two happy adults with ice skates outdoors

A good training regime is an essential element of success on the ice, but modern life can make it tough to fit in. As recent events have taught us, getting to the rink for your ice training is sometimes easier said than done. In these circumstances, you need an alternative plan of action: welcome to ice training at home.

Ice training at home offers you freedom, flexibility, and versatility. You can train when you want, for how long you want, as often as you want. 

There are, of course, some costs and expenses which come with the advantages. Most experts, however, would agree that the pros far outweigh the cons.

Interested? Read on to discover how training at home can transform your regime, and how KwikRink Synthetic Ice can help your dreams come true.

person with a hockey goal ice training outdoors

Why Train At Home?

Ice training at home comes with several advantages, and these include the following:

 

Unlimited Training Time

Whether you are a figure skater, hockey player, or ice dancer, getting the hours in is the only way to improve your practice. Communal rinks are, by their very nature, restrictive when it comes to access. (Especially with social distancing recommendations in place in many places!)

Most rinks have strict opening and closing hours. Even if you can book extra time, you will still have a limit on how long you can practice. 

In addition, a public rink will often require you to train while others are using the ice at the same time. A crowded rink can seriously cut down the time you have to spend perfecting your technique because you’ll have to make sure to avoid other skaters.

An ice rink at home, however, frees you from these restrictions. You will be able to head out whenever you work best — be that early morning or in the middle of the night. 

As a bonus, you can also train for as long as you need to. There is no need to fit your life around your training program. Instead, you can hit the ice at any time that is convenient for you.

The time spent traveling to and from the ice rink should also not be underestimated. If you live 30 minutes from the rink and train five times a week, the hours add up quickly. A home rink offers you an extra five hours in your week — almost a whole working day!

The freedom can be invaluable for practicing and perfecting moves, working with teammates, or going over techniques with a coach. Most importantly, your own rink puts you in charge of your training schedule. You will be able to fit in a quick workout at any time that suits you, and this means that the sky’s the limit!

No Restrictions on Training

As well as allowing you more freedom with your time, your own ice space offers greater freedom with your moves. A crowded public rink can make it dangerous to practice certain acts, figures, and techniques.

You can also find yourself fighting for space alongside other skaters and  working at a reduced output as a result. The mental concentration of watching out for other skaters can also diminish your focus on your sport.

Having the ice to yourself allows you to train the way you need to in safety and comfort. Whether you are going over a technique time and again or practicing speed and direction, you have the space to stay safe. 

Regular, consistent practice is crucial to improving at your chosen sport, and your own space is a key aspect of this.

hockey player training on ice

Cut the Costs

It may seem counterintuitive, but having your own rink at home can save you cash in the long run. As an athlete and committed skater, the chances are high that you will be putting in plenty of hours on the rink. Even if you secure a deal or discount — as many regular users are able to — the costs will still add up.

This ongoing expense may, over time, limit your training options. If you are watching the pennies, you may choose to cut out a visit to the rink ahead of another essential purchase. Even if you can afford to hit the ice regularly, this is nevertheless an expense that can take its toll.

While the initial cost of putting in your own rink may seem steep, it is essential to consider the benefits in the long-term. Once installed, the rink is yours to use whenever, however, and for whatever you want — there is no need to pay each time. Regular visitors are likely to find that they recoup their initial investment quickly, and once achieved, you can train for free (maintenance is easy!).

Enjoy Improved Results

Most home rinks will be made from synthetic ice, and this can actually have a positive impact on your ice training. As a rule, synthetic ice creates up to 10% more friction with your skate blades, causing your body to work harder. Over time, this means that your muscles will be enjoying more of a workout every time you train on synthetic ice. In other words, a synthetic rink helps to build strength and stability.

As a result, a synthetic rink at home can also act as a perfect complement to other training. You can work out confident that you are actively building greater strength by working the same moves. Over time, the results will show up when you need them the most.

person ice skating on outdoor rink

What Should I Know About A Home Rink for Ice Training?

Installing your own home rink may sound complicated, but you can achieve it with no hassle. There are two primary choices: permanent fixtures, which stay in place, or rinks which can be taken down and stored when not in use. Your decision will depend on your available space, but there are plenty of options for all budgets.

As we have discussed, synthetic ice is the most popular choice for home rinks. Not only does this offer improved workout results, but it is also more convenient and easy to handle. With regular care, cleaning, and maintenance, a home rink can be an investment to last for years to come.

Come To KwikRink!

Here at KwikRink Synthetic Ice, we are dedicated to helping you achieve the best results on the ice. We have developed a sterling reputation for excellence in the industry, and we can help you pick out the perfect synthetic rink. Get in touch today, and start boosting your training for the better.

 

people playing on a curling rink

Curling is one of the oldest sports still played today. A winter staple in many countries, it is played on a curling rink and has four players per team. Curling may also be one of the only sports that uses a broom throughout the game.

Practicing and playing ice curling on natural ice is ideal, but it is not always an option or convenient.

A great option is a synthetic rink. It is easy to assemble, can fit in most flat surfaces, and is durable as well. Read on to find out how KwikRink Synthetic Ice can provide this for you.

In a Curling Rink: The Basics

According to The Winchester Curling Club, the traditional curling rink is 146 – 150 feet in length by 14.2 – 15.7 feet wide.

It consists of several sections marked under the ice with ribbon or paint. There are four players at each end.

To score, players must get their rock as close to the button or scoring area as possible. The center of this section is called the tee. It is where most points are scored.

As long as we are speaking on curling terms, it is good to point out that there are specific terms for everything in the sport of curling.

curling stones on a curling rink

  • Rock: The large stone with a handle that slides on the ice to score points. There are eight rocks per team, meaning that each player goes twice.
  • Hack: This is where the rock is slid and accompanied by players who sweep the ice to cut on friction. The sweeping gives a seamless path to the button for a score. 
  • Sheet: The actual playing surface of the rink.
  • House: The main features of the sheet. 
  • Hog Line: Where the rock is released. 
  • Button: Located in the middle of the rink and has three circles. Their diameters are four feet, eight feet, and twelve feet, respectively.
  • Tee: The middle of the button. 

Each side of the curling sheet has the areas listed above, one for each team. Each player also wears special shoes as part of their uniform that allows them to walk on the ice. They do not wear skates when on the ice.

The markings on a traditional curling rink are made with ribbon, vinyl, or paint placed under the ice.

Natural Ice

A curling rink is made out of ice, but how is such a big sheet of ice made? In most commercial and large arenas, water is piped into the area where the ice will go. Sensors are placed under the rink to alert to temperature and melting.

The sensors allow someone to fluctuate the temperature as needed, but it also requires monitoring. You would need someone to sit and monitor the rink temperature and fix it as needed.

Keeping up natural ice can also be labor-intensive. Zambonis, temperature monitoring — and it certainly is not mobile or malleable.

It does not have to be like that; there is an alternative.

Although natural ice is authentic to the sport and ambiance of curling, you can use an alternative. One that you can get anywhere and that can be used regardless of the weather.

curling stones on indoor curling rink

Synthetic Ice Is Nice

KwikRink Synthetic Ice has produced an alternative to natural ice, and that is synthetic ice. Synthetic ice is convenient not only because it can go just about anywhere the client wants but also because it is easy to install. KwikRink has designed their synthetic ice to assemble like pieces of a puzzle.

KwikRink has made its synthetic ice to come in sheets called ice tiles. Their straightforward construction makes them ideal for storage or even moving the rink itself. Snap the tiles on or off, and before you know it, you can be curling on your rink.

Unlike ice, it also does not require temperature monitoring, which makes synthetic ice easier to use. You can play or train on it without wondering if it is melting or not, and let’s face it, peace of mind is priceless.

Synthetic ice can be used year-round regardless of the weather, which means that your curling season and training does not need to end. There is no off-season, and you can better yourself on your time and your terms.

Easy assembly means easy to take down and store when not used. Natural ice needs to be melted and cleaned up after. KwikRink’s tiles snap away from each other, quickly making clean up a breeze.

It also means that the rink can be added onto or made smaller. It can meet any needs you have; whether that is curling, playing hockey, skating, synthetic ice can handle all of it.

Taking Care of Your Synthetic Rink

Maintaining the synthetic ice is just as easy as putting it together, making it ideal to use. You can even clean it with a broom and mop. No special cleaners or tools needed. The only cleaning supplies you need are a mop, broom, and mild detergent.

You cannot get much easier than that. Ease means having fun while you use your ice tiles. 

Why KwikRink Synthetic Ice?

KwikRink Synthetic Ice has been producing and improving this product since the mid-1990s. That’s almost 30 years of expertise used to construct rinks around the United States. They have proven their dedication and eye for quality.

They ship nationally, but they will also work with you to construct your ideal curling rink. They also work with budgets to give you the most bang for your buck.

When you receive your ice tiles, they will include everything you need to maintain your synthetic ice—no need to buy extra accessories or unique, expensive products.

The KwikRink is versatile as well. Perfect for curling at home and well-suited to commercial use, or you can even rent one if you only need it for a little while. It is a great year-round alternative to actual ice. One made by people who care and understand ice and winter sports.

Call KwikRink Synthetic Ice today to have your very own custom curling rink — no Zamboni required.

old skates hanging on a ladder

So it’s time: Time to buy new ice skates! Whether it’s a new pair because you wore out your old pair or this is your first pair ever, buying your own ice skates requires you to consider some things before taking the plunge.

Keep reading for a list of questions you’ll want to ask yourself before buying new ice skates. Just like with any sporting good, you’ll want to think about how you’ll be using the skates.

Did you know whether you turn to the ice for slamming pucks or practicing your double axel, a personal ice rink from KwikRink Synthetic Ice can fulfill all your needs? It’s the perfect place to break in your new ice skates! 

What will your ice skates’ primary use be?

One of the most important things to consider before buying your own ice skates is their purpose.

What do you plan to do in the ice skates? 

Are you a hockey player or a figure skater? Maybe you’re a speed skater?

No matter what your favorite ice-based activity is, you’ll want to purchase a pair of skates that work best for your needs.

Now, let’s look at some of the differences between these different kinds of ice skates.

figure skates have toe pic

Figure Skates

Think about how a figure skater moves on the ice: jumping, gliding, spinning, stretching, turning. A figure skater needs a pair of skates that allow for a wide range of motion.

For this reason, figure skates need to be very flexible. Yet they also need to hug the foot and ankle snugly. 

They are often made of leather because it allows movement and a tight fit. However, some figure skates for beginners might be made out of vinyl or other materials.

It’s also essential for figure skate blades to be very sharp. Figure skaters need to make quick turns. Accuracy is crucial in figure skating, where tenths of a point may determine competition winners.

Ice skates designed for figure skating feature toe picks at the front. These toe picks (or small teeth) allow the skater to jump and spin with more control.

For example, toe picks are used to stop a spin, and as a take-off or landing point for jumps. However, for beginners, they can be easy to trip over.

new hockey skates

Ice Hockey Skates

Hockey players have different priorities from figure skaters — and they have the different ice skates to match.

Ice hockey skates usually fit slightly more loosely on the foot than figure skates do. They are often more streamlined — lighter, narrower, and flatter — so they don’t interfere with the gameplay.

Ice hockey skates don’t have a toe pick like figure skates, and their blades are narrower, too. However, they give the foot a little more support because their blades are rounded at the back and front of the foot.

This curved blade on ice hockey skates helps the skater increase speed, agility, and maneuverability whether the skater is moving backward or forward. 

new speed skates

Speed Skates

It’s no surprise that speed skates prioritize speed! Moving across the ice as quickly as possible is the primary goal, so of course, you need a pair of skates that provide little resistance and helps propel you forward.

And that’s precisely how speed skates are designed. They feature long, thin blades that extend beyond the boot of each skate.

In fact, on some speed skates, the blade only attaches to a hinge mechanism at the boot’s front! This detachment keeps the blade from digging down into the ice and creating friction (the enemy of speed).

Needless to say, speed skates aren’t for beginners! You should only buy speed skates if you know you specifically want to race on the ice.

7 Tips for Buying Your Own Ice Skates

Okay, so now that you know a little more about the different kinds of ice skates, here are seven tips for buying your own pair.

  1. Consider the skates’ primary use (ice hockey, figure skating, speed skating, recreational, etc.). This detail is the most important because it narrows down what type of ice skate you need to purchase.
  2. Consider your skill and experience level. Some ice skates are better-suited to advanced skaters, while others work best for beginners. As your skill level progresses, you can try different skates. 
  3. Consider how often you’ll use the skates. If you simply need a pair of skates to wear on the rink a few times a year for fun, you probably don’t need to invest a lot of money. On the other hand, if you’re a figure skater competing at the national level and skating hours every day, you won’t mind investing a little more.
  4. Think about your foot size. Is your foot finished growing? If not (or if you’re buying skates for a child who’s still growing like a weed!), it might be best to stick to inexpensive options for now. Once your foot is at its forever-size, you can invest in a better pair if you want.
  5. Do some research on different brands. If you’re going to invest hundreds of dollars, it’s worth researching the best pair for you and your circumstances. Read reviews. Ask coaches or other athletes in your sport. Remember that some dealers earn a commission from specific brands, so you might not be able to trust the salesperson’s recommendation.
  6. Go for the Goldilocks fit. The skates should fit snugly, but you don’t want them to be too tight or too loose. They really do need to fit “just right.” Your ankles should feel supported, but they need a little flexibility, also. 
  7. Rent till you’re ready to buy. If you’re new to skating or not prepared to inject your new hobby with a cash infusion yet, simply keep renting. Until you get to more advanced levels, rental skates won’t hinder your general progress.

Got your new skates and ready to take them for a spin on the ice? KwikRink Synthetic Ice can help you create the perfect synthetic ice rink you can use year-round. Whether you need a regulation-size hockey rink or just enough ice to enjoy skating with your family, we’ll work together to create a customized plan for your personal synthetic ice rink.