Due to the recent pandemic and the overwhelming number of businesses that have had to shut down, there are millions of hockey players out there stuck on their couches wondering how to get a good practice session in. some of the greatest solutions for hockey training at home are hockey tiles and synthetic ice. All you need is a hard, flat, level surface with plenty of room to move around on and you can create a stellar hockey training area in your garage, backyard, or even kitchen if you want. But what are hockey tiles anyway? Keep reading and you will find out.
Synthetic Ice Hockey Tiles
Synthetic ice is made from specialized polymer plastic that is designed to handle the heat and abuse of ice skate blades. Sometimes synthetic ice comes packaged in tiles, but most often they come in panels. People have been known to refer to synthetic ice panels as synthetic ice tiles, but generally speaking, tiles are square and panels are larger rectangular pieces. In both cases, the sides of each individual panel have interlocking tabs that help to create a strong bond between the pieces. A strong bond in each interlocking piece adds up to a strong flooring that is seamless and will last a long time. Synthetic ice allows people to use ice skates and skate across the surface much like they would on real ice. Synthetic ice is made specifically for ice skates alone and is not recommended for shoes or rollerblades.
Dryland Flooring Hockey Tiles
Dryland hockey flooring tiles are similar to synthetic ice but are not built to endure ice skate blades. Slick tiles are slick in the sense that they allow the pucks to glide across the surface similar to the way that they do on real ice. Hockey tiles are small and square so that they can easily be built into smaller places. You can build a practice area or even a whole rink with dryland flooring, but you can not ice skate on it. Dryland flooring is good for:
- Tennis shoes
- Hockey pucks
- Hockey biscuits
- Shooting tarps
- Hockey rebounders
Dryland flooring is great because it allows you to build small areas where you can practice things like stickhandling and dangling. Just like the artificial ice tiles, they have tabs on the sides of them that allow for a tight, solid connection that builds a strong surface to practice on.
Rubber Flooring Hockey Tiles
Another type of hockey flooring is rubber tiles. Rubber is used for hockey rinks that use balls instead of pucks. People can rollerblade on them, or wear shoes, but don’t even think about trying to ice skate on rubber. It is not built for that. Rubber is not slick like slick tiles or synthetic ice. However, it does come in convenient squares or tiles that join firmly together so that you can easily build a flooring with them. Although it is not the same as traditional hockey, there is a big fanbase out there for this type of hockey.
Hockey Is Hockey
There may be a lot of disagreement when it comes to what form of hockey is best. Ice hockey? Roller hockey? Hockey with balls? Nevertheless, hockey is a very competitive sport that takes a lot of hard work and training to become good at it. Wherever your passion lies, just remember to not let any excuses keep you from strengthening your game and continuing to get better every day that you can.
***Sniper’s Edge Hockey loves Canada! We proudly ship all of our products to Canada and offer the same return policies as we do for everybody else. We realize the exchange rates for the Canadian dollar are not the best right now, so we’re trying to help by giving you free shipping and no customs/duty.***