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SmartRink Synthetic Ice recently installed the new Millenium Square Synthetic Ice Rink in Pickering Ontario. A lot of people have asked me why would a place like Pickering Ontario need synthetic ice? That’s a great question. The fact is when we installed the surface it was a balmy minus 21 that day! But the reality is that in another week it could be plus 10 and real ice just won’t hang around long in that kind of weather. So for a community synthetic ice rink like this one, it provides a very predictable skating surface day in and day out.
The week after we installed the surface they had a major ice and wind storm which frankly is not great skating weather on any kind of rink. Cleaning the synthetic ice surface, just like real ice, would have to be maintained on a regular basis. But once the weather calms down a bit it will be skating as usual on this heavy duty synthetic surface.
The Millenium Square synthetic ice surface will be open daily from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm. Sharp skates are recommended. Go check it out. Have fun, bring a friend or your family.
What an amazing synthetic hockey rink project this was. We converted a backyard asphalt tennis court into one of the nicest looking synthetic ice rinks in the world. This rink was completely tricked out with blue lines, centre red line, faceoff dots, goal creases and goalines. This family is not only hockey crazy but they also play lacrosse – so at their request we added an additional crease outside the hockey goal crease for lacrosse. This was a first in the world that we are aware of.
This project used our SmartRink Profast1500, the same one that we used in Gladstone, MO, and Tenjin Hikari Square, Japan. This “hybrid” connection system uses a very unique perimeter male and female continuous ridge that is extremely tight fitting. As a result it requires a fair degree of “persuasion” to assemble. We accomplished the task using 3 pound hammers and some solid plastic blocks placed over the joint.
These panels are called “hybrid” though because we can use the above mentioned connection systems as well as the H-Tongue connection system for the areas with solid line markings. This means SmartRink synthetic ice line markings are positively and solidly connected to the panels on either side of the lines – a massive advantage over our competitors who prefer to “loose lay” their lines inside surounding panels.
This rink measured 115ft x 51ft and the almost 6,000 square feet took our crew of 4 the better part of 1.5 days to lay down. There was a lot of downtime from crew having to cart panels into the work space as there was fencing around the entire perimeter.
Then the molded board system was installed over the synthetic ice. There is always the issue of expansion and contraction of the synthetic ice so we had to calculate seasonal temperature variations and determine exactly how the boards should be positioned. We were able to utilize the existing fence posts from the tennis court to secure half of the boards and then we used a new asphalt anchoring system for the other half. The anchors holes were drilled with a hammer drill and then filled with a quick drying mortar before the anchors were inserted. The anchors had a threaded sleeve for the 4 inch hex bolts and they worked like a charm.
The boards and netting took another day and a half but well within four days the rink was completed and ready for the first skate. This video shows the first game played on the surface. Since this was fall and breezy there was some debris on the surface from the overhead trees but otherwise the synthetic ice surface was a huge hit!
Learn how to invest in your own backyard synthetic ice rink!
I’ve heard it all when it comes to skating on synthetic ice. I’ve heard that you can’t move, or turn or stop or pivot. Recently one goalie coach who trained players on synthetic ice insisted that you could not skate backwards on it. Wow was he ever surprised when he tested our product and saw how easy it was to move backwards and pivot and transition.
This is just another example of the mis-information that is out there about synthetic ice material. That is not to say there is not poor products being sold out there, there certainly is! And maybe that is a large part of the problem. Maybe that is why the industry still feels like it’s mired back in 1980 when there was nothing but poor products. That is why SmartRink is so dedicated to educating potential buyers about the differences in synthetic ice skating material. That is why we can safely and confidently say that skating on synthetic ice is easy.
So how can a buyer try to distinguish between a good quality product, a poor quality product, and an exceptional quality product. It starts with the raw material and how that rw materal is manufactured into a synthetic ice sheet.
SmartRink products are sinter pressed sheets. Sintering the sheet makes all the difference. Recently in a head to head trial of our product verses a leading brand of extruded product the overwhelming consensus of the comparison for skating performance was that our product delivered a superior skate. The glide was superior and more realistic. To be fair some skaters preferred the stopping action of the extruded sheet material, probably because the resistance of the product was greater than ours – but that is just speculation. One very noticeable difference was the amount of material residue that was displaced from skating on our competitors panels. It was incredible actually to see the difference first hand. Stopping on their product produced a handful of white dusty powdery residue, whereas stopping on the SmartRink material resulted in producing only a fingertip worth of fibre like material, you could hardly even see it.
So in a nutshell why is our product easier to skate on? Our panels are SINTER pressed. This is a process of applying great pressure under both high temperature and lower temperature conditions. This not only deivers better skating performance but allows us to offer a product that is incredibly abrasion resistant – meaning it will last much longer than an extruded material.
At SmartRink we say that skating on synthetic ice is easy. Really we should be saying that skating on SmartRink synthetic ice is easy!