Archives for August 2013

All About Living with Lines, Limbs and Leaves…..

ice-rink-with-linesHow to add a face off circle or lines is a common question. We’re also asked if our liners have lines? The answer is ‘no’ but you may be able to purchase a line alternative separately and we will get to that later. In the meantime, if your rink is in a full sun area, read on.

1.) If you have any experience with building rinks you know what happens when a leaf or other dark object freezes in the top of your ice. The sun is attracted to the dark object and heat is generated and a hole is melted and sometimes as deep as 3 inches in a day. Imagine your rink now with blue and red lines or face off dots. In a perfect rink world, the sun would not come out and melt those areas but we love the sun and the sun loves to shine and not being able to use your rink on sunny days would be a disappointment. In short the slushy areas would be many and your skating surface would be ruined. As you can see the rink above is in almost complete shade. 

2.) In our area, almost without fail, while the water is freezing there is some snow falling. This snow, then is absorbed into the rink water and surface area, turning it white. If your white liners had lines or dots then chances are you would not see them as they would be obscured from view.



So now the only real opportunity to add lines is if your ice surface is shrouded in cloud or in a treed area with minimal exposure to the sun. Of course you can always add them after your rink is frozen. There are very few people that can add lines because only a few rink builders have shaded areas.

Pictured here is the Ultimate Outdoor Rink alternative. PuckgoRound Corners

These pieces of puck board are the line markers that are the most effective for marking your blue lines and red lines for your rink with out destroying your surface. They are drilled for fastening to your rink framing material and to your boards top edge.


How to Repair Your Ice Rink Liner


Underwater Patch Kit

We have saved our white rink liners in the past but remember these following points to ponder. White ice rink liners and replacement ice rink liner tarps come in rolls or folded neatly. When you are done with them for the season, the larger sizes are hard to fold up small and store as they were when you received them.

While in storage they are susceptible to other forms of damage like mice eating holes or cats/dogs or children playing near them. Make sure they are stored properly and many years are probable when using the Liner Protection System.  We have had a mouse chew a hole through our liner while stored improperly and have heard many a story relayed to us the same.

When using the white patch tape make sure the cut/ gash area is dry. The white patch tape bonds best above 5 degrees. The patch tar sheet bonds best with heat. You can work with it in cool temperatures but a hair dryer and or a heat gun will bond the tar patch to your poly. CAUTION. The heat gun can do more harm than good. It can melt the entire section of white poly and actually make your situation worse. Do not hurry and keep away from your area by at least a 16″. Test the warmth from your heat gun at your liner to insure it is only warm and not hot. Remember you are simulating the suns rays. Hair dryers are our recommendation but you are simulating the sun here as well so you may need to actually hold the hair dryer above the patch area for several minutes. Time it! Test the edges to see if it peels off.


Here is the scenario if you have an unsuspecting puncture or tear.

1) Set up frame.

2) Lay your rink liner or replacement white ice rink tarp .

3) Fasten all your framing materials. (plywood or 2″ x 10″s etc.)

4) Turn on hose and fill.

5) 15 hours later wonder why rink is not filling.

6) Wade through water with shoes off (very cold) to locate hole. After finding or not finding hole(s) decide to replace.

Repeat steps 1 through 4 again. You decide what works best for you!

First Day of Outdoor Ice Skating Season Since 1994 in Ontario

first-ice-skating-dateHere are our first skate times since we started to record them since 1994. These are the dates our blades hit the ice for the first time yearly in our local Southwestern Ontario, Canada.

1994…December 12

1995…December 06
1996…November 16
1997…December 18
1998…December 22
1999…December 27
2000…December 24
2001…December 22
2002…December 05
2003…December 04

2004…December 20

2005…December 03

2006…December 07

2007…November 25 now thats a good ole fashion winter !!!

2008…November 20 and this was good too!

2009…December 12
2010…December 07

2011…December 10

2012…December  20

2013 …December 27
Keep in mind that several of these years we were chased off of our ice pad due to warm trends that followed cold snaps. 1996, 2003, 2006 and 2011 being four of them. Also remember your location will greatly affect your “first skate” times.

Easy 3 Step Hockey Backboard System


Step 1: Cut your plywood if need be.  Make a plan and work your plan to suit your rink width and fasten with 2″x4″s
as per picture below.

Easy Wrap Around Backboard System. Just add TRU Corners for the complete look! 

The Backboard Braces are the Series 2 Classic J-Brace. Order them separately for fastening your backboards with integrity and strength. These braces not included with the rink kit and not to be confused with the amazing 5 in 1 J-brace which are rink frame, rink building freedom  included with 2200 to 9985 series rink kits.  Shown just below in the fall…. our backyard backboard set up complete with Series 2 backboard Classic Steps 2&3: Stand it up using 2″ x 4″ s to hold your plywood in place and then fasten them together. Depending on the width you may need to do this in several sections. Then use 2″ x 4″ angle supports as shown to add integrity and strength.

Step 4 (Bonus):

To add the wrap around section as shown above just prepare and assemble using 1 piece of plywood. Safety is paramount, so do cut your plywood, backboard wrap around, on a 45 degree angle as shown and support from exterior sides with 45 degree angle supports.

Puck board


How to Create “The Best Outdoor Rink on the Street”

ultimate backyard ice rinkThese steps are your basic frame assembly steps when you wish the “Best Outdoor Rink on the Street”

  • Assembling your frame to complete the “best outdoor rink on the street” is slightly different than the basic rink frame assembly.  Is the top of your frame level all the way around the perimeter? This means you need to know the level of your outdoor rink site. Check it! If you are handy man you will know how to do this. Perhaps you know someone if you aren’t sure?
  • You will need to cut your lumber to the lay of your backyard rink site slope. This is very easy but you need a skill saw. See You Tube Video below.
  • Assemble your angle cut frame under your straight 2″ x 8″ frame by using the 5in1 Rink Stake to bind top and bottom together. Your frame height will need to be at least 3-4″ higher than your maximum water depth or slope as per your slope calculations done with your line level, transit or laser line level.
  • When your water depth becomes 7″- 8″ in depth you will need to start to increase the frequency of the placement of your 5in1 Rink Stake. One every 6′-8′. If you are using 12′ lengths for your framing material the natural 5in1Rink Stake placement would be every 6′.
  • If you get to a 9”-12” depth of water you will need to place 5in1 Rink Stake every 4’-6’ and Support 45’s should be added.
  • If you approach 16” in water depth 5in1 Rink Stake need to be placed every 3′-4’ and Support 45’s will need to be added. 

After Your Frame Has Been Assembled

7 Easy Steps to the “Best Outdoor Rink” on the Street

This is the order of install of these add on items, to create your “Best on the Street” outdoor rink.

1. You will then use the Presto Install Support 45’s in your personalized colors as additional support. Above in red and blue and at 45 degree to the ground.After the liner is installed and not fastened (use liner clips) turn on the water. As the water level gets higher the water level height is now similar all the way around the inner frame.

2. Once the water covers all the liner of your outdoor rink and the minimum depth is 2″-3” then add Presto Install Corner Seats in your color choice. Just 3 screws each.

3. After your Presto Install Corner Seats, add your PuckGoRounds to match the arc of the Corner Seats. Just 6 screws each.

4. Once your Presto Install Corner Seats and PuckGoRounds are installed in that order then its time for The Liner Protection System in 6’ sections either installed with screws or GripnGo’s. You will need to cut your L.P.S. in 6′ sections and back roll the curl out for easy install. You may also just roll our the entire roll and fasten as you go. A helper here for the install is good due to the length of the L.P.S. roll.

5. It finishes it all off…Presto Install T.E.P. (Top Edge Protect) Your color choice to coordinate with your favorite team. Our favorite for personalization, customization, and presentation.

6. Easy Install Backboards – 4’ x 8’ sheets of 5/8” plywood across one end or both ends of your rink. Use the 5 in 1 Rink Stake again as a slim line brace with the bend “J” hooked over the boards so your plywood can be placed right next to the rink frame. This is the flexibility of the 5 in 1 Rink Stake. No extra add on items to buy. Use the Classic -Brace Series 2 to lock down your supports for your backboards. with 1″ x 6″ s.

7. Add your personalized logo in  Bulldog, Eagle, Shark or Wolf characters. Get your name added to it as a Center Ice Art logo or as a Board Banner or Deck Banner. If you are hesitant about the Center Ice Art logo and Solar Melt, (the reason why you don’t install red and blue lines) don’t worry we have solutions for that as well. Call 1 800 448 6648.

   We have over 25 years of experience in fast and easy systems that allow your success. Good advice because we know!!


The 3 most important things to a successful and Ultimate Outdoor Rink.


  • Pristine liner. No punctures, No tears. No mouse chews or human or animal made damage, No screw/nail/staple punctures below water level.
  • Proper slope/grade calculations for Best Outdoor Rink on the Street assembly or if no measurement is done then the ability to add to your original frame with your second tier addition because you have enough liner to do so. Be sure to have 2′ on all sides as extra poly. 
  • Enough support to hold the water weight/depth inside your frame.

Rink Guru’s note: We believe that if you have done your homework and know your outdoor rink site, you can order all your requirements the first time and not need to order more items for your success at a later date. We have no problems serving you and your needs anytime.

We have a friendly, knowledgable, customer support team to answer all questions you may have.   Looking forward to your call. The Ultimate Outdoor Rink Team 1.800.448.6648

7 Mistakes Made by Backyard Ice Rink Builders PLUS How Much Support for Sloped Yards is Needed

1. Trying to seam 2 or more pieces of poly together. This is sure to cause you more headaches and grief than you could possibly know. Leaks, Leaks, Leaks.

2. Not understanding the slope where you have positioned your rink frame. Many issues would develop from this including # 7 below.

3. Making the outdoor rink frame the same size as the liner

4. Fastening the liner to the inside of your outdoor rink frame before the water gets added and not allowing the liner to settle into the lay of the land previous to fastening. As your liner settles and drops down into all low points it would then rip off of its fastening staples or strapping and now all fastening holes are likely below the water line with your water draining out.

5. Not doing enough research and trying to install your Ultimate Rink in a hurry because there is cold front coming. The result: Almost every mistake discussed here.

6. Too many beers causing carelessness and damage to the liner, due to dropped tools, walking on your outdoor rink poly or dragging across the rough ground or the cement garage floor. Friction tears, punctures and rips to the most important piece of your Ultimate Rink success is not a good scenario. Take care of your most valuable asset, your 7 ply liner. 

7. Many rink builders build their frame and turn on the hose and walk away for the fill. After all it does take many hours. If the rink site is more sloped than the rink builder thinks, when you return hours later the entire end may be missing as it “blows out” due to the  massive water weight as the depth of water rises in their deep end. You will need to monitor the filling process.



Please, for your sake, don’t add lines to your rink for a pro look unless you have complete shade from the sun. The sun attracts to your dark lines and causes solar melt on your outdoor rink surface where there is anything dark like lines, leaves, pine cones etc. This would mean that a slushy mess is created and your skating surface ruined where your lines have been added. If you have complete shade in your rink building area, lines are an sweet addition.

And one last thing. If you need to somehow level your site or your outdoor rink frame because you have misjudged the outdoor rink slope or grade in the area that you have chosen then, please, please, don’t use snow. Suffice to say snow melts during mild conditions.

What would you do then?

Thanks for asking!

You would use the Amazing  5 in 1 Rink Stake that literally gives you rink building freedom when you install “Ultimate Rink” from the beginning.

15″ – 18″ of water requires a Rink Stake 5 in 1 and a 17″- 22″ Support 45 every 2′

12″ – 15″ of water requires a Rink Stake 5 in 1 and a 17″ Support 45 every 3′

8″ – 11″ of water requires a Rink Stake 5 in 1 and a 17″ Support 45 every 4′-6′

5″ – 7″ of water requires a Rink Stake 5 in 1 every 6′-8′ (no Support 45 needed)

Up to 4″ of water requires a Rink Stake 5 in 1 every 10′-12′ (no Support 45 needed)


Attention Rink Builders

Almost all ice rink sites have a section or an area where one end or side is lower than another. You may even find opposite corners that are lower. A successful rink builder needs to identify the above scenario. The builder needs to determine their extra Rink Stake 5 in 1 placement for frame support where it holds the deepest water.
Find your level by using a transit (if available) a laser line level or a string and line level. See the the first video in the video library Once you have determined the grade, slope or level of your site, here is the easy calculation for what extra Rink Stake 5 in 1 you will need as indicated above.

EVERY YARD NEEDS TO HAVE THE SLOPE REVIEWED. There are no short cuts here for any rink.

Your kit comes with 1 Rink Stake  5 in 1 for every 12′ of board. A level site is considered level if it has no more than 3-5″ of water/ice at its maximum. A recent survey shows the average rink builder has 12″ of water depth. I know we have shared this previously on other pages but it is extremely important. It is a fact and a characteristic of all rink building areas. You need support for this 12″ of water. After you have determined your site area slope, your support basic formula is as follows……

The deeper your water the closer your Rink Stake 5 in 1 support system needs to be, then gradually  widen spacing  towards shallow end/high end of slope where there will be less water. Monitor your filling water depth if it’s your first time.


If in doubt always order extra 5 in 1 Rink Stakes, spikes and Support 45’s. Do not underestimate the weight of the water pushing out from the inside of the boards previous to freezing. The deeper the water/ice the closer your 5 in1 Rink Stakes need to be. Extra bracing will secure your rink system and lead to your ultimate success.

“You would rather be looking at them then looking for them” Happy to partner with you in your success.





Why Houseleague Hockey Players Benefit from a Backyard Ice Rink

DSC00713Improving your hockey performance is very important when it comes to practicing outside the arena and working on your skill development at home. Even shooting a puck into a net would make a difference, especially when you have the advantage of having ice handy and get a feel for using skates when shooting. This is a great improvement compared to a dirty paved road, old running shoes and a hockey stick you’ve grown out of a long time ago.

As you get older and continue to play house league hockey, you get less practices you get as a team. Research shows that an average player gets only about 20 seconds of puck possession each game, some players not even getting a chance to touch the puck. Sometimes players only get one shot every two games!

This proves that hockey players need more practices to work on specific parts of a game, as well as certain defense and offensive skills that will be used in every play and game. Using your imagination and an open mind, you could have the ability to learn new things and strategies with the puck.  With a variety of skating, stick-handling-training, pivots, slapshots and more, your hockey skill level and stats will grow!

So training is good, but sometimes feels hopeless if you don’t have the right training equipment and accessories for this outdoor winter activity. We provide the right training tools for your hockey needs, as well as fun for the whole family and the improvement you need for this hockey season. Are you ready to embrace the winter and take your game to the next level?

The Unexpected Advantages of a Wood Frame for Ice Rinks

  1. Wood is stackable and takes minimal space to store.
  2. Wood is versatile because it can be shaped, cut, changed and designed as desired. This is a great advantage when you are accomodating an unlevel site. Most ice rink site locations do have a slope.
  3. Wood is reusable for other home projects after your outdoor ice rink building years are over.
  4. You save on shipping because you avoid paying for overweight and oversized packages. You can simply buy the wood frame in your own hometown.


2 Additional Fast Steps and Success with Moderate Slope of 5”- 9″

There are no additional costs for a moderate slope, just follow these extra two steps after the four initial steps from the gentle slope guide.

1. Add a second tier in the end or the side where your water is highest. This is one of the easiest solutions to handle with our backyard rink assembly system and the J-Brace 5 in 1 rink stake.

2. Now take out the 4 screws in each J-Brace 5 in 1 rink stake and pull your amazing J-Brace 3″- 4″ higher out of the ground until the top screw holes on the  J-Brace 5 in 1 rink stake face matches up to face of the new second tier of wood framing material. (do this one J-Brace at a time and refasten)  Re attach your 4 screws and you have now bound the top and bottom tiers together. No extra materials needed.

Elapsed time: 5-8 minutes for about 10  J-Braces and no need to order any thing extra.

Now place your liner flap over your new second tier and again temporarily re secure with liner clips.

Start you water flow again. When the water is completed flowing and you have at least 2-3” of water in shallowest area, secure the liner over the top on the outside of the frame towards the bottom of your rink framing.


If you have a slope of more than 9″  and you are having difficulties you need to call our incredible support team 1.800.448.6648 or see our 2 Step, Easy Deep Water Support  You Tube Video.

4 Steps and Success with Level or Gentle Slope up to 5”

1. Place and organize your frame/box on the flattest, least amount of slope area in your backyard rink site with  2” x 8” s  as a minimum board height

2. Use the amazing J-Brace to fasten your backyard rink frame all together. All seams will be fastened together with a J-Brace

Series 3 and with 4-6 screws.

3. Lay in your poly liner tarp leaving at least 2 feet on all sides as a flap. Hold the liner in place with liner clips and turn on the hose. Don’t walk on your liner ever.

4. If your site is level or with a gentle slope then you are ready to secure your liner on the outside but towards the bottom of your frame and skate when frozen. If  the water is approaching the top of your backyard rink frame then turn off the water and move to the next 2 “easy fix” steps below.