Here are some tips and tricks for having the best skating experience on Synthetic Ice!
1. Keep your skates sharpened! Depending on the size and intensity of movements (stops/starts, crossovers, pivots) of the player, sharpening may be needed within 30mins or as long as 2-3hrs. Usually, a 5/8 ROH shallow sharpening is recommended for best glide; however, if you are losing an edge frequently, a deeper 1/2” sharpening may help keep the hollow longer. A home sharpening machine (ProSharp Home) is a recommended investment.
If you are repeatedly going from synthetic ice to on-ice training or vice-versa, it may be best to invest in a second pair of skates specifically for synthetic ice training. This will prevent you from having to sharpen your skates each time you get back on real ice and will prolong the lifespan of the blades on your on-ice skates.
2. Steel needs to be warm to optimize training and glide. Cold steel will have less interaction with the surface and be more prone to "skidding out". Always dedicate 2-5 minutes to warm up your steel on the synthetic ice. This is imperative to activate the embedded lubricants. We posted about the importance of this and show how to heat up your blades.
3. For indoor and outdoor surfaces, a “SKATES ONLY” rule will really minimize any dirt/grime accumulation; leaving your surface much smoother and slicker for each session.
4. Synthetic Ice will help you to focus on some of your skating technique nuances. Our Extreme Glide is specifically engineered to provide a realistic grip to glide synergy, so take some time and identify how you can improve all sections of your edges to give you that real ice feel.
Pavel Barber's review on our Synthetic Ice Revolution Tiles may help with some questions too!
As well as our Synthetic Ice can perform, it can never be the perfect replacement for real ice. However, the synthetic ice should still perform well even if your skates aren't freshly sharpened. There is an adjustment period for some users to get used to the feel of synthetic ice. A freshly sharpened pair of skates will make it feel more like ice, but you will get the biggest benefit once getting used to the synthetic ice without a fresh sharpening. These differences really work well as a training tool, so once you get on to real ice, you will be flying!