Can You Figure Skate on Synthetic Ice?

Can You Figure Skate on Synthetic Ice?

People from around the world are beginning to see the benefits of installing synthetic ice as an alternative to real ice for ice skating and hockey. But how does it work? Most avid ice skaters are skilled enough to do all kinds of tricks and unique moves on the ice, including dances, jumps, spins, and figure eights. Is synthetic ice good enough to allow skaters the same kind of freedom as ice skating? You might be surprised at the answer.

What is Synthetic Ice?

Synthetic ice is a type of flooring that came into the public eye in the 1960s. Developers wanted to come up with a solution so that ice skaters could skate without having to keep a refrigerated rink going and maintained all year round.

Early Synthetic Ice

At first, the synthetic ice flooring was very burdensome and clunky because in order for it to work properly there had to be a constant form of lubrication added to the floor. It is easy to see where this could be a problem after a while. In the first place, the plastic that the flooring was made out of did not allow for a great slippery glide even with the lubricant in place.  On top of this, a constant application of some sort of oil or lube had to be in place for the whole process of skating.

  • Needed constant lubricant additives
  • Had massive drag issues

Developing Synthetic Ice

As the years passed the developers did not give up, they knew there had to be a way to create a type of flooring that would mimic ice. The next phase in the history of synthetic ice was a flooring that worked remarkably well some of the time but had to be maintained and re-lubricated monthly, or more depending on how much it was used. Although it was a little crude, it was closer to what they were looking for.

  • Needed monthly lubrication
  • Easier to glide on

Modern Synthetic Ice

After many years of upgrading and tweaking the process, developers came up with a lightweight plastic synthetic ice product that could apply its own lubricant from the inside as the ice skates traveled over it. Thanks to modern technology, and the advancement of science, developers were finally able to virtually mimic real ice and create a flooring solution that gives skaters an authentic ice-like environment to skate on.

  • Self-lubricating system
  • Easy to glide and skate on
  • Minimal drag

Although the synthetic ice of today closely mimics ice, there is still a noticeable drag when skaters use it. However, this little bit of resistance actually helps to build muscles and endurance for skaters because it causes them to expel more energy as they skate and push themselves a little bit harder to get around.

Figure Skating on Synthetic Ice

As for being able to figure skate on artificial ice flooring, it all depends on the quality of the synthetic ice that you are skating on. Some ice panels are created without quality in mind. If you try and do fancy footwork skating on low-grade ice panels you will most likely end up in trouble. Synthetic ice has to be created and installed in a way that provides both safety and durability. If you think about it, the surface that ice skates have to flow over needs to be strong enough to handle the heat and the power of the ice skate blades. If not, there will be major problems. So, yes people can figure skate, and do all kinds of other ice skating feats on synthetic ice, but only if the ice is good enough to allow it.

High-Quality Synthetic Ice

Sniper’s Edge Hockey has the best synthetic ice, and other hockey products on the market today. If you want to figure skate or play the kind of hockey that you can on real ice be sure that you install the highest grade ice panels that are available at the most affordable prices. Don’t cheat yourself, treat yourself to the best.

synthetic ice

Ice Skates And Synthetic Ice

Synthetic ice was developed in the 1960s so that ice skaters could have a place to skate on ice without having to refrigerate a whole building to do it. Of course, in regions where the weather is colder during the winter, having an ice skating rink outside is not a problem. However, many ice skaters would like to skate in the summer as well. After many years of trials and errors, a fantastic version of synthetic ice became available to the public and is very widely used today. It is not exactly like ice, but it is close enough to the real deal for ice skaters to get a good skating session in, and hockey players to play and practice hockey on.

Ice Skates

Humans have been using ice skates for a very long time. In fact, dates trace back to as far as somewhere around 3,000 BCE. This means that ice skates have been in existence for over 5,000 years. Scientists discovered skates that would carry people over ice that were made out of animal bones that date back to these times. It seems as if the people back then used this kind of transportation in order to survive in those days. Although today people use ice skates to play games and have fun, back in the ancient days people used them to survive.

A lot has changed since then, and animal bones have been replaced with other materials such as steel or aluminum. People still use ice skates every day, but the way they are used has changed in many ways.

Ice Skates on Ice

As ice skate blades glide across the ice a lot of things happen in order for them to propel forward. First, the inertia from the skater comes into play as they push their bodies forward in order to go. As the skater moves forward the ice skate blades move across the ice and create a little bit of heat from the friction. As the heat intensifies, the ice melts just a little as the skates flow forward causing a natural lubricant for the blades to slide across like a warm knife through butter. The friction and the heat happen so fast that it is virtually undetectable for the skater. Yet, science does its thing and allows for a seamless venture across the ice. The more skilled the skater is, the better the experience.

Ice Skates on Synthetic Ice

At the beginning of the synthetic ice journey, people would have to apply lubricants and other additives to the flooring constantly in order for skaters to be able to skate across the material at all. It was lunky and clunky at first, so the skaters struggled to stay on their feet and glide the way that they would as if on ice. Developers didn’t give up, though. There had to be away. Many years later inventors discovered a new way to create synthetic ice that had its own lubrication system housed in the material that it is made out of. Synthetic ice will not melt in the way that ice does when the skaters glide across it, however, it can mimic ice and allow for a lubricant to become active when it senses friction. Today, skaters can glide across synthetic ice much like they would on real ice. There is a slight drag for the skaters that they have to get used to at first. It takes a little bit more energy and strength to glide across synthetic ice than it does real ice. However, not much of a difference. In fact, the difference can build strength and stamina for the skaters so that when they go out on the real ice, it will seem like they are gliding on air.

Synthetic Ice is Better

All in all, at the end of the day, synthetic ice is a better solution than real ice. It doesn’t have to be refrigerated, it does not release toxins into the atmosphere. People can skate on synthetic ice in any kind of weather, all year round. It is cost-effective and safe. If the worst thing about it is that there is a little more drag than real ice, you can’t go wrong if you choose it. If you want the best bang for your buck, always choose Sniper’s Edge Hockey training products.