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    PolyGlide Blog, News & Updates

    Southern Exposure for Backyard Rinks

    Southern Exposure for Backyard Rinks

    pond hockeyThe days when ice skating was only available to the masses throughout the winter months are no longer. The local ice Arena was the only option for anyone that wanted a leisurely skate at a moment’s notice, other than that you needed to live in the Northern hemisphere and wait for the pond to freeze over.

    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 because 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.

    Ice Developments

    lloyd cookTimes 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, these plastics are very similar in a lot of ways.

    plastic kneeThe big difference between todays 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 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 infused slip agents“slip agents” during manufacturing actually make the plastic slippery enough not to require surface enhancers. Without getting too technical, this development creates way less surface friction and makes it feel much more like you’re on natural ice and the overall experience much more pleasurable. It also creates more options for those who always wanted to try ice skating but it was never an option.

    A New Ice Age Cometh

    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 hockey media guideSkating continues to grow into the South and warmer climate areas. With the introduction of these new synthetic ice plastics backyard rinks can be set-up year-round allowing more great skaters and players to hone their skills.

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

     

    By Jim Loughran, PolyGlide Ice

     

    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

     

    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