Synthetic Ice - Experience?

Maruitenshi

Spectator
Joined
Jan 2, 2017
I have been getting a lot of mixed signals on how well synthetic ice actually works. I have been looking into buying EZ Glide ice because it's really the only way I could practice skating everyday. They claim that anything you can do on real ice, you can do on their ice. Has anyone had any experience with this product? Or perhaps a different type that performs well? I have the money, I just don't want to waste it on something that won't really work. No matter how much research I do, I can't seem to find a clear answer on how well it performs. I'd really appreciate anyone who has used or knows someone who has used synthetic ice to give me some opinions and expectations.
 

karne

in Emergency Backup Mode
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Country
Australia
No synthetic ice will ever match the feeling of real ice. Honestly, I wouldn't waste your money.
 

SmallAminal

On the Ice
Joined
Jul 26, 2016
I did not experience it myself, but there was a synthetic ice "rink" set up downtown a few weeks ago. The people who tried it said that it was less "slippery" than natural ice and had more resistance. Therefore, it was "easier" if you were a beginner because you could get more traction, but frustrating for experienced skaters because you felt like you had to work twice as hard and couldn't glide very far.
 

Maruitenshi

Spectator
Joined
Jan 2, 2017
No synthetic ice will ever match the feeling of real ice. Honestly, I wouldn't waste your money.

Have you had experience? Did you use cheap stuff? I know it will never be exactly like real ice, but from what I've heard a lot of people have good opinions of it.
 

Tavi...

Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 10, 2014
Have you had experience? Did you use cheap stuff? I know it will never be exactly like real ice, but from what I've heard a lot of people have good opinions of it.

I have no personal experience but didn't you say you were starting lessons soon? Before making a purchase like that I'd ask my coach's opinion. I would also suggest calling the company to find out if there's somewhere you can test it out before buying so you can find out for yourself how it feels. Here's the website:

http://www.ezglide350.com/

In terms of getting in more skating practice, have you investigated whether there is public transportation (train, bus) from your town to the rink? Also, do you know anyone else in your town who skates? If so, maybe you could carpool with them so your family doesn't have to drive you every day.

One other thought: if none of those things work and you decide against buying synthetic ice, have you considered buying a pair of roller skates or roller blades and using those for "practice"? The things you learn on ice probably won't all translate directly to roller skates / blades, but some things will. Again, ask your coach. A kid came into our rink recently who had never been on ice before but was a pretty advanced roller skater, and he got good on ice very quickly. I know some posters here have done both so you might ask about that. Another thing you could consider is taking dance or off ice classes to complement your on ice lessons.

Good luck.
 
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Maruitenshi

Spectator
Joined
Jan 2, 2017
I have no personal experience but didn't you say you were starting lessons soon? Before making a purchase like that I'd ask my coach's opinion. I would also suggest calling the company to find out if there's somewhere you can test it out before buying so you can find out for yourself how it feels. Here's the website:

http://www.ezglide350.com/

In terms of getting in more skating practice, have you investigated whether there is public transportation (train, bus) from your town to the rink? Also, do you know anyone else in your town who skates? If so, maybe you could carpool with them so your family doesn't have to drive you every day.

One other thought: if none of those things work and you decide against buying synthetic ice, have you considered buying a pair of roller skates or roller blades and using those for "practice"? The things you learn on ice probably won't all translate directly to roller skates / blades, but some things will. Again, ask your coach. A kid came into our rink recently who had never been on ice before but was a pretty advanced roller skater, and he got good on ice very quickly. I know some posters here have done both so you might ask about that. Another thing you could consider is taking dance or off ice classes to complement your on ice lessons.

Good luck.

Yes, I am getting a coach soon and I will ask his opinion, it'll takes me a couple months to save up just enough money anyway. I would like to take some dance lessons or go to an ice rink myself, but my school hours just don't give me time for this kind of stuff. I don't get home until about 5-5:15 and I have too many things to do at home. I know how to roller blade and I own a pair, but I can't really use them because I don't have a good area inside my house and my road is too bumpy and unlevel to use it. I will definitely ask if I can sample the ice before using it, though. Thank you
 

sandraskates

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 31, 2006
Country
United-States
I did not experience it myself, but there was a synthetic ice "rink" set up downtown a few weeks ago. The people who tried it said that it was less "slippery" than natural ice and had more resistance. Therefore, it was "easier" if you were a beginner because you could get more traction, but frustrating for experienced skaters because you felt like you had to work twice as hard and couldn't glide very far.

LOL - that sounds like the way our ice gets at the rink when it's filled to capacity with skaters! The ice gets "snow" and it's harder to skate on it, but it's still doable.
 

sandraskates

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 31, 2006
Country
United-States
No synthetic ice will ever match the feeling of real ice. Honestly, I wouldn't waste your money.

Have you ever actually tried it karne? Honestly, I haven't. But show skaters sometimes have to perform on it.

I've heard all the negative stuff too but most of that was from product created years and years ago. Technology has come a long way. If Maruitenshi can test it out and it works for him / her than it's a viable option.
If I had the money and space I'd put up a small synthetic rink too.
 

treesprite

Final Flight
Joined
Feb 16, 2010
You could just get some Pic skates. Those are inline skates with rockered wheels, specifically designed to do figure skating stuff off ice.
 

loopy

Final Flight
Joined
Nov 13, 2012
I would get pic skates before synthetic ice - you need to clean and put some sort of solution on synthetic ice - the surface was kind of oily. My skater and her team had a rough time on it two years ago. I'm not saying it's bad, just that I would rather get a coach and then involve them in the decision. As for a flat surface, maybe a clean garage, where were you planning on putting the ice? Or a local gym, in the spring a tennis court. Or a roller rink. Basketball court.

Actually if I had $500 as a skating windfall, I'd order her costumes. But if it had to be spent on training only, I'd get a bosu ball and some figures or ice dance lessons or off ice jumps, a posture brace thing. OH I know! A gold medal jacket! I think she will get one in 2017..... *crossing fingers*!
 

tstop4me

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 2, 2015
I have been getting a lot of mixed signals on how well synthetic ice actually works. I have been looking into buying EZ Glide ice because it's really the only way I could practice skating everyday. They claim that anything you can do on real ice, you can do on their ice. Has anyone had any experience with this product? Or perhaps a different type that performs well? I have the money, I just don't want to waste it on something that won't really work. No matter how much research I do, I can't seem to find a clear answer on how well it performs. I'd really appreciate anyone who has used or knows someone who has used synthetic ice to give me some opinions and expectations.
I considered this option too, and started looking into it. Part of the reason for mixed responses is there's been multiple generations of synthetic ice. So, yes, best if you can try before you buy. If you get advice from your coach or anyone else, verify what product and what vintage they are talking about (they might not know). One comment I had from several coaches who skated on synthetic ice when they were pro show skaters is that it wore down their edges real fast: they would need a new sharpening after every show. But their experience was ~20 yrs ago. Still, an important factor to check out: if you can go for a practice run, try it out for at least an hour and check your edges.

A new product was recently pitched on Shark Tank:

http://www.polyglidesyntheticice.com/

I don't believe any shark invested.
 

Lysambre

Final Flight
Joined
Apr 1, 2015
I've tried the synthetic ice. It's nothing at all like real ice.

But that's not even the main problem, the main problem is that, unlike with real ice, you cannot resurface the thing. So, since it's basically plastic, the blades (even though they are made for it), do end up cutting into the surface (through weight alone), and in a very short time you end up with a rink that looks like an ice rink after three days at maximum capacity without resurfacing. And that's what you have to skate on from now on. No resurfacing available.

It'll never have the smoothness of freshly resurfaced ice.

Also, agree with the above comments about the drag. You just cannot glide for any lenght of time on that stuff, and it takes a lot more effort to do basically anything.

The only positive point is that it isn't cold.
 

Schpanky

Rinkside
Joined
May 25, 2016
Just a thought... have you ever though about getting some Snow White inline skates? Maybe that would be easier than setting up a synthetic rink and it would save your blades as well.

Only a passing thought. Maybe there is someone here who could share their experience.
 

sandraskates

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 31, 2006
Country
United-States
I've tried the synthetic ice. It's nothing at all like real ice.

But that's not even the main problem, the main problem is that, unlike with real ice, you cannot resurface the thing. So, since it's basically plastic, the blades (even though they are made for it), do end up cutting into the surface (through weight alone), and in a very short time you end up with a rink that looks like an ice rink after three days at maximum capacity without resurfacing. And that's what you have to skate on from now on. No resurfacing available.

It'll never have the smoothness of freshly resurfaced ice.

Also, agree with the above comments about the drag. You just cannot glide for any lenght of time on that stuff, and it takes a lot more effort to do basically anything.

The only positive point is that it isn't cold.

How long ago was your experience with synthetic ice?
I think the current models have a resurfacing component (not like a Zamboni of course!); a product that is applied to keep it smooth.
 

loopy

Final Flight
Joined
Nov 13, 2012
The one my daughter tried was 3 years ago in a mall. The oil was applied with a dust mop (the kind that is long). She did not say it was scratched up. Just that the push required a lot more effort. They were tasked with doing a spiral across it and she said she just couldn't manage it (is was a short/small artificial rink). She can do a spiral with one push across a full ice rink.

I do remember there being some sort of ice skating group who goes in different cities and sets up an artificial rink super quickly and does a skate routine. Like a flash mob so of thing? I can't find the link....they looked good on it but different, that is why I'm I wouldn't pick it above pic skates without a coach - I am sure you use your muscles it differently - I wouldn't know if that would be a plus or minus. I'll look for the videos - I think they were in Europe?

A couple years ago - didn't some girl use it in a beauty pageant?

So it looks like the top brand is Glice and they make a skate specifically for it so that friction is reduced. It is a metal wheeled skate and looks like it is for hockey players. http://agilityblades.com/synthetic-ice-skates/ If you watch videos of skaters, you can see that those who are not professional have a different type of skating pattern/method on synthetic ice.

Here is a video if Denise Bielmann using it for the first time. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SVosNvmH_w
 
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sandraskates

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 31, 2006
Country
United-States
Thanks for the new-ish real world example loopy! And I was drooling watching that Glice advert. If only I had the room for it.

I've seen spins and edge jumps done on the synthetic ice but have not yet bumped into a toe jump example (not that I've looked extensively). Wonder what that does to the surface. . .
 

princessalica

Final Flight
Joined
Nov 20, 2015
I didn't even know there was such a thing as inline figure skates. Thank you for suggesting them! I live at least 2.5 hours from the nearest rink, so this is a way that I can skate. I have done some simple jumps on regular roller skates, but this is awesome!
 

tstop4me

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 2, 2015
Another question for those who have actually skated on synthetic ice (preferably recently). An artificial rink is constructed by laying down multiple panels of synthetic ice. Is there an issue with "bumps" at the seams where panels join? Since the surface is not shaved after installation, the panels need to have very uniform thickness, and the underlying surface upon which the panels are placed needs to be very flat. In practice, not sure how well these tolerances are controlled.
 
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Chemistry66

Mmmmm, tacos.
Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 16, 2010
Another question for those who have actually skated on synthetic ice (preferably recently). An artificial rink is constructed by laying down multiple panels of synthetic ice. Is there an issue with "bumps" at the seams where panels join? Since the surface is not shaved after installation, the panels need to have very uniform thickness, and the underlying surface upon which the panels are placed needs to be very flat. In practice, not sure how well these tolerances are controlled.

I've used synthetic ice a couple times, when my undergrad school would make a fake ice rink in the student center for a winter carnival-type event. I don't have much skating experience, but I definitely remember the seams causing issues if I tried to glide.
 

Lysambre

Final Flight
Joined
Apr 1, 2015
How long ago was your experience with synthetic ice?
I think the current models have a resurfacing component (not like a Zamboni of course!); a product that is applied to keep it smooth.

It was just a little over a year ago. They had installed a small rink near where I live.

(Since you saw fit criticizing our real life experience answers in another thread, you'll forgive me for not bothering to share more than this, wouldn't want to appear too pessimistic in your eyes for daring to prefer real ice)
 
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