Dryland hockey tiles are a type of flooring that is great for practice and for rollerblading games. Whether or not it is as good as a real ice rink is debatable by the way you might think. If you prefer ice skating, no matter what, dryland flooring is not a good choice. In fact, ice skating on slick tiles would be a lot like trying to ice skate on your bathroom floor. It just won’t work because it is the wrong material. However, if you are wondering which flooring would be most efficient for the environment, dryland tiles will take the prize on that. Another alternative to hockey flooring that is better than both of these flooring types is synthetic ice. Artificial ice is almost as slick as real ice and much better for the environment. Let’s take a look at all three of these options and let you decide for yourself which is best.
Real Ice Flooring
As most of us are already aware, ice is actually frozen water. This means that in order for it to exist, it has to be refrigerated at a temperature that is either freezing or below. If you live in an area where the winters are cold enough to freeze over the ponds and lakes, you are fortunate enough to be able to have ice rinks outside during the frozen months. The way that ice skates are able to glide so delicately and smoothly over the ice is that the friction that the ice blades cause on the ice as it passes over causes enough heat for the ice to melt just a little. This melting causes the surface to become a little slicker so that the blades glide right across it like a smooth hand over a cool glass of water.
The problem with ice rinks is that they need a whole lot of energy to keep the ice at a temperature that will allow it to exist. Many rinks are in large enclosed buildings that need a phenomenal amount of cooling power to keep things cool. When the building is located in a climate that reaches over 100 degrees, the demand for power can become extremely high.
Dryland Hockey Flooring
Dryland hockey flooring, also known as slick tiles, is a popular type of hockey flooring that players can install virtually anywhere without much of a hassle. Although you cant ice skate on dryland flooring, the tiles are slick enough to mimic ice in the way that the puck slides across the surface. This type of flooring can be used to practice with either rollerblades or shoes. It is good to use a hockey passer and a shooting tarp because the puck slides so gracefully over the surface. In most cases, dryland tiles are very cost-effective and can be put into small places.
Synthetic ice flooring is a little bit more expensive than dryland hockey flooring. It can be installed just as easily, and in some cases, even in smaller areas. Skaters can basically skate and play on it in the same way that they can authentic ice, but there is a little more of a drag when they do. This drag is very subtle, but it is noticeable. The best thing about the drag is that it actually strengthens muscles, and stamina as the skaters skate across it.
When artificial ice was first invented back in the 1960s, people had a difficult time with it because it had to be lubricated frequently as skaters used it in order for it to be of any value. Without proper lubricant, the ice skates would skid and stick to the surface. Now, after many years of evolution, synthetic ice comes equipped with its own lubricant built into the material so that skaters can glide around much like they would on ice.
So, there you have it, a few basic facts about the most popular types of hockey floorikng. Which one works best for you?