Synthetic ice rinks have become more and more popular over the past few decades. This has been partly due to the high maintenance cost and the environmental implications of the natural ice rinks. Additionally, the increasing winter sports awareness has made people to become more interested in some of the common winter sports like ice hockey and skating.
However, like any other sport out there, these winter sports come with a few challenges. One of the big challenges among ice hockey players, for instance, is a training platform. Most players cannot afford or access ice time and therefore lack the opportunity to work on the vital skills that they would need on real ice.
Nonetheless, synthetic ice affords players a good opportunity to practice skating, stick-handling and shooting on a surface that mimics a real ice rink. So, grab a hockey stick after you see the full list of the best ones, get some skates, a puck, and see why you should consider synthetic ice for hockey training.
1. Requires More Effort Which Translates To More Power On Real Ice
Although synthetic ice closely mimics real ice in a number of ways, it is not very smooth. Accordingly, there will be more resistance or friction against the skate blades. Consequently, skaters are forced to work harder than when skating on real ice, which translates to more power and easier skating experience on the real ice.
2. Rinks Are Easy To Maintain
Keeping a real ice rink going is often a costly affair. However, synthetic ice rinks come with less maintenance headaches as they don’t need you to maintain temperature and humidity. You also don’t need to invest in a compressor. Synthetic ice can, thus, be installed in a wide range of indoor and outdoor settings including garages, basements, or warehouses.
3. Variety Of Options
Synthetic ice comes in a wide range of sizes and configurations. Depending on your budget, space, and personal preferences, you can opt for a big or small rink as well as blue or chocolate rink. Synthetic ice also come in different thicknesses to fit various categories of users in terms of pricing options available, space, and other factors. Rink panels are also very straightforward to install and come in varying dimensions that can fit any practice area.
4. Can Be Used Anywhere
Synthetic ice provides ice-like training in areas or countries where it is possible to acquire ice time. Yes, there are seasons when accessing ice is going to limited or more costly, especially in warm weather climatic conditions. What can you do in such circumstances and you need to train? Well, the most practical option automatically becomes synthetic ice. You can set it anywhere and continue with your training normally.
If anything, the idea of synthetic ice for playing hockey is not only to lower the maintenance costs and environmental implications but also to make this great winter sport available for everyone. Ice hockey is not only a competition event but also a great platform for individuals of different social and economic backgrounds to come together, interact freely, and create a common base that makes a big difference in the community.
5. Quality Synthetic Ice Won’t Damage Your Skates
In the past few years, one of the biggest concerns about training for hockey on synthetic ice was skate blade damage. Players were concerned that the excess resistance or friction that’s associated with synthetic ice caused a lot of damage to their skate blades. Today, however, this is not the case. There has been a lot of improvement in the types of materials used in the manufacture of synthetic ice, making the surface smoother, easier to maintain, and reduce the wear on blades. With older technologies, wax or liquid had to be applied between training or playing seasons to reduce the friction between the surfaces and the skate blades. On the other hand, newer technologies integrate self-lubricating agents during the manufacturing process, which eliminates the need for a lot of maintenance after use.
6. Environmental Friendly
Real ice rinks require a lot of water and electricity to maintain and preserve. This often comes with a lot of costs. Besides the costs, there is a huge impact on the environment. A lot of water has to be pumped and power has to be produced to refrigerate the water to create a new layer of ice after a few hours of use for the sake of producing a smooth ice sheet. Synthetic ice rinks not only eliminates water and power costs, but are also made of recyclable materials that are designed to be eco-friendly.
7. Easy To Install
Synthetic ice rinks are very easy to install because they come in ice pallets that you can interlock to form a smooth surface. As aforementioned, panels also come in different dimensions to suit your tastes and preferences.
The above highlighted benefits are just a tip of the iceberg when it comes to reasons why hockey training on synthetic ice makes sense. However, they are some of the basic fundamentals that should convince aspiring ice hockey players to try synthetic ice for training purposes. Even if you cannot afford to install a rink in your backyard, synthetic ice rental companies provide a wide range of affordable rink rental options that you can always opt for.