How is a consumer supposed to intelligently make a synthetic ice comparison? Admittedly it can be difficult. So exactly how do they go about it?
Well one thing they do understand is price. When something is difficult to compare consumers default to price. The problem with that is price almost never tells the full story – only part of the story. To make a more informed synthetic ice comparison a consumer requires information that they can rely on.
First things first. What are some of the basic questions for you to consider:
- what are you hoping to be able to do?
- what are your performance expectations?
- how much space do you have?
- do you place importance on quality, value, or price?
If all you hope to do is simply take shots with skates on and do some basic movements such as stepping into a shot then chances are then you could do with more of a cheap synthetic ice product – likely an extruded material. You should be able to source something for under $9.00 psf.
If your expectations are higher in terms of quality and durability then you will likely want to consider a sinter pressed / compression molded product. These materials are much more durable simply because the raw materials in this process can be a much higher molecular weight. In our lab testing we have demonstrated that the force required to move a weighted skate blade is as much as 40% less than with an extruded material. That directly translates into a superior glide.
When it comes to the size of the surface we generally tell people the larger the surface the more thought you should give to buying a premium material. With smaller surfaces (100-200 sf) you will never truly appreciate the better glide or speed because you will never get up to full stride. So we might recommend a mid range sinter pressed material or even our value priced extruded option.
The point here is that we will discuss your application and recommend the right product to reach your hockey training goals within your budget. If we do our job right then and only then can you intelligently compare one product to another.