So what’s it like skating on a synthetic ice rink?
Potential buyers can be reluctant to seriously consider a synthetic ice rink because they really just don’t understand the product. Maybe they had a negative experience where there kid fell flat on his face the first time they tried out a synthetic ice rink. Or maybe it was grossly oversold by a company who really didn’t understand it themselves and created super unrealistic expectations. perhaps they “heard” from a hockey coach who tried it once and hated it because he couldn’t skate backwards on it. At SmartRink we have heard all of these reasons and many, many more.
Just how realistic is it?
Some companies suggest that their brand of synthetic ice is just like ice, or 97% the same as real ice or some ridiculous claim or another. So here’s the real scoop. In tests that we have done with our product verses real ice we have found that with a single “T-push” from a dead stop that we can travel around 35 to 40 feet on a SmartRink synthetic ice rink. So is that good? Well maybe that’s a matter of opinion. When we compare that real ice and using the same skater doing a similar “T-push” then they can take that distance up to 60 feet. The other test we have on the SmartRink synthetic ice rink is we have done a speed test where a skater goes from a dead stop and is timed over a fifty foot distance. The same test was then completed over multiple trials on real ice. The average times between our synthetic ice rink and the real ice were virtually identical. So what does that really tell us? From a practical point of view it would suggest that as long as you are working on synthetic (moving your feet) then you will move. When you stop moving your feet you will stop more quickly than on real ice.
Synthetic ice coefficient of friction is a poor indicator of performance for skating
Some synthetic ice rink sellers use the coefficient of friction (COF) to suggest that their synthetic ice rink material is very similar to that of real ice. This is irresponsible, and frankly misleading marketing in our opinion. Synthetic ice material is often rated at a 97% or 98% COF. This should not be ever mistaken to mean that a synthetic ice rink will perform at 97% or 98% as well as real ice. COF is a standard test with most sheet manufacturers where a polished steel disc is pulled along the material and the resistance is measured. This is a far cry from a sharp steel skate blade under significant weight.
So what can I expect with my synthetic ice rink?
What you can expect with products that have higher molecular weight material with a good glide enhancer is a favorable skating experience. You won’t be able to glide as far but you should be able to skate as fast as long as your feet are moving. You can stop, turn, pivot, skate forward, backward, jump, spin, use pucks, shoot and pretty well anything else that you would normally do on real ice.
How can you really be sure that your synthetic ice rink will be good?
Can you ever really know if anything you buy will be as good as advertised? Well think about it. When you buy a house you walk through it and you inspect it. When you buy a car you test drive it. Well at SmartRink we also believe in trying your synthetic ice rink before you have to buy it. So we pioneered the Free Trial of our synthetic ice rink products. You simply go to www.smartrink.com and fill out our Free Synthetic Ice Rink Trial program form and we will do the rest. Doing business should be easy and worry free and with SmartRink is it. So if you are thinking about buying a synthetic ice rink then consider SmartRink.