children play hockey on frozen pond outside

With so many recent innovations in synthetic ice technology, it’s natural to wonder how it feels to skate on “plastic ice.” There are many advantages to equipping your home or business with synthetic ice. With leading-edge materials and manufacturing, the skating “feel” of plastic ice has come a long way.

Though plastic ice won’t match the natural ice feel perfectly, synthetic ice offers many advantages that you cannot find skating on a sheet of frozen water.

We’ve assembled several useful tips for seamless transitions between skating on plastic and natural ice. Find out the advantages of getting customized plastic ice tiles for your home or commercial application. In doing so, you can supplement your natural ice skating experience to your benefit.

KwikRink Synthetic Ice is the leader in customized home and commercial synthetic ice rinks. Visit our website today for a free rink quote so you can skate year-round, any time you want.

What Is Plastic Ice?

Synthetic ice is a sheet or sheets of polyethylene plastic. This plastic is cut or molded to standard or custom tile sizes, with a variety of edges for assembly. 

Some tiles (like the ones KwikRink Synthetic Ice offers) have a “puzzle piece” assembly system. This system taps interlocking tiles in place with no additional tools. Other ice tile models feature dovetail, tongue-and-groove, or flush edges to join the tiles.

Since the 1960’s synthetic ice tiles have increased in popularity, due to innovations in plastics technology, like self-lubricating panels. KwikRink Synthetic Ice tiles are all self-lubricating. 

By staying on top of the latest developments in synthetic ice technology, KwikRink provides the smoothest, fastest skating experience in a synthetic ice rink. These self-lubricating panels also lead to lower maintenance — there’s no need to periodically add topical lubricants to it.

Think of how hockey skates work on natural ice (gliding, turning, quick stops). You can see why such a feature as self-lubricating panels would be an easy choice for replicating a natural ice feel.

But How Does Plastic Ice Feel When I Skate on It?

In the highest quality plastic ice rinks, synthetic ice retains about 90% or more of natural ice glide. Of course, there are several criteria to keep in mind when shooting for the most authentic ice feel on your plastic rink:

  1. Quality materials matter. Buying the cheapest rink will NOT pay off in the long haul. The softer the tiles, the more shavings, and friction will build up in a short time. The best investment is to purchase the hardest, most resilient tiles you can afford and insist on a self-lubricating product.
  2. Sharpen your skate blades often. A sharp edge performs the best on synthetic ice, for gliding, stopping, and quick turns.
  3. Ensure a clean surface. Though KwikRink Synthetic Ice tiles boast low maintenance requirements, you’ll still want to keep them clean before and after each use. You will need a cloth push-broom to clear away dust and dirt (especially on outdoor rinks). Additionally, a gentle cleaner to wipe down sweat or spills after each skate helps ensure a superior natural skating feel on your plastic rink.

hockey players in a hockey game on plastic ice with hockey sticks

How Can Plastic Ice Help Me Improve My Hockey Training?

All synthetic ice gives at least a hint of more friction than natural ice. By using plastic ice, you’ll develop some distinct training improvements when you practice regularly on plastic ice. Check it out:

  • Increased speed from pushing off more explosively on synthetic ice.
  • Increased cardio-vascular stamina and muscle endurance from working at slightly higher loads versus natural ice.
  • Enhanced maneuvering precision, direction changes, and stopping. This enhanced performance results from practicing in smaller spaces on synthetic ice (like in the basement or garage.)
  • Synthetic rink versatility leads to more practice time, which results in improved skills. (If you don’t have to wait for winter or reserve arena space to practice, you can work on hockey skills, drills, and scrimmages at any time.)

Other Comparisons to Consider

Playing hockey on plastic ice may also be different because you can customize the size of your rink.

For example, you might set up a small rink at home to work on shooting accuracy or footwork. Or, you could assemble an outdoor rink on a flat surface smaller than regulation size. This size is excellent for some one-on-one pick up games, or a neighborhood set-up for off-ice practice. Ice tiles may even come in handy for exercise at the office.

When deciding the rink you need, think carefully about what you’ll use it for the most. Also, consider what type of space you have available, and how your plastic ice can serve you the best.

ice hockey player in action with hockey pucks and sticks

Plastic Ice: The Clear Advantage for Hockey Players

Synthetic ice offers near-identical ice feel when you purchase a high-quality, self-lubricating system. If you keep the tiles clean and keep your blades sharp each time you skate, you’ll hardly see a difference. 

Further, synthetic ice tiles assemble and tear down in a snap (literally!) They can store away easily piled next to a wall for convenience and to promote effective use of space. When well-maintained, your tiles can last up to 10 years of hockey-skating excellence.

Plastic ice is not weather-dependent and doesn’t require the freezing systems used on indoor natural ice. You can customize your rink size for any function, space, or programming requirements.

Hockey players in every corner of the world can benefit from skating on plastic ice. Especially if you live in warm regions or places without access to indoor arena ice. For localities building their hockey programs from the ground up, synthetic ice can be a massive helping hand in promoting the best sport around (in our humble opinion).

ice hockey puck and sticks on ice with a view of hockey players' legs

KwikRink Is the Leader in Customized Plastic Ice Systems

For superior materials, custom sizing, and exemplary customer service, connect with the professionals at KwikRink Synthetic Ice. Our experienced rink-builders can help you select the products, size, and accessories that check every box on your hockey list.

We provide tool-free interlocking tiles with superior glide and resilience. We also offer top-of-the-line accessories to make your hockey rink everything you need and want. 

Stop by our website today for a free quote, and get skating this month!

 

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.