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Ice Ice Baby: Common Ice Issues You'll Want To Avoid With Your Rink
August 21, 2012
It may still be summer, but a lot of families are already looking ahead to their winter sports plans. After all, there were nearly 10.65 million ice skating participants over the age of six in 2014, so it's likely your kids are looking forward to getting out on the ice. If you're planning on purchasing new backyard ice rink liners and setting up your homemade ice rink this year, you'll probably want to avoid some of the most common pitfalls. Here are just a few of the most popular ice issues people deal with and how to fix them.
- Chips and Cracks
Cold temperatures are a necessity for outdoor ice rinks, but extremely chilly weather can take a toll on the ice. Severe temperatures can lead to chipping and cracking, which poses a safety threat to skaters. And unfortunately, you probably don't have your own Zamboni. The solution? Resurface the ice. You can fill cracks with slush before resurfacing, but in either case, you'll need to flood the rink with warm water and allow it to refreeze.
- Rough Texture
Even if the ice is free of chips and cracks, its surface can still be hazardous for skaters. If you don't take care of it quickly, rough ice can result in injury. Rough ice can be attributed to any number of things, like snow piling up, inadequate scrapers, or improper amounts of water while flooding. So make sure that your ice is clean prior to resurfacing (and hold off if you're due for a snow storm), that your scrapers and blades are sharp and in good working condition, and that you're using the correct amount of water and that it's warm in temperature.
- Liner issues during flooding
Before your ice even freezes, you could be making a mistake with your rink construction. Your backyard ice rink liners should be installed after the rink itself is set up. In fact, you shouldn't put in your backyard ice rink liners until the weather gets a little colder. Your liner should also settle into the land before you fasten it to the rink (and definitely before you add the water). Otherwise, your liner may break away from the frame when water is added or when it freezes. Make sure to follow all instructions as outlined by your backyard rink company.
Ice maintenance issues can totally derail your skating plans. But if you have the right equipment, like backyard ice rink liners and brackets, and pay close attention to the quality of your ice, you'll be able to enjoy your rink all winter long.