Synthetic ice has become increasingly popular over the last couple of decades. The high cost of maintenance for artificial ice and the environmental implications it has, are only a few of the factors that have added to the popularity of plastic ice rinks. With increasing winter sport awareness through the ever growing online community more and more people are interested in following or even practicing winter sports, such as ice hockey and figure skating. This increases the demand for an alternative option to high-cost conventional ice rinks.
Those of you who are not winter sport enthusiasts might be wondering what exactly synthetic ice is and what the difference is between plastic, artificial and synthetic ice. Synthetic ice is a form or plastic ice that is used to replace real ice. Artificial ice can be ice created through freezing liquid water, or it can also be another name for synthetic ice.
Now that we are all on the same page let us explain why synthetic ice has gained such a widespread popularity and what advantages it has over real ice:
- Low Maintenance Cost
According to an article in the Washington Times at least $4.8 million dollars of hard earned Tax Payers money was used to fund government-run ice rinks in the United States in 2014. Governments across the world run huge deficits to subsidize ice hockey, figure skating and other winter sports, trying to keep an edge in worldwide competitions. This is especially relevant for countries in warner climate zones. The costs of water and electricity are sky-high and subsidizing these sports is becoming nearly impossible.
Synthetic ice rinks offer a cost-effective high quality solution to this ever-growing problem. Many professionals and experts have so far hesitated to consider this options because of some challenges associated with synthetic ice rinks. However, those challenges can be overcome through the use of high-quality raw materials combined with the newest
technologies and a dedicated team of professionals.
Artificial ice rinks require minimal maintenance. Good synthetic ice rinks are self-lubricating, they have U.V. protection to preserve the chemical stability of the ice panels and avoid discoloration, and of course there are no water or electricity costs involved to keep a synthetic ice rink up and running.
- Quick and Easy Installation
The installation of a conventional ice-skating rink is quite complicated and associated with many costs. Typically, you need to pay a rental company to construct a rink and then install the necessary refrigeration equipment. Then, the installer lays an impermeable mat on a flat surface and covers it with tubing, which is connected to a refrigeration unit. These are only installation costs, in addition to this come the monthly water and electricity charges. No wonder there are not many individual ice rinks out there.
As we well know, real ice does not last all year long, thus, most ice rinks have to be taken down come summer and re-installed in the winter. This of course means a repetition of all the installation costs year after year, whereas synthetic ice rinks need to be installed only once and will last for years without decreasing in quality.
Synthetic ice rinks are easy to install, since they come in ice panels that can be interlocked to form a smooth, seamless surface. The plastic ice rink can be as big or as small as suits your taste. After installation all you have to do is grab your skates and skate away.
- Indoor/Outdoor Advantage
Another challenge with real ice rinks is choosing the right spot to install it. It has to be a big open space, and of course it has to be outdoors.
Synthetic ice rinks can be installed anywhere at any time. If you want an ice rink in your basement, you can have it in your basement without having to worry about melting ice and consequential flooding.
- Environmentally friendly
It is no secret that real ice rinks require an enormous amount of water and electricity to be maintained and preserved. Besides the increased costs, it also has a huge impact on the environment. Water has to be pumped and electricity has to be produced to refrigerate the water and create a new layer of ice every few hours for the sake of a smooth ice sheet and an optimal performance by the skaters.
According to a study done by the University of McGill in Toronto, the winter season is shrinking. 55 years ago skaters living in Toronto would have about 75 icy days to skate outdoors on truly natural ice. Nowadays it is reduced to 60, proving shrinkage in the winter season. If we don’t care for our environment today, in another 55 years the damage might be irreparable. Synthetic ice rinks not only eliminate the water and electricity costs, but they are made of completely recyclable material and designed to be environmentally friendly.
- Accessible for Anyone Anywhere at Any Time
Contrary to conventional ice rinks, artificial or plastic ice rinks can be used anywhere at anytime. They are completely feasible for countries with warm or even tropical climates and can be installed in-or-outdoors.
The idea of synthetic ice is not only to reduce the cost and eliminate environmental implications, but really to make this technology accessible for anyone. Ice hockey, curling, figure skating and other winter sports are not only competition events, but can be a great platform for people from different social and economic backgrounds to come together and interact, creating a common base that really makes a difference in a community.
This concept is especially important for Glice®. Glice® not only produces plastic ice rinks of the highest quality, but also strives to make a difference for the people and the communities it serves.
Glice® is already present in over 50 countries and yours could be next. Through dedication, hard work and exceptional customer service, Glice® has acquired a large client base from big companies such as Coca Cola, Red Bull, and Base Hockey, to individual family homes. We tailor our synthetic ice rink to best fit the need of our clients.
If you also want a cost-effective, good quality synthetic ice rink in your backyard for this coming summer, contact us today! Our experts will make sure you get all your questions answered and help you choose the right product for your need.
Don’t miss out on the fun in the sun! Call today and get your own Glice synthetic ice rink!