Caribbean ice skating you say? SmartRink just installed it’s first synthetic ice skating rink in the Caribbean – Barbados to be more accurate. After doing many rinks all across North America this one was particularly satisfying. For starters the genuine excitement and social media buzz this created was extraordinary. To our knowledge it was the first permanent synthetic ice rink ever built in the country. This really proves you can skate in any weather with synthetic ice!
We met a great group of skilled workers while on site and that went a long way to creating a positive installation. As with most jobs there were the usual challenges. The main challenge on this one was the weather which was incredibly humid. Fortunately this did not present any concerns for the product.
The rink is not large by typical standards and at 2000 square feet took up much of the warehouse space it was in. We also erected perimeter boards. For those we supplied the white puck board and the owner had a local carpenter build the frame. We provided detailed drawings prior to arriving so the frames could be built ahead of time – and fortunately our carpenter was right on the money!
The synthetic ice floor took the better part of 2 days to install slowing down at times to do some floor repair work to improve the surface.
We provided about 125 pairs of hockey skates and also a skate sharpener. After setting up the sharpener we sharpened most of the skates in a single day. Lastly we installed rubber flooring around the skate fitting area.
Time for skating lessons! There aren’t many ice skaters in Barbados but there are lots of inline skaters. The owner had a friend who had been inline skating for many years so he became “my project”. Fortunately he picked it up quickly. Within 10 minutes he understood his inside and outside edges and how to take a full stride with a purpose and then do a full recovery as well. His 20 years of hi level inline skating translated very quickly to ice skating. It was actually quite amazing! His name is Bobby Havok (for real) and you can check out some of his skating vids here.
So who would have thought ice skating in the Caribbean would be so popular? Well it sure has been in Bridgetown. In a locale that does not offer a lot of family activities this is affordable family fun. So the next time you are in Bridgetown and looking for something to do try visiting Icetopia Skating Rink!
Learn more about setting up a synthetic ice rink in your community.