girl ties shoelaces on ice skates in her room

Suppose you are an avid figure skater or a hockey player. In that case, you know that independent practice time is vital because only being on the ice for your lessons can slow your progression. While public rinks provide an ideal space to get more time on the ice, they can become crowded. Moreover, some figure skating moves may be limited or not allowed in compacted public rinks for safety reasons. So, why not set up your room using synthetic ice rink?

 

Why Use Synthetic Ice Rink?

Although the idea of skating on something other than natural ice seems daunting, you can rest assured that the technology employed is backed by years of evolution. The ice panels are solid polymer sheets fabricated from a very-high molecular weight – high-density polyethylene (VHMW-HDPE) plastic. This strong wear-resistant plastic polymer used in synthetically-made ice is lightweight, sturdy, and can withstand friction.

Figure skating girl in a synthetic ice rink - Using Synthetic Ice Rink

In addition, the synthetic ice panels are very easy to install using methods such as groove, dovetail, flush edge, and tongue to form an artificial ice skating surface. Because synthetic ice sheets/panels connect like puzzle pieces, they can fit any size or shape of your home’s indoor or outdoor space. You can have as many or few sheets as needed.

As such, most people typically install rinks in their backyards, while others maximize the available space inside their homes. The following are essential things to consider and steps to follow before investing in synthetic ice.

 

How to Set Up Your Room Using Synthetic Ice Rink

If you’re tired of the back-and-forth drive to the rink or want more ice time to improve your form, you can use synthetic ice panels to create an at-home rink. Here are seven simple steps to follow.

1. Pick the Room

The first thing to think about is the room. To construct a multipurpose space, select the part of your home that’s the least cluttered and easiest to set up or tear down. The garage, basement, or spacious spare room presents excellent opportunities to turn them into an ice rink. Any room should suffice, provided it is sizable enough to enable ice skating moves and be free of any clutter that can break or get in the way of your figure skating moves.

2. Measure Your Space

Synthetic ice panels can fit any room. However, you still need to measure your space to determine the size and number of synthetic panels needed to install your practice rink.

3. Choose Your Panels

Pick panels that best suit your overall needs and budget based on your measurements, making sure they are infused with an anti-slip agent to reduce surface friction. The anti-slip agent additive ensures you do not have to apply surface glide enhancers.

4. Prepare Installation Tools

It would be ideal to use a professional to prepare uneven floors and install your ice skating panels. Nonetheless, if it is a D.I.Y job, get a rubber mallet, tape, and plywood to prepare irregular flooring and mount the ice sheets.

5. Opt for the Garage

Garages are perfect for someone practicing advanced ice skating or hockey training drills. In case this is the place you have chosen to set up your room using a synthetic ice rink, get some extra hands to remove any clutter. Then, using a mallet, place your tiles down. Note that garage spaces are known to retain high temperatures, which may cause the tiles to swell up slightly. So, leave at least half an inch of space to compensate for this. Consider getting a tarp you can spread over the tiles if cars park there, too.

6. Use Your Basement

clean basement for the installation of synthetic ice rink

Some basements are roomier than garages, making them excellent areas to create a home skating rink where you can practice without disturbing the rest of the family. Just like the garage, clear out the basement, use plywood if you need to create a flat surface, and ensure there is proper ventilation. Don’t forget to install trim around the rink wall for that authentic ice skating rink feel.

7. Conduct Regular Maintenance

Because synthetic ice is not mechanically fastened in any way, it can leave space for dirt and debris to accumulate underneath. Whether you use infused or non-infused synthetic ice sheets, both should be free of dirt to help maintain optimal performance. Rinse an outdoor rink either by power-washing it or with a hose using a fine spray.

Utilize any neutral soap and a brush or soft scrub mop for indoor rinks to break up or loosen any caked-in dirt or stubborn scuff marks. Even though some synthetic skating panels are infused with a conditioner for smoother skating, you may require a special conditioner to reapply occasionally.

 

Why KwikRink Synthetic Ice?

Over 30 years of combined experience allows our specialist team at KwikRink Synthetic Ice to work with skating fans, hockey players, and figure skaters to recreate their perfect rinks. We take pride in using first-rate products to build commercial and residential rinks that our clients enjoy. 

So, what are you waiting for? Contact us today for the construction and quick installation of any indoor or outdoor location.

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.