The Oliveira Backyard Rink

by Ryan
( Elk River, MINNESOTA USA )

My name is Ryan and I grew up on the West Island of Montreal, so (of course) a lifetime fan of the Habs. Life has taken me to a northern suburb of Minneapolis, MN where I live with my wife and young family. We have a 5 year-old boy and 3 year-old girl and I am hoping to pass along to them the wonderful sport of hockey by putting in a backyard rink.

The weather here is probably pretty similar to parts of Southern Ontario (at least we seem to be getting colder weather than my folks are getting in Ottawa), and its been a great year to take up a backyard rink as it's been colder than in past years.

For my rink I also used a polyethylene liner with 32x32 dimensions, but more importantly I used a couple of rolls of butyl tape to be able to customize the poly i needed since here @Home Depot the 6MIL polyethylene comes in 20x100 sheets which I had to cut into 2 strips of 20x50 and sealed together (with the butyl).

I did have to find out the 'hard way' that yes, contrary to what Red Green might think, Duct tape (and many other forms of 'high-intensity' tapes) was useless for this activity. Butyl was awesome and kept my poly water tight which was important for my not-so-level backyard.

I can't tell you how much fun and the great times we've had out there inventing new games, learning new skills, but mostly sharing great father son/daughter times.

Since this is my first year doing the backyard rink, I've tried a number of different approaches to resurfacing -  including the use of a tool my 3 year-old officially has come to call the use of a backyard "famboni". A combination of PVC Pipe and a pair of old jeans allows me to resurface with hot water (I read that hot water bonds better than does cold water for light resurfacing - like I'm doing with the Zamboni) which has resulted in a nice glass-looking finish.

Thanks for putting your site together, I look forward to the e-zines, and keep your stick on the ice!



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