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    PolyGlide Blog, News & Updates

    The History of Synthetic Ice

    The History of Synthetic Ice

    Synthetic ice panels are a solid polymer sheet material made from polyethylene plastic. These synthetic ice sheets are connected together using various methods (dovetail, tongue and groove, flush edge) to form an artificial ice skating surface.


    Early implementation of synthetic ice for ice skating dates all the way back to the 1960's when polymer materials became more commonplace in everyday life.

    Over the decades synthetic ice has continued to develop with the use of High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) and Utra-High Molecular Weight (UHMWPE) being the industry standard among most manufacturers and distributors.

    Low molecular weight plastics are not suitable enough for skating as they are too soft and break down too easily. Polymer surfaces that are too hard strip the skate edge blade down too quickly and limit the amount of time one can skate without loosing their edge.

    Evolution

    Over time different variations of these polymer compounds along with "slip" agent additives continued to improve the overall performance of today’s modern synthetic ice.

    A Synthetic ice rink can virtually be installed in any location or climate condition with relatively easy assembly. With no need for electricity or refrigeration and with the improvement of its overall performance, synthetic ice has become a cost effective substitute to refrigerated ice.

    Options

    Surfaces manufactured without a slip agent additive do require a surface lubricant application while others that are infused during manufacturing offer the least amount of surface friction or "coefficient of friction".

    All synthetic ice surfaces need to be kept clean to provide optimal glide and performance so a certain amount of maintenance is required for both infused and non-infused surfaces.

    Skaters can expect 10-15% added friction while skating on synthetic ice which has helped it to become a popular training tool for Hockey Players and Figure Skaters alike.

    Acceptance

    As synthetic ice materials continue to develop it has become a more of a practical alternative to natural ice where conditions are not feasible. New developments have closed the gap on a more natural ice "feel" and overall skating experience.


    Thaw-Out Your Winter with PolyGlide Ice

    Thaw-Out Your Winter with PolyGlide Ice

     

    frosty pumpkin

     

     

     

    As the frost grows on the Pumpkin and sun sets earlier and earlier it won't be long before the first snow flake is on it's way. It seems like we just left the Summer as the AC Unit has barely cooled-off and we're already firing-up the furnace. We are all creatures of habit and are all too familiar with what is expected of us as parents, players and skaters as we head into the fall.

    A weekly schlep back-and-forth to the rink can be expected between work, homework, shopping, entertaining, excercising and eating if you have the time. Our schedules always seem to continue to get busier and busier as the days get shorter and shorter.....boo! This never-ending "Ice Cycle" is woven into the being of every rink rat young and old that knows what "Zamboni Propane" smells like.

    Little by little, times are surely changing throughout the skating world when it figure skatescomes to growing the sport of Ice Hockey and Figure Skating. Skaters no longer have to rely soley on available ice time as Home Ice training becomes more and more of a viable option. Advancements in synthetic ice technology has continued to close the gap on a "real ice feel" over the last decade. This advancement has made training on an artificial ice surface more enjoyable and at the same time benificial to the skater.

    Years ago USA Hockey implemented teaching concepts through "Small-Area Games" by emphasising basic fundamentals such as skating and shooting on a smaller surface. The majority of ice time should be spent working on skills regardless of age....and you don't need a lot of space. Slowly but surely we are starting to see Figure Skaters taking advantage of the concept of home Ice training.

    small gamesIt's important for skaters and their parents to understand that they have options in deciding where, when and what time they train. It does not require a lot of space to work on skills or a routine to help a skater get the "edge" on the competition. Think of a space you may not be utilizing that you could convert into your own training place to thaw-out this winter that will work within your budget. You would be suprised how much money it will save you over the long term ;-)

    Multiple Rink Packages Big and Small available now at www.polyglideice.com

     

    Living Room Synthetic Ice Rink is a "Reality" hit

    Living Room Synthetic Ice Rink is a "Reality" hit

    April and Davey Family Vlog

    Family vloggers "April and Davey" have been inviting followers to share in their everyday lives documenting their journey along the way on thier popular YouTube channel. Together with their five children (Zade 12, Daisy10, Ambree 7, Ender 5 & Eb 2) the Lehi, Utah natives have been "keeping it real" in sharing their family life experiences and everyday trials and tribulations.

    Backyard Ice Rink Project

    In December of 2016 the family decided to start their own backyard ice rink
    Living room ice rinkproject with some wood framing, tarp and the help of mother nature. Throughout multiple vlogs April and Davey captured the challenges of what it's like to create and maintain a home ice rink including making sure NOT to store the hose outside in the cold weather. The family rink vlog caught the eye of the people at PolyGlide Synthetic Ice who recently reached out to the Orgill family to offer a year-round solution to fullfill their ice skating needs.

    Living Room Rink


    polyglide synthetic iceThe family was sent 128 square feet of the PolyGlide Home Ice portable 2ft x 4ft panels which when assembled created a 8ft x 16ft ice rink. Davey Orgill documented the installation which was completed in the family living room in just under an hour prior to the kids returning home from school. Needless to say once the kids returned home from school the look of dismay on their faces was priceless when they gazed their eyes on their new home rink. The afternoon quickly morphed into a family public ice session that included Mom donning her figure skating attire, Ender honing his ice hockey skills and Dad capping-off the day by showing off his "spinderella" break dancing moves.

    Check out April and Daveys video link above for a special PolyGlide Ice discount offer. For additional information on Polyglide Ice and how you can "Bring the Rink Home" contact or click here for a quote:

    click here

     

    Polyglide Synthetic Ice On Shark Tank!

    Polyglide Synthetic Ice On Shark Tank!

    "So what was it like to appear on shark tank?"...The question I'm asked most often can be answered in one simple word....Incredible! From the day I submitted my email entry to the Shark Tank executive producers until my scheduled air date had to be...no doubt.... one of the shortest and longest years of my life. Longest because throughout the process I couldn't tell anybody and shortest because so much took place during that year it's all a blur but I can tell you it was truly a great experience! After submitting my December, 2015 email and not having heard back from anyone for over four months I honestly forgot all about it. Then the call this entreprenuer's been waiting for came in April, 2016 asking, "So tell me about your synthetic ice panels" and that's when it all began.

    Video Submission Deadline

    The phone interview lasted all of about fifteen minutes and at the end of the conversation I jim-loughran-synthetic-ice-tilewas told "congratulations you made it to the video submission round." This next step involved producing a five-minute video submission explaining my product in an effort to wow the producers with my story. I had only a few short minutes to tell how PolyGlide Ice became a manufacturer of the best artificial ice on the market. I had only two weeks to complete the production as there were deadlines they were facing on their end. After submitting my video a week later I got another call with saying "Congratulations the producers loved your video and you're being considered for the show" however nothing's ever guaranteed in the television world.

    Ice Skating Into "The Tank"

    ice-skating-ishark-tankAfter continuing through with the process I was lucky enough to get my break and get a chance to pitch to the sharks. Once I was assigned a producer I had to create the draft of my first pitch which I thought I nailed until I read it to my shark tank producer. Lets just say my opening sentence was great but it was back to the drawing board for the remainder of the pitch until I got it right. It was obvious the synthetic ice panels were going to provide the visual attraction and having youth hockey players skating into the tank only added to the visual.

    Time to Pitch to The Sharks

    Fast forward to to August and final preparations are underway involving all the final detailsshark-tank-pitch right down to the set design and travel arrangements. At this point it's finaly official.....I'm going to pitch to the SHARKS!! (or am I?). The simple fact is even though your given the opportunity to pitch only 40-50% of all Shark Tank pitches ever make it on air. In fact contestants have to wait until just a few weeks before their "air date" to even confirm if they have an air date ...and throughout the process you can tell NO ONE!

    Shark Tank Season 8 , Episode 11 

    shark-tank-hallwayMy pitch date was set for September 20th, 2016 (season 8, episode 11) and after going through the whole process trust me when I say I was beyond ready. The common question is always "Were you nervous?" and I can honestly say I was much more excited than nervous. As it turned out because of the large synthetic ice set design I was to be the first pitch of the day and the Sharks were wide awake waiting for their first "taste of the day". Once the countdown began there was no turning back 3, 2, 1.....ACTION! All in all the entire pitch lasted about 45 minutes from which was trimmed down to 8-1/2 minutes of non-stop air time. WIth the average 30 second prime commercial costing around $400,000.00 that would put me about 6.8 Million dollars ahead of the game......Deal or no Deal.

    Let the Pitch Begin

    After my opening pitch things started at a rapid fire pace with the Sharks often talking polyglide-synthetic-ice-panels-displayover each other with their questions. My engineer who traveled with me was in the green room and said it looked like I was watching a tennis match as my head spun on a swivel snapping back and forth addressing the fast pace of the questions. There were many comical moments and smiles that were edited out from the pitch which took on a more serious tone in the final cut but the feedback from the Sharks along with retaining 100% of my company and valuable exposure was much more than I could ever ask for.

    In the end I can tell you if you're an entrepreneur that is ready to take the next step and put it all out there.... try out for Shark Tank. Even though I didn't get a deal the experience can be life-changing and can help take your business to the next level. If by chance you don't make it on the show then I recommend you pitch your company to both your friends and strangers whenever you can get the chance. Their feedback will help steer you in the right direction and help you better understand your customers and make the best decisions for your company and product.

    By Jim Loughran, PolyGlide Ice

    For additional information call: 855-765-9423
     

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    China Looking to Dominate 2022 Winter Olympic Games

    China Looking to Dominate 2022 Winter Olympic Games

    China is investing billions of dollars into new ski resorts, skating rinks, and athletics programs to breed a new generation of athletes that can help it win big in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

    The country wants to build 800 ski resorts and 650 skating rinks by 2022, when it will host the next Winter Games, the state-owned China Daily newspaper reported.

    China unveiled the ambitious project in 2015, when it was chosen to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.

    The plan is to create 300 million skiers, skaters, ice hockey players, and other winter athletes within the next few years — some of whom will represent the country in four years' time, when the country's status as host will allow it to enter athletes into every single discipline.

    Its plans effectively amount to constructing an entire winter sports industry in the run-up to the next Winter Olympics.

    Billion-Dollar Plans for Winter Sports

     China made its newfound enthusiasm for winter sports official in 2016, when it published its five-year National Fitness Program - a 1.5 trillion renminbi ($237 billion/£169 billion) plan unveiled in 2016 to reinvigorate the country's fitness industries.

    The plan highlighted the importance of winter sports, such as skiing and figure skating, and called for new facilities to cater to them.

    Since the plan was announced, real estate developers have built massive new facilities to meet the country's demand for winter sports. Coaches from places like Britain and Canada have flocked there to make a living.

    According to China Daily, the number of ski resorts in the country rose from 300 to 700 between 2014 and 2017 alone.

    Last July, the northern Chinese city of Harbin opened the world's largest indoor ski resort, which cost 40 billion RMB ($6.3 billion/£4.5 billion) to build, and whose slopes can accommodate 3,000 people at a time. This video shows what it looks like:

    China is also building new high-speed trains to shuttle skiers from Beijing to Chongli, a town in the northern Hebei province where most of the 2022 Games events will take place, the LA Times reported.

    What's behind China's new obsession with winter sports?

    The main reason is to win big and look good in front of a home audience in 2022.

    The country invested heavily in grooming its athletes for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, David Dollar, a China expert at the Brookings Institute, told Axios.

    It appeared to pay off — the country ended up taking the most gold medals that year, effectively winning the games.

    Mark Dreyer, the founder of the Beijing-based news site China Sports Insider, told Business Insider: "Every country wants to do well on home soil, and past results show that the host nation almost always gets a bump in the medals table (due to factors including increased funding and home support), so China would gladly trade success in 2018 for success in 2022."

    As Liu Bo, a former ski trainer, told Reuters: "China spends big money setting up the stage [for the Winter Olympics], and the performers are all foreigners. President Xi will not allow this to happen. We have to be the leading actor in 2022."

    Liu Bo, a former ski trainer, told Reuters that Chinese President Xi Jinping was determined to have China be the preeminent in the 2022 games and would not accept a situation where the stars of the show are "all foreigners."

    "President Xi will not allow this to happen," he said. "We have to be the leading actor in 2022."

    China's ambitions for winter sports go beyond the 2022 Games, however. As the country becomes richer, the government hopes to turn winter sports into a sprawling new industry.

    Authorities expect China's winter sports industry to be worth 1 trillion RMB ($158 billion/£113 billion) by 2025, the South China Morning Post reported.

    As of last year, it was worth around 397 billion RMB ($62 billion/£45 billion), the China Daily said, meaning the industry would need to almost triple in size to meet the target.

    The LA Times quoted Laurent Vanat, a Swiss ski consultant, describing China as "the only market with such tremendous potential."

    So will China win big in 2022?

    Dreyer, the Beijing-based sports journalist, said there is "no chance" China will win the 2022 Games — but it could still manage a large medal haul.

    China is unlikely to win in the more traditional — and by extension more competitive — winter sports, like downhill and slalom skiing, he said.

    However, it might have a chance in the newer or less popular ones, such as freestyle and mogul skiing, snowboarding, and curling.

    Dreyer said: "Few, if any, countries can match the funding that China will invest in winter sports at the elite level over the next four years, meaning that in at least some of the disciplines, Chinese athletes will be as competitive as any other country. [...]

    "On a wider level, China has targeted a goal of having 120 million skiers and 180 million skaters by an unspecified date. These are ludicrously overambitious targets, but if China only succeeds in achieving a fraction of these targets, it could still have one of the largest winter sports bases by population in the world.

    "That, in turn, will help to generate more medalists at the elite level."

    By Alexandra Ma

    Business Insider