How to Maintain Synthetic Ice Rinks

How to Maintain Synthetic Ice Rinks

Synthetic ice is an incredible invention that allows skaters and hockey players to ice skate in the comfort of their own homes. Whether you are an avid hockey professional, or an occasional ice skater being able to ice skate at home, is pretty cool. Small rinks, and big rinks alike, synthetic ice panels can accommodate a practice area as well as a whole skating rink. As versatile as this kind of flooring is, it can also get dirty and scuffed up because of use. It is important to keep your flooring in good shape so that it will continue to be of value to you for years to come. Here are some good ways that you can continue to keep your flooring as new as possible for as long as you can.

Sweep The Synthetic Ice Flooring Clean Of all Debris

Over time tiny fragments of metal from the ice skating blades, and other little pieces of whatever can build up on the flooring to cause problems. If you make it a point to sweep the skating area with a push broom once a week you will greatly reduce the buildup of foreign bodies. Dirt, dust, hair, and particles will leave a residue over the flooring if it is not cleaned up and removed on a regular basis. The quickest way to remove these issues is to brush it all away with a broom.

Mop Synthetic Ice Flooring With A Regular Floor Mop

Once you have swept the floor clean of all the debris, you can use warm water and disinfectant to mop the area. Make sure to go over the whole flooring with the mop. It does not have to be fully drenched with water, you can dip the mop head and ring it out to where it is damp. Vigorously mop back and forth and make sure that you do not leave any surface untouched. Allow the area at least an hour to fully dry before you attempt to ice skate on it when it is done.

Scrub Synthetic Ice Flooring with a Deck Brush

It may sound like a lot of work to do, but you don’t have to do it very often. Also, scrubbing the floor in this manner is only a suggestion, it is not mandatory. However, scrubbing once a year can help to remove excess scuffing and black skid marks. You don’t have to get down on your hands and knees to scrub, you can use a decking brush with a long handle like a push broom. If you take a bucket and fill it three-quarters of the way with warm water you can add one-third cup of bleach per gallon in order to achieve a substantial cleaning power. Scrub away as many of the scuff marks as you can.

Rotating Synthetic Ice

If you have high-quality flooring you will be able to flip your panels over and skate on the other side. After many years of use and abuse from skaters, synthetic ice can begin to lose its slickness. High-quality ice panels are reversible so that you can simply pull them up, turn them over and skate another decade or two before you have to worry about changing them out again. Unlike dryland hockey tiles, synthetic ice can be re-used.

Why Maintaining Synthetic Ice Is Important

As we mentioned above, flooring can accumulate particles and dander that cause a buildup of unwanted material on the skating area that will reduce the quality of the skating experience. Synthetic ice is developed for ice skaters to be able to get as close to an on-ice feel when they skate as possible. When you stay on top of maintenance and cleaning your floor stays slick and effective so that you can get the most out of it. If you take care of your investment, it will last you a long time.

***Sniper’s Edge Hockey loves Canada! We proudly ship all of our products to Canada and offer the same return policies as we do for everybody else. We realize the exchange rates for the Canadian dollar are not the best right now, so we’re trying to help by giving you free shipping and no customs/duty.***

synthetic ice

How Long Does Synthetic Ice Last?

Hockey can be a brutal sport at times, and the players can be less than gentle on the surfaces that they play on. It is pretty hard to destroy real ice by merely skating on it, but synthetic ice? How much abuse can it withstand until it wears out? Since man has been evolving and technology has become so prevalent in everything that we do developers have been able to create a synthetic ice flooring that not only can withstand the abuse of real hockey players, but last a very long time while doing it. Synthetic ice, if manufactured correctly can be of good use for many many years.

What is Synthetic Ice?

Synthetic ice is made from a special type of polymer that is designed to allow for smooth skating and outstanding durability. Since it was first explored in the 1960s it has come a long way. In the beginning stages of the evolution of synthetic ice, the flooring was difficult to skate on and needed a constant additive of lubricant in order for skaters to maintain a slight amount of skating. Over the years as technology progressed the quality of synthetic ice has risen exponentially. Now, in 2020 nearing 2021, synthetic ice is better than ever and equipped with its own lubricant that keeps the surface slick and ice skate-ready in all weather conditions.

The Quality of Synthetic Ice

Just like everything else, not all synthetic ice is created equally. It all depends on the manufacturer and where you buy your flooring. Some synthetic ice can be weak and only last a short amount of time. Other brands of synthetic ice, like Sniper’s Edge Hockey synthetic ice, are made with high-quality care and construction. In fact, the synthetic ice that Sniper’s Edge has available is double-sided so that after a time when the panels become worn you can simply turn them over and continue to use them like they were brand new. When it is time for you to invest in your hockey flooring, make sure that you get it from a high-grade distributor that cares about the people that buy their products. Otherwise, you could end up with nothing more than a big mistake.

Synthetic Ice Care

Although synthetic ice is made to last and endure lots of abuse, it is still a good idea to maintain the surface and make sure that it is kept clean. Black skid marks can develop from the ice skate blades and make the flooring look ugly and dirty. The best way to keep the floor in tip-top conditions to regularly mop it with a small amount of bleach in a five-gallon bucket and a mop. Some good old fashioned mopping with a little bit of elbow grease can go a long way in keeping the floor looking and working as good as new.

Don’t Rollerblade on Synthetic Ice

As magnificent as synthetic ice is, remember that it is much like ice, and attempting to rollerblade on it could prove to be painful. If you have ever attempted to rollerblade across a real ice rink, you might get why. Synthetic ice is slick and made to purposely be that way. Ice skates need a certain level of slickness in order to properly cruise across the surface. If it is not slick enough, they do not work. So, if you try to rollerblade across that slick of a surface, you won’t roll, you will slide. Of course, if you have good enough ice skating skills to actually ice skate on rollerblades you might be in for a good time. However, it is not recommended at all.

Does Synthetic Ice Ruin Blades?

Does Synthetic Ice Ruin Blades?

Ice skating is a very popular form of art, especially for hockey players. However, real ice is difficult to maintain and keep frozen throughout the year. Another popular media for ice skating is synthetic ice. Although since it first came into the public eye in the 1960s it was pretty awful, these days artificial ice is very high tech and much like real ice for skaters. Will it damage ice skating blades? It all depends on how you look at it. You might be surprised at what can cause more damage.

Synthetic Ice Surface

At the beginning of the synthetic ice journey, the plastic flooring had to be covered with lubricants in order for skaters to successfully glide across the surface. This was quite a bit of work for people to keep up with. The surface was quirky and not near smooth like ice, but it was able to handle skaters in its own lunky way.

As time progressed, developers and scientists alike kept pushing at the idea of being able to create an artificial ice flooring that could allow skaters the same freedom as real ice. Now, in the days of technology, synthetic ice is available in small panels with self-lubricating properties that were never imagined before. Just as ice blades cause heat and friction over the ice to make a small amount of water present as a lubricant, modern-day synthetic ice has built-in lubricants that are activated when the skate’s blades come into contact with it. This way a nice, smooth-skating experience is possible with the least amount of drag.

Ice Skating Blades

The blades that are attached to ice skates are made primarily of metal. For the optimum skating experience, they must be sharpened and properly adjusted to fit the needs of the individual skater. If the blades are out of shape it can cause the skates to drag and be less effective. When they are sharpened and honed into the perfect shape for the skater, they glide across the flooring like a dream.

What Causes Wear on Blades

Wear and tear on ice skating blades can happen for a plethora of reasons. Mainly it is by coming into contact with objects that can weaken or dull the edge of the blades. Since the blades are sharpened down to a point, anything that is strong enough to penetrate that point and cause damage can be a culprit to blade damage. In the scenario where people are skating on real ice, there can be a number of problems that cause damage and wear on skate blades. As skates glide over the surface, over time, they leave traces of metal from the blades that stay in the ice. After a while of buildup from these traces of metal and even small rocks, the surface of the ice can become hard and full of buildup. This, in itself, can ultimately cause more damage than synthetic ice, which can actually be mopped up and cleaned regularly.

Polymer Plastic is Soft

Most of the synthetic ice that is on the market today is made out of polymer plastic. Although the blades run across the plastic and can scuff up the flooring at times, there is no buildup of minerals, and the flooring remains soft and safe for the ice skate blades. In all truth, there is more of a threat to the health of ice skating blades on real ice, than there is on synthetic ice. Although over time ice blades can become dull after continual use, any actual damage because of synthetic ice, is not common. It all boils down to the quality of the synthetic ice when it comes to what kind of damage is possible because of skating on it.

Realistically Speaking

Most of the damage that happens to ice skate blades is when they are used to walk across the flooring of the skate place to and from the rink. When the blades come into contact with concrete, or hard surfaces with rocks and other hard little problems they can get bent or dented and even broken. If the skates are strictly kept on the rink, whether it is synthetic or actual ice, they will last longer and not suffer as much damage.