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    Sport Court Tiles vs. Synthetic Ice For Outdoor Hockey Training

    sport court tiles vs. synthetic ice

    Hockey is a sport that requires a high level of skill, agility, and endurance. 

    As with other sports, players must train and practice regularly to develop these skills and improve their performance. 

    While hockey training can occur in various settings, such as indoor ice rinks or open outdoor spaces, the choice of surface can significantly impact the training experience. 

    Two popular options for outdoor hockey training are sport court tiles and synthetic ice.   


    YOU CAN NOW ICE SKATE AND ROLLER SKATE WITH POLYGLIDE SYNTHETIC ICE 


    Both options offer unique benefits and drawbacks, and the choice between the two depends on various factors such as budget, maintenance, and intended usage.

    Outdoor Hockey Training

    Why Players Need Outdoor Hockey Training

    Outdoor training allows players to adapt to different playing conditions and surfaces, which can help improve their overall game. 

    Players also enjoy a fresh and invigorating environment

    An outdoor space can offer a change of scenery and a break from the confines of an indoor rink, allowing players to connect with nature and experience the elements. 

    Outdoor training offers the opportunity for players to practice in larger spaces, mimic game conditions, and work on their endurance and stamina. 

    Natural lighting positively affects mood, testosterone, and vitamin D levels, enhancing outdoor training experience.

    Finally, outdoor training can foster a sense of camaraderie and community among players, as it often brings together teams or groups for practices and friendly games.

    sport court tiles

    Sport Court Tiles for Outdoor Hockey Training

    Sport court tiles are popular for outdoor hockey training as they provide a versatile and durable surface. 

    These tiles are often made of high-quality materials such as polypropylene or PVC, which are built to withstand the elements and heavy usage. 

    They are also weather-resistant, making them suitable for outdoor use in various climates, and can be easily installed and removed as needed.

    Advantages of Using Sport Court Tiles for Hockey Training

    Sport court tiles are designed to mimic a smooth and fast playing surface, which is great for practicing different sports that need hard surfaces, like hockey. 

    They offer excellent traction and grip, which allows players to practice their skills, drills, and game strategies with a stick and puck.

     This can help players develop their technique and adaptability to different playing surfaces. 

    Furthermore, the consistent and reliable surface of sport court tiles makes them ideal for training, as players can hone fine motor skills essential for ice hockey. 

    Limitations and Considerations for Sport Court Tiles

    While sport court tiles offer numerous benefits for outdoor hockey training, there are some limitations and considerations to remember.

    One major limitation is that sport court tiles are not real ice, so training with ice skates are impossible. 

    This can impact the players' ability to accurately simulate game conditions and may require adjustments in their gameplay strategies. 

    While the surface is smooth, puck will not move like ice, impacting speed and variability of ice. 

    Another consideration is the initial cost and maintenance of sport court tiles.

    Installing and purchasing sport court tiles can be costly, and regular maintenance may be required to ensure the longevity and performance of the surface.

    synthetic ice panels

    Synthetic Ice for Outdoor Hockey Training

    Another option for outdoor hockey training is the use of synthetic ice. 

    It is a type of artificial ice surface made of polyethylene plastic or polymer materials that closely resemble the feeling of real ice. 

    Using synthetic ice for outdoor hockey training can provide several benefits.

    Advantages of Using Synthetic Ice for Hockey Training

    Synthetic ice offers a realistic skating experience, allowing players to practice their skills and techniques in a way that closely resembles real ice. 

    It provides a smooth and low-friction surface, allowing for ease of gliding, stick-handling and maneuvering. 

    Additionally, synthetic ice is durable and can withstand various weather conditions, making it suitable for outdoor use. 

    Synthetic ice for outdoor hockey training is a viable option for players looking to practice and develop their skills in an environment resembling real ice.

    Best of all, you can practice in full gear as this surface is designed for skating with ice skates. 

    Limitations and Considerations for Synthetic Ice

    One limitation of synthetic ice is that it may not have the same level of grip or responsiveness as real ice.

    Yet, it provides a better approximation of the feel and performance of real ice compared to other surface options thanks to its low coefficient of friction. 

    Moreover, the cost of installing and maintaining is relatively higher, but the long-term benefits and realistic experience it offers may outweigh these considerations.

    which one is better

    Comparing Sport Court Tiles and Synthetic Ice

    At this point, it's no wonder why sport court tiles and synthetic ice are the most popular options for outdoor hockey training.

    Evidently, both surfaces offer significant advantages for players.

    However, there are still key differences between the two:

    1. Sport court tiles provide a versatile and customizable surface that can be used for multiple sports, not just hockey. On the other hand, synthetic ice is specifically designed for hockey training (though we've had some roller skaters and curlers).
    2. Sport court tiles provide a higher level of traction and grip compared to synthetic ice, which is preferable when training with inline skates.
    3. Synthetic ice provides a more realistic skating experience that closely resembles real ice, while sport court tiles may not offer the same level of authenticity.
    4. The cost of installing sport court tiles is generally lower compared to synthetic ice, making it a more budget-friendly option for some players or facilities.
    5. Synthetic ice is more durable and requires less maintenance, while sport court tiles need regular maintenance, such as cleaning and re-coating, to ensure optimal performance.

    Opting for Synthetic Ice?

    If your main purpose is to replicate the feel and experience of real ice for hockey training, choosing synthetic ice would be a practical choice.  

    By using synthetic ice, players can practice their skating techniques, shooting accuracy, and checking abilities in a setting that closely simulates real ice. 

    While you may also find many options for synthetic ice, it's important to carefully consider factors such as quality, durability, and cost before making a decision. 

    Given these, you might want to check out the synthetic ice from PolyGlide Ice.

    PolyGlide Ice Pro-Glide Infused Panel

    PolyGlide Ice showcases the latest technology in synthetic ice surfaces in its Pro-Glide Infused Panel

    This synthetic ice panel is made of premium grade specially formulated polymer plastic that is infused with a proprietary glide enhancer. 

    This ensures a smooth and realistic skating experience, enabling players to hone their skills effectively.

    It also has an interlock system that provides a seamless and secure connection between panels, creating a stable and reliable surface. 

    There are several packages available to choose from, depending on your size requirement and budget. If you're unsure how many panels you may need, feel free to reach out to PolyGlide Ice and ask for a quote for your specific needs.

     hockey training

    Conclusion

    Sport court tiles and synthetic ice both have their advantages and can be great options depending on your specific needs and preferences.  

    For example, if you are looking for a versatile surface that can also be used for various sports and activities (aside from hockey), sport court tiles may be the better choice. 

    However, if your primary focus is on hockey training and replicating the experience of real ice on your edges, then synthetic ice would be a more suitable option. 

    Regardless of which option you choose, both sport court tiles and synthetic ice offer their own unique benefits and can greatly enhance the training experience for players.

     

    Store Your Skates: 10 Best Ice Skating Bags Under $200

    Store Your Skates: 10 Best Ice Skating Bags Under $200

    Nothing makes ice skating more enjoyable than a great pair of ice skates.  

    And with any athlete, the more you take care of the tools of the trade, the longer they last and perform. 

    While trivial for some, storing your ice skates in an ice-skating bag, especially when traveling to practice at the rink, competition, or abroad, can be a game changer.  


    UNPACK YOUR BAG AND SKATE AT HOME WITH POLYGLIDE SYNTHETIC ICE 


    The right bag is functional, durable, stylish, keeps you organized, and, best of all, keeps your skates protected. 

    Like our best figure skates under $200 guide, accessories should also be affordable.  


    Our Top Picks

    Best Value Ice Skating Bag
    Ealer Ice Skate Backpack

    Best Overall Ice Skating Bag
    GOBORUS Roller Skate/Ice Skate Backpack

    Store your skates in one of the 10 best ice-skating bags under $200 for 2024. 


     

    Ealer Ice Skating

    1. Ealer Ice Skate Backpack  

    If you're looking for a bag with a more traditional backpack style, consider the Ealer SBH200 Series.  

    The bag has two compartments to hold each side of your skates, divided by a third compartment to carry all your other ice skating items.  

    At the back are a pair of straps to carry it on your back and a canvas handle whenever you tire of lugging it around.  

    Made of durable, waterproof material, it's a great option to subtly carry your prized boots.

    Roller Skate Backpack

    2. GOBUROS Roller Skate/Ice Skate Backpack 

     During our research for this list, we were pleasantly surprised to come across this bag. 

    The GOBUROS backpack can hold skates up to Men's size 13, thanks to its large, cube-shaped appearance.  

    It's a backpack, so you get the standard padded straps to carry it on your back. 

    But what makes it great is the skate compartment; a large, adjustable pocket at the back of the bag. 

    You get immediate access to your skates without disrupting the other items in your bag. 

    At the top are a pair of zippers that open another compartment for holding a helmet and other accessories.  

    With additional pockets at the front and sides, this is a versatile bag that any skater will appreciate.  

    While not as flashy as some of the other bags on this list, it's a comfortable bag that's the perfect size made with durable nylon. Expect this to be your go-to bag for years to come.  

     

    Hytiland Ice Skating Bag

    3. Hytiland Roller Skate/Ice Skate Bag

    Yes, you'll stand out with this bright, colorful bag. But you'll enjoy all its features too. 

    The L-shaped bag holds ice skates, roller skates, hockey skates, and everything in between.   

    The bag is large enough to hold a size 13 men's skate, so you have lots of room.  

    Hytiland bags also have four additional compartments, so you can hold everything you need for skating without carrying additional bags.  

    The bag has an adjustable strap and a handle to hold it however you wish.   

    At less than $50, this is a great investment to support your skates that will last for years.  

    Jackson Ice Skating Bag

    5. Jackson Ultima Oversized Ice Skate Bag 

    Looking for an affordable, functional bag to store your skates? 

    Grab this colorful canvas bag designed to store skates of all sizes and shapes. 

    Jackson Ultima is known for its high-quality skates, and they have bags to keep them safe. 

    This triangular-shaped bag has a sturdy zippered pocket wide enough to hold your skates, soakers, guards, and anything else.  

    It's compact enough to fit in a larger bag or equipped with a strap to carry on its own.  

    This bag gets the job done without breaking the bank. 

      
    Athalon Ice Skate Bag

     

    5. Athalon Skate Boot Bag

    The Athalon Skate Boot Bag is great for ski boots, ice skates, and even roller skates.  

    Store your skates in the large middle pocket or any of the mesh side compartments.  

    The middle compartment is big enough to hold a helmet, clothes, or other ice skating items. 

    This bag is popular due to its lightweight materials and bright, reflective colors.  

    Athalon is also a backpack-style option, with large, comfortable handles and padding to support your back and shoulders as you carry your skates to the rink. 

     

    Edea Cube Ice Skate Bag

    6. Edea Cube Skate Bag

    Edea is the gold standard of ice skates.  

    Some of the best skaters in the world use Edea as their brand of choice. 

    So it makes sense that Edea will have a bag to hold their (sometimes pricey) skates. 

    Reminiscent of a lunch bag, the cube design provides enough space for skates, clothing, and accessories.  

    The strong polyester materials is responsible for its shape and durability. There are multiple pockets on the inside and outside of the bag, so there is no need to carry another bag to training. 

    Edea is all about details, so you'll love the embossed logos, study straps,, handles, and well-designed zippers.  

    Once you use it, the cube can easily turn into your go-to bag for ice skating.  

     

    Edea Rolling Trolley Bag

    7. Edea Rolling Backpack Trolley Bag

    If you need to hop a flight or travel long distances to compete, you'll need a bag that does it all. 

    Edea understood the assignment and created a rolling backpack for skaters.  

    Strap this large backpack on your shoulders as a carry-on for your flight.  

    Store the skates in the large compartment and your skating clothes and accessories in the other two pockets. Side pockets and zippers complete this backpack as a fully functional accessory. 

    When you're fed up with carrying your bag, open the back compartment and pull out the handle for the trolley option.  

    The smooth dual wheels at the bottom of the bag allow you to pull your skates with ease.  

     Before using the trolley feature, you can detach the backpack straps and store them away for future use.  

    As a versatile backpack, you get the quality standards of Edea to hold your precious skates and accessories.  

    Zuca Ice Skating Bag

    8. Zuca Rolling Sport Bag – Navy Blue

    It's time to pull out the big guns. 

    The biggest and most expensive option on our list when it comes to ice sports storage, this bag delivers. 

    It starts with a lightweight yet super-strong aluminum alloy frame with wheels to use as an additional piece of luggage. Unfortunately, it does not meet FAA requirements for carry-on luggage.   

    The telescoping handle gives you the versatility to transport vertically or horizontally.  

    Zuca's capacity is up to 300 lbs, so you can hold multiple skates and everything you need for a successful skating trip.  

    The main compartment opens outward like a standard suitcase, with inner zips and compartments to organize your items. 

    The large inner compartment is also removable and hand washable, made from durable 600D polyester. 

    Weighing in at just 9.4 lbs (frame and bag), it's lightweight without compromising on strength. 

    Available in multiple colors, you can get one of the best ice skating bags under $200 on the market in your own style.  

     

    Warrior Pro Ice Skating Bag

    9. Warrior Pro Wheeled Hockey Backpack

    Is this bag for hockey? Yes.  

    Can you use it to store all your figure skating or ice skating needs? Also, yes. 

    The Warrior Pro Wheeled Hockey Backpack is the best ice skating bag you need for carrying ice skates, clothing, accessories, and much more. 

     The bag comes with pockets to hold each side of your skates and large compartments for everything else you'll need for skating.  

    Durability and versatility are key with this option.  

    Like the Edea backpack, transform the Warrior Pro into a wheeled bag when the load gets too heavy to carry.  

    Rink Rabbit Skate Pack

    10. Rink Rabbit Skate Pack

    Rink Rabbit is a trusted roller skating and inline skating brand.  

    They carry some great storage items, like their skate pack.  

     

    This bag gives laptop bag vibes with what seems like countless compartments and pockets. 

    And as luck would have it, the bag has a laptop compartment so you can carry your computer for work during the day and then go skating in the evening. 

    Each pocket has its own zipper to stay organized during training or road trips. 

     But it's made for skaters to easily transport their skates and anything else they'll need to perform at their best.  

    The double-padded, reinforced bag ensures your skates stay dry. With breathable mesh fabric inside and outside the bag, it can also stay ventilated.  

     This thoughtfully designed bag is a best seller and a go-to for ice skating enthusiasts. 

    Conclusion

    Can you carry your skates in any backpack? ...Of course!

    But why would you want to?  

    A bag that's designed with your skates in mind ensures your skates stay dry, protected, and easy to access.  

    These are 10 of the best ice skating bags under $200. 

    Be stylish and functional as you head to the ice for practice or your next skating competition.  

     

     

    10 Best Kids Ice Skates For Newbies

    10 Best Kids Ice Skates For Newbies

     Aubrin Sage is a 5-year-old social media superstar known for her wholesome quips while skiing and snowboarding in her dinosaur costume with her dad, Robert Garlow.  

    The family's genuine love for the slopes has encouraged other families to get their kids to pick up ice sports. 

    Unfortunately, not everyone has access to powdery winter mountains. 

    But they can get to a local ice rink.  


    IMPROVE YOUR ICE SKATING SKILLS AT HOME WITH POLYGLIDE ICE 


    Ice skating is a fun, engaging, and challenging sport for newbies. It's a great entry-level sport.  

    Kids as young as four can pick up skating and keep growing with it well into their teens.  

    The main tool your child will need is a pair of reliable ice skates. 

    There are many on the market at varying price points.

    So which should you choose? 

    this wide variety of figure skates:


    Our Top Picks

    Best Beginner Kids Skates
    Lake Placid Nitro Adjustable

    Best Overall Kids Skates
    American Athletic Tricot Lined Figure Skates


    Here are 10 of the best kids' ice skates for newbies:

     

    Lake Placid Ice Skating

    1. Lake Placid Nitro Adjustable Figure Skate

    Lake Placid skates have been around for decades as a reliable, beginner-friendly ice skate brand. 

    These are akin to the pair you'd find to rent at a local ice rink, so it won't hurt to pick up a pair for your kids to call their own. 

    The boot is made of a sturdy plastic shell to protect the ankle and foot from falls.  

    There are no laces but two sturdy cam lever buckles to secure the boot. These buckles are also adjustable, allowing your young one to grow into the skate.  

    A carbon steel, nickel-plated blade can last for years with consistent sharpening.  

    These are great for fun, casual ice skating but may need to be replaced if your kid wants to take their skating to the next level.  

     

    American Athletic Ice Skates

    2. American Athletic Tricot Lined Figure Skates

    When it comes to the best kids ice skates, it's all about American Athletic. 

    American Athletic is renowned for its professional-level skates, and its beginner ice skates do not disappoint.  

    This skate has a professional design and fit, helping kids to get accustomed to performance and comfort. 

    The PVC upper boot is all about durability and longevity.  

    American Athletic also focuses on comfort, with a large, padded split tongue and full quarter padding. 

    A hollow-ground nickel-plated steel blade completes the package, allowing you to sharpen it for precision and control. 

    As these are entry-level skates, upgrading may be necessary as your kid improves for enhanced ankle support.   

     

    Lake Placid Figure Skates

     3. Lake Placid Cascade Girl's Figure Ice Skates

    Another Lake Placid option on the list, this skate follows the style of the traditional figure skate instead of harder rental boots.  

    The Cascade figure skates have a synthetic PVC outer material for extended durability. The firm upper material also helps with ankle support.  

    Comfortable woven materials line the inside of the boot for maximum warmth.  

    The Lake Placid Cascade comes with a stainless-steel blade complete with a toe pick, so your kiddo can attempt beginner spins, stops, and turns.  

    Few skaters can beat this option for a great skating experience at a competitive price.  

     

    Bauer Ice Skating

     4. Bauer Colorado Glides

    Bauer is known for its hockey skates, but it carries a range of recreational and figure skating boots, like the Colorado Glides.  

    When you look at these, you think of rugged and sturdy winter boots. You're right. The materials combine synthetics, hard leather shells, and thick inner lining for fantastic support and comfort.  

    The Colorado Glides have additional padding for warmth and insulation for outdoor and indoor use.  

    The pre-sharpened hockey-style blade gives your boot the speed, support, and endurance worthy of a beginner.

    You can get this in youth and adult sizes so you can join your kids on the ice! 

     

    Jackson Ultima Ice Skates

    5. Jackson Ultima Figure SoftSkate

    While more expensive than the others we've mentioned, The Jackson Ultima delivers.  

    Jackson is the preferred brand for some of the world's best skaters. 

    The SoftSkate is a beginner to intermediate option that ticks all the boxes. 

    Separated into multiple parts, the boot consists of a reinforced vinyl upper to help navigate jumps and turns while supporting the entire foot.  

    The tongue and boot have a fluffy but durable inner lining for amazing comfort and warmth.  

    You also get the standard Jackson Mark 1 Blade with a toe pick for speed and support as you glide on the ice.  

    It's a great upgrade from rental skates that can last for years.  

     

    Riedell Ice Skating

     6. Riedell Soar Recreational Skates 

    Like Bauer, Riedell is another sports brand that focuses on ice sports like hockey. 

    However, their Soar Recreational Skates are great for kids starting their ice-skating journey. 

    Riedell skates are engineered with a perfect blend of comfort and performance. 

    The 3M Thinsulate insulation and plush foam-padded velvet linings ensure warmth and coziness, so you can skate indoors and outdoors.  

    The Velcro strap at the top of the boot provides additional support, especially for beginners.  

    Riedell has a no-maintenance PVC sole, making them not only durable but also easy to care for.  

    These are great skates for weekly visits to the rink or for those who are taking beginner classes.  

     

    Botas Ice Skating

    7. Botas Kids Skates 

    Botas is another trusted figure skating brand for beginners and advanced skaters alike. 

    The leather, waterproof boot has that sleek look that's appealing to figure skaters at a fraction of the price of professional skates.  

    The David and Diana versions both boast a thick inner lining and durable textiles on the tongue for support and comfort.  

    The leather boots are attached to PVC soles and Sabrina blades, which can cut through the ice with ease.  

    With consistent care and sharpening of the blade, Botas skates can last for years.  

     

    K2 Ice Skates

    8. K2 Rink Raven Boa Ice Skates 

    With over 30 years of excellence, K2 is known for its recreational and freestyle skates.  

    K2 also has a wide range of beginner skates, with the Raven Boa great for kids who want to get their feet wet in the sport.  

    This boot combines the durability of a hard shell outer with the comfort of a soft boot inner piece.   

    The Raven Boa has adjustable straps, allowing you to buy them slightly bigger and adjust them accordingly.  

    The stainless steel blade is great for beginners or those who want to delve into freestyle skating.  

    The light boot focuses on speed, performance, and safety, converging to create a truly exceptional skating companion. 

     

    Obensky Ice Skates

    9. OBENSKY Adjustable Ice Skates for Kids

    If your kids want a cool-looking pair of skates (while you're concerned about comfort and safety), look no further than OBENSKY's adjustable skates. 

    OBENSKY combines bright colors with the jet-black design on its hard plastic cap and soft boot. 

    These skates have multiple adjustments for each size, allowing your kids to grow into each pair. 

    The breathable inner liner helps this boot to be breathable, comfortable, and durable.  

    Safety is a top priority. The skates feature adjustable safety lock buckles, a Power Strap, and laces, providing triple protection for your child while skating. 

     Enjoy hours of skating both indoors and outdoors with these fantastic adjustable skates.  

    Jackson Ultima

     10. Jackson Ultima Softec Figure Skate

    Similar to the Figure Softskate, the Softec uses a thicker microfiber for more durability.   

    As part of the Softec series, the lightweight, plush padding provides great warmth while maintaining its speed.  

    The sleek design of the boot not only provides a stylish appearance but also offers exceptional ankle support for enhanced stability during maneuvers. 

    The factory-sharpened Mark 1 blades are guaranteed to elevate your child's skating experience.   

    With all the benefits of a professional skate, it's hard to beat the Jackson Ultima brand.  

     

    Conclusion  

    Ice skating is a wonderful sport for kids of all ages. 

    Investing in a pair of skates allows you to choose when and where you can skate while saving you money on rentals.  

    With the many brands and options available, finding the best kids ice skates for newbies is challenging.

    Aim for a pair that's durable and comfortable with sharp blades to make skating easier.  

    This list is great for all surfaces, including synthetic ice.   

    These options are also affordable, with the most expensive at only $125.00. Some professional skates can be ten times this price! 

    And who knows? Ice sports may open doors for your child as it did for many of the other young skaters we see online.  

     

     

    10 Tips to Become a Skilled Hockey Skater on Synthetic Ice

    10 Tips to Become a Skilled Hockey Skater on Synthetic Ice

    Hockey is a sport that requires strength, speed, agility, and accuracy.  

    It can take years to develop these skills, and only a chosen few make it to the peak of the sport.  

    When it comes to training, any advantage counts. 

    Synthetic ice is a great, versatile option for ice skating. It's also an excellent surface to become a skilled hockey player. 

    pull their hair out when it happens.  


    IMPROVE YOUR SKATING AT HOME WITH POLYGLIDE SYNTHETIC ICE 


     More hockey players are investing in synthetic ice to improve specific skills to make them faster and more agile on the ice.  

    We've gathered some tips you can use to level up whether you have your own piece of synthetic ice at home or you're visiting a rink to practice.  

     indoor synthetic ice rink

    Synthetic in Material, Natural in Performance 

    Hockey games are played on natural, refrigerated ice, which combines water and coolant on a specially designed surface, which is then powered by refrigeration to maintain the ice's temperature. 

    It's the only approved surface for competitive hockey games. 

    However, there are other surfaces you can skate, train, and compete on, like synthetic ice. 

    Synthetic ice consists of white sheets or panels of a unique polyethylene material.  

    The best synthetic ice panels are reinforced with a slip-sliding agent. 

    Therefore, you can use your metal blades to skate on the surface. 

    Synthetic ice comes in pre-cut panels that connect at each edge to form the synthetic ice surface.  

    With enough panels, you can create a large enough ice skating or hockey space for training with your teammates.  

    Hockey players and enthusiasts were concerned about using synthetics to play games.

    The material, they argued, had too much friction and did not feel the same as natural ice. 

    While there is some truth, synthetic ice has transformed over the years - thanks to improvements in technology and manufacturing – to have a low coefficient of friction that feels similar to real ice.  

    There are even conversations about perhaps playing an NHL game on synthetic ice

    Synthetic ice finds its home in recreational use in holiday rinks at malls, hotels, and carnivals.  

    Today, you can find it in backyards and basements, thanks to its customizable abilities. 

    Synthetic ice is also a fantastic tool for training. Hockey players, in particular, see immense value in having at least one large panel at home or at a training ground.  

    When used the right way, the surface can have a significant impact on a hockey player's skills and training routines, especially when it comes to being a skilled hockey skater on synthetic ice.   

    Here are ten tips that can help you become better come game time.  

     fundementals

    1. Focus on the Fundamentals 

    Hockey is all about fundamentals, and the biggest foundation is becoming a more-than-competent skater.  

    Coaches, parents, and peers would have taught you the basics to help you reach your current level. 

    Everyone should work on the fundamentals, including NHL stars. 

    Synthetic ice helps you reinforce essentials like the right stance, positioning, skating speed, and much more. 

    Pick a skill and work on it daily using your private synthetic ice setup.  

    2. Improve Your Shots 

    What does shooting have to do with becoming a skilled hockey skater? 

    Everything. 

    You can skate well but must control the puck and get your shots off quickly and accurately. 

    With your skates on while on synthetic ice, you can practice wrist shots, slap shots, and backhands. 

    You'll need some other basics, like pucks, a net, and a rebounder dasher curb on your rink to practice shots. 

    Add obstacles and set up targets to make your shots more challenging as you skate toward the puck. 

    The more you shoot, especially when you have spare time, the more accurate and powerful you become. Just ask Steph Curry

    skating agility

    3. Develop Your Agility 

    Hockey players must also have exceptional agility. The ability to move quickly, change direction, and do so with ease are qualities recognized by the best coaches. 

    To become an excellent player, you'll need to out-hustle your opponent.  

    Becoming more agile can help you get there. 

    You can set up synthetic ice to perform shuttles, turns, and other key exercises that enhance your reaction time, fast-twitch muscles, and overall agility. 

    Some common examples include figure-eight drills, improving your pivot, and skating from uncomfortable angles. Have a coach develop a training plan that works well with your synthetic ice. 

    4. Synthetic Ice for Edge Work 

    Edges on ice skates play a crucial role in a hockey player's speed, balance, change of direction, and control.  

    Hockey skates have inside and outside edges that help the player turn in the desired direction.  

    It can take even more experienced hockey players several years to develop great edge work. 

    A synthetic ice rink, especially in your own home, helps you to work on mastering your inside and outside edges.  

    You can practice multiple edge work drills both with the stick and without. Then, do so faster. Then, aim for more accuracy. Then, more power and control. 

    Mastering your edge work is the key to speed and balance, giving you an advantage over your opponent. 

     synthetic ice advantages

    5. Leverage Its Unique Advantages 

    Synthetic ice can make you a skilled hockey skater, thanks to its unique features. 

    Its versatility means you can set a rink up anywhere that has a flat surface area.

    Whether it's your garage, driveway, basement, or backyard, you always have a space to hone your skills. 

    You can also use synthetic ice throughout the year. 

    When everyone is resting during the summer, you're working thanks to its flexibility. 

    By simply leveraging these advantages, you'll be a better, stronger skater. 

    6. Level Up Your Puck Handling  

    Skating while maintaining close control of the puck automatically makes you a more competent, competitive hockey player. 

    Slap on your skates and get in some puck-handling drills, which in turn makes you a skilled hockey skater. 

    Create your own circuits and shooting drills, or ask your coach for a custom plan.  

    Perform drills that help protect the puck, shoot, and control the puck in close spaces. 

    Do these while constantly moving to get better at skating on synthetic ice, which will transfer to natural ice. 

     hockey endurance and conditioning

    7. Get Better Endurance and Conditioning 

    Strength and endurance are the assets of the skilled hockey skater.

    Hockey players are always active in a competitive game, burning over 600 calories per hour.  

    You can build your endurance with off-ice exercises such as running.  

    But you'll need to do it on the ice, too.  

    With synthetic ice, you can practice shuttles, set up agility drills, and build your engine both indoors and outdoors under various conditions. 

    8. Experiment With Your Special Moves 

    Hockey players are known for developing skills and moves that are unique to them. 

    These skills give them an advantage when it comes down to crunch time.  

    Synthetic ice gives you the time to practice shooting from difficult angles and skating under certain conditions. 

    If your idol has a move you've been wanting to work on or perfect, your synthetic ice rink is the perfect space to do it. 

    crossovers and transitioning

    9. Crossovers and Transitions 

    Crossovers are skill moves that allow you to increase your speed, navigate traffic on the ice, and move laterally.  

    Performing crossover drills can perfect these attributes.  

    Set up a series of cones or markers and practice crossovers around each cone, trying to get faster and more accurate each time.  

    Transitions are also a vital part of hockey, as the direction of play is constantly changing, and you'll need to turn quickly to catch up and influence the game. 

    Synthetic ice is great for transition exercises, so you can perfect backpedaling, turning, leaning, and getting up quickly when the moment calls for it.  

    10. Put in the Reps 

    Becoming great at any sport requires you to practice. It's what you do off the ice that will determine what you do on it. 

    Above all, synthetic ice allows you to become a skilled hockey skater by eliminating excuses. 

    You have a readymade skating surface that is usable indoors and outdoors. 

    You can practice as much as you want, for as long as you need to, without having to find a rink.  

    This one investment can last for years and give you the priceless ability to put in hundreds, if not thousands, of reps every month.  

    Conclusion.

    Becoming an excellent hockey player requires you to bring it every day in practice.

    It also requires you to go the extra mile.

    If you have the will, synthetic ice is the tool you need to give you the skill.

    When you're not near the ice rink, or its in the off-season, you can build endurance, perfect your edges, improve your crossovers, and become better with the puck.

    At PolyGlide Synthetic Ice, our rinks can stand up to the demands of the most seasoned hockey player.

    Speak with us to work together on creating an at-home rink that will help you be prepared for the upcoming season.

    Wherever you are, synthetic ice can give you the advantage to become a skilled hockey skater.

     

     

     

     

    Icing in Hockey: The Intricate Rules Of The Game You Must Know

    Icing in Hockey:  The Intricate Rules Of The Game You Must Know

     To the untrained eye, hockey seems like a simple game; you skate while using a stick to get the puck into the net. 

    The team with the most goals wins.... And you occasionally punch each other:-) 

    While simple in some respects, hockey is a deep, strategic sport with rules that significantly impact the flow of the game.  

    Once such rule is icing in hockey. It’s one that every budding hockey player should know, and every true fan should pull their hair out when it happens.  


    If You Like Hockey, You'll LOVE Playing at Home WIth PolyGlide Ice 


     

    What is the Icing in Hockey?

    What is the Icing in Hockey? 

     Let’s define icing in hockey, then explain it in more detail.  

    According to the USA Hockey Rule Book, icing the puck occurs: 

    “When a player of a team shoots, bats with the hand or stick or deflects the puck from their own half of the ice completely beyond the goal line of the opposing team, play shall be stopped and a face-off shall take place at an end zone face-off spot in the defending zone of the offending team.”  

    To understand icing, you have to take an overhead view of the hockey rink. 

    Hockey is a game of attrition based on different zones.  

     hockey rink

    The goal of the attacking team is to keep the ball in the defensive zone while trying to score a goal.

    The blue lines separate each role.  

    When the other team is on defense, they need to defend the goal by getting the puck to the neutral zone and mounting an attack.  

    If you’re on the defending team and you slap or move the puck all the way to the end of your attacking zone, past the goal line (the last red line), without scoring a goal, it’s icing.

    The play must be active in the defensive zone.

    If the puck is sent behind the goal line from the neutral zone, it’s not icing.  

    During icing, the puck must not hit any opposing player – intentional or not.

    You can also unintentionally cause icing if the puck deflects off you and settles behind the opposing team’s goal.  

    Icing, like offsides, is called by linesmen.

    When the puck appears to be heading for an icing infraction, the linesman raises an arm to signal such.

    If the puck is stopped or intercepted before passing the goal line, the linesman waves off the call.  

    In some cases, linesmen may delay the icing call if they believe an opposing player has a reasonable chance of reaching the puck first.  

    This allows for a brief continuation of play to see if the opposing player can prevent icing by reaching the puck before it crosses the goal line. 

     Icing variations: The Hybrid Icing Rule  

    The NHL introduced the icing rule around 1937 with other governing bodies following suit over the years.  

    There are now different variations of icing: 

    • No-touch or automatic icing: It’s the most common variation used by kids and amateur leagues today. As soon as the puck crosses the goal line, play is stopped and the linesman calls icing. 
    • Touch icing: For icing to be called, an opposing player that’s not the goaltender must touch the puck first. When that player retrieves the puck, the linesman calls icing. This is the icing rule in most leagues.
    • Hybrid icing: When the puck heads to or passes the goal line, it creates a mad sprint between two (or more) opposing players for the puck. This race often led to collisions and injuries. It’s these injuries, such as Pat Peake’s in 1996 and Joni Pitkänen in 2013, that spurred hybrid icing and its use in the NHL respectively. With hybrid icing, an opposing team’s player must reach the faceoff dot first instead of past the goal line for hybrid icing to be called. This rule also gives the defending team a chance to reach the puck and nullify icing.
    • Sometimes the puck passes the goal line and comes around the other end before the players reach the faceoff dot. The linesman calls icing if it’s touched by a defender. He lets play continue if an offensive player intercepts the puck. 

    hockey referee

    Why is Icing in Hockey Not Allowed? 

    To say icing in hockey is ‘not allowed’ is not true.  

    There’s no direct penalty for icing. 

    If anything, it’s just frowned upon and ill-advised in some cases. 

    Icing the puck can delay the progress and flow of the game.  

    Rather than strategically move the puck out of the defensive zone into the neutral zone and then attack, without icing, the defending team can simply slap the puck as far away as possible, as many times as possible.  

    Icing often happens when the opposing team is under pressure from attack and wants to simply dump the puck out of their zone.

    Not only would this relieve pressure, but in theory will place all offensive players offside. 

    Teams used icing to protect a lead or run the clock out to head into overtime/shootout.  

    Teams would also ice the puck if the coach realized the players were exhausted and wanted to do a line change or on a penalty kill, when the team was shorthanded.  

    The icing rule has minimized these issues, making hockey much more entertaining.  

     

    hockey faceoff

    Icing Enforcement and Penalties 

    So, what happens when a team is guilty of icing? The linesman will stop the play for an icing penalty.  

    The result is a faceoff in the defensive zone (the opposing team’s offensive zone).

    The icing team cannot change their players, which can be a significant advantage to the offensive side, who can make a line change.  

    The offensive team has a better opportunity to score and take advantage of the faceoff, while the defensive team can lose momentum and defensive shape.  

    If repeated icings continue, a team may be penalized for delay of game.

    It also raises the antennae of referees to look for a lack of discipline and can even influence future calls.  

    exception to the rules

    Are There Exceptions to the Icing Rule? 

    Hockey is a fast-paced sport.

    Over time, there have been exceptions to the icing rule. For example: 

    • If a team is shorthanded due to a penalty, they can slap or dump that puck to the other end without an icing call. 
    • The puck must cross the goal line. If it holds up even a little, it’s not icing. 
    • Icing is not called if an offensive player or goaltender touches the puck before crossing the goal line.  
    • If the puck is hit or deflected to the other end during a faceoff, it’s not icing.  
    • If the linesman believes an offensive player had a reasonable opportunity to play the puck before it crossed the line, the linesman can wave off icing. 

    Don’t Hate the Player: Icing Strategies

    While icing is more frowned upon than anything else, it does have its place in terms of strategy. 

    Remember all those reasons we mentioned by teams ice the puck? It can come in handy in certain situations.  

    For instance, a team may opt to ice the puck to gain relief when the offensive pressure is overwhelming. 

    It can also eat up valuable time of a penalty kill.

    By clearing the puck the offensive team must regroup and that allows the defending team to reset. 

    Icing is also a defensive tactic to protect a lead but must be executed with care as to not raise the suspicion of the referees.  

    At the same time, there are common misconceptions that icing is always advantageous and a solid defensive strategy.

    Remember that with icing, the advantage goes to the opponent.

    It could also signify poor play by the team as it struggles to maintain possession in the offensive zone. 

    There’s a delicate balance and the pros and cons must be weighed.  

    Conclusion

    In short, icing in hockey occurs when the defending team in their zone hits the puck to the other end of the ice past the goal line. 

    There are different types of icing and it results in a faceoff, with the defending team unable to make a line change.

    It's one of the many rules hockey players and fans should know to get a better understanding of the game.

    In some situations, icing in hockey is strategic.

    In many cases, however, it can slow the pace and stifle the excitement of the game.

    The rule has evolved over time and who knows?

    Maybe it will again.

    Until then, icing is a rule that will influence play and can even be the difference between winning and losing.