Ice skating is a popular winter pastime, but not everyone has access to an outdoor rink.
Even if you do have access to a rink, the weather might not cooperate or there might be long lines.
Todd Vogel will show you some tips for skating on synthetic ice. You will know what to prepare and the challenges of skating on synthetic ice.
Is skating on synthetic ice different from on real ice?
Yes, skating on synthetic ice is different from skating on real ice. The main difference is the friction coefficient between the blade and the surface. On real ice, the friction coefficient is very low, which makes for a very slippery surface. Synthetic ice has a higher friction coefficient, which makes it more like real ice in terms of its feel.
Another difference is that synthetic ice is not as cold as real ice. This can be a good or a bad thing, depending on your preference. Some people find that skating on synthetic ice is more comfortable because they don’t have to deal with the cold temperatures. Others find that skating on real ice is more exhilarating because of the colder temperatures.
Does synthetic ice ruin blades?
It certainly can, if you’re not careful. That’s why it’s important to use a proper sharpening stone made for synthetic ice. We recommend the Blackstone Sports Diamond Sharpening Stone.
Next, let’s move to basic steps and tips of skating on synthetic ice.
How to Skate Successfully on Synthetic Ice?
10 steps to Skate Successfully on Synthetic Ice
- Start by warming up your muscles for about 10 minutes to avoid injury.
- Put on your skates and lace them up tightly, but not too tight.
- Position yourself at the edge of the synthetic ice rink.
- Bend your knees slightly and lean forward from your ankles, keeping your back straight.
- Push off with one foot to start skating slowly. As you gain speed, tuck in your legs and point your toes so you’re skating on your blades’ edges.
- To turn, use your leading leg to trace an imaginary circle in the direction you want to go. You can also use the hockey stop to quickly change directions by planting one skate firmly on the ground and dragging your other foot behind you.
- To stop, skate into the boards or use the hockey stop.
- Practice skating on synthetic ice regularly to improve your skills.
Maintenance Tips for Your Skates and Blades
- Keep your skates and blades in good condition by regularly sharpening and polishing them.
- Store your skates and blades in a cool, dry place to prevent rusting.
- Wipe down your skates and blades after each use to remove dirt and debris.
- Inspect your skates and blades for nicks or damage before each use.
- Always dry your skates and blades thoroughly after using them on synthetic ice.
Equipment for skating on synthetic ice
You’ll need a few things before you can start skating on synthetic ice, including:
- A pair of ice hockey skates
- A sharpening stone
- A polishing cloth
- A can of lubricant
- A broom or brush
- Some sandpaper (optional)
- A clean, dry towel (optional)
- A first-aid kit (optional)
8 Obstacles of Synthetic Ice Rinks and ways to surmount them
Maintaining proper temperature and humidity levels
Synthetic ice is made of plastic, which can expand or contract in extreme temperatures. To prevent this from happening, make sure the temperature in your rink is between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 21 degrees Celsius). You should also maintain a humidity level of 30 to 50 percent.
Preventing slipping and falls
Slipping and falling are the most common injuries on synthetic ice, so it’s important to take precautions to prevent them. First, make sure the surface you’re skating on is clean and free of debris. Second, apply a light layer of lubricant to the surface if it’s dry. Finally, avoid skating on surfaces that are wet or have puddles of water.
Avoiding surface damage
Synthetic ice is made of plastic, which can be damaged by sharp objects. To prevent this from happening, inspect your skates and blades for nicks or damage before each use. If you do find any damage, repair it immediately with a patch kit.
Maintaining proper blade edge
Because synthetic ice is harder than regular ice, it can dull your skate blades quickly. To prevent this from happening, sharpen and polish your blades regularly.
Rust can occur on synthetic ice if it’s not properly cared for. To prevent this from happening, store your skates and blades in a cool, dry place when you’re not using them. Wipe them down after each use to remove dirt and debris, and dry them thoroughly before storing them.
Cleaning the surface
Over time, the surface of your synthetic ice rink will become dirty and covered in debris. To keep it clean, sweep it regularly with a broom or brush. You can also hose it down with water if needed.
Avoiding ice buildup
Ice can build up on the surface of your synthetic ice rink if the temperature is too cold or the humidity is too high. To prevent this from happening, maintain proper temperature and humidity levels in your rink.
Inspecting the surface
It’s important to inspect the surface of your synthetic ice rink for cracks or other damage before each use. If you find any damage, repair it immediately with a patch kit.
F.A.Q how to skate on synthetic ice
Can you use ice skates on synthetic ice?
Yes, you can use ice skates on synthetic ice, but they will dull quickly. It’s recommended that you use hockey skates or figure skates instead.
Is it harder to skate on synthetic ice?
Yes, it’s harder to skate on synthetic ice because it’s more slippery. You may also find that your blades don’t glide as smoothly.
How do you use synthetic ice in hockey?
Synthetic ice can be used for hockey training by setting up obstacles on the surface to practice stickhandling and shooting. You can also use it to play mini-games or scrimmage with friends.
What do you put on synthetic ice?
To prevent slipping and falls, you should apply a light layer of lubricant to the surface if it’s dry. You can also use sandpaper to rough up the surface if it’s too slippery.
With proper care and maintenance, your synthetic ice rink will provide years of fun and exercise. Just remember to sweep it regularly, inspect it for damage, and sharpen your blades often. And most importantly, have fun!