One of the greatest inventions of the century was synthetic ice. Although it has been through a long evolutionary process, the quality of the synthetic ice that is available on the market today is high and of excellent standing. However, one question remains among a lot of inquirers today, and that is whether or not synthetic ice rinks are actually any good to skate on. We will let you in on a few facts about synthetic ice compared to other types of flooring and let you decide on your own.
The Evolution of Synthetic Ice
Sometime in the 1960s, a group of people got together and developed a type of flooring made from a material known as polyoxymethylene plastic. In the beginning, it was extremely difficult for skaters to skate across the surface without some sort of lubricant. As time moved forward, the synthetic ice began to get better in quality. The lubricant went from having to be applied every thirty minutes or so to once a month. The flooring became easier and easier for skaters to skate around on it. As science and technology continued to move forward, so did the developers of synthetic ice. Now, in this present day, synthetic ice is almost as good as the real thing. In some ways, it is even better.
Traditional Ice Rinks
Traditional ice rinks are made out of real ice. This means that the flooring has to be kept below the freezing temperature. Since ice rinks are typically large in size this calls for a huge space to be refrigerated and maintained by some sort of cooling system. Systems that need to keep things very cold in a large space use a lot of energy and that energy costs quite a bit of money. It also can cause pollution and the emission of toxins into the atmosphere. Real ice is much smoother and better to ice skate on, but the whole maintenance drama that goes along with it might be more of a hassle than it is worth.
Synthetic Ice Rinks
Synthetic ice rinks are much more efficient than the traditional ice rinks because they do not have to be refrigerated or maintained in any special way. You can install synthetic ice panels in virtually any environment. A person can install synthetic ice outside in the sun, or indoors and in the comfort of their own home. High-quality synthetic ice is equipped with a solution that protects the panels from the UV rays of the sun so it will not deteriorate in the sun’s rays. It also is equipped with a self-lubricating system that will never need to have any extra lubricants or additives in order to be slick and smooth like ice.
Skating on Synthetic Ice
Ice skating itself can be difficult for people who aren’t used to it. However, if you have experience skating on ice you will quickly notice that there is a difference between real ice and artificial ice. Not a huge difference, but enough to notice. There will be a slight drag for skaters compared to the free flow of real ice. Real ice melts a little bit under the heat of the ice skates which makes it extremely difficult to replicate exactly. However, the drag from the synthetic ice gives skaters an extra bit of resistance that will strengthen muscles and add to the core strength that it takes to ice skate in the first place.
Are Synthetic Ice Rinks Good?
Synthetic ice, all the way around is a much better option than real ice rinks. Although, if you live in a region that has naturally frozen lakes and ponds to skate on, during the winter months you can’t go wrong. However, if you want to skate all year round in any kind of weather, synthetic ice is an ideal solution that works wonders and allows for quality skating and hockey playing.