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05-22-2009, 10:44 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Originally Posted by
yeah no kidding they really are a lot of work ....it seems sometyimes more time is spent grooming it instead of playing on it. Weather is brutally frustrating sometimes.
I live in Maine in the southern part about 35 miles from the ocean and we get cold fronts from Canada which rule and then warm fronts from the southern parts of the US where we can get 2 days of rain with temps in the 50s F.
Most of last winter was highs of 21 F and lows overnight of 10 F to -10 F
I noticed the best time to flood using a fine spray cone of water from a garden hose was at about 7 degrees F freezing on contact almost.
I never ever flooded the rink to have a new glass smooth surface because the ice would be chippy and/or get thermal cracks when the temps changed causing big cracks.
i went with the thin resurfacing approach like a Zamboni does, in fact if you notice it the Zamboni leaves the old skate ruts there but has smoothed them over. The ice is never like glass after a Zamboni has finished resurfacing a rink.
A place across town from me years ago had 2 outdoor rinks, one for hockey and one for just skating, that they would drive the Zamboni from next door used in the indoor ice rink to do the ice on the outdoor rinks.
it did a fantastic job on outdoor ice and the ice never had bad spot, thin white ice covered air pockets or chippy ice. Over time it had the same qualities as indoor ice.
They no longer do that but it was nice when they did a few years ago.
Ya, you truly have to love the game to make a rink... the work can be brutal. Especially the midnight floodings when it is like -2 F outside and you are standing there spraying water... and God forbid you left the hose outside...
Im from Pittsburgh and it is kind of unusual to see a backyard rink there... I always had people stopping to look at it... one time my neighbor's car caught on fire and when the fireman came to put out the fire, more of them were coming down to look at my rink than fight the fire... it was funny ****.
I was able to have a rink from New Years to about the end of February... but like you said the warm spells and rain would wreck havoc on my rink... one time I tried to cover my rink before it rained and the tarp froze to the rink... yet another lesson learned.
By the time I made my last rink in '05, I was pretty much a pro... I knew my deviations and exactly how high to make my low side borders so the rink would flood evenly, how to make the ice smooth as glass, how to perfectly fill blowout holes, etc etc.
I met my g/f that year and now live up in Canada during the Winter, so I haven't made a rink in 4 years... but with all of the free outdoor rinks up here, I play almost everyday from Dec-March.
When I used to build my own rink, my favorite time was skating by myself, just the sounds of my blades hitting the ice and catching the snowflakes with my tongue... no feeling like that in the world.
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