When most of us consider a hockey game, the instant visual is usually a vast, echoing arena, perfectly designed for two teams to battle to the death in a quest to become the ultimate champions. The automatic assumption is that a decent game of hockey needs plenty of space, and this can be an obstacle for many fans and players.

What if we told you that everything you assumed you knew was false and that a full-size arena is not a requirement for many drills, training aids, and even smaller-scale games? Here at KwikRink, we have everything you need to get started in a place that is convenient for you; make the most of that vacant garage, revamp your backyard, or even transform a spare room!

Why Do I Need A Hockey Practice Area?

A hockey practice area on your own property is not only a super cool addition to any home; it can be an essential way for players to keep up their skills and stay in shape off-season and between games.

Having a personal practice area also offers the flexibility to train at a time that is convenient for you, perfect if you have a busy job, young children, or simply a hectic schedule. Instead of having to adapt your routine around training, you can make sure that your activity works for you, without having to worry about arranging childcare or organizing transport to another location!

This personal practice area can also be perfect if you have specific areas you are looking to target during your training. External coaching sessions are often ‘one-size fits all,’ and this can be frustrating if you find yourself continually running drills and practices which focus on skills you already have. Having your own space allows you to hone in on your weaknesses, and use targeted exercises and activities to boost your skills in the best way for your game.

How Can I Have My Own Rink In A Small Space?

You may think that you lack the square footage for a practice rink, but synthetic ice will make you think again. It comes in panels, so it is easy to purchase enough material for your space, no matter the size limitations.

Assemble your own alternative rink and be ready to go in no time. You can even add extras such as shooting tarps or a puck rebounder to help make the space more versatile and personalized to your needs.

What Can I Practice?

Part of the appeal of your small rink is that it is an ideal space for practicing different drills and techniques. The list of potential exercises is lengthy, but here are our top picks when it comes to hockey drills for smaller spaces.

The Quad Pass

This first exercise is a great way to help players develop the perfect pass, and the restricted space forces great concentration and attention. Four players work this drill, and it starts with Players 1 and 2 executing five passes between themselves, focusing on accuracy and soft hands – there isn’t the space to go hard.

After completing the fifth pass, Player 1 will do a touch-pass give and go with Player 3 before carrying out another touch pass to Player 4. All four players then rotate around the space, giving everyone a chance to try every position.

The 1 On 1

This next drill allows players to focus on their timing. Four lines are set up facing the zone at inline with the neutral zone face-off dots. When setting up, make sure that the cones for the defensive lines are slightly staggered; this offers a slight defensive advantage.

Both players start by carrying pucks and completing a figure-eight, both coming out of the turn on the outside of the rink. The defensive player returns the puck to their line coming out of the shape and then takes on the offensive player one on one.

Their focus is on stick position to discourage any potential shot. The job of the offense is to protect the puck and move their feet to get behind the defense.

Players can then switch in and out to practice different skills depending on their individual needs.

Stop And Start

This next activity is great for younger players and builds up accuracy and technique. Players execute starts and stops with a puck, before executing a power turn, and end by taking a shot. This keeps up the pace and takes skills back to the basics – perfect if you are getting back into shape, or having issues in a particular area.

The Perpetual Cycle

A smaller practice space makes The Perpetual Cycle even more of a challenge as great concentration is needed to avoid a collision! Start by dumping in a puck. Player 1 then goes to the corner to pick it up before cycling back. Player 2 follows and picks up the cycle, before the first player cuts across the top and drives to the net, and Player 2 passes for a one-time shot.

After making the pass, Player 1 from the other line dumps the puck in his corner. The player who just made the pass heads to the top of the circle drives it into the corner to pick up the dump and repeats the cycle again. This drill can be repeated without pause and is a perfect way to help players connect and come together, focusing on working as a team, passing, and making the smaller space work to their advantage.

Why Wait?

As you can see, a smaller space does not have to hold you back when it comes to practicing your hockey skills. At KwikRink, we offer a huge range of solutions which are the perfect fit for your particular needs and lifestyle, and ensure that you can train and practice in the way which best suits you. What are you waiting for? Get in touch today to start configuring your practice area, and make the most of that small space!

home synthetic ice rink

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.

residential synthetic ice holiday sale

Are you tired of waiting for an available rink to get out there and practice your skills each week? Perhaps you are a coach waiting for your team to have enough time and space to get in more one-on-one training. A backyard ice rink can prove to be a fantastic investment and a whole lot of fun.

You’re not alone in your need for ice – right in the backyard. Let KwikRink provide you with a customized quote for your backyard rink today.

Is Your Back Yard Big Enough?

If you’re looking out your window and wondering if that seemingly small patch of grass is really enough to install an ice rink, don’t sweat it. In many situations, it’s possible to get a custom ice rink set up even in a small area. If it gives you enough space to practice goals or goalie skills, it’s worth it.

One stipulation of a backyard rink is to have enough flat space. You may not need to get out there with a level to make sure it’s perfectly flat, but synthetic ice requires a small, flat surface for assembly. Laying it directly onto the grass isn’t an option. The good news is KwikRink can help you with that!

What Can You Do on a Small Backyard Ice Rink?

Take a look out into your backyard. Imagine having a beautiful ice rink set up and ready to go. What could you do on it?

Run Practice Drills: Whether you are out there at 4 am on your own each morning, or you have a group of friends over, it’s easy to run drills on a backyard ice rink. No worries about anyone watching you, which is a fantastic benefit for those who are up against the competition in a traditional ice rink. You also can practice as much as you want.

Hit 100 Goals: If shooting goals is the biggest challenge for you, you can practice them now on your own time, over and over again. You can help your son or daughter with goal shooting in various environments with defenders at every corner. For those that need a bit of help with technique, this is an easy way to perfect your goal shooting.

Pee Wee Practice: With a bigger backyard ice rink, you can host your entire team’s practice. Get them out there after school each day. Because they don’t need a full-sized arena, you can teach so many skills on your time. While the big rink in the city may be able to only give you an hour or two a week for practice, in your backyard, you can practice as long as you want, as often as you want, when you want.

What If You Have a Big Backyard? Imagine the Possibilities

When you have enough space in your backyard for a full-size ice hockey rink, the possibilities are endless. Here are a few examples of what you could do with a bigger rink.

Get Ready for College Hockey: Perhaps you want to be the next person to make the ranks of Division 1 Hockey Records in the coming year. You’re good, but you need some help with technique. With a large, open backyard ice rink, there’s no stopping you from practicing and perfecting your skills.

Set Up a Bit of a Competition: Do you have another team that’s struggling to get in enough playing time before the season begins? Host a competition in your backyard hockey rink. You can do this to gain skill and practice in game-like conditions. Test out a few unique plays, or get your defenders on target before they hit the ice for their first real outing.

Perfect the Power Plays: Power plays are some of the most sought after of all types of hockey events. Power play goals make the game. It takes a lot of practice and hands-on learning though to get to this level. You also may want to practice more challenging scenarios, such as short-handed goals and assists.

Be the Envy of Your Neighborhood: Let’s face it – if you have a big backyard ice hockey rink, you are going to have a lot of fun with friends and neighbors. Host a competition between a few friends, or invite the entire neighborhood to test it out. That makes for an enjoyable bonding experience.

How to Make a Backyard Ice Rink Work

What’s outstanding about KwikRink is that you can create a residential ice hockey rink without a lot of difficulties. The company does it all for you. With 90% of real ice’s glide, KwikRink Synthetic Ice is a solid solution for a backyard rink. It’s designed to fit together just right to create the size and shape you need.

Custom backyard ice rinks are possible for most spaces. You may be able to install the ice rink for just a few months or keep it there throughout the year. You can even move it as you need to. The key here is that it gives you big hockey in your backyard! It’s also uncomplicated to maintain, so you do not have to worry about it breaking down after a few months of use.

If you’re not sure if you have enough space or enough flat space, let KwikRink help you figure it out. They offer adaptable solutions that fit most goals and space availability.

Could You Benefit from a Backyard Rink?

It all starts with an idea. Take a walk around your backyard, or your garage, driveway, patio, or any other open area you have. Get an idea of how much space you want to devote to this incredible experience. Once you have an idea of the types of skills you want to practice, and what features you would like designed, contact KwikRink. Learn about all of the options and find out just how flexible these rinks can be for residential areas. Contact us now to get a quote on a backyard ice rink.

ice skating on synthetic ice

It was bound to happen. If football, rugby, soccer, and baseball can be played on astroturf, why can’t figure skaters skate on artificial ice? They can skate just about anywhere they want with KwikRink synthetic ice systems. Find out how.

Synthetic ice and hockey, sure, but synthetic ice and figure skating?

Intuitively it makes sense that hockey players practice and compete on alternative ice, the surface is built for quick direction changes and a superior sliding surface. But, what about all the toe picks, pivots, turns, jumps, and spins on figure skates? 

Figure skating acrobatics are no problem for KwikRink Artificial Ice. KwikRink polyethylene can help skaters refine their technique. Check it out.

Build more strength with KwikRink

Leg and core strength are two of the foundational building blocks of expert figure skating. Explosive bursts of speed and lift are required to jump faster.

Being able to reach higher levels adds more difficulty to a skating routine, which can boost a skater’s score from the judges at a competition. Building that strength requires specific training both on and off the ice.  

With KwikRink artificial ice, skaters are required to press down more firmly into their jumps just before take-off. This additional pressure creates a more significant “overload” in leg muscles throughout several practice sessions.

When an overload is consistently present, muscles must become stronger to handle the increased exertion required in the movement.

When a skater eventually switches back to natural ice just before or during a competition, her jumps will feel less taxing and more powerful for the extra strength she has gained from training on a synthetic surface.

Enhanced spins and toe-pick precision

Artificial ice requires a figure skater to be precise in his toe-pick for maximum take-off power in jumps. Learning to toe-pick on artificial ice can give an edge (pun intended) that those who only skate on natural ice may not have.

On synthetic ice, skaters have the opportunity to work the details of their spinning and optimize their position and speed for this skill as well.

Bring figure skating programs to new regions with ease

Now it is easier than ever to launch and grow a new figure skating program in your region. With natural ice, a community must have an arena and be able to cool the floor enough to keep ice frozen, sometimes year-round, to have a viable program.

Further, if your only option to skate is outdoors, you had better live in an area where there is plenty of winter time.

With KwikRink artificial ice, you can launch a figure skating program in a school gym, community center, church multi-purpose room, or even in a field outside in the middle of July. 

Everyone wins when a new sport launches in your region

 

The benefits of a skating program exist on several levels. Figure skating programs build coordination, athleticism, camaraderie, and community involvement for participants.

When a kid (or an adult, for that matter) learns to skate, it is a skill they will carry with them for a lifetime. When children begin sports at an early age, they often have a better lifestyle and fitness outcomes as adults as well.

Figure skating combines the physical aspects of the movement with the artistic expression of dance, creating a well-rounded sport that a wide variety of people can enjoy, whether they are spectating or performing. Parents love to watch their children learn skills and excel at activities they enjoy.

Our synthetic rinks can expand the activity options for kids and adults in areas where natural ice is challenging or downright impossible to maintain.

When kids learn sports, they build confidence for whatever life throws at them as well as strength and endurance. All the more reason to make figure skating on synthetic ice an alternative option next to all the traditional team sports offered in schools and youth leagues.

Figure skating programs make excellent revenue streams

Managing a KwikRink system is easy and creates an instant business or revenue stream opportunity for the owner or organization.  If your existing brick and mortar have unused space, a KwikRink system may be just the way to maximize your footprint and serve a new niche in your community at the same time.

Easy to install, easy to break down

KwikRink panels are a breeze to install and maintain, as well as coming apart for easy stacking and storage. If you have an indoor, flat, hard surface with no flaws or cracks, KwikRink panels will lay down well with no underlayment.

If you are working outdoors or on an uneven surface, an underlayment or subfloor is the first step to gliding your cares away on artificial ice.  

KwikRink panels are a snap to put together. They assemble like puzzle pieces and require only a mallet and block to tap into place–the seams are nearly invisible once fully clicked and locked.

With our system, you can have your rink assembled for weekend practice and put it away during the week when you may have other activities programmed in your space, for example. 

Comfort makes for an enjoyable, creative skate experience

Perhaps the biggest advantage to figure skating on KwikRink systems is enjoying the warmth while working on skills, drills, and choreography. In figure skating practice, there is typically a flurry of activity, and then a fair bit of standing still on the ice while your coach gives feedback or outlines the next steps in the routine.

Figure skating practice can be much more fun when skaters are not continually bouncing between sweating and freezing between bouts of movement. A warmer, consistent climate may also help to keep skaters loose and prevent injury as well.

In the end, there are so many reasons to look to KwikRink synthetic ice for figure skating. We are here to answer all your questions, provide a free quote, and help you customize your rink for all your figure skating programming needs. Give us a call today and glide into fitness, coordination, creativity, and enjoyment.

 

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Every 365 days a new year comes around. Each year we hear about so many resolutions in an attempt to create a better year than the following year. Some people are successful, and many are not. We live busy lives, and sometimes our resolutions fade away come February.

We don’t generally think of kids having resolutions within their mostly carefree lives. Some parents that we work with unknowingly make these resolutions for their kids. The holiday season is a hot time of the year for us, as it is for many businesses. We have created home ice advantages for countless families this holiday season.

With the main premise of creating healthy-fun exercise for their kids, KwikRink delivers without hesitation. In a world with TV binge-watching, video games, and social media, we often find that our children are not being as active as they should be. Jim from Michigan says, “After purchasing the KwikRink surface for my basement, I can’t get my kid or his friends off the stuff.” Sometimes, it is a battle to get him off of the ice for dinner, but it sure beats video games!”

The other obvious benefit to the KwikRink surface is that it allows unlimited ice time, and ice time can be scarce in certain areas of the world. Being able to skate as you please will certainly make for a better hockey player in 2017 and beyond.

If you make any resolutions for your kids this year, make sure that it is to create a year filled with activity disguised as fun. Have fun and improve your game with KwikRink synthetic ice premium ice surfaces!

KwikRink synthetic ice has been an extremely popular tool for goalie training at all levels. Professional and amateur goaltenders regularly use KwikRink to supplement their on ice training. The surface allows goalies to practice slides, and all the skills that they would on real ice at a fraction of the cost. Many goaltenders will install KwikRink synthetic ice in their own home to create an unparalleled home ice advantage when it comes to training.

KwikRink is featured in many goalie training camps around the country. MEGA Goaltending, a Minnesota based goalie training camp, has used KwikRink as part of their training regimen for several years. MEGA consists of highly experienced staff members working with a small group of goalies to offer a truly in depth goalie training experience. A synthetic ice area with two creases was recently installed at Elk River Ice Arena to add to their arsenal of training tools.

“KwikRink has become a proven and invaluable surface for us to use when working with our goaltenders. We have found KwikRink to be the ideal surface for us to train our goalies on save techniques and receive a ton of repetitions. It also allows us to keep the costs down for families, in comparison to the cost of training on ice. We have trained over a thousand goalies on KwikRink synthetic ice, and the results have been fantastic.”

– Justin Johnson, Founder of MEGA Goaltending and Minnesota Golden Gophers Men’s Goalie Coach

The first synthetic ice crease was created by KwikRink in the late 90’s. Many residential clients will install their own goalie school inside their homes. The ideal setup has a permanent inset goalie crease, providing positional guidance, and has the depth and width to work on shots at all angles. An ideal goalie area would be something like 16 feet wide by 24 feet long. This would allow the goalie to work on common angles, as well as, taking screened shots. Many of these clients do not have this kinda of space in their home to dedicate to hockey training. You can still get a lot out of a goalie area with limited space. The minimum area would be 10-12 feet wide by about 16 feet long. This would still provide room to practice slides, and work at head on shots. When it comes to training, nothing compares to getting in your skates and doing the work.

 

28
March

Small Area Games

Posted by KwikRink

Many of our clients buy rinks for their basement or garage, which are typically small areas and only have so much space available. Often times they worry whether the rink will offer enough space for their kids to practice skills and have fun with friends. The majority will quickly find that the KwikRink surface, regardless of size, has improved their kids skills in an immense way.

Practicing skills in small areas can be a blast for kids, simply because it doesn’t feel like practice. It’s like that vegetable you slip in their fruit smoothies that they can’t even taste, but they still receive the benefit from it being there. Kids have many options when it comes to small area games, and most just come naturally. Some examples of these games would be; 1 on 1, 2 on 2, 3 on 3, keep away, or stick handling games a lot like what you see in the picture above with NHL superstar, Patrick Kane. All of these small area games are going to translate to a noticeably improved skill-set on game-day.

One of the main areas most kids will improve upon is their hands. When working with a smaller area, you must learn to handle the puck with quick hands protect the puck using your body and stick angles intelligently. Another vastly improved skill is quickness, both physically and mentally. In tight areas, players are required to process thought and act in a lightning quick manner.

“It’s very important to learn how to play in tight areas. We still do drills to this day that are tight area games where it’s 2-on-2, 3-on-3 down low, maybe 1-on-1 in the corners. They teach you how to battle and how to maneuver in tight space.”

– Patrick Kane on Small Area Games