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Plastics were first used as a substitute for ice for skating in the 1960s. Synthetic ice rinks were made from materials such as polyoxymethylene plastic, developed by DuPont in the 1950s. In 1982, the first full-sized artificial rinks were produced with High-Density Plastics. They were completed using interlocking panels.

So, artificial ice has been around for a while. And, there were, of course, challenges skating on synthetic ice when it first came into existence.

Technological advances and higher quality products have resolved many of these challenges. Some, in reality, can make you a better skater for overcoming them.

With that said, if you are in the market for a high-tech, high-quality, synthetic ice rink, contact our staff at KwikRink. We can answer any questions you may have. In the meantime, let’s review how to ice skate on current, high-quality synthetic ice.

Use your regular skates

Whether they are figure skates or hockey skates, you will not need any unusual type of skate for use on artificial ice. Skates no longer dull as quickly with the latest synthetic ice technology.

Enhanced molecular structure and glide technology are essential to reducing friction which dulls ice skate blades. KwikRink’s latest formula finds that ideal combination of glide while still providing for just the right grip, creating the perfect conditions for skating.

This enhanced molecular structure and glide technology helps to cut down on friction and the need to resharpen skates as often as is needed with older, traditional quality synthetic panels.

Wear your regular clothes

Current self-lubricating panels require no topical sprays and do not ooze slip agent. No topical sprays or slip agents means no oily mess to stain clothes, costumes or uniforms.

Old assembly methods also meant flooring could move and slide over time. This movement would create gaps and uneven surfaces. New dovetail interlocking designs mean panels stay in place both horizontally and vertically. An even surface means nothing to catch or trip on, except, maybe your toe pick.

So go ahead and practice your butterfly saves or the closing move to your paso doble, no need to take special precautions with your clothing.

Skip the hats, scarves, wool socks, mittens, and parka

Synthetic ice does not require cold temperatures. So you could be skating anywhere from a traditional arena setting to a small in-home rink, to an expansive outdoor rink in the middle of summer.

You won’t need to wait until it is cold enough outside for the ice to freeze. No more being forced to practice when it is so severe or snowy that you won’t survive more than 20 minutes before needing a break in the warming house.

Leave the broom in the closet

No, we haven’t switched to the topic of curling — that was one of last month’s articles. Skating on inferior quality synthetic panels generates a considerable amount of abrasions and shavings requiring frequent sweeping of the surface.

With the latest technology, the panels are now self-lubricating, and the surface remains more intact, which means the broom doesn’t have to come out of the closet as often.

Leave the cleaners in the cabinet

Besides the broom, you can leave the cleaning products in the closet too. Higher quality products are designed to withstand the elements. No lubricants or topical sprays means the surfaces do not attract dirt and grime as quickly as older materials. Both have the effect of the rink staying cleaner, longer, as well.

An occasional mopping (or use of a floor scrubber on larger, outdoor rinks) will still be required, but KwikRink’s synthetic panels are designed to take the punishment of any hockey or figure skating regimen. Indoors or out, these rinks are designed to last up to a decade or more.

Practice all your regular moves

So, you can wear your regular skates, and you can wear your regular clothes, and yes, you can practice all your regular moves. From long glides to hockey stops, and spins to jumps off your toe pick, you can practice all the skills on synthetic ice.

It used to be that backward skating and transitioning were slowed down and unnatural on synthetic ice, but that is no longer the case. KwikRink’s 5th generation formula provides for 95% of real ice speed and a glide of up to 50 ft on one stroke.

Be prepared to become a stronger skater

Although KwikRink’s 5th generation formula provides for 95% of real ice speed, that does still mean that you will need to work a little harder to recover that last 5%. That, however, is a good thing.

The slight extra exertion required is like training with weights on, something almost every sports discipline uses. Training with weights builds extra muscle mass. Then, removing the weight will make repeating the same movement seem almost effortless.

Figure skaters may need to make the muscles work just a little harder to get up off the synthetic ice into that jump. That little extra work will then make them feel light as a bird when they return to real ice.

Hockey skaters may have to push just a little harder on a synthetic rink. But it will make them feel like they are wearing rockets when they start doing speed drills on the real ice rink.

Give it a try

If you haven’t skated on a synthetic rink recently, or ever, give it a try. Skate, drill, block, check, shoot, glide, spin, and jump just like on real ice.

When you’ve convinced yourself that it is a satisfactory alternative to real ice, check out KwikRink’s website. We’ve got tons of ideas on how to use synthetic ice rinks for commercial, residential, and rental applications.

SYNTHETIC ICE Rink

You’ve decided a synthetic rink may be the right fit for your ice flooring needs. But what are you looking for in a synthetic ice product, and how do you choose the best one?

Let’s avoid trying to skate on old plastic cutting boards. Instead, why not develop a rink everyone can utilize effectively for years to come?

Several factors make one synthetic ice product better than another, and here at KwikRink Synthetic Ice, we have them all covered. Visit our website to start configuring your rink.

Whether you are looking for a backyard practice space, a rental rink, or a full-service training center, we have the product your skaters will want to glide across.

Regardless of whether you are a residential or commercial customer, we are the company to contact today.

User Performance

The first factor to consider when choosing a synthetic ice flooring is how well your skaters will be able to perform on this surface. One drawback of skating on older artificial ice is lack of glide.

Our latest high-tech formula has a solution to this issue. KwikRink’s newest 5th generation formula panels have 95% of real ice’s glide and allow a glide of up to 50 feet on one stride.

KwikRink Synthetic Ice is designed to be hard enough that it can withstand the grueling training regimens of hockey and figure skaters alike, but not so hard that it would quickly dull skating blades.

It is soft enough that you can “feel” the ice, but not so soft that you are creating excess friction that slows your glide and makes you feel like you are skating on train tracks.

Further, our materials require no topical sprays. And the slip agent for these self-lubricating panels won’t ooze out from between the joints either.

No topical spray or oozing means no oily residue on the panels. No oily residue means no mess or ruined clothing. Who doesn’t love keeping their uniforms and costumes pristine while skating in any climate?

Customization and Assembly

When you’ve decided on a synthetic ice flooring product, what’s next?  Customization and ease of assembly are the next factors in functional and enjoyable synthetic ice flooring.

From a simple practice rink in the basement to something as elaborate as the Harris Winter Wonderland in Rockford, IL, we can design and customize the rink to fit your space.

Panels are typically 4 ft x 8 ft but can be cut to any size depending on your application. Your rink space may need cutouts around supporting columns or angled walls, or a detailed design through a park and around trees.

KwikRink has all the rink accessories you may need. They will work with you to design the best layout for your space.

KwikRink can also provide:

  •       dasher boards,
  •       plexiglass,
  •       goals and nets,
  •       shooting tarps, and
  •       colored lines and markings,
  •       as well as rental skates and sharpeners.

Assembling your custom rink is as simple as putting together a jigsaw puzzle. Our proprietary Lock-Rink dovetail system fits together in a snap, taking as little as 30 minutes to install your new ice flooring.

That Lock-Rink dovetail system also leads to an almost seamless surface. No bumps or catches for your skaters means promoting a superior product your skaters will want to use.

Durability

Your skaters will love skating on our, ahem, leading-edge synthetic ice. Rink assembly is a snap. Now, how long is it going to maintain those high performing qualities? Durability is one more factor to consider when choosing a synthetic ice product.

For a rink that lasts from 7-10 years, choose our 3/8” thick panels. Choose our 1/2” heavy-duty panels to survive your skaters wear and tear for more than a decade.

With either product choice, KwikRink Synthetic Ice is designed to hold up to the full rigors of competitive hockey and figure skaters.

In addition to our generous panel thickness, our flooring does not bleed slip agent, and the surface will always keep its glide. Many products that ooze slip agent or need spray lubricants will diminish in performance over time.

This type of aging of the surface leads to a poor skating experience. Your investment will last a long time and continue to provide peak performance when you select a KwikRink Synthetic ice rink.

We value our customers

Once you have a product with top of the line performance, can be entirely customized, fits together seamlessly in minutes, and will last over a decade, what more do you need?

A company that you can work with and trust like KwikRink is the, uh, “icing” on the cake. We continually update our research and development to provide you with the best product possible.

You can trust a company with 20+ years of experience in customizing synthetic ice flooring. We’ve handled a variety of challenging applications with ease, and we work hard to deliver the rink you need for the ice-time you want.

Our company has constructed ice rinks on five continents around the globe. We’ve worked with customers from NHL hockey stars to professional coaches, to the aspiring figure skater, to the young hockey student.  We understand functional skating performance for a variety of sport applications.

What makes a good synthetic ice flooring?

A superior synthetic ice flooring is defined by its glide, its cleanliness, its durability, its ease of assembly, and its ability to fit your space, purpose, and budget.

The people behind its design, installation, and customer support also define the best synthetic flooring. Contact KwikRink Synthetic Ice today and get started on your new rink.

The temperature was hovering in the teens all day, but it could have been much worse on a late January day in Minnesota. The installation took place on January 28th and was completed in approximately 12 hours. This is one of the most complex jobs that we have done and certainly is one to be proud of.

Ice Rink

The synthetic ice surface was to be cut around the Medtronic “Horn” sculpture. This is not your standard synthetic ice rink installation. When dealing with a very abstract project like this, it is important to be able to ad-lib as you go. There is no blueprint for this type of installation.

Ice Rink

The flooring/substrate around the sculpture was very unlevel with a lot of undulation. This can pose problems for the seams on any synthetic ice surface. We were forced to individually shim each panel as it was laid down. If this rink were to be permanently placed here, an underlay substrate may have been necessary.                                                                                                                          
Ice Rink

Once the installation got towards the arms of the Medtronic Sculpture, the project slowed down a bit. It was important to make precise cuts around these arms. Skaters will be skating through this sculpture during pregame Super Bowl LII festivities – open to ticket-holders only.

Ice Rink

As we close in on our 11th straight hour on the job, we see the end in sight. Day turns to night, and the Medtronic Sculpture lights up creating a beautiful visual of the rink right in front of U.S. Bank Stadium.

Ice Rink

A clean look at the finished synthetic ice installation. This is game-day ready as soon as the perimeter fencing is installed. Freestyle skaters and figure skaters will be providing some eye candy for those walking into the big game!