hockey goalie playing on synthetic ice

When it comes to hockey, it is not necessarily the time you put into hockey practice, but the effort you put into the craft. To give your best at all times, you need a quality surface that allows you to excel in skill practice without added barriers. So what’s the best synthetic ice for hockey? 

You may not know that skating on synthetic ice has some advantages over natural ice. There have been several innovations in artificial ice technology recently, so research the best synthetic ice for hockey before you commit. You want to make sure you purchase a high-quality product with durability, so you invest your money wisely. 

Playing hockey on KwikRink Synthetic Ice will drive you toward success in your game! Our synthetic ice panels are used by pro hockey teams and are found in rinks internationally. Best of all, they are available for you to use right at home, allowing you to experience the best for your hockey training, day in and day out. 

Here’s why KwikRink Synthetic Ice is the best synthetic ice for hockey, not only locally but across the world. 

young kids playing on the best synthetic ice for hockey

A Leader in Innovation and Technology

At KwikRink Synthetic Ice, we make our synthetic ice surface with plastic with very high molecular weight (VHMW). We cut the plastic into custom synthetic ice tiles that come in various custom edges for assembly. It is easy to press the panels into place by using a rubber mallet.

Curious about another unique characteristic? Innovative development in synthetic ice surfaces allows for a smooth and fast skating experience. The glide on KwikRink Synthetic Ice tiles is 90% similar to real ice, one of the best on the market.

The ice panels are also the best synthetic ice for hockey because they are low maintenance. KwikRink Synthetic Ice tiles are self-lubricating. The periodic application of topical lubricants to the ice is not necessary. Self-lubrication saves you both time and money. 

If you are a skater, you know how a natural skating surface feels when you stop and accelerate. Imagine the feel on self-lubricating panels, which offers the advantage of quick turns and easy gliding for your skate blade. You become a stronger and faster skater by practicing on a synthetic ice rink. 

The Most Authentic Ice Feel

The best synthetic ice for hockey offers high-quality plastic that retains 90% or more of ice’s natural glide. No synthetic ice product can feel exactly like natural ice, but there are several ways products can come close to a natural skating surface. 

  • Use quality materials: Cheap is not going to offer the best synthetic ice on the market. If the product results in soft tiles, you will have more shavings and friction on the skates over time. Self-lubricating tiles with a very high molecular weight will be your best investment!
  • Sharpen your blades often: Hockey players are hard on their blades. You know a sharp edge allows for better performance, and this includes when skating on artificial ice surfaces. 
  • Keep a clean surface: The best synthetic ice for hockey will be low maintenance, but you still want to ensure the tiles remain clean after use. A cloth broom can clear away dust and dirt while using a gentle cleanser rids it of sweat and spills. Good maintenance will promote the feeling of natural ice now and in the future. 

hockey players playing on synthetic ice

Improvement in Performance

Ice skating on synthetic ice provides a coefficient of friction. You can see training improvement with additional ice time right at home. You’ll notice the following advantages when training on the best synthetic ice for hockey:

  • Increased speed in your skate as you explosively push off the self-lubricating panels
  • Improved cardiovascular stamina and muscle endurance as you practice more at home
  • Enhance precision in maneuvering, changing direction, and stopping on your hockey skates. You will notice that practicing on rinks that are in the home or smaller in square feet (such as in a basement in the garage) offer an advantage in performance enhancement
  • More practice time which results in skill improvement (no need to schedule ice time, wait for frozen ponds, or a space to practice)

Customized to Your Needs

The best synthetic ice for hockey will allow you to customize the size of your rink. You may be in the market for a small rink that can be put in the home to practice shooting or quick skating technique. As an alternative, you may want a regulation size rink to play games and off-ice practice in the backyard.

Determine the type of rink you need and what you will use it for the most. Of course, consider the amount of space you have available and how the room can best accommodate a synthetic ice rink.

young child playing goalie on the best synthetic ice for hockey

Superior Customer Service

You will likely have several questions before you commit to a synthetic ice surface. KwikRink Synthetic Ice is the best in synthetic ice for hockey because of our superior customer service. 

When you speak to one of our experts, you know you are talking to an industry leader in customized synthetic ice. Whether you are interested in our rent-to-buy program or are ready to purchase today, we are here to answer questions and assist you in making the process seamless. 

Our experienced rink builders can help you select the products, size, and accessories to design the best synthetic ice rink for hockey in your home. We want you to be satisfied and feel you are treated just like a pro! 

KwikRink is the Best Synthetic Ice for Hockey

KwikRink Synthetic Ice only offers superior materials, including tool-free interlocking tiles with excellent glide and resilience. We offer custom sizing and serve those wanting to build a rink in their home and city officials who may wish to create a large community rink. We can customize KwikRink Synthetic Ice tiles to the needs you have. 

We will walk with you through every step of the process, including layout design, concept creation, maintenance, and upkeep. We want to ensure your new hockey rink is the best the industry has to offer. 

Visit our website today for a free quote and get going on building the hockey rink of your dreams! 

 

Floor level shot of hockey player sliding on their side, head first towards the camera

Creating a top-notch training program is essential for taking your team to higher levels of performance and making more than the perfect pass. Cultivating a fun, positive, and focused environment will make your training center the one everyone wants to be a part of and your team the talk of the town.

A well-rounded program includes on-ice and off-ice practice and skills training as well as continued development in the off-season. Developing a winning system takes a commitment to fundamentals, age-specific training, intentionality, and strong leadership.

At KwikRink Synthetic Ice, we partner with coaches and cities to provide training and competition surfaces for all levels of hockey players. Check out our website to learn how we can be a part of your top-notch training program.

Hockey goal lit up in a dark arena

Set Your Goals and Expectations

Before starting any training program, it’s essential to assess the needs, abilities, and goals of the team and the individuals. These assessments should include your hopes, expectations, and priorities not only for the team but also for yourself.

You should determine how many times per week you will be training, how long the seasons (off-season, pre-season, in-season) will last, and how much time you need to develop the skills and tactics you desire.

Time management on and off the ice will be especially helpful for staying on course. Create a team calendar and clarify expectations for your team. It can also be beneficial to give each player a list of things you expect from them, such as a positive attitude, outstanding work ethic, commitment to skills training, etc.

Safety First

Always remember that in all training, safety should be first. A hockey player who isn’t suited up won’t be able to perform or develop. Keep up to date with the medical history of your players, be knowledgeable on equipment, facilities, and emergency protocols for practices and games.

Keeping the players healthy should be your top priority. You must be careful not to overtrain or cause burnout, mainly depending on the age of your team. You can also include guidelines about what they should be doing outside of training – sleep, nutrition, game study, etc.

Choose age-appropriate training methods and scale progression plans up or down based on feedback from their performance. The easiest way to categorize your players is Beginner (< 1-year experience), Intermediate (>1 year), and Advanced (multiple years playing).

You can find age-specific training guidelines here.

Shot of hockey players skates and sticks only during indoor arena game

Skills and Movement Training

Your skills training should start with teaching and building on the fundamentals. Foundational skills include passing and receiving, skating, puck control and protection, stickhandling, shooting, and checking.

Quality movement should be a top priority – players who move well by default (skating especially) can then focus on more advanced tasks at hand. Strength training methods should focus on mobility, stability, and transfer of power, especially for the hips and core.

Strength, speed, and movement training will be developed mostly in the off-season. Movements like squats, deadlifts, lateral lunges, rows, push-ups and pull-ups, planks, and side planks should be the primary focus as you develop hockey-specific strength.

Once this is covered, it’s time to work on speed and power development, acceleration, first step, and conditioning specific to hockey.

It’s your job to continually monitor the development of your players and adjust the components of practice based on this feedback. Utilize both successes and failures; both can be great teachers.

Tactics and Drills

Preparation is key to building confidence and getting your team to perform and execute at high levels. A correctly implemented training plan, practice, and game schedule will help your players learn and grow in the ways you want them to.

Focusing on the same concepts for consecutive practices will help your team grasp the ideas you are teaching. Spend additional time on anything that is stalling development or creating issues, especially in games.

Drills might include small-sided games, working in the offensive and defensive zones, backchecking, forechecking, and creating offense. The penalty kill and power play units will also need your attention.

Some example focus areas:

  •   Forward and backward skating
  •   Skating with and without the puck
  •   Passing and receiving
  •   Shooting and creating shots
  •   Blocking shots
  •   Chasing loose pucks
  •   Winning 1-on-1 battles
  •   Working off the puck

Situational drills and position-specific (goalie, defense, center, forward) teaching will enhance the players individually and help them see how the team works together as a whole. Playing games is another way to teach teamwork concepts.

Races, relays, and other competitions can instill some fun into the practice. Even playing other sports like juggling a soccer ball or playing team handball can get your team’s creative energies flowing.

I hockey players taking a knee on the ice to listen to trainer

Culture and Leadership

Creating the right kind of environment starts with leadership. The values, expectations, and priorities that you instill in your players and larger organization will determine the levels of your success.

Communicating the what, how, and why will help create a winning culture. Determine what values, skills, and tactics you want to emulate, how the players will demonstrate them, and the bigger purpose behind your mission. A properly formulated “why” can help you get your players to “buy-in” to what you are asking of them.

Cultivating positive relationships with players and parents is imperative to building trust and confidence. Communication and honesty go along with maintaining a positive, learning-friendly environment. If your players feel that they can trust you, they are much more likely to listen to your advice and receive your coaching.

Make sure to also address life outside of hockey – emphasize open and honest communication about successes and frustrations, injuries, and other areas pertinent to their overall health. Open communication shows that you care about them just as much as an individual, not only as a hockey player.

Putting It All Together

Developing the best hockey training program takes intentionality and commitment. If you put safety first, focus on fundamentals, develop skills, and create an environment where your players can learn and grow, your program will stand out above the rest.

Check out our website for more resources and let KwikRink Synthetic Ice help you make the perfect pass to creating your best hockey environment and training program.