Choose the right synthetic ice product for your application
We have written numerous articles about the importance of synthetic ice product selection for your application. There is a very good reason why! Not all products are very well suited to all applications. This synthetic ice review demonstrates the importance of selecting the right synthetic ice connection system for the job.
Just recently we faced a situation with a customer looking for a backyard synthetic ice rink with goal creases and some hockey line markings. We proposed our solution but unfortunately we lost out on the pricing. The red flag to the client should have been when the competitor priced their solution at more than 30% lower than our own. That’s a significant drop in price. I did suggest to the client that they at least negotiate a 30 day money back guarantee from the supplier as I was suspicious about the quality, especially when the price was cut so drastically.
On the surface the product looked like it was going to be really good but the reality is that the product failed miserably.
The family was completely dismayed and frustrated, especially after spending a great deal of money! At this point they called us back and asked us for suggestions that might help them out, even though it wasn’t our product. We did make some suggestions about the sub surface which was a newly poured concrete pad. But once they showed us the installation photos of the problem there was really nothing that could be done. They managed to convince the supplier to take it back and to their credit they did take it back, although it was not an easy process in terms of removal, packing and shipping.
The main trouble with this particular synthetic ice rink system was wherever the synthetic ice or goal creases or lines joined the standard synthetic ice panels there was a problem with the fit of the connection. The alignment was so bad that a puck could not slide over those areas, it would stop dead. Then when the temperature changed it became even worse as the product expanded or contracted as the temperature affected it. This would be especially concerning come winter time when there was rain turning to ice and snow. Rain would have built up under the panels then froze, and popped all the connection joints making the rink completely useless – not to mention unsafe for skating.
It’s an unfortunate lesson this family had to go through. Their new synthetic ice rink should have been an exciting experience and instead was frustrating and time consuming.
Inexpensive synthetic ice systems often mean shortcuts
We have always maintained that the only true way to make a strong, safe, and long term connection for hockey lines is to use the H-lock spline system between hockey lines and the synthetic ice panels. It takes a little more time to install and its generally more expensive however the result is undeniable. You will end up with a tight, secure joint that has no movement either horizontally or vertically. This is even more important where the seasonal temperatures can range from freezing to hot. Inexpensive synthetic ice systems generally mean shortcuts somewhere.
This client now understands only too well how frustrating that can be. Do your research, understand your application, and ask the suppliers all the tough questions. Synthetic ice systems are not created equally.