12 Tips for Your Backyard Ice Rink
With a few days of work and a handful of materials, you can spend the winter skating in your own backyard. While you can buy home ice rink kits, they can be costly. Here are 12 tips for building your own backyard ice rink.
Find the Right Spot
When creating your backyard ice rink, think big. And you’ll need to go with a size that fits your yard. But if you have the space and the budget, the bigger the better so you’ll have more room for more skaters.
Check for Slope
Don’t skimp on bracing. Because the last thing you want is for your bracing to fail, which will create some major icing and potential flooding in your yard. And if you’re handy, you can build the bracing—there are several designs online including wooden stakes and some with rebar. You can also buy bracing from some online companies.
Photo: Courtesy of Iron Sleek
Put Down the Liner
The Right Temperature
The best time to build your backyard ice rink is in the days and weeks leading up to the first freeze. This will allow you to set the bracing and sideboards (if using) and give them time to “freeze in.” And then once you’ve had several days of temperatures below 36 degrees F and night temps of below 32 degrees, the ground should be hard enough and you can fill the rink.
Photo: Bastian Kienitz/Shutterstock
Patch a Hole
Timing is crucial if you find a hole in your liner. Patch holes with roofing tar or specialized patch tape, which you can purchase from some online companies that specialize in backyard ice rink products.
Photo: Courtesy of Backyard Rink
Keep the Backyard Ice Rink Clear
You’ll get some snow over the winter months, but do your best to keep the rink cleared as snow acts as an insulator and will quickly stick to the ice. And when the snow falls, shovel often.
Photo: Pavel L Photo and Video/Shutterstock
Fill the Cracks
If your ice develops a crack, pack some ice shavings or snow into the crack (or hole). And then give it a light coat of water, smooth it over the best you can and let it refreeze.
When Winter is Over
Get your liner up early when spring comes and your grass won’t be damaged. And as soon as the ice melts, drain the area with a simple siphon or a submersible pump. Then dispose of the liner as you’ll need a new one next year.
Photo: Cathleen A Clapper/Shutterstock