Synthetic ice has been around for a while but has recently become more popular. Synthetic ice is also known as “artificial ice” or “faux ice.” The synthetic skating surface is made of an acrylic material that contains no water and can be installed indoors or outdoors on any level surface.
In this blog post, we’ll explore synthetic ice skating and the pros and cons of synthetic ice panels to better understand how it can or cannot be beneficial.
What is synthetic ice skating?
In its most basic form, synthetic ice is a sheet of clear material that contains no water and can be installed on any level surface. The surface provides a smooth glide for skaters when they want to practise without being able to get on the ice.
When installed outside, synthetic ice can provide a skating experience in nearly any weather since the material won’t freeze, melt or evaporate.
The surface of synthetic ice is made up of a thick sheet of acrylic that contains urethane and pigments to add color (and add cost). In addition, the material can be installed in different thicknesses depending on the level of cushioning desired.
Although synthetic ice can last for years when used outdoors, you may want to buy some extra sheets since they are prone to damage from sharp objects like skate blades.
Some manufacturers also recommend using two thin layers instead of one thick layer if you plan on installing it indoors so that the floor underneath doesn’t show through.
Pros of Synthetic Ice Rinks
It can be installed anywhere
The biggest benefit of having this type of artificial synthetic ice surface is that it can be installed anywhere you like – inside or outdoors, on a driveway or in the garden. This way, you don’t have to wait for winter if you want to go skating.
Allows recreation in any weather
The biggest benefit of having this type of artificial surface is that you can skate all year long. Perfect for off-season training. No matter what the weather outside is like, you can enjoy yourself indoors on your own private ice rinks. You don’t even have to wait for winter anymore for real ice!
Cons of Synthetic Ice Rinks
Does not provide the same experience as real ice
There are some downsides to having a synthetic ice rink surface since it won’t give you the same edge or glide factor as real ice skating. It’s also harder on the knees while practicing jumps because there isn’t the resistance that real ice provides. This means more wear on your body over time which could lead to injuries.
Difficult to perform certain tricks
If you are into skating or any other sport that requires spins, jumps, or other tricks, you will find it harder to do them with synthetic ice. This is because there isn’t enough resistance for performance spinners and jumpers. This can be solved by using special boots with built-in blades so you can get more traction on the surface.
It is expensive
Setting up your own synthetic ice rink or training area will be a big investment. If you don’t have the available funds right now, a good midway option would be to consider buying a shooting pad. It won#’t be as useful for all around training, but can certainly help you with many drills.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Does synthetic ice ruin blades?
Since synthetic ice has a different composition than natural ice, it can be harder on ice skates. Especially low-quality synthetic ice. The friction it can cause will mean that blades will wear out faster, which is the number one complaint about this surface. However, you can mitigate this by using special skate blades with better traction or sneakers with built-in blades while practicing on your ice rink.
Is synthetic ice hard to skate on?
It’s definitely different. It takes about an hour to adjust to the ice surfaces and learn to do tricks properly. However, once you get used to it, there are many benefits, like skating all year round or having a rink indoors if you prefer practicing your skills indoors for whatever reason.
How long does synthetic ice last?
While it depends on how often you use it and what type of surfaces you install (thinner layers will not last as long), synthetic ice is typically good for years when used properly. It can be installed outdoors or indoors, but if you place it in a garage, you may want to buy an extra sheet since the material is prone to damage from sharp objects like a skate blade.
Is synthetic ice slippery?
Since the surface is much harder than real ice, it’s not as slippery. However, you can still hurt yourself if you don’t wear proper safety equipment or practice on your ice rinks regularly to get used to the surface.
Is synthetic ice expensive?
The initial installation price is high, but the material is more durable, and you won’t have to worry about it melting. This means that you may save some money in the long run since you won’t need to repair or replace your rink as often.
Can goalies practice on the synthetic ice rinks?
Yes, but hockey players may find it harder to do certain things like stopping pucks or doing drills. Some people recommend using sneakers with built-in blades, rather than goalie skates, so you can get a better grip on the surfaces.
Can you leave synthetic ice outside?
Yes, but you need to make sure it is covered with a tarp when not in use. Since the material is not as strong or flexible as natural ice, it can crack under extreme weather conditions like rain or snow. If you want to keep your ice rink outdoors all year round, then you may want to consider installing an extra layer of Synthetic Ice Plus, which is stronger and more resistant to damage.
Is synthetic ice safe?
It’s safer than real ice since there are no actual blades involved in skating on this surface. You don’t have to worry about someone falling through the ice surface either because it will always be solid underneath, so there is never any risk for injuries like cuts or broken bones if someone falls through the skateable layer into
Can skaters perform tricks on synthetic ice?
Yes, but it will be harder than practicing on real ice. For example, you may need special boots or sneakers to get better traction and performance. Also, you may need to adjust your tricks depending on the surface since it’s harder than real ice.
Pros and cons of synthetic ice – final thoughts
While there are many benefits to synthetic ice, such as never having to worry about it melting or disrupting your routine, there are also some drawbacks that you should consider before installing a rink in your home.
While the installation price is high, this type of surface can be used for years and will always remain safe for use by athletes and family members alike. In addition, the durability and strength of the material ensure that you will always be able to practice at home, even when you want to do tricks or go outside for fun.
We hope that this article gave you a better idea of synthetic ice. What has been your experience with synthetic ice rink? Can you share anything else about this surface? Do let us know in the comments below.