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What makes for "Good ice conditions"?

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12-12-2011, 01:50 AM
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Mindcircus
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What makes for "Good ice conditions"?

With the recent story about how bad the Staples ice is, it got me wondering why the ice is so bad. I know that since Staples is a multi sport arena, switching the basketball courts in and out causes issues with the ice. But with the NBA (joke of a league) in a lock out until recently, this excuse doesn't seem to hold water.

So what plays the part of whether or not the ice is good or bad? Edmonton notoriously seems to have the best ice conditions in the league, but why? Is it because of the cold climate? Are the ice conditions bad out here in LA because people can walk around outside with shorts on?

Help me understand.

Thanks!

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12-12-2011, 01:55 AM
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LatvianTwist
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I don't really know what causes it. A lot of times, it's not so much the ice itself, but the Zambonis or the conditions inside the arena. If there's too much excess water, or it doesn't freeze quickly enough, then oftentimes the ice will just suck.

That's what I've gathered from experience, but I'm nowhere near an expert, so don't rely on this.

PS: Sorry for being on the Kings' board, this thread title just interested me from the main page.

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12-12-2011, 01:57 AM
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etherialone
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If you can stand sifting through my past postings ( be prepared) you will find a few articles that I have written about ice conditions around the NHL along with a breakdown of what conditions are present at each of the highest rated arenas as well as their chemical breakdowns.

A rule of thumb though is the warmer the arena temps the more artificial ice or chemical enhancement you will typically find. If I can find it I will post up a link.

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12-12-2011, 02:00 AM
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Dgill
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What I consider bad ice is chippy/flaky, rough surface, harder to skate on/make passes, and soft. With bad ice I always found you that bad ruts were more likely to appear because the ice isn't as hard. Generally the colder the ice, the smoother and harder it is to skate on/pass. You don't feel yourself tearing up the ice on those tight turns as much. That is what I consider good ice.

LA could you could have factors such as climate (although in todays world there are very efficient cooling systems) and being multi-purpose arena with the time frame between games. I also have no doubt some people complain about LA because they are a Southern market.

However my hometown arena has a modern cooling system and on hot days I do find the ice not to be 100%.

I would much rather play in an old arena any day then a newer arena from my experiences in NS.

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12-12-2011, 02:08 AM
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Cruel11
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Apparently, the ice at Staples is worse than ever.

Quote:
Second, the subject of ice quality at Staples Center is a regular one. The ice has never been particularly good, but there’s a sense that it’s worse than ever. To that end, Dan Craig, the NHL’s facilities operations manager — a.k.a. “ice guru’’ — visited the arena on Saturday to check things out. It’s not known what he thought or saw, exactly, but one player said this week that the ice quality is awful, and that he often sits on the bench between shifts and notes the bad bounces that the puck takes. This player, it should be noted, also made a point of saying that both teams have to deal with bad ice, and that it wasn’t a reason for the Kings’ offensive struggles.
http://lakingsinsider.com/

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12-12-2011, 02:52 AM
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kingscourt26
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I have skated at most rinks in the LA area and I have played at Staples. It really is bad ice. A lot has to do with the outside air temperature. Many problems occur when the ice "sweats" and refreezes as a top layer. This creates very flaky, dense, ice opposed to softer ice (think shaved Hawaiian ice as opposed to crushed ice from your frige).

I'm not an expert or anything but climate changes in California through different seasons have affected every rink I've played at. And I stay away from outdoor rinks with my expensive skates.

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12-12-2011, 03:19 AM
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Mr Irreverent
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12-12-2011, 08:43 AM
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The Tikkanen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingscourt26 View Post
I have skated at most rinks in the LA area and I have played at Staples. It really is bad ice. A lot has to do with the outside air temperature. Many problems occur when the ice "sweats" and refreezes as a top layer. This creates very flaky, dense, ice opposed to softer ice (think shaved Hawaiian ice as opposed to crushed ice from your frige).

I'm not an expert or anything but climate changes in California through different seasons have affected every rink I've played at. And I stay away from outdoor rinks with my expensive skates.
I've played at Staples a couple of times and didn't really notice the ice conditions. My impression was the ice at Honda center was harder and it was warmer inside Staples. But, that could be because they turn off the A/C when the minions hit the ice after the Kings play. I've always preferred playing in a very cold ice rink, found the conditions were better. Staples seems too warm for me, like they're more worried about the fans butts being warm than the condition of the ice.

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12-12-2011, 09:31 AM
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Whiskeypete
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temp is one factor, but humidity plays an equally important role. when 18K+ people pack into Staples the temp and humidity rise. as a result the conditions change inside the 'rink'. the temp and humidity levels have to be constantly monitored and the blowers monitored also as levels change. it's easier to see in smaller rinks for example, but sometimes you will see the 'wet spots' on the ice. it could be due to temp, could be bad refrigeration underneath, it could be a blower pumping to much air onto the ice.

one of the main reasons Staples has bad conditions is the sheer size of it. it makes it virtually impossible to control the actual ice surface and the immediate area, when you have a gigantic cavern surrounding it. yes there are large venues in other markets that don't have poor ice conditions. they also don't battle 70-90 degree heat in January, which complicates matters inside.

its a friggin' nightmare. the rink i coach at here in Chicago has had a few issues here and there. usually it has been due to a malfunction in a de-humidifier or a blower over the ice pushing to much air down directly on the ice.

re-surfacing the ice is absolutely crazy. the Zamboni is THE strangest contraption i have ever operated. there are no gauges on it when it comes to the 'cut'. it is all about experience and literally feeling the blade with your body as it makes contact. the only reference points the driver has is down in a few spaces of the conditioner (the part that atually is on the ice and has the blade/squeegies) to see how much 'snow they are making' and also how much is collecting up in the hopper. depending on how tight you make your passes a good driver can cut the ice in 7 minutes (this is hauling ass) to 10 minutes (the usual run). in this timeframe you will make essentially 7 or 8 cuts and almost fill the hopper on the Zam.

good drivers will do much to keep the ice level and smooth, but this isn't enough. the underground refrigeration and conditions are just as if not more vital to the overall quality because this is what makes and allows the ice to form. the Zam just resurfaces it

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12-12-2011, 01:01 PM
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Stupid Sexy Flanders
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiskeypete View Post
temp is one factor, but humidity plays an equally important role.
Yep.
Cold dry air = good ice.
Staples needs better dehumidification.

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