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    PolyGlide Blog, News & Updates

    The True Value of Synthetic Ice Home Training

    The True Value of Synthetic Ice Home Training

    young-rink-ratCreating an environment to make home synthetic ice training a reality takes more thinking than money to make it happen. As with all modern day sports physical fitness is the foundation for the potential of success one can achieve outside of genetics. Being a "gym rat" or in this case a "rink rat" can take a player with an average skill to the next level if the effort and desire is there. 

    WIth all of todays modern day distractions (facebook, instagram, twitter) that unfortunately consume the bulk of any young athletes day, introducing home training is more critical today than ever before. Trying to find time between homework assignments and practices is difficult for any young athlete to continue self-training. Having a dedicated space in a home environment becomes even more valuable than ever especially for those athletes that have to master the art of ice skating.

    Whether it be a hockey player or figure skater, creating a "go-to" familiar space moms-and-dadsfor the athlete to push past their comfort level to the point of failure in a private environment is the envy of any "rink rat". As much as it seems that Moms and Dads like to oversee every increment of development during practice athletes prefer to test their boundaries training on their own as they progress their skills....Savoring that head-turning moment when they hear, "Did (He or She) just do that?"

    Creating a synthetic ice training area can begin with a minimal amount of space and investment. With the average cost of skates ranging $300-$500 a pair of skates synthetic ice is becoming more of a bargain. A lot can be accomplished with just a little bit of space for figure skaters practicing their spins or hockey players practicing their shot... in their skates! Quite honestly "small games" training has become widely accepted at every level from youth to Pro's.

    200-square-foot-synthetic-ice-rinkMost any highlight reel of some of the most impressive head-turning moves are accomplished in less than 200 square feet of space. Most all trainers are also firm believers in repetition...repetition...repitition until muscle memory makes it second nature and the skill set has been ingrained into the athlete. This can be accented by limiting the amount of time and space for the athlete to recover and allow them to quickly repeat the skill.

    Creating a natural ice outdoor rink would be the ideal scenerio that any skater would love to enjoy depending on their geographical location. The facts are that for a large percentage of all the skaters in the world the ice arena is the only solution.....but it doesn't have to be that way anymore. The little bit of added resistance with todays modern synthetic ice makes it more and more of an acceptable substitute to the real thing. There is also a warm element to synthetic ice training when it's much too cold to go outdoors when the wind chill guarantees frost-bite in 15 minutes. When such is the case....synthetic ice is truly priceless!

    By Jim Loughran


    Winter March To Curling Mania

    Jim Loughran PolyGlide Ice

    polyglide-pro-curlWInter Olympics fever will soon be marching into our television sets as it always does every 4-years without fail. Once again you can count on the mesmerizing captivation of the always fun to watch game of curling. What is it about this sport/game that has us glued to our sets watching rolling granite stones and hyperactive "broomsters" working the ice like a well-oiled machine?

    Perhaps it's the welcome pause that's required when we put down our cell phones for more than three minutes between tweets and Likes to watch people actually doing stuff. Just when you're ready to check your text messages another stone is hurled and nothing becomes more important to the eye than watching the heavy granite rock crawl over the pebbled ice to a peacefull rest......Ooh Curling!

    As the games are played folks will learn terms like House, Button, End, Broom, usa-curling-teamHammerHacks and Hog Lines......(and we all know we will need to learn them all over again four years later...:-) It doesn't seem to matter though as Curling does a great job in bringing us back to our past when active gaming was the norm and sharing actually meant giving something to someone.

    In the meantime we can take solace in knowing that we can always count on getting our fill of this "cool" Olympic sport/game every few years and be happy to be a spectator. Though it would be fun to just once be able to take part in the yelling as the broomster steers the Rock...."HARD!....HARD!...HARD!"

    The world could use a little more Winter Olympics and a lot more Curling!


    Where Can Synthetic Ice Be Installed?

    Jim Loughran PolyGlide Ice



    hardwood-flooring-subfloorSynthetic ice surfaces are no different than any other flooring products with the exception that you can skate on it. With this I mean that in order to install flooring products such as ceramic tiles, hardwood flooring, flooring laminates or linoleum you must have a firm and flat sub-floor. This will help insure that your synthteic ice panels lay flat and the connections are virtually seamless.

    Much the same way flooring laminates require a gap around the perimeter synthetic ice also must be treated like a "floating floor" that is allowed to expand and contract with temperature changes. To do this a slight gap must be made around the perimeter and no mechanical fasteners are to be used to secure the surface. This will lessen the "stress" on the surface especially on outdoor rinks in cold climate areas and large temperature "swings".

    One of the begest enemies of synthteic ice is REAL ICE. During extreme cold weather freezing of the surface from ice build-up must be prevented. A frozen rink will not be able to expand in direct sunlight which will stress-out the surface and can cause stress cracks if provisions are not made.

    If you are considering installing your synthteic ice rink on a grass you will need to install backyard-deck-rinka sub-floor FIRST as grass will not be firm or flat enough to support your rink. A simple way to achieve this is by constructing a "shed deck" by using exterior grade plywood on top of pressure-treated stringers. Using manufactured sheating or materials will provide a good base for your rink to be installed.

    New Ice Age - Growing the Game of Ice Hockey

    Jim Loughran PolyGlide Ice

    New Ice Age - Growing the Game of Ice Hockey 

    The growth of any of the major sports rely on those who support, attend, view the games, follow their teams and immulate their heroes. Starting with the latter, as with every sport aspiring young players hone their skills with the hopes of one day enjoying the accolades and acheiving the goals of their favorite players and teams.

    home-hockey-playerWith each sport different skills are required to excel at each position both mentally and physically. For the most part with most sports not a lot is required to begin the process. Basketball requires simply a ball and a hoop. Baseball requires a bat, a ball and a glove. Football requires a football and an open field or schoolyard. Soccer just a ball. 

    Now Ice Hockey on the other hand is a whole other animal. Sure you can hone your stick-handling and shooting skills with a puck and a stick but now try doing it on the ice.  Developing and learning the art of ice skating is not "geographically" available to many of those who appreciate the game. As much as we would love to rely on mother nature to help grow the sport, Ice Rinks and Ice Time has become a costly necessity for anyone with the slightest interest in becoming the next "Great One"......until now.

    There is a second coming of the "Ice Age" in the form of synthetic ice plastic that has polyglide-starter-kitbreathed new life into growing the sport of Ice Hockey. Now aspiring young players in warm climate areas and anywhere else for that matter can learn the skill of ice skating in the privacy of their own home. Though the original investment in these portable ice panels may be considered costly it pales in comparison to the constant schlepping back-and-forth to the rink, paying for gas, private lessons, clinics and camps. A home synthetic Ice rink offers players the ability train and become better skaters in the comfort of their own home and would pay for itself when parents do the math.

    Developments in new technology have improved the quality and performance of synthetic ice plastic tremendously in the last 10-years. The old-school "cutting board" type surface has been relaced by high-tech infused panels that lesson the surface "drag" or coefficient of friction (COF) to make skating on synthetic ice a more ice-like experience.

    These new devolpments will go a long way to help growing the game of Ice Hockey and reaching those players and families that may otherwise consider another sport. This may well be the "New Ice Age" that helps put Ice Hockey into the mainstream of professional sports....only time will tell.