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Supply Maintenance Tips for Ice Rinks With Synthetic Ice

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While synthetic ice emerges as an efficient solution for rink owners and managers keen on trimming maintenance expenses, questions surrounding the upkeep of rental skates arise. Is it a common belief that synthetic ice dulls skate blades faster accurately, or merely a misperception?

As synthetic ice technology has advanced significantly in recent years, it’s important to recognize that the impact on skate blades depends on many factors. These include the quality of the synthetic ice used, its cleanliness, the skater’s skill level, and the skates’ maintenance.

This article delves deep into everything you need to know about maintaining your rental skates impeccably. We discuss the effects of synthetic ice on skate blades, provide practical guidance on preserving the quality of your rental skates, and share expert supply maintenance tips for synthetic ice rinks.

For professional assistance in maintaining your synthetic ice rink, contact KwikRink today!

The Impact of Synthetic Ice on Skate Blades

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For most seasoned skaters, it’s well-known that the consistent use of synthetic ice may require a bit more attention to blade sharpening. However, it’s essential to understand that this is a natural occurrence in the skating world, even on traditional ice surfaces.

Industry leaders like KwikRink have made significant strides to replicate the properties of natural ice, getting remarkably close with only about 10% more friction. While this might influence the rate at which skate edges wear, the advantage here lies in the superior quality of high-grade synthetic ice.

Remember, not all synthetic ice surfaces are identical. Opting for higher quality, such as that offered by KwikRink, can mitigate potential blade wear. Similarly, maintaining a clean and well-cared-for rink contributes significantly to preserving your skate blades’ sharpness.

Interestingly, the impact of synthetic ice on skate blades can be likened to that of natural pond ice on a very cold day. While neither can precisely mimic the ultra-smooth surface of a professional ice rink, both offer unique and enjoyable skating experiences.

That’s why the focus on cleanliness and maintenance is not limited to your skates. Keeping your synthetic ice rink in pristine condition is essential to ensuring your blades remain sharp for as long as possible, giving you the best skating experience every time.

Maintaining and Sharpening Rental Skates

The level of care and maintenance required for ice skates utilized on synthetic ice largely mirrors that needed for those used on natural ice, despite the increased friction inherent to synthetic surfaces. 

A critical consideration lies in users’ altered behavior when skating on synthetic ice, as these actions may often contribute to the majority of blade wear. A few vital practices must be implemented to maintain the optimal condition of your skates and reduce sharpening frequency.

Avoid Overlooking the Moisture Factor

A common misconception among rink managers revolves around the belief that moisture is inconsequential to rental skates due to the absence of real ice. While it’s true that skates might not become as saturated as they would on traditional ice, factors such as ambient humidity, skaters’ breath, perspiration, and more can lead to enough moisture for corrosion to occur. 

Therefore, it is as paramount with synthetic ice as with real ice to ensure your skates remain dry. Implement a routine of wiping rental blades with a towel after each use, and consider investing in blade soakers for storage.

Enforce Strict Usage Rules on the Rink

The allure of a commercial synthetic ice rink can lead some, particularly younger patrons, to overlook established rink rules. Treating the surface as merely a sturdy plastic can lead to misuse, such as walking or using roller blades and skateboards on it. Such actions deposit rubber trails on the synthetic ice, leading to potential damage to skate blades and introducing serious safety risks. 

If your rink accommodates various activities, additional cleaning methods like power and high-pressure washing should be regularly scheduled to ensure a smooth rink surface and prevent blade damage from skid marks and build-up.

Employ a Professional Skate-Sharpener

Supply Maintenance Tips - sharpening of the figured skates of a spark from a grinding wheel

A beneficial investment for your rink would be securing the services of a professional skate-sharpening technician. While many rink owners opt for a generalist manager or sales representative who can also handle blade sharpening, particularly with the advent of automatic sharpening machines, a dedicated expert often yields superior results.

Sharpening blades is a nuanced skill, requiring more than mere interaction with a machine. Neglecting this artistry can result in subpar customer experiences. A professional sharpener can meticulously maintain blades to extend their lifespan, offering a valuable service for your patrons. This specialist can also cater to the specific sharpening needs of different skaters – from hockey players to figure and speed skaters – thus broadening your client base.

Summary

Maintenance practices for ice skates utilized on synthetic ice rinks closely mirror those for real ice rinks, albeit with a slightly higher frequency and an emphasized focus on rink cleanliness. Besides routine and professional blade sharpening, it’s crucial to keep skates dry and uphold a high standard of rink cleanliness, all of which significantly contribute to the durability of your rental skates.

With KwikRink synthetic ice offering 90% of the glide properties of real ice, it ensures a remarkable skating experience for enthusiasts of all skill levels and ages throughout the year. Reach out to us today to explore how synthetic ice can transform your rink into a year-round skating destination!

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