Does Synthetic Ice Ruin Ice Skates?
Sports

Does Synthetic Ice Ruin Ice Skates?

Because of the current pandemic, millions of ice skaters and hockey players are choosing to install synthetic ice in their homes so that they can continue to skate and practice hockey even though they are stuck at home. This is a great idea because when this whole thing is all over the players that have been sitting on the couch playing video games are going to have a lot of catching up to do. The wise players will continue to practice and keep their skills in tip-top shape so that when the time comes they will dominate the rink.

What About the Ice Skates?

As for whether or not synthetic ice ruins ice skates, let’s start by listing a few things that will definitely ruin the blades of ice skates:

  • Hard flooring
  • Rocks
  • Mineralized ice
  • Metal shavings
  • Coins
  • Walking

When it comes to the health and quality of your ice skates one of the worst things you can do is walk across the food with them as if they were shoes. Whenever you put your whole weight onto the blades and step on things like small rocks, coins, debris, and whatever else that can be harder than the material that your skates are made out of you can seriously damage your ice blades.

Ice Skating on Ice

Whenever a person skates across an ice rink, a little bit of science gets involved. What happens is that the friction from the ice skate blades moving across the ice causes enough heat to melt the ice in a minuscule area that acts as a lubricant to help the skaters glide across the surface. As the blades continue to move across the ice, the perpetual movement causes a constant supply of natural lubricant so that as long as the skates keep moving, they can continue to slide gracefully across the surface.

Ice Skating on Synthetic Ice

In the early 1960s, when synthetic ice first became public, there were a lot of problems that came with it. Back in those days, the type of plastic that was used to create the flooring was not the same as it is today. At first, there had to be a constant source of lubricant in order for skaters to continually glide across the surface. Even with the lubricant, the drag that the plastic caused made it difficult for skaters to move in a graceful manner. Although it seemed like an impossible feat to create an ice-like surface that skaters could get a real feel on, the developers kept trying for many years to come.

The synthetic ice of today has evolved a long way and is now able to deliver its own lubricating system. Now, much like real ice, when the skates glide across the surface the blades activate the self-lubricating system to produce a gentle, but effective slippery skating area that is quite a bit like the real thing. As the ice skating blades make their way across the surface, the friction causes the lube to form and keep the motion of the skater as smooth and graceful as possible.

As for Skate Damage

When it comes down to it, there is not much of a threat of ruining your ice skates because of skating on synthetic ice. In fact, you might be more apt to hurt your blades by skating on real ice because of the metal shavings that can build up just under the surface of the ice after years of buildup and metal blades leaving behind traces of metal. Synthetic ice is made out of durable, but softer than metal plastic. Since this type of flooring is less dense than the metal that skates across it there is no threat of damage to the blades.

Conclusion

If you install and use synthetic ice properly it will not cause damage to your skates and will give you a great flooring area to practice and play games on for years to come. If you install a hockey shooting tarp to go with it you can even improve your shooting skills just like you would if you were shooting on real ice. At the end of the day, installing synthetic ice can ultimately improve your game and give you a perfect place to practice in the comfort of your own home.