Are you looking for a way to practice hockey skills at home? the best synthetic ice for hockey training will provide a realistic feel for puck control and passing while withstanding the weight of a real ice hockey player.
With a great home ice rink, you can improve your game by practicing whenever and wherever you want. You can also use these tiles in multiple ways, such as shooting drills, stick handling drills, etc. without having access to an actual rink or being forced outside during cold weather months.
Whether you have kids who play hockey or just love playing yourself – join us as we take a look at some of the best options to help you make an informed decision about what is right for your home.
Note: This post is about synthetic ice tiles you can skate on, not the smaller sliding or shooting pads.
*The product links in this post are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase after following one, I make a small commission from the sale at no additional cost to yourself. Please see our disclosure page for more information.
Key points to consider before buying synthetic ice
Resistance – the degree of friction between the skate or puck and the surface. This is important for shooting drills where you need some grip, but it’s not exactly realistic since outdoor rinks have very little resistance on an icy surface. But, again, you don’t want your players to spend more time chasing the puck than shooting it.
Infused or non-infused – whether your synthetic ice surface is self-lubricating or requires the addition of a glide enhancer spray to reduce the surface friction.
Realistic feel – providing some resistance just like real ice will help players develop good habits sooner rather than later to transfer what they do at hockey practice to actual games faster.
Thickness – generally, the thicker the pads, the more realistic they feel.
Cost – you don’t want to spend a fortune on it since rinks can get pretty expensive. However, you still want a high-quality rink that will last longer and provide good training value.
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Best value – build your synthetic ice rink.
The best value choice for a home ice rink is to buy synthetic ice panels and build-your-own. The reason for this is simple: it’s cheaper, and you can get the size that suits your needs. However, the downside is that it takes a lot of time to set up and you will need to know what you’re doing.
Also, if there are any issues, it’s all on you. If you have a professional install a rink, It will come with warranties etc, so if anything goes wrong, you have someone to call.
But if you do decide to undertake your own project, there are some great synthetic ice panels available.
1. Snipers Edge Hockey Skateable Synthetic Ice Hockey Tiles
Snipers Edge Hockey Skateable Synthetic Ice Tiles are the perfect way to practice hockey in an area without much space. The tiles can be used on any flat surface, including pavement, garage, basement, driveways, concrete, asphalt, and more.
The synthetic ice sheets provide a realistic feel for puck control and passing while withstanding the weight of a real ice hockey player. These tiles are designed to allow you to ice skate with or against traffic, depending on your preference. You can also use these tiles in multiple ways, such as shooting drills, stick handling drills, etc.
These tiles are compatible with dry land for shooting and stickhandling. Just put these tiles around your area where you are practicing to have full control of the puck.
- Affordable pricing
- High-quality material
- Easy to set up and remove
- Easy to add tiles later on
- 5-year warranty
- Tiles might not look perfect when put together (use extra adhesive to make it fit better)
- DURABLE & RELIABLE - Snipers Edge ice hockey tiles are trusted by athletes of all ages. Designed to take on the toughest challenge, our synthetic ice is reliable and built to last. You can even leave...
2. Skate Anytime – Synthetic Ice for Hockey Training
Skate Anytime synthetic ice tiles for hockey training were designed to provide a realistic rink-like feel. The material provides just the right amount of resistance when moving the puck and ice skating at different speeds, resulting in better stickhandling and better shooting accuracy for outdoor or indoor use.
There is no need for water or electricity so that you can use these tiles anywhere, including your driveway. In addition, there are several benefits to using this type of surface, such as injury prevention since bumpers surround the tile to protect from collisions, being able to maintain your blades during a tough winter season in harsh weather conditions, and a smooth transition from a regular asphalt driveway due to its non-slip grip that allows you to practice outdoors with confidence even when it rains.
It is easily expandable as you can add as many tiles as you wish to create your custom rink. There are various sizes of tiles starting from 25 square feet to up to 400 square feet which you can get by your requirements.
- Affordable pricing
- Best for kids
- More realistic feel
- Perfect size to fit in tight spaces such as a garage or driveway
- Nonstick material that will not scratch blades when practicing
- 5-year warranty for durability
- One-sided only
- 🏒 QUICKLY & EASILY GET UNLIMITED ICE TIME, PUCK TOUCHES, HOCKEY STOPS, INSIDE & OUTSIDE EDGE WORK, ANYWHERE: The only way to dominate on the ice, get game time and win 1 on 1 battles is by getting...
3. Skate Anytime – Goalie Value Package
The Skate Anytime – Goalie Value Package is perfect for goalies. This value package is also great if you are looking to work on your game with your team because it comes with all of the necessary equipment needed. This will save you time and money when practicing with teammates.
The Skate Anytime Goalie Value Package is a complete interlocking flooring system for any roller or ice hockey rink. The package includes the Khombu Roller Floor, Khombu Crossover Blades, and the Khombu Under-Laminate.
The Skate Anytime Roller Floor is a lightweight, seamless interlocking tile that allows fast installation time and provides a rigid sub-surface under your existing floor covering.
- Affordable pricing
- Choice of either receiving an adhesive clamp or bumper system
- Goalie specific set up for better training experience
- Various sizes available to fit your specific space needs
- 5-year warranty for durability
- One-sided only
- QUICKLY & EASILY GET UNLIMITED ICE TIME, PUCK TOUCHES, HOCKEY STOPS, INSIDE & OUTSIDE EDGE WORK, ANYWHERE: The only way to dominate on the ice, get game time and win 1 on 1 battles is by getting ice...
The Easy Option – Hire a company
If you want the best results, we recommend hiring a company to help build your synthetic ice project. The biggest reason for this is because installing these tiles can be difficult, especially if you’re not used to doing projects like this or don’t know what you are doing. Also, if it isn’t installed correctly, your tiles may come up and could cause injury. So hiring someone who knows what they are doing might be best if you don’t want to mess anything up!
The main thing about the best synthetic ice surfaces is getting the right material to allow skaters enough control of their pucks or hockey sticks. In addition, you want to purchase the right type of ice so that players cannot just skate at full speed and expect to turn instantly without sliding all over the rink, leading to injuries.
The best artificial ice mimics real ice as much as possible, but this can be difficult to create. There are different types of synthetics out there that offer a variety of features and benefits.
The biggest factor to consider when buying fake ice for hockey training is the price. The materials used to make these tiles come at all different prices, so you want to find the ones that are not only affordable but still provide you with all the benefits you would expect from a rink-like feel.
When choosing between two products, it may be easier to compare their pros and cons to determine which will work better for your specific needs.
The Kwikrink Hockey Training Tile is the perfect product for working on their skills or even beginners. They make a great flooring system for your basement, garage, or rink to allow players to bring their game outside when it is too cold to skate outside.
Kwikrink helps you make the custom synthetic ice rink that you want. You can lay down the tiles in any formation or size to create your rink, which means you do not have to be a customer with pre-made designs. Instead, you can make changes based on your needs and the area you are in.
KwikRink Hockey Training Tiles are designed exactly like regular ice rinks, but in much smaller pieces that can be installed in any area, you want into an interlocking design, making it easy to remove and replace tiles if needed. The best part about these tiles is that they will give players the feeling of ice skating on real ice time while still giving them enough grip, so you don’t slide all over the place when trying to control the puck.
SmartRink are another industry leader and offers a wide variety of products to suit every home hockey player, from recreational players who need something for their basement to tournament-level players who want the best surface possible.
Their Home Hockey rinks come in a wide variety of sizes and configurations to fit your unique space and needs. One size does not fit all, but I’ve never seen any company take the approach that SmartRink does, offering an incredible selection of unique sizes and shapes.
I also love the fact the SmartRink offers a HOME TRIAL program for their synthetic ice. You are about to drop a lot of money on a product, it’s great they offer a risk-free, peace of mind approach.
With their setup proven to be some of the best synthetic ice available that is up to 40% faster speed than other brands, it’s easy to see why so many hockey parents have already discovered their “secret weapon” in being the best they can be.
Buyer’s guide for synthetic ice for hockey training
If you are shopping for the best synthetic ice for hockey, there are a few things to consider before purchasing. The most important thing is the ability to determine what type of product will fit your needs because you don’t want to buy something that will not work for your situation. Also, you must have an idea of what types of skates are available to be sure they are compatible with the surface area.
Here is the best information you can use if you are shopping for synthetic ice.
Infused vs non infused synthetic ice
Infused synthetic ice are self lubricating panels and a great option for those who want to avoid the additional cost and hassle of adding surface glide enhancers. These surfaces have less friction, making them easier on skate blades in comparison with traditional acrylics which require extra care when maintaining their shine over time.
Non-infused surfaces do require a glide enhancer spray to reduce the surface friction. Though spraying has been looked upon as a downside with regards to rink maintenance, It tends to be an excellent option for busier areas or shooting galleries.
Whichever you choose in the end, both types will require maintenance and cleaning to be kept in optimal condition for as long as possible.
Size of the Product
I guess the best answer for this is how much space do you have? If you are thinking of putting it in a basement or garage, just make it as big as the space you can afford to use.
Aside from available space, it is also worth considering what you need to get out of it. A smaller synthetic ice rink set up, around 4 x 3 meters (12×9.5 ft), can be great for stickhandling drills and shooting practice, but not so much for working on skating skills. But if you want a rink for getting better at skating and passing, try to go to one of the medium-sized ones, like 6×3 meters (19×16 feet).
Types of Skates
Another thing to consider when choosing skates is whether or not you want to choose special ones for synthetic ice. These products will usually provide the best grip and glide on your rink, which will make it easier for beginners because they won’t slip over as much.
They typically cost more than regular hockey skates, but the workout features could give them enough advantage in-game situations to be worth buying. Of course, if you already own a pair of figure skates, then you don’t need to worry about this because they should work just fine with any surface.
There are many different types of synthetic ice available for purchase, but the ones that work best with off-ice hockey training usually have a lower friction rating. The reason hockey players need less grip is that they do not want to get stuck in the ice while trying to make a quick stop or turn quickly.
Instead, they want to glide as effortlessly as possible so they can build muscle memory for how it feels to skate on natural ice.
Last but not least, you should consider the price of synthetic ice products because they can range from very affordable up to the thousands. If you have your heart set on a one-sided system, then you may need to spend more money than if you were okay with two or three sides.
Just be aware that some brands charge extra for certain accessories like posts and walls, which could make the final product more expensive than your budget allows.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Can you play hockey on synthetic ice?
Yes, you can play hockey on any synthetic ice surface. Since the surfaces mimic natural ice, it will give players a much better workout than skating on traditional roller blades or skates.
Which synthetic ice is the best?
There is no “best” synthetic ice because they all have different features and prices. Instead, it would be best to focus on which one meets your personal needs, such as how often you plan on skating the ice rink and whether or not you want a product that also comes with hockey player training equipment.
Is synthetic ice hard to install?
It depends on the product you buy. Some are designed to be easily assembled by just placing them down, while others may require more work, like anchoring the tiles into the ground with stakes.
How realistic is the synthetic ice to skate on? How does it compare to real ice?
Synthetic ice is very similar to real ice. They are both designed to give players a real workout without the need for an actual frozen surface outside. The biggest difference in products will be in the price and features, such as if it comes with hockey training equipment or has an anti-slip coating on top of it.
What is it like to stickhandle on synthetic ice?
It is very similar to real ice because of the texture on top. You can easily grip and feel where your stick is as you work on drills that will help with accuracy and speed.
How hard is synthetic ice to maintain?
It is very easy to maintain synthetic ice because it never melts, cracks, or fades as real ice would. All synthetic ice surfaces infused or non-infused must be kept clean to obtain optimal performance and glide. Non-Infused rinks will require a light application of glide enhancer spray before you can start skating on them, while Infused ones need only occasional cleaning with the concentrated cleaner mentioned in step one; if dirt starts building up then just use water instead for a quick wipe down every so often.
Choosing the best synthetic ice product for hockey training can be difficult because of the wide variety of choices available on the market that vary in design and price. However, remember to consider your needs as a player before making any purchases so you won’t end up spending too much money on something you don’t need.
Do you have any of your own needs or experience with synthetic ice that you want to share? Then, do let us know in the comments below.