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-   -   Outdoor rink thread (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=118023)

Jacques Plante 12-11-2004 04:07 PM

Outdoor rink thread
The idea behind this thread is to talk about hockey in its purest form: the outdoor rink. Share your stories of those cold days where you just didn't want to come in and tips on how to build a successful rink.

I live out in the country and recently we just had a multitude of freezing rain. This formed a pond in a field just outside of my house. Now we just had a big snow storm and everything has frozen up solid. Today I went out and cleared the snow from ontop of the ice. It isn't cold enough to be skated on but it can be walked on. The forecast for the upcoming is cold so I'm hoping to have an outdoor rink by mid-week.

We finally got a snowblower so maintenance will be alot quicker and easier. I plan to use a simple bucket of water to maintain the ice as there is not hose near by.

Share your story :)

devilsfan26 12-11-2004 04:49 PM

I don't live north enough for there to be frozen ponds or even for me to buy one of those outdoor rink things that you fill with water and let freeze in the winter, so the only outdoor hockey I've played has been street/roller hockey. My next-door neighbor pretty much got me into hockey when I was in first grade. I started out playing 1-on-1 with him on the concrete patio in my backyard using a baseball bat and a broken tee-ball tee as sticks, and these little prickly ball things that came off of the tree in my backyard as pucks. Then our parents got us some real sticks and skates and two nets, and the two of us gathered a group of people on our street and around the corner who liked hockey, and almost every single day immediately after school we would play hockey in our street until it got too dark to play. Unfortunately, everybody else was older than me, so by the time I was in 5th or 6th grade, they suddenly stopped playing. I couldn't understand why, but I was really sad when I got off the bus after school and for about two weeks in a row I didn't see them out there waiting for me to get home so we could play hockey.

So after about three years of no outdoor hockey at all, I had a big birthday party at my house and invited a bunch of people and we played hockey. For almost everybody, it was their first time playing hockey, and they loved it, so for about two years we played on my friend's street every Friday after school using garbage cans as nets until we couldn't see the ball anymore. Eventually he bought a net and we didn't use the garbage cans anymore. Then we discovered a spot a little but further up the street where there was enough light for us to play in the dark, so we continued playing there from right after school until around 10:30 every Friday. :yo: Soon, my other friend realized that nobody ever plays tennis on the tennis court at the end of his street, and since it was a much better surface than the street and had a fence surrounding it, we moved our games there and played two or three times a week.

When we found a bunch of other hockey fans/players in our neighborhood, we also discovered a very nice outdoor rink in a nearby park, and played a nice big game there every Saturday for about two years or so. In addition to this, we continued to play at the tennis court since it was much closer to everybody and the surface was still smoother.

We still occasionally play at the tennis court, and I organize a semi-annual organized game at the outdoor rink, complete with NHL rules, a ref, and a Stanley Cup-looking thing I made out of three flower pots, duct tape, and spray paint. For more information click here :D

nic29+ 12-11-2004 04:49 PM

We have a skateboard park right beside our rink and this year they built boards around it and made an outdoor rink. It's pretty nice.

DanG 12-20-2004 01:26 AM

There is a nice one in Budapest:)


FLYLine24 12-20-2004 10:37 AM

There is a pond close from me that freezes up come winter time. My friends and I try to get there the day it opens because A LOT of familes bring there kids to skate on it. But we play hockey on it till we cant see the puck anymore. Though sometimes there are little rocks that stick out from the ice so if you catch one of those its not a fun trip crashing to the hard ice.

jiggs 10 12-21-2004 02:10 PM

I'm still regretting the day about 22 years ago when I went to the rink and forgot my stocking hat. My ears turned white, I peeled off 6 layers of skin as they thawed, and to this day my ears get cold if the temp gets below 30 degrees!

I grew up playing outdoors at my school rink 3 blocks away. Sometimes my friend and I would be the only ones there when it was -20, but we'd shoot the puck against the boards or go one-on-one for 15 or 20 minutes until our feet were numb, then thaw out and do it again. You really learn camraderie in the warming house when you're a kid, even more so than in locker rooms when you are older. But always watch your shoes!

Slats432 12-21-2004 02:15 PM

My parents were the managers of the outdoor rink that I played hockey at. Every day at lunch and after school, I would go and see my Dad and play hockey.

There is nothing better than my memories of being the only one on the rink just shooting into the empty nets.....

Also, it builds character when 20 guys stop playing hockey and everyone shovels the snow to clean off the ice in about 10 minutes.

jiggs 10 12-21-2004 02:24 PM


Originally Posted by slats432
My parents were the managers of the outdoor rink that I played hockey at. Every day at lunch and after school, I would go and see my Dad and play hockey.

There is nothing better than my memories of being the only one on the rink just shooting into the empty nets.....

Also, it builds character when 20 guys stop playing hockey and everyone shovels the snow to clean off the ice in about 10 minutes.

I couldn't agree more. It's ridiculous to go to an outdoor rink today and see kids skating through 6 inches of snow because they are too lazy to shovel the rink! When I was a kid, if you didn't shovel, you didn't skate!

Gee Wally 12-21-2004 03:10 PM

I was lucky enough to grow up directly across the road from a marshy area.
I'd pput my skates on in my grandma's kitchen , walk out the door, across the road and onto the ice.
The only drawback was that we had to burn down the reeds and plants every October to get good ice. My dad was a firefighter so there was significant scheduling issues. :D

The last few years I've owned a kit purchased through Sears. Basically a bunch of platic pipe and a liner. Goes together realtively quickly. As long as you get it level there will be about 3 inches thick solid ice. At night I'd fill a few 10 gallon pails with hot water to keep it clean and smooth. Once the snow starts I'd just shovel it up around the sides to make short * boards *.

Keetz 12-21-2004 10:00 PM

In minnesota during my 11th and 12th grade I was the manager of the warming house at our local rink. It was right next to a pond, but they flooded an area next to it and built boards in another area so they didn't have to deal with the reeds like Gee Wally did.

I get lost in nostalgia every time I think of it. It was totally storybook at times. Light snow under the lights....sweating bullets in -20 degree cold. eyes getting literally frozen shut. shovel races, shoveling races. Man I loved it!

romain_jaime 12-24-2004 10:41 AM

I live in D.D.O, Quebec and there is one rink on Gouin where the guy who takes care of it is a fanatic... He will kick everyone off the rink for 30 minutes when it is getting bad and clean it with the brushes. This is the best rink I have seen in the longest time and at night the hockey can get pretty competetive as people from all over the west island come to this particular rink

BlueAndGold 12-24-2004 01:24 PM

Somebody in my son's youth hockey program wrote a pretty lengthy article about how to build a backyard rink. Quite a few families in the area have used it to build their rinks.


I've built a home rink for the past 5 years. My family and I have had an abolute blast with this. It actually makes winter something to look forward to - and you don't mind the really cold temps. It's good for the ice you know.

Yesterday, a huge tree just fell in my yard and crushed one of the boards. Luckily we haven't filled the rink with water yet or it could have ruined the rink for the season.

Frightened Inmate #2 12-24-2004 07:49 PM

there is one in our community about a 2 minute walk from my place, but the issue that I have is that there are punks that come by and smash the ice when it starts to get even the least bit soft and it kills me to see it. A few years ago I volunteered and spent quite a few hours working on the rink in very cold weather, a week later someone smashed up a good part of the rink. since then I haven't volunteered. That really really upset me there.

But does anyone have any suggestions as how how to keep really good ice, as the natural ice seems to get cut up quite easily, and then you have the previously mentioned teenage punks out there that try and break it up. I think I am going to get back into the volunteering thing for that rink. Tomorrow is supposed to have some -20 degree temps at night, which should work for freezing the ice.

Accord 12-25-2004 02:08 AM

Conveniently enough, at the bottom of this thread there are advertisements with links to backyard ice rinks.

Does anyone here (that lives in a warm climate) have a synthetic ice rink in their backyard or in their house?

Keetz 12-25-2004 02:16 AM

O.K. Dang it what the hell is synthetic ice?

Accord 12-25-2004 07:26 PM


Originally Posted by Keetz
O.K. Dang it what the hell is synthetic ice?

It's this special type of plastic that you can skate on, check out www.kwikrink.com for more info.

Canadian Chris 12-25-2004 07:32 PM

Last night me and a few buddies went out west of town and played from like 8pm till 1am....it was good times....the ice was GREAT. It was so hard, and even after an hour plus of skating, it was hardly chewed up at all....It was simply a great night...some light flurries here and there, we had 2 goalies...both in full gear so we were able to play an actual game :D....oh ya, and some Eric Brewer guy was there....:D....he wasn't TOO bad...

Keetz 12-25-2004 11:16 PM


Originally Posted by Accord
It's this special type of plastic that you can skate on, check out www.kwikrink.com for more info.

Be - Freakin - Zar Dude! what about stops and stuff. All I for-see are broken ankles.

Accord 12-26-2004 02:16 AM


Originally Posted by Keetz
Be - Freakin - Zar Dude! what about stops and stuff. All I for-see are broken ankles.

Everything you can do on regular ice, you can do on synthetic ice and that includes hockey stops at full speed. The only differences between real ice and synthetic is that synthetic ice has something like a ~30% higher coefficient of drag than real ice, so when you're skating you constantly have to be skating hard the entire time. You'll see a lot of training camps and hockey schools and whatnot using synthetic ice because you really get a great workout.

Check out this video of some guys having a mini-practice on synthetic ice, it shows them doing stops and all sorts of stuff, just to give you an idea of how awesome synthetic ice is: http://www.indigoridge.net/hockey_Win_Media_9_256.wmv

I'd love to have a synethtic ice rink in my house :D.


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