You are viewing as a Guest.

Welcome to skatingforums - over 10 years of figure skating discussions for skaters, coaches, judges and parents!

Please register to be able to access all features of this message board.

Author Topic: Synthetic practice ice square  (Read 224 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline mnrjpf99

  • Zamboni Driver
  • **
  • Joined: Aug 2016
  • Posts: 111
  • Total GOE: 3
Synthetic practice ice square
« on: January 25, 2017, 05:45:47 PM »
When I went skating today, I was working on my 2 foot turn in place and trying spins. They both need some work. After I got home from the rink, I was thinking, it would be cool to have some sort of synthetic ice panel of sorts, to practice 2 foot turns in place and what have you at home. I was wondering, if there is any DYI ideas to make such a practice panel? The panel would not have to be very big. I am thinking 2'x2' or so.
I have heard of spinners for off ice, but they are just for spinning. I was thinking of using a piece plastic like from one of those roll up  sleds for kids or something?
Any ideas?

Offline riley876

  • BladeLock
  • AOSS Member
  • ***
  • Joined: Dec 2014
  • Location: NZ
  • Posts: 788
  • Total GOE: 25
Re: Synthetic practice ice square
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2017, 06:18:09 PM »
Any thick sheet of UHMWPE polyethylene should do.  Usually come in up to 4' x 8' sheets from industrial suppliers.  Better apparently if you add silicone spray to it.  2' x 2' might be dangerously small, and certainly too small to do any sort of spin entry.

It you want to test the theory,  kitchen chopping boards are usually polyethylene, though not UHMWPE, but a big one should be good enough to just see how it feels.

Or just go buy some artistic inline skates:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBTSf771YYw

Then you can practice the entry too.  And turns, and power pulls, and jumps and well, effectively everything.

Offline riley876

  • BladeLock
  • AOSS Member
  • ***
  • Joined: Dec 2014
  • Location: NZ
  • Posts: 788
  • Total GOE: 25
Re: Synthetic practice ice square
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2017, 06:25:15 PM »
Try www.tapplastics.com if you're in 'Murica.

Here's another radical idea:   Do you own a chest freezer?   You could get a piece of 3/4" plywood, put some sides on it to form a shallow tray, seal up the corners, fill with a small layer water and freeze it.  Pull it out to play, and put it back in the freezer for next time.    Not sure if it'll be too hard/cold, but it might be a cool little toy.

Offline mnrjpf99

  • Zamboni Driver
  • **
  • Joined: Aug 2016
  • Posts: 111
  • Total GOE: 3
Re: Synthetic practice ice square
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2017, 06:29:07 PM »
You have a good point about spin entry. I may just try the whole cutting board thing. Good idea. :0)
As far as artistic inlines go, they would be awesome! I have been checking them out for a lil while now.
I also like the ice tray idea, but I don't have a chest freezer. :0/

Online AgnesNitt

  • Asynchronous Skating Team Leader
  • ********
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Location: East o' the sun; and west o' the moon
  • Posts: 4,628
  • Total GOE: 490
  • Gender: Female
    • The ice doesn't care
Re: Synthetic practice ice square
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2017, 07:37:17 PM »
Try www.tapplastics.com if you're in 'Murica.

Here's another radical idea:   Do you own a chest freezer?   You could get a piece of 3/4" plywood, put some sides on it to form a shallow tray, seal up the corners, fill with a small layer water and freeze it.  Pull it out to play, and put it back in the freezer for next time.    Not sure if it'll be too hard/cold, but it might be a cool little toy.

A cubic foot of water weighs 62 pounds. You can get to a cubic foot pretty quickly.
Yes I'm in with the 90's. I have a skating blog. http://icedoesntcare.blogspot.com/

Offline lutefisk

  • Ice is the Vice
  • ***
  • Joined: Feb 2012
  • Location: Maryland
  • Posts: 457
  • Total GOE: 50
  • Gender: Male
    • On Thin Ice
Re: Synthetic practice ice square
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2017, 07:38:44 PM »
I know little about synthetic ice--several places feature it at the beach during summer.  Don't know how it's resurfaced once it gets nicked up.  Also, I have heard that it's terrible for your blades.

Offline mnrjpf99

  • Zamboni Driver
  • **
  • Joined: Aug 2016
  • Posts: 111
  • Total GOE: 3
Re: Synthetic practice ice square
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2017, 08:57:46 PM »
I have heard that synthetic ice is not good for blades. :0/ I wouldn't be on it a lot though. I wonder why it's so hard on blades? It's just plastic. Weird...

Offline lutefisk

  • Ice is the Vice
  • ***
  • Joined: Feb 2012
  • Location: Maryland
  • Posts: 457
  • Total GOE: 50
  • Gender: Male
    • On Thin Ice
Re: Synthetic practice ice square
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2017, 08:50:45 AM »
I have heard that synthetic ice is not good for blades. :0/ I wouldn't be on it a lot though. I wonder why it's so hard on blades? It's just plastic. Weird...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthetic_ice  Scroll down to "comparison with true ice".

Offline Query

  • Swizzle Royalty
  • ******
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Location: Maryland, USA
  • Posts: 2,510
  • Total GOE: 94
  • Gender: Male
    • mgrunes.com
Re: Synthetic practice ice square
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2017, 02:25:39 AM »
That article says "Most synthetic ice products still wear down the skate blades very fast, with 30 minutes to 120 minutes the industry average."

My own one experience was that 20 minutes was enough to completely destroy the sharpness of my edges.

If we assume that 30 to 50 sharpenings are about the practical lifetime of a pair of figure skating blades, practicing on synthetic ice is extremely expensive, plus you have to count the inconvenience, and drive time and cost to visit your sharpener, pretty much every time you practice.

You might consider inline skates - perhaps ones with the PIC frames that are designed to somewhat simulate ice skates. But inline skates don't really feel like ice skates. E.g. from what I have been able to try, turns (and therefore spins) are a lot harder to create on any type of roller skate. The spinners don't really feel like spinning on the ice either.

Wouldn't it be cool if someone could figure out a cost effective way to create a small ice rink you could use inside your home, that would quickly freeze the ice for one practice session? E.g., on a 5 meter square, 2 cm of water would in theory take less than 20 kilowatt-hours of electricity to freeze - which might cost $2 - $6, depending on local electric costs. The ice wouldn't be nearly as hard and durable as what you see at indoor ice rinks - more like what you get on an outdoor rink when rain freezes rapidly on the surface. You don't even need a 5 meter square for what you want. But alas, ice refrigeration equipment is very expensive.

Offline mnrjpf99

  • Zamboni Driver
  • **
  • Joined: Aug 2016
  • Posts: 111
  • Total GOE: 3
Re: Synthetic practice ice square
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2017, 07:35:31 AM »
Wow! I think I will stay away from the synthetic ice idea. :0/
I did sort of come up with an idea yesterday though. It was mentioned about the idea of making a small ice sheet by building a tray out of wood and seal up sides that would be maybe an inch high or so and putting it in a chest freezer. I don't have a chest freezer, but it is winter and I could always just keep it outside and covered when not in use. Plus, I could make it about 4'x4' or bigger, if it stayed outside. It would just have to be on a level firm surface is all.

Offline Query

  • Swizzle Royalty
  • ******
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Location: Maryland, USA
  • Posts: 2,510
  • Total GOE: 94
  • Gender: Male
    • mgrunes.com
Re: Synthetic practice ice square
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2017, 11:29:27 AM »
Never mind my indoor ice rink pipedream.

If you live in a place where the weather is cold enough to freeze water - you may be able to make an outdoor ice rink reasonably cheaply.

I've been told that in many places up north, its very common for people to build ice rinks in their own backyard. They level the surface, build a wall around it, and usually install a suitable liner (available online) so the applied water doesn't seep into the ground before it freezes.

Someone who used to skate on outdoor ponds and lakes told me that, if you don't have an ice surfacer (e.g., Zamboni), ideally you want to form the ice by applying many thin layers of water to the surface at about 20 degrees F or very slightly above. Below 20 degrees, and the ice freezes before it has a chance to get rid of the bumps.

Of course, when it rains or sleets, nature will mess up your surface, so you might want to build some sort of roof over your rink. It is also common to suspend some sort of small mesh over it to prevent it from melting when it gets slightly warmer. And you need something like a large wide squeegee to push surface water out of the way. And if the solid ice layer gets too thin or soft, it isn't safe to skate.

You have to get used to outdoor ice - weather conditions vary a lot, and so does the ice.

BTW, our facility has one outdoor ice surface. Staff spend a LOT of time and effort maintaining it, and most skaters prefer indoor ice.

There are lots of more detailed instructions online for making and maintaining outdoor rinks, from people who have actually done it, and companies that sell supplies for it.

AFAICT, in most places, a rink that other people can get to is an "attractive nuisance", just like an outdoor swimming pool. If someone hurts or kills themselves on it, you may be liable, even if you didn't give permission for them to skate. So people sometimes fence the area off in an effective way, though that might not stop everyone.

OTOH, if you travel to someone else's reasonably well maintained rink, you don't have to bother with making and maintaining your own, or worry about liability. That's what community and commercial ice rinks are for. :)