Enduring Skating on Synthetic Ice: What You Need to Know

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By Cory Bradford

Playing ice hockey has always been a reserve for countries with icy temperatures—those that abound with natural ice rinks. Thanks to the discovery of synthetic ice rinks, you don’t have to fly to Alaska to train yourself how to skate anymore, you can do that right at the comfort of your home, all year long.

Synthetic ice rinks act as a replacement to real or natural ice rinks. With a plastic rink at your backyard, you can play on varied facets of hockey while putting on your skates. It is one of the best methods used by ice hockey players worldwide to train and prepare for upcoming hockey tournaments on real ice. Some install synthetic ice rinks within their homes or commercial spaces for the purposes of recreation.

We have put together some sort of a guide to help steer things in the right direction as far as hockey endurance training on ice is concerned.

Here’s what you need to know before purchasing a synthetic ice rink.

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It Requires More Effort Than Real Ice

Skating on low-quality synthetic ice can become less enjoyable because of difficulty in gliding. Low-quality ice causes a lot of friction. If you have skated on ice before, you know that any slight friction is every skater’s worst enemy. It not only leads to dull skates but also disrupts the skater’s flow.

To overcome these friction challenges, skaters must use indispensable energy making the whole skating experience quite undesirable. Fortunately, good quality ice rinks made from premium materials has no friction and hence requires less effort to train.

Skate Blades Need Frequent Re-Shaping

Skating on dull blades is perhaps the worst thing any skater can do to themselves. You’ll barely glide by let alone throw your hockey stick around. Friction will hold you back throughout the game. To avoid this, you will have to re-shape your skates or purchase high-quality synthetic ice with an advance glide technology. One that will enhance the glide factor and help you have a better grip so that you can explore your maximum skating potential.

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Cheap Is Expensive

Plastic ice shrinks come in all price points. It can be tempting to get something basic because of its appealing price. According to hockey synthetic ice KwikRink, you’d rather burn a hole in your pocket and get yourself premium quality ice rink. Apart from friction challenges mentioned above, a low-quality ice rink most often than not changes its color over time when exposed to rain, snow, and sun. Additionally, its chemical stability will also be compromised greatly.

A good ice rink has a UV protection and is made from materials that ensure it has endurance and doesn’t fade over time. Spend more and get a long-lasting solution that makes your endurance training much more enjoyable.

Incorrect Interlocking Causes Uneven Surface

Synthetic ice rinks often use either dovetail or puzzle horizontal interlocking system. Due to the horizontal ice panels, the rinks can develop a challenge of the creation of vertical shifts with the end result being uneven ice panels. This scenario makes for long puzzle connections that allow water and dirt which end up making the ice surface uneven or worse causing panel shifting.

The solution to this is employing tongue and roof interlocking system rather than panel and dovetail systems. With this system, the ice panels are interlocked both vertically and horizontally which renders them immune to panel shifting and in the end promoting a seamless surface, much like real ice.

They Don’t Work Well On Inclines

If you want to enjoy a high-performance on your hockey synthetic ice KwikRink, watch out for any incline. Unlike real ice where ascends and descends enhance the ice hockey game further, inclines only make things worse when it comes to endurance training on synthetic ice. You won’t be able to control the motion of anything put on the rink; not your ball, mat, hockey stick, or even you. This phenomenon can be quite annoying.

The Glide Effect Can’t Compare With Real Ice

Frankly speaking, if you are looking for a skating experience like real ice, you may fall short with synthetic ice. Depending on the quality of the rink, you will probably have a glide effect that can come close to real ice but even then, you will have to make a few compromises.

Obviously, low-quality rinks will do very little justice to your endurance and skating skills. Premium quality is no luxury in synthetic rinks. In fact, some NHL athletes and other professional figure skaters employ premium products for their endurance training.

What can you do when real ice is miles away and the passion for ice hockey burns within them?

The best bet is to get a synthetic ice rink. It may not compare with real ice but you can certainly use it to enhance your endurance training as you wait to play on natural ice. Just be sure to insist on quality no matter the price otherwise you might live to regret your decision forever.

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