• How to Build a Synthetic Ice Rink in Your Garage
    Sports

    How to Build a Synthetic Ice Rink in Your Garage

    Building a synthetic ice rink in your home has never been easier. Whether you are still stuck at home because of the pandemic, or you just want to have a great ice skating rink in your own domain all you need is a large enough space to install it, and the willingness to do a little work and you can have your own ice skating rink and skate whenever you want. Although you can build a rink just about anywhere that you have a solid, level, flat surface we will focus on the garage in this article. If you want to build one on your back patio, or driveway, or even in your living room just use the steps we put into place here, and you should have the perfect skating rink in no time.

    Scope Out Your Area

    Although we are trying to make these instructions generic enough for anybody to install ice panels wherever they can fit them, it is important to understand that not all garages are created the same. Some are much larger than others. Some garages have carpet in them. Some garages have no flooring at all. In this demonstration, we will assume that you have a standard-sized two-car garage with a level concrete floor.

    If your garage is smaller or larger you can still build an ice skating rink in it, but you have to measure out the size to get a good idea of how many panels you will need and where you want to start building your panels.

    If the flooring is carpet, or it is dirt, or anything other than a solid slab of concrete you may want to lay down some subflooring boards to build off of. All you have to do is lay down some sturdy plywood that is level and void of cracks to be your foundation.

    Ready to Go

    Once you have your area measured out and you have the proper amount of panels that you will need to build the floor, you will be ready to start. The first thing you want to do is find the center of the area that you will create your rink on. You must start building your panels from the center of the area outward, or you will not be able to have the ideal flooring space that you wanted. Most likely you will end up with a huge hole in the middle of your floor unless you perfectly measure out every step in the process to the smallest increment. The best way to ensure that you will have a great flooring without holes is to start assembling it in the middle.

    Lay the first panel down flat on the ground, then attach the next panel to it using the edges. Link them together and lay them down flat on the surface. This will be your starting point. Make sure that each time you lay down the panels, that they are flat and that there4 are no gaps in between. The interlocking tabs of the panels are designed so that the tabs will fit snugly together without gaps or raised edges. Lay the first couple down, then build outward in a circular motion so that you evenly distribute the panels in a way that creates a nice, flat flooring without holes or gaps.

    Tap Them Down

    Once you have all of the panels connected together on the floor go over the flooring once again with a rubber mallet and tamp down the edges of the panels if there are any irregularities. You don’t want raised edges or large gaps because they will be tripping hazards for skaters.

    Conclusion

    Once you have the panels installed and you have gone through and made sure that it is a nice flat surface without any edges to trip over, go ahead and put on your ice skates. You can practice shots with a hockey shooting tarp, or even play a game. Go for it.  It is time to give it a whirl. Congratulations on your new ice skating rink!

    ***Sniper’s Edge Hockey loves Canada! We proudly ship all of our products to Canada and offer the same return policies as we do for everybody else. We realize the exchange rates for the Canadian dollar are not the best right now, so we’re trying to help by giving you free shipping and no customs/duty.***

  • How to Make Synthetic Ice Slippery
    Sports

    How to Make Synthetic Ice Slippery

    You would think that there is a simple answer to the mystery of the way to keep synthetic ice slippery. However, it is not so simple as that. Artificial ice has been around since the 1960s and has been through a lot of changes since then. There is a chance, if you get the right synthetic ice, you won’t have to worry about keeping it slippery at all. Let’s have a closer look at synthetic ice.

    Synthetic Ice in the 1960s

    When synthetic ice first became public, over 50 years ago, it was an altogether different type of flooring. There were no small panels that you could easily install in your home. It was made out of an old-school polymer plastic that was in the early stages of development. In order for a person to be able to ice skate across the surface, it had to be constantly supplied with a lubricant so that the floor was slick enough for the skates to slide across. Even with the lubricant, the skaters had difficulty maneuvering across the surface because it had a lot of drag and caused sticking. Synthetic ice had a long way to go before it evolved into the kind of flooring we all know and love today.

    As Synthetic Ice Evolved

    In the 1980s a company named High Density Plastics developed a type of synthetic ice flooring that was put together with interlocking panels made out of high-density polyethylene. This type of plastic worked great for ice skating, but it had to be sprayed with a gliding fluid. The flooring needed to be consistently maintained by cleaning and re-spraying the fluid each month. Although it did work well at the time, developers still had a long way to go before they could perfectly imitate true ice.

    Self-Lubricating Synthetic Ice

    Infused, or self-lubricating synthetic ice is made by adding a slipping agent into the plastic at the time of manufacture. This kind of ice flooring has its own built-in substance that keeps the flooring slick and ice-like for years to come because it is already infused with a special type of lubricant. Because of the agent dust and other contaminants can get stuck to the flooring and inhibit its performance, but regular maintenance and cleaning keep the flooring slick and in great shape so that you never have to add any lubricants, or other additives to keep it nice and slippery.

    Dryland Hockey Tiles

    Dryland hockey tiles are another kind of flooring for hockey players. Sometimes they are confused with synthetic ice but are a longshot away from it. Dryland tiles are not made for ice skating at all. Instead, they are used for rollerblade hockey games and practice. They are, however, formed into easy to install tiles that can be placed in a home, or outdoors. These tiles are also referred to as “slick tiles” because they are made to be slick like ice so that the pucks and the sticks glide across them as if they were on real ice. Although dryland tiles are made to be slick and created from the same kind of polymer that synthetic ice is made from, they are not created with the same goal in mind.

    Conclusion

    Depending on the type and quality of your synthetic ice keeping it slick will be different. For self-lubricated synthetic ice, all you have to do is keep it clean and make sure that it is taken care of. Remove excess dirt and any other debris that might get built up over time and use. As for synthetic ice that does not have a slipping agent infused within it, you will have to add a lubricant at least every month and continue to keep it clean like clockwork. The best way to keep your synthetic ice slippery is to take good care of it.

  • synthetic ice
    Sports

    Are Dryland Ice Tiles Synthetic Ice?

    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.

    • Self-lubricated
    • 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.