Is Synthetic Ice Bad for Skates? What’s It Like To Skate On?

Close-up of ice skate blades

Serious skaters know how important a sharp blade is to accomplish maneuvers at the highest level. Good skates are also expensive, and your interest in keeping them in great shape is our top priority. In this article we’ll look at how your precious skates will hold up to gliding on Glice synthetic ice.

(Spoiler alert: you’ll be happy!)

We’ll also explain what synthetic ice is like to skate on, why it won’t ruin your skates or blades, how the surface improves over time and why proper installation is key to a good skating experience. Let’s dive (or skate) right in.

Does Synthetic Ice Ruin Skates?

The all important question: is synthetic ice bad for skates? The short answer is no. A far more important consideration is proper maintenance. Whether you skate on traditional ice or synthetic, the care you put into your skates is the biggest factor in keeping them in great shape. This includes regularly cleaning the blades and boots, sharpening the blades, and drying and storing them properly.

Sayonara Rusting!

A major part of skate maintenance is keeping them dry after use to prevent rusting. With Glice synthetic ice, you’ll never have to worry about residual rusting from skating on our rinks. No water content means no rusting of metal.

How Do the Blade Holders Hold Up?

There is no difference on the impact on your blade holders after skating on Glice. Over time, those all important connections joining metal blades to leather will respond the same on Glice’s artificial ice as they do on a traditional ice-rink. If anything, you’ll get more wear since there is no moisture affecting the rivets-to-boot contacts.

What About Your Boots?

No water means longer lasting leather boots. Period. A quick wipe down and regular maintenance is all that is needed after skating on Glice artificial ice. Internal boot moisture from foot sweat is the only moisture you’ll have to be concerned about. Air them out as usual and keep the leather conditioned with polish/conditioners to keep your boots supple and in tip-top condition.

Blades: Keeping Them Sharp

The big question everyone always asks: How often do you need to sharpen your blades after skating on Glice synthetic ice?

Everyone skates differently, so it depends on your weight, maneuvers, drills practiced, how your personal skating style affects your blades, how long or how often you skate, and so on. For example, a young skater will dull their blades at a much slower rate than an adult, due to their weight and leg strength.

Some synthetic ice companies may skirt around the issue, telling you there is no difference to your blades when skating on synthetic ice compared to skating on real ice. Synthetic ice (particularly cheap synthetic ice) actually creates about 5-15% more friction than skating on natural ice.

We are proud to report that Glice’s high quality self-lubricating synthetic ice creates less resistance than all the other artificial rinks out there. Glice’s scientific studies took over eight years of research and testing to design our exceptional product. Every detail was developed with the most responsive, self-conditioning, and durable construction possible. Glice’s visionary product won’t put a damper on your speed or maneuvers, allowing you to quickly adapt to the new surface within minutes.

As with all synthetic rinks, skates will naturally dull 20-30% faster than if you skate on refrigerated ice. The solution? Check your skates regularly and sharpen accordingly. High-use skaters are known to sharpen their blades everyday, no matter what type of ice they skate on. As a regular skater, you should be doing the same daily check every time you get off the ice.

Hockey Stop on Glice Synthetic Ice

Do You Need Special Skates?

A lot of people want to know if you can use ice skates on synthetic ice. Just like real ice, synthetic ice is not biased towards the quality of your skates. You can use hockey, figure, or even leisure “buckle up” skates, it doesn’t matter. Whatever skates you choose, Glice synthetic ice will react to your preferred blade just like real ice.

However, it is important to note that when you first try it, the glide and feel of synthetic ice might seem quite different from real ice. You may need to make some adjustments to your technique, but it won’t take you long at all to get the hang of it.

What Is Synthetic Ice Like to Skate On?

Patricia Kühne figure skating on synthetic ice

Synthetic ice has an amazing likeness to a real ice-skating experience. The new technology of using a hybrid polyethylene polymer to create a skating surface has come a long way since the idea was first developed in the 1960s.

Today, synthetic ice has advanced to such an amazing level that skaters adapt quickly to the minor difference apparent in the friction between real and synthetic ice. Skaters the world over prefer the glide, grip, texture, and higher quality of product from Glice synthetic ice when compared to other manufacturers.

This is largely because of our high-tech and brilliant design and the reason why thousands of ice-rink facilities around the globe have chosen to install Glice over other brands. Simply put, it’s the smart investment that keeps everyone happily skating.

Though nothing can replace the experience of skating on cold, hard ice, Glice rinks are clearly known as being the ultimate choice in synthetic ice products. Professional hockey players and figure skaters who skate on Glice use their rinks daily for practice and maneuvers. Ice-rink owners in 85+ countries have chosen Glice over any other synthetic rinks in the world.

That includes trusted clients like CCM, Pure Hockey, Barneys New York, Four Seasons Hotel and Resorts, Coca-Cola and more! Glice is the proven choice that has been vetted by companies who built their brand on fine quality products.

Top Notch Quality Trusted By Professionals

” It’s such an easy tool to work on your shooting and skills. It’s the best way to skate and shoot as if you’re on real ice. I use it 3x a week.”

— NHL Captain Roman Josi, Nashville Predators

” In my 35 years of experience, l’ve never come across a surface that mimics ice as close as Glice. It will change the way you think of synthetic ice.”

– Steve Serdachny, NHL Skating Coach

” The volume is business has been much greater this year and the response has been phenomenal! Really easy to be to use.”

– David Lemmond, Manager William Vale Hotel (NYC)

The Glice Difference

Swiss Designed, Ultra Glide Technology. Our design is a perfect combination of glide and grip, making our rinks the fastest synthetic rinks with the least amount of friction, worldwide. When it comes to your skates, your blades will last longer on Glice than on any other synthetic product.

Glice rinks use a manufacturing process called “sintering,” where high-grade polymer pellets are crushed under high pressure and heat, giving our rinks and pads the ultimate surface for superior durability and glide. The sintering process also reduces ice shavings and blade abrasion, making it the only synthetic rink that keeps blades at an optimal sharpness for longer skate times.

It’s great to skate on Glice!

Roman Josi, Captain NHL Nashville Predators

Glice is a great tool to be on and work on my skills

Nico Hischier, captain NHL New Jersey Devils
Cliff Ronning - Testimonial

Practice on Glice puts you ahead of the curve by a long shot.

Cliff Ronning, 19 year NHL Veteran

Glice is a revolutionary game changing surface that will elevate your skating & skills like no other.

Steve Serdachny, Professional NHL Skating and Skills Coach & Elite Hockey Consultant

Glice Improves the More You Skate!

Glice sheets are embedded with a self-lubricating system that enhances the skating performance of your ice rink the more you skate. Every time your blade touches the surface of a Glice rink, it works to release emollients onto the skating surface, making your glide fluid and effortless.

Other synthetic rink companies simply don’t have the ability to process their artificial ice like we do. Glice has a secret formula (locked away in a Swiss vault) that others can only try to emulate.

We also use an exclusive, high-end manufacturing plant that’s dedicated to creating the optimal skating experience. Other manufacturers are known to share facilities with one another, making similar products. Glice is ahead of the curve in every aspect. From our design, high-grade ingredients, and controlled production and manufacturing right the way through to our superior connection systems and exceptional final product.

The Best Way to Install Artificial Ice (And Why It Matters)

The way synthetic ice is manufactured for installation makes a world of difference to your skating experience. All synthetic ice is made into large sheets or puzzle pieces, which are laid down onto a flat surface and snapped into place. The difference in the quality of those connections varies greatly across the industry. How your ice sheets attach to one another makes a world of difference to how your skates glide across the joints.

Most manufacturers connect their sheets on the top and bottom of each piece. If there are large gaps between the joints or the connections aren’t completely locked into place, you will have more dirt and debris collecting in the gaps. Along with making maintenance tedious, loose connections can also result in the sheets lifting, which can be hazardous to skaters.

Glice Interlocking Panels on Grass Surface

Glice’s seamless interlocking sheets are the most remarkable connection system in the industry. Instead of being connected on two ends, Glice’s design has a tongue-and-groove system on all four sides. The incredibly tight and sturdy connections mean no separating or lifting, making your surface extra smooth and safe, while preventing dangerous trips and falls over ridges.

Plus, our seamless connections keep dirt and debris from collecting in grooves, making for easy maintenance. Connection systems are one of the biggest factors in artificial rinks and a big part of why Glice is everyone’s first choice. Your skates will also thank you for it, since you’ll have less resistance or friction while you glide. Skating on Glice keeps your skates sharper longer than other artificial ice manufacturers.

Have you got more questions? Please fill in the form below. We are available to provide all the answers you need about synthetic ice and the many benefits it offers.