The ability to play ice hockey at home is possible thanks to synthetic ice. If you are going to opt for a home rink, however, you should use the best synthetic ice that you can get.
Synthetic ice is a type of polymer material that usually connects together to create a rink.
Even though the ice is not real, you can still skate on it with your regular hockey skates. You do have to push a little harder to get it to work, but that will only increase your overall strength.
I have always thought the concept of synthetic ice was pretty cool and ever since I was a kid I have wanted a synthetic ice rink in my own back yard. I finally got to hop on some synthetic ice last week for the very first time and I have to say it was definitely a cool experience. it was a lot like real ice except you have to push harder.
This is great for training because it gets you a habit to naturally work harder in your strides and just skating overall. When I got back on real ice after the synthetic ice I instantly noticed I was striding harder than I usually did.
Best Synthetic Ice Review - HS Synthetic Ice Revolution Tiles
After doing a lot of research, we concluded that the best synthetic ice that you can get for your home is the HS Synthetic Ice Revolution Tiles.
The tile system is different than some other synthetic systems out there, but the way that it works is efficient and simple, but the results are high-level and impressive. You really cannot do better than the Ice Revolution if you want to have synthetic ice at home.
The HS Synthetic Ice Revolution Tiles are made out of VHMW-PE. This is a type of polymer plastic that will mimic the feeling of ice, allowing you to use your regular blades on it without causing any damage to the blades.
The material is durable enough to handle blades as well, so you will be able to practice as much as you would like to. The formula that the tiles have been made from is a new one and will give out the slickest and smoothest skating and puck handling experience possible.
Additionally, the tiles are UV protected and weather resistance. That means that you can install this outside as well as inside. The tiles will hold up against the color and heat alike, so they should not be damaged, regardless of the weather that you have put the tiles in.
Since the material is constructed with a lightweight and flexible design that will accommodate the type of ground that you would like to place the tiles onto. This means that if the ground or grass where you would like to set them up is uneven, the tiles should be able to adequately adapt to the uneven terrain and still give you a smooth area to skate on.
The dimension of each tile is 18” x 18” squares. They are sold as individual squares, so you will need to purchase the quantity that will cover your space. The tiles are 7/16” thick for regular tiles, but the premium tiles come in 7.5/16”.
The advantage to the premium tiles is that you will get 5-7 years out of them, whereas the regular tiles will last 3-5 years. Regardless, the tile size should allow you to completely customize your rink to suit your needs, which is exactly what you will be looking for in your home synthetic ice rink.
There are other types of synthetic ice that are better made for commercial use, so if you are thinking a huge space, you might want to get something better made for that. This size is more suitable to home setups.
The installation of these tiles is incredibly fast and easy. The tiles easily link together to cover the space. Connecting them should only take a few minutes. They are patented symmetrical tiles that are made to easily click together. They are also lightweight, so it will not take a lot of muscle to get these down and one person should be able to do it easily.
The price of the tiles depends on the space that you are covering. Since each tile is 18” x 18” and the tiles run around $16 a tile, you will need to do some calculation before knowing the amount of cost that you will really be out. For example, if your home rink is 20’ long and 10’ wide, you will need to purchase around 98 tiles to cover the area, which will add up to about $1563. Smaller rinks will cost less.
Premium tiles are $3 more a tile, but they do have better longevity. With the same dimensions described above, you would wind up spending around $1857 instead, but the price difference might be worth it to you to have a thicker kind of synthetic ice to work with and knowing you will not need to replace it as soon as you would have with the regular tiles.
Having the tiles in these smaller dimensions will not only make it easier to install, but they help keep the cost down. It is much less expensive to send smaller tiles than it would be to try to ship a giant rink. It will also make it faster to receive them, making this setup a great choice.
Since synthetic ice is essentially a type of plastic, you can expect some buildup on the ice over time. A general, everyday maintenance that you can do is sweep the ice with a broom. This can help remove any bits of the polymer that might have sloughed off.
To give it a more thorough clean, you can wash synthetic ice with a mop and a bucket, though some people will opt for a mechanical scrubber. This is durable, so it won’t scuff up from cleaning, but you do not want to leave any films on top of the surface what will be hard to get off.
Also, the HS Synthetic Ice Revolution Tiles are self-lubricating. This means that they do not need any kind of waxing or other add-ons that you might be tempted to try.
There are quite a lot of features that come with this synthetic ice. To begin with, you might be wondering how you will have space to install a hockey rink in your house. Most people will install their synthetic ice in their garages, which then causes a fear of where you will be able to park your car when you are using it instead for an ice rink.
Well, you will be happy to learn that the HS Synthetic Ice Revolution can support the weight of a car. So, when you are not using it to play on, you can park your car on top without having to uninstall or reinstall it.
One feature that might be frustrating or might make you happy is the coefficient level of friction. The friction level on this synthetic ice is 10-15 percent more than standard frozen ice.
This makes the ice really great for resistance training. Training this way will make you a stronger skater when you get back on the ice, but it also might be frustrating for players who are not looking for resistance training. Though really, it is good for all players, but goalies might have a tougher time, since it is not easy to slide on.
If you would like to enhance your experience, you can also get additional equipment to go along with the tiles, like the Puck Stopper Edging Containment System of the Smooth Edging that will help with puck loading. These are optional, however, and you will be able to still practice skills without buying any additional equipment.
It is also important to note that while the tiles can last anywhere from 3-7 years, depending on the type that you purchase, the tiles themselves have a 2 year warranty. So if they do wear down within 2 years, at least there is still a quality guarantee.
Finally, the best feature of this synthetic ice is that you can use it right away. There is no break-in or waiting period before you can get playing.
Factors To Consider Before Buying Synthetic Ice Tiles
What Size Should Your Rink Be
The first thing that you need to think about when it comes to deciding on a rink size is what you will be using the rink for. Is it for a child? Is it for playing with friends? Is it for goalie practice? There is a big difference in size between someone wanting a replica for a regular rink and someone who just wants to practice stickhandling.
Another consideration is your available space. Since you can get a custom fit for just about any space, the room that you are filling will be the biggest factor in deciding the right rink size.
The tile setup should work well for most home rinks. Beyond 3,000 square feet, a tile rink might be a little excessive, but with a tile setup, you can customize the rink to be perfect for your needs.
Your Skating Level & Hockey Skills
Another consideration that you need to take into account when buying synthetic ice is your skating level and the hockey skills that you are working on. This includes the frequency that you will be using it as well. You do not want to buy an expensive, thick synthetic ice rink and never use it.
Skaters who are more aggressive will want a thicker type of synthetic ice than someone who is just working on basic skills. If you have a small rink for working on stickhandling, you will not need a top of the line synthetic ice. Children also will not need the same level of durability that more elite players will need.
Consider what your expectations of the synthetic ice is and buy a type of synthetic ice that aligns better with your skill level as well as your individual needs as a player.
Synthetic Ice Quality & Maintenance
For good longevity of synthetic ice, you would be better off getting thicker ice. The thinner ice will naturally cost less, as there is less product involved, but if you are practicing regularly, you will wear down the polymer quicker than you would with a thicker kind of synthetic ice.
As synthetic ice is polymer, cleaning it is the best way to keep it maintained. It can be cleaned in the same manner that you would a floor, meaning you can sweep it and mop it as needed. Some players use a mechanical floor cleaner to help scrub the floor.
The most effective, but not most efficient, means of cleaning your synthetic ice is to use a pressure washing. Pressure washers will blow all of the dirt out of the synthetic tiles. Be careful with any cleaners as they might leave a film, so stick with warm water.
The final consideration that you will need to make is what your budget is. You can spend a lot of money when it comes to buying a synthetic ice rink. The tile cost is usually calculated by the amount of tiles that it will require to fill the space.
To save yourself some money you should only get the tiles that will fit your space. If you do not need a lot of room to skate, do not pay for a lot of room to skate. Only a few square feet can make a huge different in price.
For example, if you are getting tiles for a 20’ x 40’ space, you can expect to pay around $6,000 for your rink. But, if you really only need a 20’ x 20’ space, you will only have to pay $3100. Take your measurements carefully and do not buy any more tiles than you need to.
If synthetic ice is a new concept to you, it is important to know that it is a little bit different than regular ice.
Of course, the maintenance of it is far simpler than it is when it comes to regular ice. The installation is far easier and it is overall cheaper. You can also put synthetic ice just about anywhere that you would like to.
Getting the best synthetic ice is an excellent way to be able to practice your hockey skills at home. It can be affordable, flexible, and give you a lot of opportunity to master stickhandling and is great for all players.
I am not going to say it had me skating at a pro level but it did up my game tremendously and helped me out skate most players on the ice. We all know as hockey players we can be a little lazy in our strides and I know I can say this for myself.
So I think that's really the main purpose of synthetic ice and I don't even think the makers intended on that. Besides the training aspects of synthetic ice, it's just really fun to play on and the fact that you can set one of these anywhere is awesome in my opinion. playing with a few friends on the ice was very fun and exciting. The feel was like we were on real ice but it was seventy degrees outside!
The only downside to artificial ice is that it wears down your blades fast, there's sheds of plastic you have to keep swept off the surface, and the price. But with those downsides I still believe it's very well worth the money and is just a good investment if you're really serious about hockey.