Synthetic Ice Installation

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Home Synthetic Ice Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use normal Ice Skates?

Yes! Normal ice hockey skates or figure skates work fine on synthetic ice.

Should they be sharp?

The synthetic ice experience will be better if the skates are sharp-just like on real ice.

Can I walk on it?

We prefer if foot traffic stayed off the surface. It brings dirt and debris onto the synthetic ice surface and this potentially takes away from the skating experience, not to mention it then has to be cleaned!

I’ve heard this is really hard on the skate blades, is this true?

There is more resistance on thus surface and therefore it is generally going to dull the blades faster than real ice. But there a variables like weight, skating efficiency, ability, type of skate and so on – so it can vary. Usually a decent skater can skate on this product for 5-6 hours without needing to sharpen the skate blades. Some of our competitors products require a sharpening every 30 minutes or less!

Is the surface fine for either hockey or figure skating or recreational skating?

Yes! We offer high performance synthetic ice products for hockey, sledge hockey, figure skating, and all around recreational use. It’s fun for everyone!

Can it be placed outside?

Yes! Please read the article below on indoor vs. outdoor home synthetic ice rinks.

What is the operation temperature range?

Between minus 40C and plus 50C

How do you ship the synthetic ice panels?

Typically we place the product on pallets and hire a freight carrier (trucking firm) to take it to your home for unloading

How realistic is the synthetic ice to skate on? How does it compare to real ice?

The quick answer is that nothing skates like real ice. That said there are some products where the experience is excellent but most fall well short of their marketing claims unfortunately. If the user is a strong skater then they will find the better products easy to skate on. The weaker skaters will certainly notice the increased resistance. This will really be highlighted with the lower quality products. The best products skate the best and there is nothing that can’t be duplicated on synthetic ice as with real ice – using a high quality panel. A very good product is one where the skater does not have to change their body mechanics to perform the same task as on real ice. They should be able to pivot, turn, skate backwards and stop just the same as real ice. Poor products force the skater to develop bad habits with posture, knee bend and stride length – all things you want to avoid.

What is the price per square foot? How much should I expect to pay?

This is the most common question. Price is the one thing that people do understand and can compare. The problem is that unless you know the material you are comparing it is almost meaningless. We’ve seen price per square foot as low as $8 and as high as $28. We’ve written about understanding the importance of molecular weight in the past and how that relates to panel thickness and pricing relationships. If you want a true comparison send us a request and we’ll do our best to answer your questions directly with fact based information. The best raw material costs the most money and that directly translates into a higher cost panel – plain and simple. In the case of synthetic ice – paying less money is almost never a good thing.

What size are your panels? How thick are your panels?

Panel size can become a consideration. Some companies have 1 meter by 1 meter (3.3 feet x 3.3 feet) and some companies promote advantages of the 8 ft x 4 ft panels and there is everything in between too. Smaller synthetic ice panels are cheaper to ship, can sit on a standard pallet size and easier for the average person to handle and install. Larger panels mean fewer of them to install. The companies with larger panels promote fewer joints as an advantage but in reality if the application is correct and it’s a good quality panel, then the skater will never feel the joint anyway so it’s a moot point. As for thickness – a high quality panel with a very high molecular weight or better does not need to be thicker than 8mm or 5/16 of an inch to last 15 or more years. Often we see cheap less expensive material sold in thick panel configurations as a way to cover up that it will wear down more rapidly.

How hard is synthetic ice to maintain?

Actually it’s quite easy – but it does have to be maintained – just like any flooring product does. Typically that means vacuuming and washing the surface. Usually plain hot water and some elbow grease will work fine. Anything from a wet mop to a stiff brush will work depending on how dirty the surface it. Larger surfaces typically use a commercial floor scrubber. Also most products suggest using a glide solution to enhance the skating experience. That needs to be applied regularly. Each manufacturer will be able to provide instructions on that.

The proposed surface is not level or smooth. How much of a problem is that?

Unless we do a lot of preparation there is not a lot we can do to deal with a surface that is not level. That said we have certainly installed a lot of rinks on surfaces that were not level. The proper connection system or a temporary sub base can both help to deal with this concern.

Some of our products require a smooth, firm surface – like plywood – to e added to a rough or uneven existing surface. Usually the location, the available product, and the use of the surface are important factors to understand before any setup occurs. The safety of the skater needs to be the primary concern in any setup.

How long does it take to install/uninstall?

Depending on the type product,

the application, the size, and the location/venue, it could be as fast as 1 hour, or take as long as 10 hours – or more.

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