they gravitate to most.


    Build Your Community

    Once you start to skate, you’ll find other skaters and create your own skating network.

    It could be as simple as your neighbors coming over to try an outdoor rink or a neighborhood hockey tournament at a local rink.

    The skating community is close-knit, helping each other to become better ice skaters, figure skaters, and hockey players.


    How the Warm Climate States Can Ice Skate

    As we head south, the weather heats up, and the ice melts.

    The winter months are shorter, especially on the West coast.

    There are fewer opportunities to ice skate as there are fewer available rinks.

    This interesting graph shows how Southern states like Kansas, Arkansas, Georgia, and Louisiana, have less than five ice rinks.

     

    rink graph

     

    Compared to the millions of people in each state, they won’t be able to meet any growing demands.

    It is understandable.

    Indoor ice rinks take hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop and are expensive to maintain.

    Decision-makers and business owners will want a return on investment, but they may be missing the bigger picture.

    There are skaters in these states with no facilities!

    So how do we resolve this problem that continues to get worse?


    Ice Developments

    People wonder why winter sports like Ice Hockey, Figure Skating and Curling become so popular every four years during the Olympic Games.

    The reason I would say is partly that to grow the game, you need the ice that comes with it, and to make it yourself would cost a LOT of money.

    Until now.

    PolyGlide Synthetic Ice

    The Introduction of Synthetic Ice

    Times have certainly changed with the development of new synthetic ice plastics that are portable and easy to assemble to create your own artificial ice rink virtually anywhere.

    Over the years, the polymer industry has made huge strides in creating hardened plastics that have changed the way we live.

    Plastics manufactured today are durable enough for knee and hip replacements.

    They are also resistant enough to handle the wear and tear of ice skating on a flat sheet….and yes, to top it off these plastics are.....RECYCABLE!!!

    Today there are hundreds of synthetic ice rinks large and small across the country that require zero energy to operate.

    special polymer plastic

    The advancement of the polyethylene material and the technology behind it allow manufacturers to profile the panels to interlock seamlessly.

    Now, you can have a miniature-sized rink in your garage, spare room, or driveway.

    If that’s not big enough, you can install a large backyard synthetic ice rink.

    The big difference between today's synthetic ice plastics and those from the early days is what actually makes the surface slippery.

    In the early days, most surfaces were simply a large white cutting board with oils applied (yes, I said oils) to make it slippery enough to skate on.

    That would be ideal today if you wanted to slice up a nice salad with your skates, but it probably wouldn’t be the best option for ice skating.

    Today’s newer polymer plastics have become denser and abrasive-resistant, while surface glide enhancers designed just for synthetic ice have also developed along the way.


    Slippery Solutions

    The biggest development has been in the manufacturing process, where plastic ice is now being designed solely for the purpose of ice skating.

    The introduction of “slip agents” during manufacturing actually makes the plastic slippery enough not to require surface enhancers.

    Without getting too technical, this development creates way less surface friction and makes it feel like you’re on natural ice and the overall experience much more pleasurable.

    It also creates more options for those who have always wanted to try ice skating, but it was never an option.

     

    synthetic ice benefits


    Other Benefits of Synthetic Ice

    Enjoying the benefits of ice skating in a warmer state is just the start.

    There are other benefits of going synthetic.

    • Ice Skate 24/7 -  Backyard ice rinks and frozen ponds need freezing temperatures.Once the ice melts, so do the rinks.
    • Extra Practice - With synthetic ice, you can practice figure skating or hockey throughout the year to gain an edge on the competition.
    • Easy Installation - It's also relatively easy to install and maintain. Large synthetic ice rinks need just a couple of hours to set up. In-home kits only need a few minutes.
    • Long Lifespan - On average, synthetic ice rinks can easily last 10+ years with careful maintenance and cleanings.
    • Positive Friction - The surface does have slightly more friction than natural ice which makes it the perfect "ice simulator" for those looking to become stronger skaters and athletes.
    • Cost Savings - Best of all, synthetic ice rinks cost less over time. It’s one initial investment that keeps on giving for years. With ice rinks, you’ll need to rebuild every year, expending time and resources. Refrigerated rinks can also be built at home however, the compressors and refrigeration system can cost thousands of dollars. Even then, it can only be used for 1-2 months outside of winter.

    synthetic ice installation

    Setting Up Your Ice Rink in the South

    When you’re ready to set up your rink, you just need to follow a few steps:

    • Rink Location - Is it your backyard? Deck? Garage? The site determines how many panels you’ll need and other equipment like dasher boards, lights, etc.
    • Measure - You don’t want to have a rough estimate and have to repurchase more ice panels. Most companies have standard dimensions for their ice. For instance, our PolyGlide Ice Starter Kit comes with 4 - 1/4" X 24" X 48" tiles, measuring 32 square feet. Our larger infused Pro-Glide panels can be as much as 1/2" thick X 46" X 92. Once you calculate your area, you’ll know exactly how many tiles or panels you’ll need for a rink.
    • Flatness - An uneven ground leads to an uneven skate. If the ground is uneven, simply create a pressure treated box frame with OSB plywood (shed deck) and install your synthteic ice on top.
    • Installation - Place your tiles in your designated space. A heavy rubber mallet (ideally 2lbs.) is all you need to connect the interlocking dovetailed connections.


    And that’s it!

    Larger panels are heavy and must be freight shipped to you so you’ll need some friends to help you install your rink, otherwise, it’s a simple installation process.


    Conclusion

    Growing up, I always remembered looking through the old NHL team Media  Guides at some of my favorite hockey players, and at the bottom of the page where it said “Birthplace,” they all said “CANADA.”

    Times have certainly changed over the years as the sport of hockey and figure skating continues to grow in the South and warmer climate areas.

    With the introduction of these new synthetic ice surfaces, backyard rinks can be set up year-round, allowing more great skaters and players to hone their skills.

    You no longer have to head up north to enjoy the ice or spend hours commuting to the only rink in the state.

    Synthetic ice brings ice skating right to our doorstep.

    With the development of synthetic ice plastics, you can look for these sports to continue growing and developing more players and skaters that may come from some of the most unrecognizable zip codes.

     

     

    How to Learn to Skate in Your Own Home

    How to Learn to Skate in Your Own Home

    According to Statista, there are over 10 million active ice skaters in the US since 2017 and even more that learn to skate every year.

    This figure has increased steadily ever since.

    Around the holiday period, that "learn to skate" figure hits fever pitch.

    The cold weather means more ice rinks, frozen lakes, and persons creating their backyard ice rinks.

    It’s skating with friends and family around Christmas lights.

    Even those who have no access to natural ice get synthetic ice panels so that they could enjoy skating in their homes. 

    With every passing Holiday season we see people lacing-up skates for the very first time.

    They want to learn to skate but are a bit scared to get out on the ice.

    On a large rink, that expanse of ice feels intimidating.

    Even on synthetic ice, new skaters can feel a little bit out of their depth at first.

    If you’re thinking about skating, we encourage you to jump right in.

    why should i learn to skate

    But First, Why Should I Pick Up Ice Skating?

    Skating is one of the best complete body exercises around.

    You need full control of your body and legs, and you’ll feel your calves, hamstrings, and core burn as you learn to skate.

    Ice skating improves your flexibility, balance and increases your endurance.

    The constant movement does wonders for your cardiovascular system and weight management.

    Just one hour on the ice can burn up to 850 calories.

    Best of all, ice skating brings people together to have fun with ice sports and build a community sense.

    You’ll have fun with your friends, family, and even pick up a long-term hobby.

    So if you’re ready to learn to skate, these ten tips will help bring you at ease.

    dress to impress

    1. Dress to Impress.

    Of course, before you learn to skate, you need to have some essentials.

    First, make sure you’ve dressed appropriately for skating.

    If you’re skating at a rink, dress warmly without bundling up too much.

    You still want to move freely, after all.

    Wear a long-sleeved top and a beanie or hat to keep your head warm.

    For synthetic ice rinks, the temperature should be in your favor.

    However, in both cases, wear leggings or comfortable pants.

    Jeans will make ice skating uncomfortable and difficult.

    Some persons wear helmets at first.

    It’s not a requirement but can be useful in certain circumstances.

    Kids learning hockey, for example, should wear a helmet. 

    2. The Most Crucial Tool You’ll Need.

    Of course, you’ll need a pair of ice skates to learn to skate.

    In most cases, you can rent a pair of skates.

    However, if you’re looking to skate long-term, consider investing in a pair.

    This is especially true for those who have their synthetic ice rinks or plan to create one at home.

    There are different skates for different sports and applications.

    Figure skating and hockey each have their type of skates.

    As a starter, however, you should get a pair of recreational skates.

    As you improve or decide to pursue a particular type of skating activity, you can get the relevant skates you will need to learn to skate.

    Comfort is critical here.

    Make sure your skates are snug, with just enough space for your toes to breathe.

    For kids, avoid buying skates that are too big in the hopes that they grow into them.

    This can easily cause injury.

    Lace your skates up tight so that they feel like a part of your foot.

    Now it’s time to learn to skate!

    Walk first

    3. Walk Before You Skate.

    The goal for a new skater is to get accustomed to the ice beneath your feet.

    Start off by marching in place.

    When that feels good, you can start marching forward slowly.

    It’s ok if you need some support.

    This might mean holding onto a rail, wall, or friend.

    For many, synthetic ice feels a bit more comfortable to march on, and you’ll get the hang of walking a bit faster due to the slight difference in friction between natural ice and synthetic ice.

    Keep your arms in front of you for balance, then practice simple steps and glides.

    Before you know it, you’ll experience your first fall. 

    4. You Can’t Skate Without Falling.

    Falling is inevitable in skating. If you watch figure skating, even seasoned professionals fall.

    So as a part of your ice skating lesson, you'll need to learn how to fall as you learn to skate.

    If you feel yourself losing balance, bend your knees and if you start falling, fall to the side.

    To get back up, turn over to your hands and knees.

    Bring one foot between your hands, then the other, using your hands to balance as you get back on both feet.

    Falling could be jarring at first, but you can’t go skate with a fear of falling.

    In time, you’ll get more accustomed to falling.

    5. Learn How to Stop Safely.

    As you start moving and grooving, you’ll need to learn how to stop on the ice.

    There are actually a few ways you can stop on the ice.

    Two popular techniques include:

    • The Snowplow Stop: One of the simplest ways to stop on the ice. As you move, place your arms out in front of you (not too wide, not too narrow) at shoulder height. Bend your needs slightly, which will help you decelerate, then start moving your legs slightly outward to form a ‘V,’ with your toes pointing inward. You will absorb the energy of your skates and come to a stop. Keep your chest upright, so you don’t fall over on your face. 
    • The Hockey Stop: The hockey stop works well if you’re picking up speed. Slightly bend your knees and then check your hips and turn your skates to one side. Picture yourself pushing your feet into the ice to help you stop quickly. Practice stopping on alternate legs so you’ll feel comfortable stopping no matter which direction you find yourself. 

    6. Keep Your Eyes "Off" the Prize.

    Similar to walking, try not to look at your feet when you’re skating.

    This could actually distract you from moving and mess with your form.

    If you learn to skate with other people, you can easily bump into them or injure yourself if you’re not looking ahead.

    It can feel intimidating, but you’ll get the hang of it faster looking straight ahead than looking down. 

    skating form

    7. Focus On Your Form. 

    With ice skating, your form is a vital part.

    The more you practice your form, the easier it will be to skate.

    For instance, have a slight bend in your knees as much and possible.

    Lean forward slightly as well to help with your balance.

    Practice your marching, “scooting,” and gliding (with some falls in between).

    Take your time as you learn to push off from one foot and the other.

    Beginners should not worry about how they appear to others.

    Focus on form to minimize falls and improve the experience.

    8. Pick Up Other Useful Moves.

    Marching in place and scooting forward is just the start.

    You’ll need to pick up some other moves to make skating more enjoyable.

    Forward stroking, for instance, is a common ice-skating technique.

    As you glide, form a T position with your arms spread outward, knees slightly bent.

    Push off from the inside edge of your blade on one foot, and glide slightly on the other foot and make sure to transfer your weight to the front foot.

    Bring your feet together again in the T position, the push off with the alternate foot and as you get better, you can extend the pushing leg further behind you at the end of each stroke.

    In time, you’ll learn to skate backward, turning, swizzles, and more.  

    synthetic ice

    9. Understand Synthetic Ice vs. Natural Ice.

    If you’re skating on synthetic ice, it may feel a bit different versus natural ice.

    It has been around longer than you think and has evolved over the years.

    Synthetic ice has a slightly higher friction coefficient, meaning you can grip your edges slightly better to the surface while you learn to skate.

    You can make all the same maneuvers that you can on natural while you learn to skate on synthetic.

    Synthetic ice makes skating just as enjoying while making you a stronger, faster skater.

    10. Recruit Some Help.

    For your first skating experience, you should not do it alone.

    Get some help with the basics.

    Some rinks have staff available to give you some pointers or a private lesson that you may want to consider.

    Even if you don’t have access to a coach or teacher, you can recruit a more experienced friend to skate with you for the first time. 

    fun skater

    11. Have Fun!

    Skating should be a fantastic experience....like taking your first steps!

    Even if you fall a few times, there’s a rush you’ll feel from getting the hang of it that can’t be duplicated.

    Remember, it's important to have fun learning and bring along some friends while you're at it!

    If you like it, then look for a place where you can skate more often.

    Perhaps you’ll soon branch off into other levels of skating (hockey, figure skating, etc.).

    Taking Your Skating Hobby Home

    If you want to skate at your heart’s content, synthetic ice panels are a great way to hone your skills.

    When you’re ready to hit the ice next season, you’ll be a pro.

    Our PolyGlide Ice panels can be purchased to your specifications.

    You can outfit your basement, backyard, or spare room into your own mini-ice rink to practice.

    These panels feel so close to the real thing that you’ll get stronger and faster, the more you hit the ice.

    Conclusion

    The holidays are a time for family, friends, and fun.

    And what could be more fun than to learn to skate?

    Ice skating is a great way to stay active during the winter months and have a blast at the same time.

    Whether you're new to the sport or looking to improve your skills, it's a great experience to lace-up and actually know how to skate!

    We’ll be the first to admit that ice skating takes some time to pick up.

    Kids and adults alike will sometimes feel a bit intimidated.

    But without a doubt, ice skating is one of the most fun activities you can try.

    Hit your local rink this upcoming season or get your own synthetic ice panels to learn this fantastic new skill.

    Now, grab your skates and get skating!!

     

     

     

    8 Ways Synthetic Ice Skating is Impacting Our Future

    8 Ways Synthetic Ice Skating is Impacting Our Future

    According to a Snowsports Industries America (SIA) report in 2019-2020, over 25 million Americans (ages six and above) participated in winter sports.

    These include sports like snowboarding, skiing, and snowshoeing.

    Winter sports involving lots of snow are alive and well.   

    But what about sports on the hard ice like figure skating, speed skating, and hockey?

    These require metal skates and gliding across that smooth, flat surface at different speeds.   

    So far, the figures are in slight decline.

    A Statista report showed a slight decline in skating participation.

    Statistics also show slight declines in viewership of hockey.

    Figure skating has also declined in participation and viewership in recent years, until recently.   

    Pardon the pun, but it sometimes feels like skating is on thin ice.   

    There must be a reason for these wobbly figures.

    As we will mention later, the SIA report shows that factors like cost and accessibility are still an issue.

    However, we have seen that synthetic ice skating is changing how we can participate in these sports.   

    In the near future, synthetic ice can give these sports the boost they need. 

    So what is synthetic ice?

    And what are the ways it can revolutionize sports like hockey and figure skating?  

    synthteic ice skating

    Is Synthetic Ice Good for Skating?  

    Synthetic ice skating is the best-kept secret in winter sports.

    It allows ice skating with your metal skates on a special surface.

    Synthetic ice is made with polyethylene, a compound used in thousands of plastic products today.   

    The polyethylene has special edges that connect like puzzle pieces to create a large surface area for skating.

    The first synthetic ice panels using polyethylene appeared over three decades ago.

    Skating on these surfaces required a special compound to be slathered on the surface beforehand.

    Even then, the quality of skating was about 60% compared to the real thing.  

    Today, these panels' manufacturing, science, and technology have improved significantly.

    Panels are more durable and easier to skate.

    The compound that helps with skating comes infused into the materials.

    Now, it feels close to the real thing.   

    Thousands of ice skaters worldwide skate on synthetic ice panels via commercial rinks or backyard rinks.

    However, synthetic ice skating is just scratching the surface regarding its applications.

    As technology and acceptance improve, synthetic ice skating will be more involved in winter sports.    

    We're bullish on these eight ways it will revolutionize winter skating in the next decade.   

    trending

    1. Training on Synthetic Ice Will Become Commonplace  

    Accessibility is a big obstacle to hockey and figure skating.

    The picture above shows the available rinks by the state since 2014.

    States like Tennessee, Kentucky, Kansas, and West Virginia have less than 10 rinks that serve over 800,000 per capita, on average.   

    That means athletes of all levels in these states have trouble securing ice time so they can practice.

    The deeper you get into these sports, the more time you'll need on the rink.

    Practicing just once weekly means it will take twice as long to catch up to your competitors.  

    Synthetic ice-skating spaces strictly for training will become more commonplace in the future.

    These will be warehouses, event spaces, and other medium-to-large locations.

    Skaters will hone their skills here before heading to larger rinks to compete.   

    We'll also see professional teams creating training grounds made of synthetic ice.

    Some may even travel with ice to games!

    Of course, thousands of skaters already use panels in their homes, garages, and even driveways.   

    Soon, it will be the go-to training aid for figure skating and hockey.   

    recognition

    2. Professional Sports Will Adopt Synthetic ice  

    Astroturf, a synthetic alternative to grass, was first used in the NFL in the early 1960s.

    It had its detractors, but it was the sign of things to come.

    Soon, more teams adopted it, culminating with 'The Greatest Show On Turf, 'the 1999 St. Louis Rams.    

    Today, fourteen NFL teams have artificial surfaces.

    They are faster, easy to install, and easier to maintain.

    You also don't have to worry about the natural growth of grass.

    Artificial surfaces are becoming more like real grass, making their way into baseball, tennis, and other sports.  

    But what about ice sports?

    Synthetic surfaces will find their way into professional hockey.

    In time, elite hockey will have its first artificial surface.

    Like Astroturf, it is cheaper, easier to install and maintain.  

    However, there is a concern about speed.  

    Synthetic ice has a coefficient of friction, the resisting force that happens pressing two surfaces together.

    With fresh, resurfaced ice, this is less than one percent.

    Synthetic ice can be 10%, closer to heavily used ice.

    As time goes on, synthetic ice will improve.  

    Then, the first team that takes the leap can use the ice to their advantage.   

    We may even see competitive figure skating on synthetic ice!

    Both sports will birth faster, stronger athletes.  

    synthetic ice curling rink

    3. Sports like Curling Will Rise in Popularity  

    Curling has been around since the 16th century, but it only gets shone during the Winter Olympics.

    The Roaring Game combines finesse, strategy, and skill like no other.

    So if you wanted to get started with curling, where would you go?  

    Curling rinks are hard to find, but you can create your own with synthetic ice.

    Synthetic ice curling rinks use the same special polyethylene as synthteic ice skating rinks.

    It is cut to the dimensions of a recreational or professional station.

    You can have one in your home, or businesses like bars and arcades can install one for customers.

    In addition, synthetic ice Curling will open the door to other ice sports like Broomball and Ringette.

    4. Countries in Tropical Climates Will Compete in Winter Sports  

    The Winter Sports Participation report revealed a surprising statistic.

    Similar numbers participated in the South Atlantic regions compared to the Middle Atlantic and Pacific regions.

    These figures may mean that winter enthusiasts traveled to other areas to enjoy sports.

    Or it could imply that there is a demand for Winter Sports in warmer climates.   

    As you head South, the warmer weather means shorter winters and less access to backyard rinks.

    Therefore, competing in winter and skating sports in these regions isn't easy.

    Synthetic ice opens the possibility of skating, training, and even competing in hockey and figure skating.   

    Today, there are even synthetic ice rinks in Caribbean islands like Jamaica and Barbados.

    We may see more competitors from unlikely places in the Winter Olympics in the future. 

    more affordable

    5. It May Drop the Cost of Entry  

    Winter sports have always suffered from accessibility and diversity.

    For starters, statistics show that more than 50% of participants are at least college graduates with an income of at least $75,000.

    They also participated several more times per year than those making 50% and less.

    Travel, equipment, training, and access to rinks can cost thousands of dollars a year.

    You may have the talent, but the sport is hard to maintain if you lack the resources.   

    These figures go together with poor diversity.

    Economic disparities are one of many reasons why people of color struggle to enter the sport.

    Synthetic ice can increase access to skating rinks in communities with more commercial rinks and home rinks.

    Communities can also construct and maintain rinks using synthetic ice.

    The supply can reduce the demand, leading to easier barriers to entry.   

    6. Backyard Rinks Help Grow the Minor Leagues

    For skating lovers in the North, building a backyard rink is one of the best times of the year.

    These rinks allow friends and neighbors to practice and even compete in ice sports like hockey.

    Unfortunately, as you head South, you can't build backyard rinks.

    If you can, they last for shorter periods thanks to changes in the weather.   

    There has been a rise in synthetic backyard rinks.

    You must measure your space and order the synthetic ice tiles.

    If you are building a commercial rink, you need more durable panels.  

    These synthetic rinks mean more hockey players, more skaters, and more competition.

    Kids compete at all ages, but we predict a rise in smaller competitions and bush leagues in hockey, curling, and other ice sports.

    More weekend warriors will go to different towns and states to compete.

    Synthetic ice has an excellent opportunity to create a close-knit skating community.   

    synthetic ice skates

    7. Skates and Equipment with Synthetic Ice in Mind  

    Hockey players and figure skaters need different skates.

    Boots come in assorted styles, fits, and price ranges.

    Skaters also need to consider the type of blades based on their skill level.

    Blades have a radius, which is the curve of the blade from front to back.

    They also have a radius of hollow, a concave groove that runs down the middle of the blade (in other words, ice skate blades have two sides).   

    Choosing the right blade depends on your speed and performance on natural ice.

    But what about synthetic ice?

    The goal has been to improve synthetic ice to feel close to the real thing.

    Can we then try to change the blade to suit synthetic ice?  

    In the future, manufacturers may design a perfect blade for synthetic ice.  

    A common concern is synthetic ice dull blades.

    Skaters do find they have to sharpen blades more often.  

    The blade and boot could provide an experience closer to the real thing.

    The perfect blade will need less sharpening and can improve speed and change of direction.  

    Then, when the skater is ready, they can change out the blade to skate on real ice.

    We will also begin to see synthetic ice products for hockey training, curling, etc. 

    endoresments

    8. Professional Athletes Will Align with Synthetic Ice  

    Synthetic ice goes beyond providing an alternative surface to skate.

    It's a high-performing product that will last all year.

    These rinks can also replace the hassle of internal refrigerated risks.

    Running a refrigerated rink all year is expensive, hence the small number of available rinks.  

    Rinks are also eco-friendly, saving water, electricity, and time.

    These reasons will encourage athletes to work with synthetic ice manufacturers.

    In addition, we will see more sponsorship and partnership deals with a commonplace product.

    The more athletes endorse it, the more popular it grows.    

    9. A Synthetic Ice-Sponsored Team? 

    Team sponsorships are an important part of professional sports.

    Recently, we've had the Staples Center renamed to Crypto Arena.

    We've also seen professional sports like soccer and basketball add smaller sponsors to their uniforms. 

    Will we see a synthetic ice major sponsor soon?

    An arena fully outfitted by synthetic ice can adopt the name.

    Or we may see minor sponsors on hockey t-shirts.

    Synthetic ice companies can even sponsor Olympic figure skating teams! 

    Sponsorship brings awareness.

    The more eyes on the product, the higher the chances of new customers discovering the product.

    It also positions synthetic ice as a major brand by leveraging another audience.  

    Conclusion 

    Synthetic ice has been around for decades and is here to stay.

    As we get more accustomed to skating on this product, we will see its impact grow.

    It is not far-fetched to see synthetic ice more prominent in professional hockey and ice skating.

    In addition, its ease of installation, durability, and accessibility will further expose winter sports to hotter, tropical regions.    

    The benefits of synthetic ice skating far exceed its risks.

    Getting your synthetic ice-skating rink for your backyard and the spare room is an investment in the future.

    Both kids and adults will enjoy skating for hours, practicing, and preparing for competition.  

    Getting synthetic ice is a straightforward process.

    Once you measure your space, we can help you decide on the best type of synthetic ice and the pricing.

    In a brief period, you will have your ice!

    First, decide on a location and check the surface for evenness before placing the ice.

    If the surface is uneven, some sheets of wood can help.

    Next, place the synthetic ice on top of the surface, connect the edges, and you're good to go.  

    Once that is done, you will be miles ahead of your competition.

    Your next step is to speak with PolyGlide ice for the best synthetic ice available.

     

     

     

    Learn to Play Ice Hockey Without Ice

    Learn to Play Ice Hockey Without Ice

    How would you like to learn to play ice hockey without ice?

    Wouldn't it be great to learn a sport that you have never experienced before?

    Maybe your children are ready for something new that they never tried!

    Ice hockey is an exciting, fast-moving game that can be addictive for anyone at any age!

    Not only is it great exercise, but it's also super fun.

    If you don't live near a rink, don't worry, you can still learn to play ice hockey without ever stepping on the ice... or should I say..."Natural Ice".

    Whether you're a woman, man, child or parent looking for a new challenge, we've got you covered!

    In this blog post, we'll show you how to learn all the basics of this exciting sport and have you lacing-up in no time!

    So what are you waiting for?

    hockey game

    Game Time

    Ice hockey is a popular sport, but it can be challenging to learn if you don't live near a rink.

    Even if you do, finding the ice time to practice the basic skills is hard to do when the only "open ice" is at crazy hours during the day or late in the evening.

    If you're interested in learning how to ice skate and play hockey, the best first step is by attending a live hockey game.

    Not only will you be able to see how the game is played firsthand, but you'll also be able to pick up on some of the rules and strategies.

    Hockey is a fast-moving game, so it's helpful to have somebody explain what's going on as you watch.

    That's why attending a game with friends or family who already know the game can be advantageous.

    They can help point out key moments and share their own knowledge of the game with you.

    While watching the game you may be thinking “wow, I could never do that”?

    You may think hockey is too difficult or physical for you to play?

    If so, you’re wrong!

    Hockey is not as hard to learn as you think and in fact, can be a lot of fun.

    All you need is some basic knowledge of the game and some practice.

     

    learn th rules

    Learn the Rules

    Before hitting the ice, it is important to learn some of the basic rules of the game.

    The object of the game is to outscore your opponent by shooting the puck into the opposition's net.

    Both teams try to keep the puck away from their opponent while trying to set up plays and scoring chances at both ends of the ice.

    To start, here's are a few basic things to remember:

    • - There are three periods in an ice hockey game, each lasting 20 minutes.
    • - The clock doesn't stop running during play, except for offsides, icing, penalties and the occasional fight.
    • - There are six players on each team: three forwards, two defensemen, and one goalie.
    • - The objective of the game is to score goals by shooting the puck into the other team's net.
    • - Players can only touch the puck with their sticks--they can't use their hands or any other part of their bodies.

    At the end of regulation time, if the score is tied, overtime periods are played until one team scores.

    If you're new to ice hockey, the rules can seem daunting.

    But don't worry--once you learn the basics, it's not so complicated.

    youtube

    Video Binge

    One of the best ways to educate yourself on how to train to play the game is by "video-binging" on the subject.

    You can find plenty of instructional videos online, and they can give you a good overview of the basic rules and skills involved in the game.

    You'll be able to see firsthand how the players move on the ice, how they handle the puck, and what strategies they use to score goals.

    By watching both instructional videos and live games, you'll quickly learn to play.

    Also, the NHL website has a section called "NHL TV," which is full of videos about hockey.

    You can also find hockey videos on YouTube.

    Just type "hockey training" into the search bar, and you'll find tons of videos about how to play the game.

    Body Armor

    Whether you're just starting out or you've been playing hockey for years, it's important to have the right equipment.

    At a minimum, you'll need a hockey stick, skates, and a puck.

    You may also want to consider protective gear, such as gloves, shin pads, and a helmet. hockey equipment can be expensive, so it's important to do your research and purchase items that will last.

    A good hockey stick, for example, can cost upwards of $100, but it's an investment that will pay off in the long run.

    When it comes to skates, it's important to find a pair that fits well and is comfortable to wear.

    You'll be spending a lot of time on the ice, so it's important to make sure you are comfortable.

    You can find all of this equipment at your local hockey store or online.

    Make sure to buy good quality gear that will last you a long time.

    Once you have all of your equipment, it's time to hit the ice!

     

    synthetic ice driveway

    Synthetic Ice

    If you're interested in learning how to play ice hockey at home, one of the best ways to do so is with synthetic ice.

    Synthetic ice mimics the properties of real ice, making it an ideal surface for practicing and developing your skills.

    There are many benefits to using synthetic ice, including the fact that it is more affordable than real ice, it is easier to set up and take down, and it can be used indoors or outdoors.

    It's available in multiple size rink packages that will fit any budget big or small!

    Additionally, synthetic ice doesn't require a Zamboni or other maintenance equipment, which means you can practice anytime, anywhere.

    Practice, Practice....Practice!

    To excel at any sport you need to put in the time and work on the fundamentals.

    As you go through each drill push yourself to the point of failure as this is the quickest way to develop each skill along the way.

    Work on your skating skills and stick handling individually before combining the two during drills.

    While working on your skating, spend some time practicing starts and stops, turns, and crossovers (forwards and backwards).

    If you're working on stick handling, try different drills like passing and receiving passes, shooting pucks into an empty net and don't forget your backhand.

    The key to advancing your skills is repetition....over-and-over again and then....do it again!

    get creative

    Get Creative

    Hockey training can be a great way to improve your skills and have fun by being creative at the same time.

    By focusing on specific areas of your game, you can make tangible progress that will help you on the ice.

    Because hockey is such a fast-paced and exciting sport, intense high-rep training can be a great way to stay motivated and engaged.

    There are a number of different skills you can work on though we suggest you try to recognize your weaknesses and put in the extra time at that skill to advance your overall game.

    That means incorporating a variety of fun drills and activities that keep you engaged and excited about playing hockey.

    Here are a few ideas to get you started:

    • - Use cones or other markers to set up an obstacle course. As you skate through the course, work on your puck handling, shooting, and stickhandling skills.
    • - Play mini games with friends or teammates. Games like 3v3 or 4v4 can help you work on game situations and decision making.
    • - Take part in drills that focus on specific skills. For example, if you want to work on your shooting, set up a net and practice taking shots from different angles
    • Put aside some reward time to try your hand at trick shots and record your growth along the way so you can look back to see how much better you've gotten.

    But whether you're working on your shooting accuracy or your skating speed, it's you dedication to the sport that will reap the rewards!

    So have fun and get started today!

      Conclusion

      If you want to learn how to play ice hockey wihout stepping foot on the ice, now you know you can make it happen!

      All you need is a stick, puck and a synthetic ice starter kit!

      It's never too late to learn to play and once you get started we know you'll be hooked!

      Follow the simple steps we reviewed and put in the time and your game will improve more which each and every workout.

      Plus, with the popularity of hockey growing each year, there are likely plenty of classes and clubs near you where you can get more specialized training.

      So what are you waiting for?

      Grab your gear and learn to play!

       

       

       

      Where's The Best Ice Skating Rink Near Me?

      Where's The Best Ice Skating Rink Near Me?

      If you're looking to try your hand at ice skating, you may be wondering "where's the best ice skating rink near me?"

      The truth is, Ice skating is a great activity for people of all ages and enjoyed worldwide but unfortunately not in all places.

      It's a great way to enjoy a few hours of fun disconnected form the digital world we all seem to find ourselves buried in more and more.

      There are many different reasons why people like to go ice skating, but here are just a few:

      • Ice skating is a great way to get some exercise.
      • Skating requires both balance and coordination, so it's a great workout for your whole body.
      • Ice skating is a great way to spend time with family, friends or that special someone.
      • It's a fun activity that everyone can enjoy together.
      • Ice skating is a great activity you can enjoy both indoors and outdoors.

      Being out in the fresh air and surrounded by nature can be very refreshing and calming.

      Everyone loves to enjoy a day on the ice once in a while which leads to the question "Where's the best ice skating rink near me?"

       

      The History of Ice Skating

      Ice skating has a long and rich history.

      It is thought to have originated in the Netherlands in the 13th century.

      The Dutch were the first to use metal blades on their skates, which allowed for smoother gliding on the ice.

      Ice skating quickly became popular in other parts of Europe, and by the 17th century, it was a common pastime among the upper classes.

      In 1843, a major breakthrough occurred in ice skating when Jackson Haines, an American figure skater, introduced the concept of “edging” – using the sharp edges of the skate blades to turn and stop.

      This new technique revolutionized ice skating and made it more accessible to people of all skill levels.

      Today, ice skating is a beloved pastime for people of all ages.

      Whether you’re just getting started or you’re a seasoned pro, there’s nothing quite like gliding across the ice be it indoors or on a frozen pond.

       

      family fun ice skating

      Rinks vs. Arenas

      There are many types of ice rinks, from small community rinks to large ice arenas.

      The type of rink you choose will depend on your skating needs and preferences.

      Community rinks are typically smaller and less crowded than ice arenas.

      They typically offer public skating sessions, as well as lessons and hockey leagues.

      Some community rinks also offer figure skating competitions and other events.

      Ice arenas are usually larger than community rinks, with more advanced facilities.

      They often have multiple ice sheets, which can be used for different activities and events at the same time.

      Ice arenas typically host hockey games and tournaments, as well as figure skating competitions.

      Some ice arenas also offer public skating sessions and lessons.

       

      Outdoor Rink

      Outdoor Rink (AKA: ODR)

      Another option for when the weather gets colder and winter approaches (depending on where you live), pond or lake skating could be a memorable experience.

      Outdoor rinks or "ODR's" provide a fun and social atmosphere where you can enjoy the company of others while getting some fresh air.

      Another great benefit of skating on an outdoor rink is that it is relatively cheap compared to other winter activities.

      If you're lucky enough to live near an outdoor natural pond or lake, you can enjoy the unique experience of gliding freely in the open air.

      But it's important to take some safety precautions before venturing out onto the ice.

      First, check to make sure that the ice is thick enough to support your weight.

      It should be at least four inches thick before you attempt to skate on it.

      You can use an ice auger or chisel to measure the thickness of the ice.

      Second, make sure that the area around the pond or lake is free of obstacles that could trip you up while skating.

      This includes things like sticks, stones, and other debris that could cause you to fall.

       

       rental ice skates

      Rental Options

      If you're looking to add an ice rink to your event or party, you have a few options.

      You can either buy or build your own rink, or rent one.

      Renting an ice rink can be a great option if you're not sure you want to commit to owning one, or if you don't have the space to store a rink when it's not in use.

      Here are a few tips on how to rent your own ice rink:

      Shop around - There are many companies and facilities that offer ice rink rentals, so take some time to compare prices and services.

      Synthetic Ice Rentals - Another option for those looking for a portable solution for a party or an event is renting a synthetic ice rink.

      The advancements in technology have certainly closed the gap in providing a "real ice" skating experience.

      They can offer a low cost option over refrigerated ice rinks and the set-up time is relatively quick when planning for a special event.

      Rental Agreement - Make sure you understand what is included in the rental fee and what isn't, so there are no surprises later on.

       

      things to consider


      Things to Consider While Searching

      There are a few different ways that you can go about finding a local skating rink to try your hand at ice skating.

      If you live in a smaller town, there may not be an ice skating rink nearby but you'll need to begin your search as you may be surprised to find one within travel distance.

      Also, depending on your geographic location and time of year unfortunately has always had an impact on what ice may be available for skating.

      So whether you’If you're looking to lace-up a pair of skates and give ice skating a shot ice skating don't despair as you'll soon find you do have some options!

      Here's a few different ways that you can go about finding a local skating rink in your "neck of the woods":

      online search

      1. Search Engine

      Use an online directory.

      If you're looking for a specific place, the best way to find it is using a search engine.

      Just enter the name of the place you're looking for, and the search engine will bring up a list of results.

      If you're not sure of the exact name of the rink you're looking for, try entering keywords that describe what you're looking for.

      For example, if you're looking for a restaurant in your city, you could enter "ice rinks" plus the name of your city.

      Once you've found a few places that look promising, check out their reviews on Yelp or another review sites.

      This will give you a better idea of what to expect and help you narrow down your choices.

      A quick Google search for "skating rink near me" + your city or "find a skating rink" can be tricky, but it's definitely worth the effort.


      2. What To Look For

      There are plenty of activities that ice skating rinks have to offer.

      You can enjoy ice skating, ice hockey, and even curling.

      Most ice skating rinks also have a variety of shops and restaurants to enjoy.

      If you're looking for a place to host a party or event, many ice skating rinks offer facilities for that as well.

      So whether you're looking to enjoy some ice skating fun or just want to find a unique place to host an event, an ice skating rink is a great option.

      Most skating rinks offer a variety of programs for all ages and skill levels.

      Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, there's sure to be a program that's right for you.


      3. Programs

      Some of the most popular programs offered at skating rinks include learn-to-skate classes, open skate sessions, and competitive leagues.

      Learn-to-skate classes are perfect for those who have never stepped onto the ice before.

      These classes typically progress through different levels, so you can advance at your own pace.

      Open skate sessions are just that - open!

      This means anyone can come and skate around, regardless of skill level.

      And finally, competitive leagues are for those who want to take their skating to the next level.


      4. Hours Of Operation

      No all ice skating rinks are open year-round and their hours may vary depending on the season.

      Generally speaking, the best time to go ice skating is during the colder months when the ice is at its best.

      However, this also means that there will be more people at the rink, so you may want to go during off-peak hours if you're looking for a more leisurely experience.

      So here's a few things to keep in mind when planning your trip to the ice skating rink:

      • Check the hours of operation before you go.
      • Many rinks have different hours depending on the time of year.
      • Weekdays are typically less crowded than weekends.
      • If you can, try to go during the week for a more relaxed experience.

       

      reviews


      5. Online Reviews

      When ice skating, you want to be sure that you're heading to the right facility that will make your trip a fun one to remember.

      A good ice skating rink will have smooth ice that's easy to skate on, and it should be well-maintained.

      If you're looking for an ice skating rink to visit, here are a few things to keep in mind when reading reviews:

      • Look for rinks that have been rated highly by other skaters.
      • Rink reviews can give you an idea of what to expect when you get there.
      • Pay attention to the types of comments that are being made about the rink facility and overall experience.
      • If most reviewers say that the ice is in good condition, then you know that the rink is likely well-maintained.


      6. Compare Prices

      The cost of ice skating can vary depending on the type of rink and the activities you participate in.

      For example, public ice skating rink fees are typically lower than those at a private ice skating rink.

      Additionally, renting ice skates will generally cost more than bringing your own.

      Assuming you are going to a public ice skating rink and have your own skates, the average cost for a family of four to go ice skating would be around $16.

      This includes the cost of admission for each person as well as skate rental fees.

      However, if you choose to participate in additional activities like figure skating or hockey, the costs will increase.


      7. Make it a Fun Event

      If you're looking for a fun, family-friendly activity, ice skating is a great way to create some memories and moments to remember.

      What better place to enjoy some ice skating than at your local ice rink?

      Here are a few tips on how to make the most of your next planned trip to the ice skating rink:

      • Choose the right time: Avoid peak times if you want to avoid crowds and long lines. Early mornings or weekdays are typically best.
      • Dress for success: Make sure everyone in your group is dressed properly for ice skating. This means warm clothing and comfortable shoes that won't slip.
      • Take breaks: Skating can be tiring, especially for younger kids. Make sure to take breaks often so everyone
      • Proper Skate Size: If you plan on renting your ice skates be sure they fit tightly to prevent foot sores or blisters from wearing the wrong size skate.

      outdoor artificial ice rink

      Artificial Ice Options

      Synthetic ice rinks offer a great way to enjoy ice skating all year round no matter where you live....cold or warm climate!

      You can skate anywhere, anyplace at anytime and enjoy unlimited ice time!

      No matter what the weather is like outside, you can always enjoy skating indoors on your own private rink.

      Plus, the synthetic ice panels are available in multiple different sizes to accommodate virtually any rink project.

      If you're looking for a new and exciting way to enjoy ice skating, then a synthetic ice rink is definitely worth considering.

       

      CONCLUSION

      If you’re looking for a great place to ice skate in your town, be sure to consider all of your options.

      Not every rink is created equal – some may have better rates, others may have more skating times available and offer multliple programs and activities.

      Reach out to the rink managers and ask about their special events, classes, and other activities that might interest you.

      And finally, don’t forget to ask around – friends and family members who live near different rinks are bound to have insights that can help you make the best decision for your needs.

      We hope this article has been helpful as you search for the ideal "skating rink near me".

      If you're in the market for a home ice skating rink, there are a few options you'll want to keep in mind.

      First, consider the location - what is the best place for your rink?

      Second, think about what kind of surface you'd like - is a refrigerated rink important to you?

      The size of the rink, the type of surface, and the availability of skate rentals all play a part in whether or not a particular rink is right for you.

      Once you've narrowed down your options, reach out to each one and see what they can offer.

      Ice skating is a fun winter activity for the whole family.

      If you’re looking for an ice skating rink in your town, there are a few things you should consider before making your decision.

      Please reach out if you would like to find out more about our home synthetic ice surfaces and we'll try to find you the best way you can "bring the rink home!"

       

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