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Synthetic Ice Rinks

The basics of Syntheric Ice Rinks !

  • Synthetic ice is the name given to a material intended to substitute ice as a skating surface.
  • It's a specially formulated type of plastic.
  • It's environmentally friendly.
  • The ice skates are the same as you would use at any ice rink.
  • It's not cold and wet just a little moist.
  • The surface will never melt and will last for years and doesn't degrade with heavy use, so no re-surfacing necessary.
  • It's treated with a secret glide solution. (Treatment is not hazardous or toxic).

    The Truth about Syntheric Ice Rinks !

    Synthetic ice is available from many companies worldwide and they all claim that their surface has supernatural abilities and can simulate that of frozen h²o. In order to best explain you need to know how ice skating works. If you apply pressure to ice, it melts. When the blade presses against the ice, it creates a thin film of water, which acts as lubricant to allow the blade to slide. When you are skating, you actually are skating on a thin film of water. With that in mind, in order to skate on a plastic sheet we need to add the thin layer of water, however if you spray water onto a plastic sheet it will group together in little puddles and that's not going to work for skating so we add a glide enhancer usually a Glycol based fluid mixed with water. Glycol is used in foods & medicine and is regarded as completely non hazardous and non toxic by the FDA. It's then a trade off because the surface material needs to be hard enough to withstand the sharp metal skate blade and soft enough to allow the skate blade to cut in to the surface to enable the skater to turn and hold an edge. The problems will always be that trade off; synthetic ice will never be the same as skating on frozen h²o so don't believe the sales talk. It is however very close and can be installed quickly with low start up & running costs compared to that of "real" ice. With modern synthetic ice every town could have a skating rink! Please also be aware that it is not possible to mix silicone with polyethylene be very cautious if you come across this, Polyethylene is a homogonous block and should not leach oils if it did ask what will happen when it runs out of oil? Oops too late you have to replace your rink………. Or add a glide enhancer.

    If you don't have to add a liquid then surely the skate blade will get very hot due to the high friction? Don't believe me, try rubbing your hands together…….they get hot! Now think what temperature your skate blade will get to on a dry rink. As Scotty said "you can't change the laws of physics!"

    Types of panels

    Jigsaw panels- great for quick assembly, hire & stage use. If you are buying Jigsaw panels make sure the tooth part of the panel is small. Synthetic ice panels with large tooth sections will cause problems. Jigsaw synthetic ice panels must be laid on a firm flat and level surface.

    Rod & Tongue panels- these are heavy duty pro panels and offer a secure tight joint were the panels meet. These tend also to be between 18-22mm thick.

    Flat spine & Dowel panels-once again a pro panel tend to be 22mm thick, for permanent installation. Difficult to remove the dowel when dismantling the rink after use.

    Synthetic Ice is Environmentally Friendly

  • Our environment is our future and all synthetic ice rinks have zero emissions

    • No chillers or compressors
    • Low water usage
    • noise pollution
    • No electricity cost
    • Completely recyclable

    Comparison Chart -(Synthetic ice Vs Frozen H₂O)

    ComparisonConventional IceAlpine Synthetic Ice
    Purpose Skating Multi-purpose
    Building Clear span No special needs
    Floor Concrete or sand Any solid surface
    Power Plant 2 compressors, etc. None
    Technicians 1-2 None
    Annual maintenance Expensive & mandatory Minimal
    Maintenance down time Frequent during a day Minimal
    Special equipment Zamboni, driver & costs Commercial scrubber & vacuum cleaner
    Water consumption 2,600 gallons/day None
    Hot water heating Expensive & continuous None
    Utilities (plant & air-handler) £10,000-£12,000/month None
    Installation time 4-6 months 2,500 sq.ft./day
    Safety factor Frequent injuries Virtually none
    Skaters' comfort Generally cold & damp Very pleasant & dry
    Glide factor:    
    - After resurfacing 100% 90%
    - After 1 hour of skating 85% 90%
    - After 2 hours of skating 78% 90%

    Profit potential

    A Synthetic ice skating rink has a significantly lower purchase cost than frozen H²O it does not require a purpose built building nor does it require any special air handling. Any commercial building with D2 consent will do. With zero electricity consumption and low maintenance costs it is now a viable option to open a Synthetic ice rink anywhere.

    Typical uses of Synthetic ice

    Synthetic Ice Rink Hire
    • Additional attraction for existing soft play, Bowling and Family entertainment centre
    • Unique Skating facility (see case studies)
    • Practice facility (Hockey & Figure Skating)
    • Stage shows & TV (A synthetic rink can be put down and removed in one day)
    • Theme park attractions
    • Festive winter wonderland.


    Synthetic Ice Rink Hire Synthetic Ice Rink Hire

    Synthetic Ice will always be ready for use fast;

    • It never needs to be resurfaced!
    • Synthetic Ice It never melts!
    • Rapid installation (No waiting for the water to freeze)
    • Long working life (Up to 20 years)

    Synthetic ice will always have a place in the market, it is what it is, an alternative to frozen h²o without the operating cost associated with "real" ice. You will always have customers saying it's not real ice! But if they have a go it is good fun, where a novice can learn how to ice skate on a slower surface. It's great where "real" ice can not, for one reason or another be placed due to time constraints or finance. Synthetic ice can be used for stage shows, TV adverts and festive town centre skating rinks.

    Synthetic Ice Rinks, Portable Ice Rinks, Artifical Ice Rinks, Mobile Ice Rinks - Whatever you call them then we are happy to help !

    Contact Alpine Ice Rinks for more information on Synthetic Ice Rinks - 07791 789 904

    Alpine Synthetic Ice

    Our synthetic ice is powered by Ice-y-Blue700™ technology and is regarded by NISA (The National Ice Skating Association of Great Britain & NI) as the best synthetic ice available on the market today.

    Our rinks allow all aspects of NISA's Skate UK programme to be achieved, a first for synthetic ice.

    Our Synthetic ice rinks can be supplied in Standard 500 of Pro700 Ice Panels and with either Jigsaw or Professional H tongue connection systems.

    We also have three different types of barrier systems; Inflatable for fast temporary rinks, a light duty and a Pro Install.

    At Alpine Ice Rinks, we tailor every rink package to suit the customers needs from initial contact, site visits & planning through to after care and service we are with you every step of the way. The best way to evaluate the difference between us and the other companies who supply synthetic ice is to visit one of our customers. This will give you the opportunity to talk to the owner or operator. See the quality of our products and ask the unbiased opinion of someone who has benefited from our 20 years of experience in the leisure industry.

Case studies

Squires Cafe Bar

The challenge of installing a new skating facillity at Squires Cafe Bar, North Yorkshire.

    First opened in 1954, Squires Bradburys Milk Bar was located in a small town of Sherburn-in-Elmet, North Yorkshire.


    After a personal recommendation the owners of Squires approached WH Leisure Limited with an idea they had to transform part of their function room in to an ice rink. After an initial site vist it was clear that real ice was not a option, Synthetic ice offered itself to their requirements. They then researched the market and visited many sites across the country and where possible asking the owners about the rink they owned and the companies that had installed it. After negotiations a design was chosen and a new barrier system manufactured.

    The installation commenced with the laying Visqueen sheeting.

    Squires installation Squires

    The synthetic ice panels wrap around the pillars.

     Squire  Squires

     A custom designed skate hire area is built.

    Squires  Squires

    Last ice panel installed & Skate hire well under way.

    Squires Squires

    The custom designed barrier system is assembed

    Squires Squires

    Barrier sections ready to install & protective floor matting being laid

    Squires Squires

Skate Aids

Polar Bear Skate Aids

They have been designed to help young children gain confidence on the ice. Stable and safe, they encourage a correct skating stance which has won the approval of skating teachers & coaches. Besides helping children learn to skate they are simply good fun and have been designed as a friendly character. Many of our customers hire out their bears during public skating sessions which mean they can recover their investment within a short period of time. They are also good company for the popular Penguin Skate Stability Aid.


Latest News

CBBC Filming

The BBC once again chose Alpine Ice Rinks to provide a small ice pad for CBBC show Marrying Mum & Dad.  More »

BBC One Show

BBC Choose Alpine ice rinks to provide a Curling rink to demonstrate the sport prior to the winter Olympics at slochi.  More »


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