Ice Rink Design

Ice Rink Design: Here are 8 factors for ice rink design an ice rink builder should consider in order to design and plan for the next seasonal backyard ice rink. You'll end up with the least problems and the most enjoyment of your back yard ice rink.

You can build a backyard ice rink or ice skating rink with the fewest problems when you consider these factors:

  • Do your main ice rink designing in the Spring or Summer.
    Okay, this isn't any hard and fast rule, but it definitely is ideal, especially if this is your very first ice rink you're planning. This way, if your desired site has any major flaws, say, not level enough, you'll have time to hire the area graded, or fix the minor flaws yourself. This way, you won't miss out on the season.
  • Access to water.
    The ice in your backyard rink requires some sort of regular maintenance depending on the weather. So you'll need your hose to be able to reach to the farthest corner of your ice rink, both for filling, and for maintenance. Lest you're thinking a 1,500-foot hose will do the trick, don't forget that you'll also have to EMPTY all 1,500 feet of hose between uses, or coil the whole thing and store it in the garage, somewhere where it won't freeze solid.
  • Location location location...
    The common real estate phrase is just as true in ice rink design. If you have to hike out to the back 40, neither you or your kids (or their friends) will be likely to make the trek on a regular basis. The ideal spot for your backyard ice rink is fairly close to the main living area, say 15-40 feet (4.5 – 12 m), where the rink will call to you through the windows of your home, and where all your ice maintenance equipment is close at hand.
  • Rink orientation.
    Just how many picture windows can you afford to replace every week? None? Yeah, same with us. So, orient the ice rink so that it is horizontal to the house, meaning there's no house and no windows behind any goal nets on your backyard ice rink.
  • Pick a flat site.
    A pitch within 6" (0.1524 m) of level is ideal, because ultra-deep spots waste water. With a more or less level pitch, the water will be sooner distributed over your ice rink, you'll use the least amount of water, and that bottom layer of ice that covers the entire rink will be ready sooner. Also, it is easier to build the rink perimeter because you won't have to use extra materials to build up one side and hold in tons of water.
  •  Rink Size...
    Rink size depends of course on your space availability and the purpose for the rink. You'd be surprised how big a rink may seem while you're laying out the perimeter boards. Once you get out there and start skating, the rink might feel quite constricted.

    So, make the rink just as big as you possibly can, space and budget allowing.

    If this is your first rink, you may think, "Let's not go overboard with this whole ice rink thing!" Fair enough. As you use the rink through the winter, you'll know if you want to go bigger next year. If so, you'll just add to the perimeter boards to your ce rink design and purchase a bigger rink liner the following season.
  • Consider the dimensions of common building materials and liner sizes.
    In designing the rink and selecting the final dimensions, you'll save time and waste less material if you work with the available materials without needing to hack a bunch of boards to custom sizes or trim linings.

       -- Boards come in increments of 8', 12' or 16', and in widths of 4", 6", 8", 10", and 12".

       -- Plastic rink liners: provides excellent quality, reasonably priced 6mm liners in these sizes: 32x50, 32x100, 40x50, 40x100, 50x100

       -- In your ice rink design, consider that the rink lining should be at least 5'-6' longer than both the length and the width of the rink. If you start your ice rink design planning with available sizes of rink liners in mind, it may simplify at least some of your decisions.
  • Accessories.
    Don't forget to budget for any accessories you'd like to add to your backyard ice rink! Things like goalie nets, perimeter nets, hockey boards etc.

Making backyard ice rinks is demystified when you understand these eight ice rink design factors.

Now you can confidently lay out your ice rink on paper, rectify any flaws in the terrain, and then build your own ice rink.

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