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7 Differences Between Synthetic Ice and Real Ice for Ice Hockey Players

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Ice hockey is a growing sport and arguably the most popular in the northern US and Canada. However, limited access to an ice rink to play can make it difficult for many people to train and enjoy themselves to the fullest.

Or does it? Have you heard about synthetic ice? Can you imagine installing a hockey rink at home or on your patio without worrying about the expense of maintenance or how long it will last based on weather conditions?

So, which is better, synthetic or real ice, for ice hockey players? In this post, we’ll discuss seven differences between the two. If you want to get your synthetic ice rink, contact KwikRink, and we’ll handle the rest.

Differences Between Real and Synthetic Ice Rinks

Here’s how both types of ice are different:

1. The Feeling

To ice hockey players, the feel of the ice is a crucial factor that can significantly impact their performance. While nothing can completely replicate the authenticity of natural ice, synthetic ice has become the best possible alternative for training and practice. KwikRink Synthetic Ice tiles are a top choice for skaters, with a glide that is approximately 90% similar to real ice, making it one of the best options available in the market.

2. Temperature

Thermometer on snow shows low temperatures on Ice Rink for Ice Hockey Players

Synthetic ice maintains a temperature close to room temperature, unlike natural ice, which is as cold as ice can get. Although the temperature difference may not impact the game itself, it makes a significant difference in warmer climates. 

Natural ice requires temperatures ranging from 20-25 °F, which may not always be feasible, especially in warmer areas. Synthetic ice rinks offer a convenient and cost-effective alternative to traditional ice rinks, as they can be used anytime, anywhere, without needing temperature maintenance.

3. Puck Handling

While the puck may glide a bit differently on synthetic ice due to increased friction, ice hockey players can still use synthetic ice to train and improve their skills. In fact, the slight adjustment period needed to get used to synthetic ice can ultimately make it easier to transition back to natural ice. With practice, skaters can adapt to the differences and use synthetic ice to enhance their abilities, including the speed and accuracy of passes and shots.

Synthetic ice offers a unique training experience for ice hockey players, allowing them to improve their skills and become stronger and faster skaters. While the feel of the puck may differ slightly from natural ice, the advantages of synthetic ice, including quick turns and easy gliding, make it an excellent option for practice and training. With time and practice, skaters can use synthetic ice to enhance their abilities and easily transition back to natural ice for games.

4. Durability

Synthetic ice’s durability is one of its most significant advantages compared to real ice. Real ice rinks are much more prone to scratches and cracks made by the constant use of skates. Alternatively, KwikRink synthetic ice is made from VHMWPE or Very-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene, designed specifically to withstand the wear and tear of aggressive skating. 

The increased durability makes synthetic ice a fantastic option for those who don’t always have access to real ice rinks but still need to practice. 

5. Cost

Block in word cost with coin in down trend on wood background

Synthetic ice is much more cost-effective in the long run than real ice. For starters, you don’t need expensive equipment to maintain the temperature.

Secondly, you can design a rink to fit the space available and that meets your practice and training goals. If you have room at home that you can spare, you may install synthetic ice on the floor and start skating!

Also, KwikRink’s self-lubricating synthetic ice requires minimal maintenance. Simply sweeping and keeping it clean can provide the optimum skating experience, allowing skaters to focus on training without worrying about complex upkeep. 

6. Safety

For several reasons, synthetic ice is generally considered safer than real ice. For starters, synthetic ice does not need to be frozen like natural ice, eliminating the risk of skaters falling through the ice if skating on a frozen lake or pond surface.  

Secondly, it is more forgiving than real ice, reducing the risk of injury. It can be installed with a shock-absorbing underlayment, providing additional cushioning and reducing the impact of falls.

While there is still a risk of injury with any sport, synthetic ice offers several safety advantages over natural ice. This makes synthetic ice an excellent option for beginners and kids just introduced to the sport. 

7. Environmental Impact

There’s a hefty toll to pay to get the optimum experience from real ice rinks. Maintaining a fresh surface requires large amounts of water and electricity, contributing to water waste and energy consumption. 

In contrast, synthetic ice offers a much more environmentally friendly option. It requires no water or electricity to maintain, making it a more sustainable choice for skating enthusiasts.

The only water you’ll need will be for mopping the synthetic ice, and the electricity you’ll use is for lighting up the place!

Synthetic Ice and Real Ice for Ice Hockey Players: Do Their Differences Matter?

The short answer is no. Synthetic ice will give ice hockey players a fantastic chance to practice their game without having to wait for winter to access real ice rinks.

Whether you’re trying to practice at home or opting for a larger rink to play some games, synthetic ice rinks can be the best possible alternative. 

Wrapping Up

Synthetic ice is a great way to play hockey indoors or outdoors without worrying about temperature, cost, or expensive maintenance.

You can skate on synthetic ice any time of the year, and all you need to do to maintain KwikRink Synthetic Ice is to keep it clean. If you want to know more about synthetic ice, don’t hesitate to contact us at (888) 275-2345 for a quote.

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