22
June

Synthetic Ice Maintenance

Posted by Brett

 

For home or commercial synthetic ice rink owners, synthetic ice maintenance is, thankfully, easy and inexpensive. A low maintenance product is one of the top benefits of owning and enjoying synthetic ice. Owning and maintaining a synthetic ice rink is much easier than you may imagine.

KwikRink Synthetic Ice is a one-stop-shop for a comprehensive rink set-up in any size space. With a synthetic ice system from KwikRink, your household figure and hockey skaters can practice uninterrupted, regardless of the state of the world, weather, or your community.

Plus, if you want to launch or continue a community skating program (especially as we all continue to explore getting out into small, public groups again), KwikRink has a rink solution. We provide low overhead and low-maintenance equipment, and high user satisfaction, event enjoyment, and potential revenue streams.

Call us today, and we’ll help you select the ice tiles and accessories to fit your space and your budget wherever you want your rink.

Rink use best practices

Though KwikRink synthetic ice tiles are practically indestructible, easy to assemble, and quick to tear down and store away, we recommend a few best practices to keep your ice as frictionless as possible. You’ll want to maintain the highest quality glide and tile life you can, for years of skating fun and improved skating skills.

  1. Even though you can technically park a car on our ice tiles, we recommend using synthetic ice for ice skating only. If you want to grab some hockey shooting practice in your spare time without fully suiting up, we get it. Make sure to wear non-marking, clean, dust-free sneakers on the ice if you opt-out of skates for a particular drill.
  2. Keep your skates clean and sharp as well for the best skating experience on KwikRink Synthetic Ice. Our tiles feature 90% of real-ice glide, and you’ll maximize that sensation with clean, sharp skates.
  3. Follow the simple assembly and tear-down instructions. A rubber mallet is extremely helpful to snap and lock our ice tiles together. They connect like giant puzzle pieces with an easy press for a seamless rink every time.
  4. Cover your tiles with a tarp or blanket if possible when stored away to cut down on ice-surface dust and dirt build-up.

Maintaining your ice tiles when assembled

Okay, you’ve placed your tiles, locked them together, checked for a dust-free, clean surface, and you’re ready to skate.

Here are a few tips to be quick and efficient about performing the simple maintenance your ice tiles need to deliver top performance.

Always sweep first

  • Replace the Zamboni with a large, soft-cloth push-broom on a rotating pole. You can pick up such a tool at just about any hardware or grocery store in the cleaning section. If you have a large home or commercial rink, you may want to special-order a longer broom to cover more area in fewer passes around the rink.
  • Some Synthetic Ice owners use a shop vac or leaf blower to move dirt and dust into one corner of the rink to sweep or vacuum up at once. This practice also counts as sweeping, or debris removal.

Then, mop thoroughly

Once all the dry dust and dirt have been removed, use a mop with a gentle cleanser to lock in a super-clean finish. A traditional mop with a bucket of warm water and dish soap is just as effective as a more specialized floor cleaner. 

You could also use an automated mop-and-cleaner system with removable mop pads, like a Swiffer Wet Jet(™), or similar product. 

If you go the traditional route with a regular mop and bucket, be sure to change the mop water if you notice it’s getting particularly grungy. You don’t want to apply a bunch of dirt back on the surface you just cleaned, after all!

Once cleaned thoroughly, allow your synthetic ice rink to air-dry. With our products, you won’t need to apply a lubricating product for glide. The tiles maintain their glide as long as they remain clean.

It’s smart to place your maintenance tools (brooms, vacs, and mops) near your rink when setting it up. Get into the habit of cleaning your rink before and after each skate. 

If you’ve swept and mopped thoroughly after each skating session, you’ll likely be ready to glide next time with a quick inspection and dust-off with a broom.

Reminder: cover your tiles when not in use, especially if you set up or store your rink outdoors.

There’s hope for neglected rinks

We’re all human and have full plates, especially when it comes to household and business maintenance, right? If you’ve neglected your rink’s regular cleaning schedule, you can bring the glide back to life with a pressure washer.

As long as the dirt and dust do not penetrate the ice surface, a pressure washer will refresh and prep the ice tiles again for quality skating. 

With proper care and (low) maintenance, your KwikRink Synthetic Ice system can deliver the best all-weather skating experiences for up to 10 years, depending on the product you select.

Select the best in all-weather, indoor and outdoor synthetic ice

At KwikRink Synthetic Ice, we provide a superior synthetic ice product backed up by over 20 years of industry experience. We live and breathe ice skating and work diligently to ensure your satisfaction. 

We continually improve our products so our customers can enjoy practicing the sports they love, providing innovative community programming, growing their revenues, and uniquely entertaining their clients and guests with our ice tile lines.

We’re here to help you get up-and-running with top-quality ice tiles as well as all the accessories you may need. In addition to ice tiles, we offer: 

  • Skates 
  • Skate sharpeners
  • Plexiglass panels
  • Goals and nets
  • Shooting tarps
  • Netting
  • Dasher boards
  • Colored ice markings  

For more answers about how to get KwikRink Synthetic Ice into your home, business, or indoor-outdoor community spaces, contact us today. We’ll glide to your “virtual” side and help you secure the rink you’ve always wanted. 

When most people think of ice, they think of water that has been frozen. Ice is ice; it doesn’t seem to go much deeper than that. However, there is more to ice than frozen water and ice melt.

Traditionally, ice has always been frozen water. Today, however, technology has allowed us to use various types of ice, depending on the activity.

You might be surprised to learn that most activities on ice, professional and casual, are done on either synthetic or artificial ice. What is the difference? Why use one over the other?

At KwikRink, we specialize in helping you enjoy ice in a variety of ways. If you are looking to expand your business and bring in new customers, synthetic ice might be just what you are looking for. Contact us today and see how we can help you.

Synthetic Ice

Synthetic ice is just what it sounds like, a block of synthetic or man-made ice. 

Ice rinks with traditional ice are incredibly expensive to maintain. To combat these high costs, engineers developed alternative methods to create ice rinks. The drawback is that these alternative rinks have to look, feel, and perform like traditional ice.

Most synthetic ice rinks are made of plastic. A common nickname for these rinks is plastic rinks. However, an excellent synthetic ice rink mimics real ice as closely as possible.

Synthetic ice rinks are made from plastic panels or ice sheets. These panels or sheets are connected in different ways, depending on the brand. Most importantly, skaters should never feel the connections.

To make the synthetic ice feel and act more like ice, sometimes lubricants are added to the surface, or silicones or other additives are included in the base.

With our exclusive formula, KwikRink Synthetic V, you will never need to reapply any lubricant or other additives. Our synthetic ice panels will never lose their glide

Artificial Ice

Synthetic ice is sometimes referred to as artificial ice. So the term artificial ice is ambiguous.

Artificial ice often refers to water that has been frozen by a machine. Because the water was mechanically frozen, it is not a natural ice surface.

For many years, artificial ice was the most common, if not only, indoor skating surface. Rinks would be made from water that was frozen and maintained by a machine. This surface was kept frozen with a refrigeration system.

It’s not hard to imagine how expensive this is to maintain. Because ice naturally wants to melt when the air around it is warmer than freezing, your system has to work hard to keep the ice frozen.

Plus, you have to continually replace ice that has been chipped and scraped away by skaters.

To maintain an artificial ice rink, you will need to control the humidity and temperature of the area carefully. Plus, a Zamboni is required to maintain an artificial ice rink.

 

Frozen Ice

In this case, frozen ice is just what it sounds like: water that has naturally been frozen. Generally, naturally frozen ice can only happen outdoors in areas where the temperature remains low enough to keep water frozen.

Usually, this is on a lake or pond. However, it is possible to add water to an area and have it naturally freeze to create a skating surface.

What’s Best?

If you are considering adding an ice rink to your business, you might be wondering what the best option is. Unless you live in a cold area, traditionally frozen ice is likely out of the question.

This leaves the debate between synthetic and artificial ice. We are here to encourage you to consider synthetic ice for a variety of reasons.

First of all, synthetic ice is convenient. If you don’t have the time or money to maintain artificial or naturally frozen ice, synthetic ice will give you a skating surface all year long. Whereas frozen ice takes time to form, synthetic ice, once put together, is always ready to go.

Synthetic Ice is the Way To Go

Synthetic ice is also more affordable than an artificial ice rink. After the initial investment, your skating rink is ready. You will not have to purchase compressors. Furthermore, you will not have to worry about the environment, humidity, or temperature.

Another thing many people enjoy about synthetic ice is not needing a Zamboni. If you grew up skating, you know how annoying it was to sit and wait for the Zamboni to sweep, clean, and seal the ice.

Synthetic ice is designed to mimic real ice. Because synthetic ice is not real, it does take a little more effort to skate.

However, practicing on synthetic ice and playing or competing on real ice gives you an advantage. Working harder in practice will pay off in competition.

A significant drawback people used to consider regarding synthetic ice was the damage to skates. This wear-down used to be the case. Thankfully, new technologies reduce friction and wear on skates.

Finally, synthetic ice is available in just about any size, shape, or configuration you want. Depending on your budget and accessible space, you can get just about any layout.

Call KwikRink Today

If you are interested in an ice rink for your home or business, contact KwikRink today. We have worked with people and companies on a variety of projects.

We will work together to figure out a budget, plan, and installation for your synthetic ice rink. Whether you need a regulation size practice rink for a hockey team or are just wanting a rink for casual skating and play, KwikRink will ensure you have an incredible rink you can use year-round.

Though figure skating training is a challenging endeavor under any circumstances, you can help your skater excel with a home-based, synthetic ice rink from KwikRink Synthetic Ice.

Read on for a deep dive into figure skating training techniques to practice any time of year, indoors or outside, on any size flat surface. Your skater can gain a competitive and recreational edge with a synthetic ice rink from Kwik Rink.

Call us today for free measurement guidance and a quote on the ideal rink for your home. Our customized, click-together, synthetic ice tiles and accessory packages will fit your space and figure skating training goals in a snap (literally!)

Get stronger faster with synthetic ice

Explosive propulsion is crucial for single, double, and triple jumps in the rink. The higher the leap, the more rotations completed and landed, the higher your score, expertise, and achievement in figure skating.

Height and explosion in skating jumps relate directly to the explosive power in your big leg muscles like the quadriceps, hamstrings (front and back of the thigh), gluteals (the muscles in your backside) and your core (abdominal and lower back muscles.)

Training on synthetic ice provides about 10% more friction between your skate blades and the surface than on conventional ice. When you execute jumps on synthetic ice, your muscles become stronger and more powerful than when you practice solely on natural ice.

Think of this training effect like training at high altitude. Olympic athletes spend months exercising in lower-oxygen environments to improve their oxygen-producing ability. (For all you exercise nerds out there, they produce more oxygen-carrying red blood cells in high altitude.) 

Then, when these athletes compete at a lower altitude, they can perform better because their use of oxygen under exertion is substantially more efficient. What felt like a killer sprinting challenge in the mountains feels like a piece of cake at sea level, so they go faster and farther.

The same principle applies to skaters who train on synthetic ice and then compete or perform on natural ice. Their jumps are higher, they may complete more rotations, and they have more stamina for challenging short and long programs.

Refine the details with synthetic ice

Though jump training requires a larger ice space, you can still hone your skills with a small rink. If you can dedicate a corner of your garage for figure skating training, you can drastically improve your figure skating technique.

Footwork, balance, choreography, and spins exemplify classic examples of synthetic ice-ready drills and skills to practice outside of natural ice time. 

When you consistently utilize a synthetic ice training program two or more times per week, you’ll notice gains in your strength, precision, and balance in a short amount of time.

Skills like donuts, spread eagles, spirals, split jumps, and Biellmann spins are some of the elements adaptable to synthetic ice, depending on rink size and skater experience. 

You can also parse out demanding or artistic sections of choreography on synthetic ice to perfect technique, expression, or style.

Sharpen your edges for best performance

On synthetic ice, sharp skating edges can promote skater confidence as they adapt to a different skating surface. If you trust your edges to propel you into jumps, you’ll likely feel more ready to try challenging rotations and higher leaps.

KwikRink offers skate sharpeners as part of our product line to ensure your blades remain sharp enough to keep you on the cutting edge of progress in your figure skating training routine.

Who has room for a home figure skating rink?

You do!  Seriously, if you have a flat space of nearly any size, you can customize a home rink to fit your space. Our state-of-the-art synthetic ice tiles work indoors and outside for a versatile application you can use year-round.

Plus, KwikRink synthetic ice tiles assemble and tear down like puzzle pieces. You won’t need any tools to click your tiles in place; they press together with ease for a seamless skating surface.

Since rink installation is a snap, you can also use your rink when desired, then stack and store it away when not in use. We recommend covering your tiles with a waterproof tarp outdoors, or with a soft cloth cover indoors. 

Covering your stored tiles helps ensure a clean surface with maximum glide for up to ten years of regular use.

But, isn’t a synthetic rink hard to maintain?

KwikRink Synthetic Ice is a low-maintenance training option that fits your family’s busy schedule. Your ice tiles will keep their glide as long as you keep them clean. 

Cleaning your tiles is a two-step process. After each figure skating training session:

  1. Sweep your tiles with a soft push broom, vacuum with a shop vac, or clear with a leaf-blower to remove loose dust and dirt.
  2. Wet-mop your tiles with a conventional mop and gentle cleaner like dish soap-and-water, or use an all-in-one product with cleanser and disposable pads like a Swiffer Wet Jet or similar mopping system.

If you leave your tiles down between skate sessions, make sure they stay free of dust by covering them or dry-sweeping them again before your next skate. 

When storing and stacking, keep them away from dust or dirt sources. Our skate tiles will take care of your skaters so long as you keep the tiles clean and happy.

Partner with KwikRink to build your little (or not so little) champion

The experienced team at KwikRink wants to make owning a home rink accessible and care-free. We believe all skaters can benefit from home training on synthetic ice, so your natural ice time is the best it can be for your time and investment. 

Take advantage of our expertise in measuring and installing your synthetic ice home rink, and get your skaters on their home-based synthetic ice ASAP!

Call our team today for measuring assistance and a free quote. We customize our tiles to any space and size for your training goals and budget. Plus, we also provide rink borders, colored marking tape, and more to create the rinks on which figure skating dreams come true.