Synthetic ice is a pretty amazing invention. It allows for ice skaters to skate on an ice-like surface year-round without cooling systems or indoor rinks. People can even create their own ice rinks at home in their backyards or garages. As awesome as synthetic ice tiles are, there is another type of hockey flooring that is becoming pretty popular these days. Dryland hockey flooring. But aren’t they the same? Synthetic ice and dryland tiles are both ice-like flooring and are very popular, but they are quite a bit different.
Synthetic Ice Panels
Synthetic ice is made out of a special polymer plastic that allows for rugged, long-lasting practice sessions and games. The idea came out in the 1950s when skaters wanted to find a better way to practice ice skating than to have to build a whole refrigerated arena, or waiting for winter. At first, synthetic ice did not do very well in the real world. The people that used it had to continually pour lubricants on it to make it slick. This, as you can imagine, caused many problems and made huge messes. Over a span of 20 years or so the inventors kept at it until they developed a different kind of plastic that could endure the abuse of ice skaters, and only had to be lubricated monthly.
- Easy sliding for ice skates
- Smooth for hockey pucks
- Shoot realistic goals
Now in the late 20th Century science and technology have far surpassed the dinosaur days of the 1980s. The synthetic ice flooring of today is much stronger, lighter, and better. High-quality synthetic ice from Sniper’s Edge Hockey even has its own built-in self-lubricating system so that you never have to pour any extra lubricants or additives on your flooring. All you have to do is lay it down and skate on it.
Dryland Hockey Flooring
Dryland hockey flooring, also known as “slick tiles” is becoming more and popular these days as hockey players are finding themselves stuck at home during the pandemic. This kind of flooring is very slick, much like ice, and allows for the pucks to glide across it just like they would on ice. Tiles come in 1-foot by 1-foot tiles that easily snap together on a flat surface to build a great hockey flooring area. They are extremely versatile and rugged so they can withstand the heat of hockey practice. They are made out of special plastic as well, but the biggest difference between dryland tiles and synthetic ice is that you can not ice skate on dryland tiles. They work great for inline skates, and tennis shoes, but ice skates are not welcome in the slightest bit. In fact, if you try to ice skate on them you will most likely get hurt. Dryland flooring is designed for pucks, and stickhandling so you can practice shots and passes, but not for ice skate training.
Skating and Flooring
As we mentioned above you can’t ice skate on dryland flooring, and it is dangerous to even try. Adding to that, you can’t rollerblade on synthetic ice. As it turns out synthetic ice was made specifically for ice skaters. You can shoot pucks and ice skate on it, but when it comes to treating it like typical flooring, you just can’t. If you think about it, modern-day synthetic ice has built-in lubricants that keep it nice and slick. Imagine trying to rollerblade on a lubricated surface. You can even go a step further and imagine trying to roller skate on an ice rink. Not such a good idea, huh? You can probably see that there is a huge difference between dryland flooring and synthetic ice flooring. Both are excellent ways to sharpen your hockey skills, however, each floor has its own properties and you will need to figure out whether you are committed to ice skates, or rollerblades. Although, you could always build both flooring types if you have the room.