Friday, July 16, 2010

Backyard Ice: Summer Edition

I never intended for this blog to be a “how-to” blog. There are enough of those out there, and there are almost as many different ways to build backyard rinks as there are backyards, climates, and budgets. Rather, my aim for this blog was, as good ol' Dickie Dunn put it, to capture the spirit of the thing. And, since the spirit of a backyard rink is not too strong in the summertime, here are a few random thoughts on backyard ice.

Item #1:
There is such a thing as synthetic ice.  Charlottetown had a 3-on-3 hockey tournament on fake ice as part of their summer festival (see here); I'd like to know how that went.  But in doing a small bit of research on synthetic ice, I can report with a fair amount of confidence that it would cost thousands of dollars to put fake ice on my backyard rink.  (An article I read said that it costs about $3500 to outfit an average basement with synthetic ice.)  One marketing angle that the manufacturers of fake ice use is that it gives your kids an advantage over other kids in their development as hockey players...I wonder if some NHL team would fund my rink in exchange for the rights to any players who are a product of it?

From my first blog entry: "Dad had a small fish pond nearby, and flooded the rink with a sump-pump and water from the pond."  So here, pulled straight from the family archives, is a picture of my brother Jaimie on the pond:
Many people are aware that Jaimie is a darn good hockey player.  But what they don't know is that he has always been a very stylish man...note that his hat and pants match perfectly

Here is a line from the song "700 ft. Ceiling" by The Tragically Hip :
In our own backyard, we can do some floodin' / when it's cold and dark, don't have to think or nothin', I wonder what that's all about...?

Item #4:
So, as you complain about the heat and humidity, shoo away some black flies and swat some mosquitos, just remember that in a few short months all this nasty summer stuff will be a memory...


  1. Nice blog you have here. Backyard skating anytime of the year is a great tradition.

    Summer backyard synthetic ice rinks are growing. One installed in Quebec and New Jersey in May/June 2010. See pictures in our 1 on 1 Blog or Blog.

  2. We've literally sold hundreds of backyard rink across Canada and the USA. We have a 99.7% satisfaction rating - so I guess these folks are pretty happy skating year round. We put in that ice in Charlottetown too for the 3 on 3 tournament. You can see the pics of the 40 x 80 IcePro surface with boards at The event was awesome, the kids had a blast. I'll get you some video when we have them off the camera.


  3. Hey Chris.

    Stumbled on your facebook page, which led me to your blog. Intresting reading. :)

    I sure remember all those winter days spent on the Kane hockey rink.
    The good ole days. :P

    Steve Sabean