Embrace The Great Canadian Winter, With An Ice Rink In Your Own Backyard!
Read on for how-tos, and tips for your ice rink.
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An ice rink can be made in a few days with some boards and a lot of spraying. Not only is it a source of physical recreation just outside your back door it is a social medium because you can have skating parties or hockey tournaments. In addition, the sights and sounds of kids playing hockey at night under a spotlight, you’ll be making memories you’ll keep forever.
First, wait until you have good snow cover and you’re confident it isn’t going to melt away on a warm day. If the snow is “packing snow” we can stomp as is; if not we put a spray attachment on the hose and spray water on it as we go. Working in squares about 8 feet on a side, and wearing thick heavy boots. We just stomp down the damp snow into almost-ice, walking over the same sections again, and again to eliminate the holes and ridges from the time before.
Shovel off any snow, get everyone out there to skate, then clean up with a quick scrape of the snow shovel, water, and go to bed. It’s a peaceful time, outside in the quiet and the cold.
The only maintenance for the ice rink other than shoveling and watering is keeping dark debris off the surface. A large, partly rotted leaf, for example, can melt its way completely through the ice on a warm spring day, and then there’s a hole for water to escape. Pick that sort of thing up if you see it, or cover it with a little handful of patted-down snow.
To reduce damage to the lawn below, I would remove the rink as soon as the snow starts to melt.
A few helpful tips:
- We highly recommend you use a level to find out whether your backyard slopes and build the boards higher at the side of the rink where the ground is lowest; otherwise, the water may flow out over the edge.
- You’ll need to flood your ice rink from time to time. Pick a clear day and use a fine mist; a full blast of water will make the ice bumpy.
- Clear the ice rink immediately after every snowfall to keep the surface smooth.
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