National Hockey LeagueLogo of NHL club on the screen. Stenley Cup Trophy Silhouette

Hockey players are undoubtedly some of the toughest and most determined athletes out there. They display exceptional skill and resilience when playing on ice rinks, which is considered one of the most challenging conditions in sports. We, as fans, get to witness their thrilling performances and enjoy the excitement they bring to the game. However, have you ever asked – does the NHL use synthetic ice for training or games?

Synthetic ice has become a viable option for hockey players and trainers thanks to KwikRink. In this article, we will delve into the world of synthetic ice and its use in the sport of hockey.

But first, let’s begin with the basics: 


What is Synthetic Ice?

Synthetic ice is an artificial indoor rink made from solid polymer materials—interlocking panels designed to mimic real ice’s look and feel make up the skating floor. Solid plastic (polyoxymethylene), previously used, has been upgraded over the years to use High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) and Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) for durability and better performance when skating on synthetic ice.

Synthetic ice is commonly used for hockey practice or recreational skating and is often found in indoor facilities where traditional or metal skates are used.  


Does the NHL Use Synthetic Ice?

fans on the hockey match

Synthetic Ice for Practice and Training

The NHL does not use synthetic ice for its games. The league uses natural ice for all matches, made by freezing water on a rink surface. However, other aspects of hockey do use synthetic ice.

Many NHL teams use synthetic ice for practice. It allows players to work on their skills and drills even when they cannot access their traditional ice rink. Synthetic ice is also easier on players’ joints, as it’s not as hard as natural ice. This more shock-absorbing surface can be particularly beneficial for players who are recovering from injuries.

KwikRink has successfully installed state-of-the-art practice rinks for several NHL teams, including the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Islanders, and the Carolina Hurricanes, to name just a few. These advanced synthetic rinks provide top-tier training opportunities for these professional ice hockey players, helping them to hone their skills and maintain peak performance levels.

Youth Hockey Organizations and Synthetic Ice

But it’s not just NHL teams that use synthetic ice. Many youth hockey organizations also use it for their practices and games. It’s a cost-effective alternative to natural ice, which can be expensive to maintain. Since synthetic ice does not require refrigeration, players can use it year-round, regardless of the ambient temperature.

International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) and Synthetic Ice

Another notable organization that uses synthetic ice is the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF). The IIHF is the international governing body for ice hockey and oversees all international tournaments, including the Olympics. They’ve used synthetic ice for various events, including the World Junior Hockey Championships.


Pros and Cons of Synthetic Ice

While synthetic ice rinks offer versatility and cost-effectiveness compared to traditional ice rinks, it’s essential to consider their pros and cons before deciding to set one up. Here are some pros and cons of synthetic ice rinks:


  • Synthetic ice can be used indoors or outdoors, regardless of the temperature or weather conditions, making it a versatile option for year-round training.
  • It requires less maintenance than traditional ice rinks, as it doesn’t need to be resurfaced or flooded with water.
  • It can be more cost-effective in the long run, as it doesn’t require the same energy or resources to maintain as traditional ice rinks.
  • Synthetic ice can be customized to fit any size or shape, benefiting those with limited space or specific training needs.
  • It can be a more environmentally-friendly option, as it doesn’t require water or energy-intensive equipment to maintain.


  • While synthetic ice may not precisely replicate the feel and glide of natural ice, the best synthetic ice for hockey offers high-quality plastic that retains 90% or more of the ice’s natural glide.
  • Synthetic ice requires regular maintenance, just like natural ice surfaces, but it can provide a high-quality skating surface with proper care.
  • Over time, synthetic ice can experience wear and tear due to the friction and heat generated by skating. However, you can minimize this with proper maintenance and care.
  • While synthetic ice may be more cost-effective than natural ice in the long run, an initial investment is required to set up a synthetic ice rink.
  • Synthetic ice can produce a louder noise when skates move across the surface than natural ice, which can be a concern for those living nearby or for indoor training facilities. However, you can address this by using sound-dampening materials and techniques.


What Hockey Players Think of Synthetic Ice 

Ice hockey - Does the NHL Use Synthetic Ice

Some players and coaches swear by synthetic ice despite the pros and cons. They argue that it’s a helpful tool for developing skills and practicing drills and that it can be a valuable addition to a training program.

And while the NHL and other notable hockey organizations don’t use synthetic ice for games or official practices, some players have used it for individual training.

Examples of players notably known to practice on synthetic ice include Patrick Kane of the New York Rangers, Joe Pavelski of the Dallas Stars, and Auston Matthews, a star player for the Toronto Maple Leafs. 


Contact Us for More Information on Synthetic Ice Rinks 

Synthetic ice may not be used in official NHL games or practices, but it offers significant value as a training tool. Although it cannot entirely replace real ice, it can be a useful addition to a training program and provide skaters with an accessible and cost-effective way to train during the off-season or when traditional ice surfaces are unavailable. 

Contact us to learn how KwikRink can provide a quality artificial ice skating experience.

figure skater skating on an artificial ice skating rink with a beautiful view

Imagine your athlete walking right out to the backyard every evening to practice technique and skill. How awesome would it be to host the neighborhood scrimmage every weekend because you have the best backyard ice rink? Or perhaps you have a figure skater who would love the opportunity to practice their routine every evening, without having to travel to skating rinks! 

It is now possible to build a rink at home without the hassle of flooding a space, waiting for winter, or needing to have a pond in the backyard. With KwikRink Synthetic Ice panels, you can build a customized rink to the size of your choosing. You can build inside or outside the home; the choice is yours! 

Many synthetic rink owners love outdoor ice skating, so they decide the best option is in their yard. Keep reading to learn what you need to know to build the best backyard ice rink. 

the best backyard ice rink on a deck

So You’re Building a Rink: What is the Ideal Spot? 

The first decision you will need to make when you build your backyard rink is where it will go. 

The most important factor is the slope of the yard. No yard is perfectly level, but if there is a significant slope, it will not be ideal for a synthetic ice rink. Generally, the slope can be no greater than 6 inches when building a home ice rink. 

If the slope is slight, there are options to make it feasible. Synthetic ice panels come in different thickness options, so you may vary based on the depth needed to level the rink. You can also add an underlay to accommodate the slope. 

Other suggestions if you are looking to build the best backyard ice rink include: 

  • Build in a spot where there is adequate lighting
  • Stay away from septic tanks and drain fields
  • If you have a rink with water, make sure there is a nearby water source

You will also need to consider the size of your yard. If you are building outdoors for ice skating, then the bigger the rink, the better. You will need space for hosting skating parties and backyard hockey games. 

However, budget and feasibility will factor into the size of the rink. Make sure to account for material as well when creating a budget. 

What Material is Necessary to Build the Best Backyard Ice Rink? 

Synthetic outdoor rinks are the best backyard ice rinks because they do not require much material. Often with building a rink that needs to be flooded, you must purchase liners, boards, and bracing. 

Synthetic rinks may require an underlay, but it is optional depending on the yard. It is helpful for slope or on grassy areas. Some backyard hockey rink owners build small, lifted decks specifically for outdoor synthetic rinks. 

Boards are likely necessary if you have an ice hockey player in the home. Backyard hockey rinks need boards to keep pucks contained, and they help keep players where they need to be- on the ice! 

You can make boards or purchase manufactured boards if your budget allows. Manufactured boards are high-quality and will last, but, of course, come with a cost. 

You can build a quality board with plywood (3/4″ is recommended), cut to the height you want for your outdoor ice skating rink if you prefer to make your own. 

best backyard ice rink with a fence around it

Plexiglass is also an optional ice rink product. It can be a great addition if you are hosting frequent scrimmages or seem to be losing several pucks during skills practice. If not plexiglass, then consider adding protective netting around the rink.

Additionally, some people install foam bumper caps to keep skaters from taking the full impact if they hit the boards. It is something to consider if you have more aggressive skaters using the rink. 

Most of these products are available from KwikRink Synthetic Ice when you purchase your artificial ice tiles. Just ask and we’ll be happy to help you figure out which accessories you need.

Lighting is another option for an outdoor rink. Many people find work lights from the hardwood store work well for their backyard hockey rinks. Others enjoy string lights to create a more quaint ambiance when family and friends come over to enjoy the rink.

Truly the materials needed to build your best backyard ice rink depend on your unique requirements. But once you have it made, you will want to keep it maintained! 

How Do I Maintain My Backyard Outdoor Ice Rink?

If you live where there are four seasons, you will need to plan to remove snow from your rink. Investing in a tarp can offer some protection, but chances are you will need to snow blow and shovel from time to time. If there is only a light dusting, then use a broom to clean the rink’s surface. 

Try to clear off the rink as often as possible, as it becomes much more challenging if snow and ice accumulate. To keep it from sticking to your synthetic ice rink, use a tarp and shovel often. 

As you get the hang of maintenance, you may be ready to invest in some accessories for the rink! Since it is functional, it is time to make it enjoyable!

best backyard ice rink with a basketball goal and people playing ice hockey

What Are Some Creative Ideas for the Best Backyard Ice Rink?

There are several ideas for creating ambiance or adding spark to your outdoor rink. You may want to: 

  • Invest in an outdoor fireplace to put near the rink. Skaters will have a place to rest their feet and warm up their hands while drinking hot chocolate.
  • Add shooting tarps and goals or nets, of course, if you have a hockey player in the house.
  • You can add customized markings, including goalie creases, lines, face-off dots, and customized circles. Some people even add emblems of their favorite NHL team to the ice.
  • Romanticize the rink by adding artificial trees, fencing, or string lights around the outside of the rink.

Remember, you can always add accessories to your rink at a later time. The memories you create will be worth every investment you put into building the best backyard ice rink for your loved ones. 

Get a Quote from KwikRink and Be on Your Way to Building the Best Backyard Ice Rink

Our synthetic ice rinks are great for indoors but are amazing for the outdoors too! KwikRink Synthetic Ice will help you get everything set up, and we have the equipment you need to perfect your outdoor rink. 

Not only do we offer synthetic panels, fencing, and boards but even skate sharpening tools and skate racks! We also have rubber mats to keep your blades safe for areas around the ice. Whatever you need to build your best rink, we have you covered!

Contact us today to get a quote and be on your way to having the best rink in town!

happy family smiling having fun on an ice skating rink indoor

Whether you are serious about figure skating, or a budding ice hockey star, your first step onto the ice is very unlikely to be your last. Ice skating is an addictive sport that gets the blood pumping, the body moving, and your skills continually growing. An ice skating rink indoor space is a perfect chance to enjoy the freedom of skating, whenever the mood strikes you.

In some situations, it can be very tricky to access a rink on which to practice. Public skating hours may not necessarily align with your preferences, and skate rentals can be expensive. For those who skate all year round, there can be another issue: outdoor ice skating rinks can be less than pleasant in the winter months.

Whether skating indoors or outdoors, many skaters prioritize establishing a consistent and regular routine, allowing you to hone your skills. An ice skating rink indoor space offers the freedom to practice whenever the mood takes you, and regardless of bad outdoor weather. Here at KwikRink Synthetic Ice, we have all the information you need to take the plunge: ready for the ultimate ice skating rink indoor requirements!

ice skating rink indoor

Why Do I Need An Ice Skating Rink Indoors?

An indoor ice skating rink comes with a range of advantages for both experienced skaters and relative newbies.

Easy To Install

A synthetic ice rink is fast, inexpensive, and easy to install. While it may feel like a mammoth task, you could actually be up and running relatively quickly. This ice skating rink is an excellent choice for those who are looking to bring their love of the ice closer to home but with minimal stress.

Many synthetic indoor rinks can even be dismantled and stored as an added bonus when not in use. If you are limited on space, this can be a great option which allows you to skate and train when required. Enjoy the ice without the need for large properties or outdoor areas.

Cheap To Maintain

Unlike traditional rinks, an indoor synthetic rink is cost-effective. Outdoor rinks need water or electricity, and are quite noisy because expensive generators are required. KwikRink Synthetic Ice rinks don’t require any of that! Once you have paid for the initial outlay, the rink will be easy to take care of — allowing you to focus on skating!

This synthetic ice option can also work out cheaper for those who skate regularly. Skating lessons and skate rentals can add up if you are visiting multiple times each week. Installing your own rink can actually save you money.

Skate In Any Weather

Moving your ice skating rink indoors allows you to make the most of your rink, no matter the conditions outside. Low, cold temperatures can harm your performance, which can be a disaster if you are training.

Moving your ice skating rink indoors allows you to really focus on your technique, drills, and practice. You can improve your form, rather than concentrating on desperately trying to keep warm!

Of course, this also works the other way round. Those in warmer climates may find that their slot for winter sports is relatively limited each year. Synthetic ice does not need to be temperature regulated, making it the perfect choice even for those in hotter climates.

An indoor rink can also be temperature controlled and designed to stay cool and atmospheric all year round. This adjustment means that you can continue to practice in realistic conditions. If you are a serious athlete or merely concerned about losing condition out of season, an indoor rink is essential.

ice skater holding ice skates on an indoor ice skating rink

Enjoy A Better Workout

Another benefit of synthetic ice comes from its composition. By its very nature, synthetic ice is not quite as smooth as its natural counterpart. This difference means that it offers a greater resistance against the blades of your skates, increasing the friction.

With KwikRink Synthetic Ice, you will be able to glide across the ice with 90% as much glide as real ice, but you will have to put in a little more work than skating on a surface made of real ice. As a result, your body is working harder, improving your workout quality, and building up strength. Over time, training on synthetic ice will help improve your overall body strength, improving your performance on real ice.

Having access to an indoor rink on a regular basis is, therefore, a great way to step your training up a notch. Used regularly, it can help boost your fitness and skills.

large ice skating rink indoor

Choose Your Specs

While a public ice arena will come in one size only, your own indoor rink can come in almost any size or dimension you prefer. You can choose the exact size and specifications, and this can be different for each skater. 

Figure skaters may need a long, wide space to complete a routine, while the local hockey league will need space for drills and games. By choosing the exact size you need, you can ensure that the rink is perfect for your practice.

Stand The Test Of Time

With KwikRink Synthetic Ice rinks designed to last for up to 15 years, this is an investment you can rely on. Once you have found the initial cost, your indoor rink can prove to be a real cost-saver, which will last for years to come.

Why Choose KwikRink Synthetic Ice?

Here at KwikRink Synthetic Ice, we are the folks to talk to about all things ice-related. Our experienced team have worked with families, athletes, and skating fans from across the country. Over the years, we have helped a huge variety of skating fans to find their perfect rink — hockey skaters, figure skaters, and everything in between.

Get in touch with the team today, and see how we could help you find your perfect indoor rink. You will never be stuck and unable to skate again! Call us today and discover the convenience of your own indoor ice skating rink.

group of teenage friends having fun on an artificial ice skating rink

So you have decided to buy an artificial ice skating rink. Maybe you have a future hockey player in the house or perhaps are a city planner, and you’ve got the green light for a new park rink. Whatever the reason, it is time to decide where you will build for the best skating experience. 

Did you know there are many factors to consider before deciding where to build your synthetic ice rink?

  • Will it be used for hockey, figure skating, or another ice sport? 
  • Are you using the rink indoors or outdoors?
  • Is the rink for residential use or commercial use? 
  • What is the surrounding environment? Do you have space and neighbors to consider? 

If you choose KwikRink Synthetic Ice for your synthetic rink, you are at an advantage. They are leaders in natural, artificial rinks for both competitive athletes and recreational skaters. Experts at KwikRink are happy to guide you through determining where to build your rink. 

KwikRink Synthetic Ice will answer your questions effectively in regards to synthetic ice products. Reach out to them for an estimate on a customized artificial ice surface, and find out why our product is a cut above the competition. 

Continue reading for some highly useful tips on creating the perfect artificial ice skating rink. 

beautiful outdoor artificial ice skating rink in a town street or square

Determine the Needs of Your Artificial Ice Skating Rink

You certainly know if you are going to be using the rink for recreational or commercial use. You may want to consider necessary synthetic ice panels depending upon the purpose of your rink. The panel choice will vary based on the skating sport and location. 

If your rink is for commercial use, you are at an advantage by choosing a durable product: the heavier the molecular weight, the more durable the synthetic ice surface. If you are building a community rink, you will have various skaters, including hockey and figure, so high-density polymers are a solid choice. You can feel confident in a product that is both dense and durable for a community artificial ice skating rink.

For residential rinks, there are other factors to consider. Very high density polymers are best for figure skating. 

Very high density polymers are worth the investment because toe picks can create deep marks and scratches in medium or high-density comparisons. If you want an option that is guaranteed to last long and serve the needs of your figure skater, then opt for very high density polymers.

Hockey players also benefit from this extra dense skating surface. With high-density synthetic ice tiles, there will be fewer shavings, more durability, and less maintenance.

High-density synthetic panels can be an appropriate choice for home rinks too. 

cool outdoor artificial ice skating rink on grass

Decide Where You are Going to Build Your Artificial Ice Skating Rink

You need a flat surface for your rink project. You can install ice if there is a little slope, if necessary. Compensate for the slope with taller framing boards on the lower side. 

If you need to, you can level the slope when the weather is nice. Clearing and leveling the area within a few inches of the slope is effective. 

Ideal areas to build a residential rink include:

  • Surface where there is solid, firm dirt
  • Firm decks
  • Gym floors
  • Concrete garages
  • Cleared pole barns
  • Attics
  • Basements
  • Grassy, flat backyards

As you can see, there are many surface options on which you can build a residential artificial ice skating rink. The benefit over real ice is you can construct the artificial rink either indoors or outdoors! 

If you are building a commercial ice skating rink or rink for a training facility, consider additional factors. Where are you going to develop your commercial rink?

Commercial rinks can be found in many unique settings, including:

  • Malls
  • Cruise ships
  • Party centers
  • Movie theatres
  • The Las Vegas strip

Of course, you do not need to have a casino to build artificial ice rinks. Many superb commercial rinks are local:

  • Training centers and training facilities
  • Public parks
  • Ice gardens
  • City lakes
  • Downtown city parks
  • County parks
  • Most outdoor areas that would be appropriate for natural ice

The benefit of artificial commercial ice rinks is they are adaptable to any environment. You can have a rink in a county park in Arizona or a frozen pond in a Minneapolis suburb. So long as you have space and meet zoning regulations, you can build a profitable and entertaining artificial ice rink for many in the community to enjoy. 

ice skating rink outdoors near homes

What Else Do I Need to Consider Before Building an Artificial Ice Skating Rink?

Climate is a factor to consider. If you live further south in a warmer climate, artificial ice is likely your only option. You can get away with natural, thick, durable ice a few months of the year in the north.

Of course, budget is a significant factor to figure before building an artificial ice skating rink. Consider the size, age, and sport of your skaters. That may help you decide how much space you need for your rink. 

You are going to want to evaluate the total dimensions of your rink. Incorporate space for all materials needed for the rink, panels, and boards. 

It is not a bad idea to start small and grow the size if your skater continues to show interest. Growing with time is also ideal for community rinks as you can expand the size of the rink if traffic increases. Starting small will help keep start-up costs to a minimum. 

If money is a factor, consider fundraising costs to build your rink. Hockey players and figure skaters alike are dedicated to their sport. Many families would be thrilled to contribute to the effort, especially if their name is placed as thanks somewhere on the rink.

How Can KwikRink Synthetic Ice Help Me Build an Artificial Ice Skating Rink?

KwikRink Synthetic Ice is an industry leader in residential, commercial, and rental artificial ice rinks. It does not matter if you are building in the backyard or at an NHL training center. KwikRink Synthetic Ice has the experience and synthetic products that will meet the needs of your athletes. 

If you would like to learn more about artificial ice rink options, reach out to us for additional information. We are pleased to be a worldwide go-to choice for synthetic ice and can help build that miracle ice rink for your skaters. 


two young girls having fun playing ice skating games outdoor in winter

Ice skating is a fun activity for all ages! Of course, learning to ice skate can be challenging. Teaching kids using ice skating games can be fun, while the young ones improve their skating skills (these games might even be fun for the adults, too!)

You can play these games at a public rink, but with a synthetic ice rink, it’s much easier to skate anytime you want, with all your friends and family joining you. Contact KwikRink Synthetic Ice today to find out how a home ice skating rink can elevate your kids’ birthday parties or skating event — as well as provide a fun activity year-round.


Be Prepared for Fun!

  • If you’re going to be playing these games on an outdoor rink, don’t forget warmth. If it’s freezing outside, include gloves or mittens, hats, and scarves. You want to keep the focus on the fun, not the frigid temperatures!
  • If you’re lucky enough to have an indoor ice rink, then you don’t have to worry about getting cold. A synthetic ice rink from KwikRink can go in your basement, garage, or indoor gym so that you can skate year-round, no matter the weather.
  • If you’re going to a public rink, you’ll probably need to reserve the ice for a private party if you want to play ice skating games with kids. While some of them might be possible mingling with the guests at a large public ice rink, it will be difficult for children to fully engage in the games when they’re dodging other skaters. (Or worse, they won’t avoid the other skaters, and you’ll end up with a collision!)
  • If you have an ice rink at home, you can play these games any time you can round up enough willing skaters to join in the fun! You might need to set some ground rules or limit the number of skaters on the ice at once (depending on the size of your rink), but you’ll have much more freedom to let the good times roll!


6 Fun Ice Skating Games for Kids

Whether you have a whole hockey team of kids or just a few friends gathered together, there is an ice-skating game that will improve their skating moves while teaching them the fun of the ice.

Consider the kids’ age, skating skill, and interests (hockey? Figure skating?) and then select from the following games to keep them engaged and active all over the ice! 

Remember: you can increase or decrease the games’ competitiveness based on how you present them and encourage the children. You might decide your goal is for everyone to cross the finish line rather than crown a “winner.”


1. Red Light Green Light

Play this game just like you do without ice skates! Skaters line up at the start line while the Judge stands at the finish line. 

When the Judge says “green light,” all of the skaters’ race toward him or her; when the Judge says “red light,” all skaters must immediately stop on the ice as quickly as possible. The first skater to the finish line wins!

This game is a great way to teach young skaters how to stop quickly and restart quickly. You can add a rule that falling instead of stopping gets you disqualified to increase the difficulty level.

young child with ice skates sitting on ice smiling and having fun playing games

2. Duck Duck Goose

This game is another traditional children’s game that you can adapt to the ice rink. Have the skaters sit in a circle — except for whoever is “It.” 

The skater who is “It” should skate around the outside circle (behind the seated skaters’ backs). As “It” passes each seated skater, he or she should say “duck” and tap that skater on the shoulder.

Finally, “It” should tap a skater and say “Goose,” at which point the “Goose” must jump up and chase “It” around the circle. If the skater who is “It” gets back to “Goose’s” now-empty seat before “Goose” can catch him or her, “It” gets to join the seated skaters in the circle, and the “Goose” is the new “It.”

 If “It” is caught by the “Goose,” he or she must wait in the middle of the circle until someone else gets caught.

This game teaches young skaters to jump up quickly, pick up speed quickly, turn in a circle quickly, and stop on a dime. You can make it more attractive to children by replacing the terms “Duck” and “Goose” with other words. (For example, if they’re into Peppa Pig, you can play “Peppa Peppa George” instead; if they’re into Spongebob Squarepants, you can play “Patrick Patrick Squidward.”)


3. Tag

Another playground favorite that is perfect for the ice is “tag.” It is a great game to work on speed and changing directions. You can play virtually any version of tag that you can play on the ground as a kids’ ice skating game! Freeze tag, TV tag, and amoeba tag…these are great ways to let the kids blow off some steam with some relatively unstructured play. 

four young friends have fun ice skating at an outdoor rink

4. Obstacle Course

Setting up an obstacle course for young skaters requires a little more preparation from you, but you can adapt it for almost any skill level — even advanced skaters! You can also incorporate elements of their favorite ice activity, like requiring them to take hockey shots or figure skating turns along the way.

Get creative here! Use pool noodles and hula hoops to set up objects for different challenges around the ice. The kids can skate to each station and complete the activity before coasting to the next one.

You can draw lines on the ice, too, creating mazes, twisty-turns, or mark the way to the next activity.


5. Freeze Skate

Remember the game Musical Chairs? This game is a version of that, and it’s a popular kids’ ice skating game!

Let everyone who is playing free skate around the rink while music plays. The Judge randomly stops the music, and the last player to “freeze” when the music stops is out. 

The Judge can then play the music; everyone will resume skating until the Judge stops the music. Repeat the process until only one skater is left standing.

small child in overalls learning to ice skate by playing ice skating games

6. Ice Words

The only prep-ahead work for this one is to write some ice skating related words on some slips of paper. Put the slips of paper into an ice skate.

Let the skaters take turns drawing a slip of paper out of the skate. Then, they skate on the ice, “writing” the word with their skates as they go. The rest of the skaters try to guess the word based on the motion of the skater’s feet. Whoever guesses the word gets to take the next turn writing with their skates.


The Fun Never Stops with a KwikRink Synthetic Ice Rink of Your Own

There are so many more ice skating games for kids and adults! Showing kids that skating can be fun is essential to instill in them a love for the sport. Playing fun games gives them a chance to improve their skills without getting frustrated or bored with their lack of talent- everyone gets a gold medal! 

Installing an ice rink at your own home is a great way to encourage kids to skate! KwikRink Synthetic Ice is happy to help you figure out the right size and shape rink for you. We’ll even help you figure out where to put it! 

Check out the fantastic residential rinks on our site for creative ideas of how you can build the home ice rink of your dreams — and contact KwikRink Synthetic Ice when you’re ready for a free quote.


young adults and teens playing ice hockey on a customized synthetic ice rink with nets, markings, and a basketball goal outdoors

Synthetic ice, or artificial ice, has been around for a couple of decades. With its invention, year-round skating is now as popular as ever. You can customize your synthetic ice rink to meet your ice project needs, with the designs and accessories that make it unique. 

There are many advantages to a synthetic ice rink, including increased ice speed and the ability to create the same skating experience as on weather ice, long life span, temperature regulation, and seamless surface. Synthetic ice rinks can also be both indoors or outdoors. 

KwikRink Synthetic Ice has installed hundreds of skating rinks at homes, businesses, and public places across five continents. They have developed a realistic ice surface for both recreational ice skaters and athletes. 

Whether your needs are for figure skating, hockey training, speed skating, or entertainment, KwikRink Synthetic Ice can be customized. Reach out to KwikRink Synthetic Ice for a free estimate for a home skating rink today. 

What does a customizable synthetic ice skating surface mean for you?

Seven Ways You Can Customize Your Synthetic Ice Skating Rink for Home Training or Professional Skating

customized synthetic ice rink deck with wood railings

Goals and Nets

No hockey rink is complete without hockey goals and nets. You may want two goals at the end of the arena to play or practice, just like regulation hockey. Another option may be to have one goal to practice your backyard game and sharpen your skills to aim at low spots. 

Goals include netting and pegs to hold the net in place so you can practice just as you are in a real game. No more hauling the goal from side to side or worrying about it moving with each practice shot. Simply put, it makes hockey practice convenient and realistic.  

Dasher Boards

Dasher boards are essential for keeping the puck in the rink. They are useful for figure skaters for spotting and stretching. 

Different options for dasher boards include shielding systems, edgeless options, and tempered glass or acrylic shielding. Appropriate glass and shielding allow for the reduction of injury when a player or skater hits the boards.

Aluminum dasher boards are an option and have been in the industry for decades. They are designed to withstand years of use and abuse. 

Shielding can be installed for the safety of the skaters. The good news is that there are various design options so you can customize your synthetic ice skating rink to your home or business’s needs. 

customized synthetic ice rink with ice markings and plexiglass

Colored Markings

Colored markings allow for better training with patented color-correct goalie creases, lines, and circles. Lines can be customized to the sport, whether it is hockey, figure skating, speed skating, curling, or another form of ice sport. 

Logos and advertisements can also be added to add color and appeal to the ice, show support to your team, and support local businesses. Think about it: how amazing would it be to have a backyard hockey rink with your favorite NHL team or local high school mascot? It is possible with customizable colored markings. 

Shooting Tarps

Shooting tarps are a fantastic way to practice your shot. Skaters can practice aiming for the top shelf or the goal tender’s five-hole. You can shoot full force shots into the tarp without having to worry about breakage or causing injury. 

With shooting tarps, you can set up practice in a way that fits your needs. One important tip is to make sure the tarp is tight and secure. 

You can set up a pile of pucks so they are ready to go and within easy reach. You are then able to practice repeat shots on each of the target holes of the tarp. 

You can choose where to aim, whether it be high to the right, low to the left, vice versa, or somewhere in between. Continuous practice on shooting tarps leads to perfection during the game. 

backyard synthetic ice rink with nets and center line

Netting and Plexiglass

You can protect windows and walls with high-quality netting and plexiglass. The protection ensures that pucks stay in the rink rather than ending up in someone else’s backyard. 

It is never comfortable to ask your neighbor for stray pucks at the end of the season or have them knocking on your door to return a bucket full of pucks.

Protective netting is worth the investment. Players can take as many wrist shots and slap shots as they want, shooting as hard and high as they need to for good practice. 

Netting and plexiglass can be customizable to the size of your synthetic ice surface. It gives peace of mind to customize your synthetic ice rink with netting and plexiglass to protect your property and those nearby. 

Training Aids

Additional training aids are available to customize your synthetic ice rink. Training aids can help improve skating, puck handling, and shooting. Included are beginner skating push aids, passer training equipment, or stickhandling balls. All of the training aids are perfect for very young skaters or beginners to practice and enjoy the skating experience alongside those who are more advanced. 

customized synthetic ice rink with training gear and banners

Synthetic Ice Panels 

KwikRink Synthetic Ice panels are low maintenance and resilient. Their ice surface can last for over ten years. The patented system makes installation and teardown easy and quick. They are installed and taken apart, just like a jigsaw puzzle. 

The synthetic ice panels are adaptable. They are easy to construct and can be made to size. You can add on or reduce based on the needs of your skater or rink. 

KwikRink Synthetic Ice continuously works to improve its synthetic ice panels. Their fourth generation synthetic surface now features 90% of real ice glides. You can be ensured you’re customizing your synthetic ice rink to mimic skating on real ice. 

Contact KwikRink Synthetic Ice Today

KwikRink Synthetic Ice are experts in the field. They service not only nationwide, but rinks across the world. 

Design an arena that is cool, unique, and serves the needs of your skaters. Contact KwikRink Synthetic Ice for a free estimate, and they can help you customize the perfect rink that you will be able to enjoy for years to come. 


What is the ideal size for synthetic ice panels? As the saying goes, “the bigger, the better” in most cases. “Bigger” panels certainly have the disadvantage of being less convenient than smaller panels when it comes to shipping and receiving.

From a purely functional standpoint, however, a bigger-sized panel tends to be a much better choice for your synthetic ice rink installation for several reasons.

At KwikRink Synthetic Ice, our default panel is a whopping 8′ x 4′ size, about the same size as a full sheet of plywood. Many other companies sell panels as small as 1.5′ x 1.5′!

These tiles are great for shipping, but the advantages stop there. If you’re looking for the most authentic ice skating experience, you’ll get it from installing larger panels of synthetic ice. 

Let’s take a look at 4 reasons why bigger synthetic ice tiles are the way to go.

1. Larger synthetic ice panels make for less seams in the surface.

While smaller panels are easier to move around, they also will have substantially more seams when the panels are connected. In our example above, comparing a KwikRink 4’x8’ panel with the 18” x 18” tiles, you would have approximately 11 seams from the smaller tiles inside one seamless KwikRink panel.

These seams simply leave a lot more opportunity for things to go wrong in a synthetic ice rink. Seams can bulge, lead to cracks, or catch dirt and debris. If a seam pops up, even very slightly, from variation in the floor surface or expansion due to temperature changes, you can catch the edge of your skate on the lip.

2. Larger synthetic ice panels provide more forgiveness when a substrate is flawed.

Most sub-floors are not perfect. The smaller the synthetic ice tiles are, the less “forgiveness” they provide in a flawed substrate. Aside from the extra seams, the smaller size leaves the panels much more likely to have seams that lip up. This protruding edge is a problem that can stop pucks and trip skaters.

It’s easier for a smaller panel to lift up or buckle, too. The weight of larger panels keeps them more stable and stationary. In short, larger size synthetic ice panels are able to cover up substrate flaws much better than smaller panels. 

You also need to think about the synthetic ice panels shrinking and swelling some due to temperature changes. When that occurs, seams, in particular, are vulnerable to cracking.

Some tiles snap together with a dovetail design, and cracks that break off one of the tabs means that you’ll need to replace a panel. Tongue-and-groove designs are also vulnerable to cracking from an uneven surface or fluctuating temperatures.

3. Larger synthetic ice panels allow for a quicker installation.

This one is a bit obvious, but having to connect fewer panels makes doing a synthetic ice installation much faster. These larger-sized panels will not be as easy to move around as the smaller ones, but connecting one KwikRink synthetic ice panel to another is comparable to connecting up to 16 smaller panels from a different supplier.

Fewer connections mean less time to install and less opportunity for error or breakage. At KwikRink, we can even create custom-sized panels for the odd edges and irregularities for your surface and dimensions.

4. Larger synthetic ice panels offer the best bang for your buck.

Bigger synthetic ice panels will provide the best value for your money. Most competing brands that offer smaller panels do so to improve shipping and convenience of mobility for the consumer.

Although these aren’t bad reasons, consumers are left with even less panel for their dollar due to the desire to cut overhead costs and meet various shipping restrictions. This is also why you often will see “Free Shipping” for the smaller panels. It is not really free, but built into the cost, as they are vastly overpriced for what is received. 

In contrast, larger synthetic ice tiles are thicker and more durable. Their weight is an asset when it comes to rink stability. Larger tiles aren’t going to bounce or flex from the weight of skaters upon them. The additional thickness means they will last.

Check the warranty any synthetic ice panels you’re considering, as well as they approximate years of useful life. Super synthetic ice in larger panels from KwikRink has a 10-year warranty. Other smaller tiles often have a 3-5 year lifespan and warranties for a fraction of that.

Larger panels install securely and stay put, which lowers your maintenance costs. Your ice rink will be the closest to real ice that it can be when you minimize seams, create a smooth surface, and replicate the weight and thickness of actual ice’s feel.

Don’t compromise on the function of a rink and pleasure of skating by installing smaller, thinner tiles. In the long run, whatever initial savings you may have celebrated will vanish with cleaning, repair, and replacement costs.



Puck glide. Skate glide. Performance. Durability. Cleaner, smoother surface. Okay, that was six reasons. The fewer seams a puck or a skate has to glide over, the lower the amount of friction and the better glide. Better glide means closer to the real thing: natural ice, which is seamless.

Bottom line: a synthetic rink will look, feel, perform, and last better if you use larger, more stable, better manufactured synthetic ice sheets. 

Let’s face it. When you spring for a synthetic ice rink, your goal is to get the feel of natural ice as much as possible. Especially if you are doing a regulation rink-size or more than 300 sq. ft. installation, you’ll be glad you opted for larger panels instead of hundreds of small tiles.

When it comes to synthetic ice panels, bigger is better. Contact our installers at KwikRink with the measurements of your rink space. We’ll help you lay down a rink quickly with as few total panels as possible.

KwikRink Maple Leafs Custom Training Area

Synthetic ice layouts are extremely important, as each client has different needs. We will touch on “panel loss” vs. exact customization in this blog. KwikRink Synthetic Ice is here and happy to determine our clients’ best route for installing a synthetic ice rink with their goals and budget in mind.

Call us if you have any questions or if you are interested in a free quote on a synthetic ice rink.

KwikRink’s standard synthetic ice sheet has exterior dimensions of 95″ x 48″ (#1 cut), typically yielding 94″ x 47″. This is by design so that the panels can be connected every which way.

Because they are so close to 8′ x 4′, we go by these increments for simplicity. Many of the quote inquiries we get also follow this guideline. The dovetail pattern is 1″ deep, and when connected, this causes the loss of 1″ every 4′ of connection. This phenomenon is called “Panel Loss” or “PL” for short.

Examples of synthetic ice rinks using all #1 cuts:

40′ x 20′ PL = 39’3″ x 19’8″ (25 Panels)

32′ x 16′ PL = 31’5″ x 15’9″ (16 Panels)

24′ x 12′ PL = 23’7 x 11’10” (9 Panels)

When do you choose #1 cuts for synthetic ice?

Kwikrink Synthetic Ice panel

Using the default cut panels is the best bang for your buck when choosing a synthetic ice rink layout. By using the standard cut-style, you will have no charges for custom cutting and no excess scrap materials. You’ll be able to rotate all of the panels in your synthetic ice rink to extend the lifespan, and ultimately, your investment. 

Anything that is custom cut is often locked into that specific spot on the rink, preventing the panels from periodically being rotated. #1 cuts are perfect for synthetic ice rinks that do not need to fill in an exact space (think wall to wall in a specific size room). Outdoor rinks and open areas work the best for rinks with #1 cuts.

When is custom cutting needed?

Customized Indoor Synthetic Ice Hockey Rink

For commercial or residential synthetic ice rinks that need exact dimensions, often, custom cutting is required. It’s not likely that the #1 cuts natural dimensions will not get you there. Exact cuts will likely have to be used when adding customized markings to your ice rink (think: lines, creases, circles, dots, etc.).

KwikRink specializes in custom cut synthetic ice solutions, including rink size, shape, and markings.

Creating custom synthetic ice rinks is what KwikRink does best! Whether you’re looking to fill an entire room, portion of a room, or a uniquely shaped space, we’ve got you covered.

When we say exact customization, what do we mean?

Residential synthetic ice rink with obstacles and exact customization to fit a pole and specific dimensions.

When we say exact, we genuinely mean exact. Suppose your space is 24’6 1/2″ x 15’3 1/4″, KwikRink can do it with world-class precision machining. Often, clients with residential basements interested in adding synthetic ice for home training have pole supports to work around in the area.

We can design a layout with custom cut panels so that the seams of a panel line up at the pole seamlessly. We can create the easiest cut around the pole and a perfectly customized synthetic ice rink for your space.

“Panel Loss” vs. Exact Customization

home indoor ice rink in basement with stone walls and a father and child playing hockey

When it is not necessary to have exact dimensions, “panel loss” is the way to go. This option will get you to 8′ x 4′ multiples minus a few inches each way, depending on how big the rink is. Exact customization is the way to go when you need exact dimensions to fit into a unique space or have a particular design in mind.

Whether you’re looking for a large or outdoor rink with standard #1 cuts or a completely custom rink, KwikRink is here to help.

Contact us, and get a free quote today!