Why Buy Synthetic Ice?
The popularity of synthetic ice has skyrocketed in the last few years. Since it made its first appearance in the early 1960s, developers have been teaming up with scientists all around the world with a determined goal to create a flooring that is just as slick and seamless as traditional ice.
Synthetic ice flooring is not only better for the environment, it is much easier to install and maintain than frozen water. The fact that it is lightweight, and can be assembled and disassembled in a manner of minutes makes it the perfect solution for ice skating enthusiasts to skate and practice in the comfort of their own homes.
If you play ice hockey, or like to ice skate for whatever reason, the reasons why you should invest in your own synthetic ice flooring far outnumber the reasons why you shouldn’t. Once you understand how beneficial synthetic ice flooring really is, the question quickly changes from “why buy” to “why haven’t I?”
Technology has come a long way over the last decade. It is not hard to see how much of an impact it has had on our society. Although it may be hard to consider synthetic ice as a type of technology, once you understand how it is made you will be able to connect the dots.
Synthetic ice is made out of polyethylene plastic, which is created from synthetic polymer chains. High-quality synthetic ice such as Sniper’s Edge synthetic ice panels is constructed out of highly complex polymer chains that include additives and lubricants that can be activated as the skaters glide across the surface.
Much like frozen water creates its own lubricant from the water that is formed from the melted ice as the blades from the skates cause friction upon the surface, Sniper’s Edge synthetic ice is designed to create its own lubricant so that skaters never have to worry about adding gliding agents or other additives to the flooring. This type of technology allows for the flooring to be as much like actual ice as possible - without having to be kept at freezing temperatures.
Bring the Game Home
One of the greatest things about Sniper’s Edge synthetic ice is that you can install it right in your home. All that you need is a flat, level surface that is hard enough to sustain the weight of the people that will be ice skating on it.
In many instances people place a layer of plywood on top of the area that they are building the rink upon in order to add an extra level of support. For example, you can build an ice rink on top of carpet or grass as long as you install plywood panels, or a comparable solution.
Since the panels are compact and lightweight it does not take an overwhelming amount of effort to build the rink. The panels simply lay flat on the floor and are snapped together by tabs that are on the outer edges of the panels. It is possible to build an entire skating rink, ready to skate on in less than a couple of hours.
The biggest difference between building a skate rink in your home with synthetic ice and with real ice is that it will cost a lot less to install synthetic ice panels than it would to build a frozen ice rink that has an environment that will keep the water frozen when the outside temperatures rise above the freezing point.
To build and maintain an ice rink it could cost upwards of what it would cost to build an entire home.
With synthetic ice all you do is purchase the amount of flooring that you will need to build your rink, plus whatever expenses it will entail to get the job done. After that you are all set with your rink and you will not have any more expenses to incur for maintaining your rink.
Builds Strength and Stamina
Although Sniper’s Edge synthetic ice is of the utmost quality, and is as close to true ice as it gets, there are differences between the surfaces. When skaters glide across the surface of synthetic ice flooring they will notice an increase in resistance. Synthetic ice will have a little more drag than traditional ice. It is not enough of a difference to hinder the skater from being able to move across the flooring, but it is enough to cause a little bit of an extra strain in order to maneuver around.
It is a proven and known fact that whenever people raise the resistance in a workout that they build strength as they do so. The way that weight trainers build strength is that they add weight to the amount of weight that they work out with until the amount of weight that they use becomes comfortable. Of course, they keep adding more and more weight as time goes on so that they continue to build muscle.
By training on synthetic ice, the skater will experience an increase in resistance as they skate. When the skater continues to skate and push through this resistance, they begin to adapt to the extra amount of drag until it becomes comfortable.
By training on a surface that makes a person work harder to maneuver, it causes the skater to build strength, endurance and stamina. This way, when they do go out on a traditional ice rink and play a game, they will be stronger and faster than ever.
Easy to Install
We mentioned above that synthetic ice comes in the form of lightweight, and compact panels that are easy to install. Imagine having your very own ice skating rink without having to go through all of the headaches that it takes to install a traditional ice skating rink.
Simply place the ice panels on the area that you are going to turn into a skating rink, then snap them together.
Although you may have to go over the flooring and tamp the edges down with a rubber mallet before it will be ready to skate on, installing the panels is just as easy as putting together a large jigsaw puzzle.
Be sure to start building from the inside of the area to the outside so that you don’t have to worry about matching the inner makings of the rink with the precise measurements from the outside.
Features & Benefits of Synthetic Ice
Since synthetic ice was created in order to mimic real ice as closely as possible, the way that the puck slides across the surface of the flooring has to be as slick and seamless as the way that it would if it were on real ice.
Sniper’s Edge synthetic ice panels are of such high quality that whenever the puck moves about the surface it is so close to the way that it glides on real ice, that it is hard to tell the difference. Whether it is practice training, or actually playing a game, the way that the puck and the stick interact with the flooring is as close to the real thing as possible. Taking shots on Sniper’s Edge synthetic ice is just like taking shots on real ice, it’s just not as cold.
Since the flooring is so similar to real ice, the skater can stop, go, and pivot in the same fashion as on real ice. What this means is that shooting goals on the flooring can be done in the same way that they are done on real ice.
Practicing shots on synthetic ice flooring with a hockey shooting tarp is extremely beneficial because it trains the shooter to hone in on those hard to make shots and helps to push the limits of training because the shooter can shoot repetitively over and over again.
Dangling and stickhandling on Sniper’s Edge synthetic ice is much like stickhandling on real ice. The smooth surface of the panels do not cause damage to the stick as it comes into contact with it. No lagging or snagging on the flooring means a great way to maneuver around the rink and shoot dekes to score winning points.
Even with real ice there can be problems with snagging and chipping on the stick. You might learn that you can stickhandle even better on Sniper’s Edge synthetic ice than you can on a traditional ice rink floor.
The best part about synthetic ice is that you can install it practically anywhere and be able to practice whenever you want. Whether it is taking shots, ice skating, or stickhandling - or all of them combined the more practice that you get, the better you become.
Ice skating on Sniper’s Edge synthetic ice flooring is smooth, easy and seamless. Training on synthetic ice helps to build strength, endurance and unending stamina. Although anybody that is used to skating on real ice will immediately be able to tell the difference, once you realize that it is only a slight difference, and get past the initial shock you will see that skating in high quality synthetic ice is actually pretty awesome.
By installing an ice skating rink in your own home you will be able to practice ice skating at any time that you want, during all of the seasons...hot or cold. You will never have to worry about your rink melting from the heat because synthetic ice works great in any weather.
Passing on Sniper’s Edge synthetic ice is graceful and smooth because the pucks glide across the flooring with ease. The slick surface combined with the virtually seamless layout of the panels create a flooring that is perfect for hockey pucks to flow as if on ice, and the sticks to easily maneuver across the surface as well.
One of the best ways to hone the passing skills is to invest in a hockey rebounder and put it to good use on your synthetic ice panels. With a rebounder you can practice your shots, and your passing skills at the same time while you skate around on your new flooring. With a puck rebounder you can control the heat that comes at you from the rebound. Either softly nudge the puck towards the rebounder, or slap it full force and learn to receive as well as pass at high speeds and hard hits.
The Sniper's Edge Synthetic Ice Difference
What makes Sniper’s Edge synthetic ice stand above other types of flooring? Sniper’s Edge takes pride in providing synthetic ice that is of the highest quality and sturdiest standards. Here are some of the perks that you can expect from Sniper’s Edge synthetic ice panels:
- Self-lubricating: Sniper’s Edge synthetic ice has self-lubricating properties, which means that you never have to add any lubricants or additives to experience a slick, smooth skating surface.
- Double-sided: being reversible, the ability to use both sides helps to lengthen the life of the tiles, and makes it more durable and long-lasting.
- Size: Having large rectangular tiles makes for fewer points of connections, leading to a smoother finish and seamless surface.
- Quality of Material: Having better materials will always lead to a longer life for the products, better experience for the user, and other benefits. Sniper’s Edge synthetic ice is UV protected, so they will hold up in the sun, and other outdoor conditions.
- Price: you want to be able to get the best product you can, but not at a price that will break the bank. Sniper’s Edge is affordable and practical so that all hockey players have access to the finest products available on the market.
Sniper’s Edge Hockey Synthetic Ice has been perfected over the years with a significant amount of engineering, improvements, and time. The tiles are designed to withstand time, weather, skates, and more. They improve as they are used, and they allow people to improve their on-ice game, at home.
We chose to extrude our panels to create the best experience, without any need for sprays, wax, or anything else directly out of the box.
The History of Sniper’s Edge Synthetic Ice
While other companies rushed into the market to make Synthetic Ice, the Sniper’s Edge Team took time to learn and understand the science behind the products, and to make the best possible experience for the skater. The longer answer is that it took us well over 50 revisions to come up with the ultimate version that blends together the ultimate recipe to supply our customers with a product that will perform very well on any hard, flat surface. There are many different versions of “plastic” that exist in the Synthetic Ice claims. Please understand there are differences that even a 5-year-old will notice as when using real ice, they will learn quicker and be able to perform more “on-ice” moves such as mohawks, power turns and full-on hockey-stops that you cannot get from some versions that exist.
In 2018, the first pair of skates slid along the panels. Since then, we settled on 2-foot by 4-foot panels that are 5/16inch thick. We’ve tweaked and perfected the formula to create a special sauce that makes it durable, tough, slippery, and safe to be driven, skated, or walked on. It can handle intense amounts of sunlight, blades, pucks, balls, and even tires being on top of it. It’s double-sided, and it has properties that lubricate the material as it is activated on the surface through use.
In our research, we used real hockey minds to develop a product that we could produce with the end user in mind. There are two conflicting schools when it comes to off-ice training, and using a skateable panel or tile.
The first is that being on skates is always good because it brings the player closer to the real situation of practice and games, and it allows them to work on their edges, and shooting on skates is a great tool to become more comfortable on blades for players at multiple levels.
On the other hand, there are coaches and trainers that believe it isn’t the same as ice, and trying to adapt with skates on will only inhibit and negatively impact the players form and precision on ice. Instead of learning how to shoot, they are learning how to stand on their skates, being discombobulated and off-balance mechanically.
Knowing both of these schools, we developed a product that would be able to be used on skates and with shoes. This versatility has become one of the best features our Synthetic Ice has to offer. The puck slides with ease, making shooting, stickhandling, and passing just like on ice, and on skates or shoes, the player is going to improve their game performance on-ice. Having the option to skate on the panels is a great way to try out both schools and decide for yourself, or your player which is the best for them. Shoes, or skates. It all depends!
Benefits of the Sniper’s Edge Synthetic Ice:
- Smooth surface
- Sturdy enough to withstand the weight of a car
- Specially coated with UV protection
- Never needs any sprays or coatings
- Easily locks into place with a rubber mallet
The Best Skateable Synthetic ice panels are designed to create a better skating experience as they get used more. Small shavings peel off as you dig into the ice, similar to ice. The synthetic ice sheets contain properties that are a heavy-duty polyethylene plastic, long lasting and durable.
With the classic interlocking design, the tiles are knocked into place with the rubber mallet, and stay in place with ease and confidence.
While nothing will ever seriously be able to recreate the experience of on-ice skating. Ice is after all, ice. Creating something at home that can be more challenging, yet still give the same ability for turns, stops, strides, and puck handling. This can help you improve! It will make real ice feel easier. Stronger, better. That’s all we really want, at the end of the day.