Advantages of Synthetic Ice over Conventional Ice

Leisure Artificial Ice

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:


  1. 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.


Singener-Hüttenzauber-2015-239Synthetic 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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!




The 7 Challenges of Synthetic Ice Rinks and How to Overcome Them

synthetic ice rink

Synthetic ice is not a foreign concept to most people. It has been around for a couple of decades making year round skating possible. However, synthetic ice rinks, also known as plastic ice rinks, never really became popular due to some challenges associated with it. Winter sports therefore, remained a luxury that only countries with icy temperatures could enjoy.


Artificial ice rinks are also often used as an alternative to real or natural ice rinks, but this method is associated with high water and electricity costs and not viable in warmer climates.


In an effort to make these winter sports possible for anyone anywhere at any time, research and development has led to incredible advances that make plastic ice rinks a great alternative for real ice. However, there are some significant challenges that synthetic ice rink creators have to overcome to go from good to excellent.


In this article we will list and analyze the 7 challenges associated with synthetic ice rinks and how to overcome them:


  1. Uneven Surface due to an Incorrect Interlocking System

Most synthetic ice rinks use a puzzle or dovetail interlocking system, where the ice pa
nels are interlocked horizontally, but not vertically. This can create a vertical shift in the panels causing the ice sheet to be uneven. Since the puzzle connections are long it can also allow dirt or water to enter creating an uneven surface or even shifting the ice panelsGlice_Syhthetic_ice_panels.

The solution is simple. Using a tongue and roof interlocking system as shown in the picture, the panels can be interlocked horizontally and vertically, making it impossible for them to shift in any direction. This creates a perfectly seamless surface, resembling real ice.




  1. Requires too much Effort to Skatesynthetic ice rink

Low quality synthetic ice can cause friction, leading to an undesirable skating experience and dull skates. Even the slightest friction will disrupt a skaters’ flow. It makes gliding difficult and requires more effort. Athletes waste indispensable energy and for recreational skaters the experience becomes less enjoyable. To guarantee effortless skating, high quality material has to be used to create a synthetic ice rink.


  1. No Ice-Like Response

Many synthetic ice rinks incorporate new technologies to make skating as easy and pleasant as possible. Nonetheless, most plastic ice rinks were not able to create an ice-like feeling on their synthetic ice. It is important to look for premium ice rinks that not only use quality materials and the newest technology, but also really create an ice-like response. Only then can skaters skate to the fullest. It’s not just about gliding and speed, it’s about the feeling and the relationship the skater creates with the ice.


  1. High Amount of Shavings and Abrasion

Low quality synthetic ice will cause abrasion and shavings, leaving behind a messy rink, unhappy skaters and a sky-high cleaning bill. To avoid this, premium quality raw materials have to be used. Self-lubrication also adds to the quality of the ice sheet. Self-lubrication means that no chemicals need to be added to the ice panels to create a smooth surface. However, this alone does not guarantee an exceptional performance. Everything, from the quality-grade of the raw materials to the manufacturing process and the formula by which components are added play a role in the quality of synthetic ice rinks.


  1. Skate Blades need to be Re-Sharpened Too Oftenice-skating-1

To avoid friction and dull blades you need an Ultra Glide Technology with enhanced molecular structure. In many lower quality plastic ice rinks this technology is not incorporated, making skating difficult and in many cases frustrating. Fortunately, there are synthetic ice rinks with ultra glide technology that not only enhance the glide factor but also allow you to have a better grip, resembling real ice rinks and providing the conditions for you to exploit your skating potential.



  1. Unstable Chemical Stability of the Raw Materials

Premium quality is not a luxury. Shopping for cheaper ice rinks will not pay off. The price may look appealing, but the quality will not! When exposed to sun, rain and snow it is likely that a low quality synthetic ice rink will change its color over time and its chemical stability will vary. In addition to UV protection, good quality raw materials are of vital importance to ensure the endurance and unfading quality of synthetic ice. Spend the extra dollar and get a premium quality rink that will last and deliver what it promises making the experience more enjoyable and your investment more worthy!


  1. Low Quality Accessories

Also known as the Achilles Heel of synthetic ice rinks. It doesn’t matter how perfectly seamless the surface of your synthetic ice rink is, if the dasher-boards are ugly, or the skates are of low quality, it will make a negative impact. High quality, durable and compatible accessories will make the difference!



Despite the many challenges listed above, synthetic ice rinks are becoming more popular and have some significant advantages over conventional ice rinks. They can be used 24/7 without having to be re-surfaced every few hours; the gliding factor is much more consistent than that of real ice, which starts at a 100% but reduces to about 80% after only a few hours of usage. It is environmentally friendly and much more economical than real ice, eliminating the cost of water and electricity that real ice rinks require.


Ice hockey in the backyard on a hot summer day can finally be a reality. If gliding on ice is what you want, Glice® is what you are looking for. Glice® delivers the most realistic synthetic ice rinks and is preferred by pros and experts. It uses high quality raw materials and implements the newest technologies, creating premium quality artificial ice rinks.


Glice® is present in over 50 countries, serving clients such as Red Bull, Coca Cola, and Base Hockey, among others. The personalized service and the global support network that the Glice® team offers its clients complements the first class material they offer.


To learn more about Glice® visit their website and get in touch. Whether it’s for ice hockey, figure skating, curling, or simple entertainment, Glice® will make your dreams a reality.


Contact us today and glide away!