Once summer’s over, the kids are back in school and the weather turns a corner, we shift into winter prep mode. We put away the lawn mower, tune up the snow blower and start thinking about winter sports. In many northern communities across the country, outdoor ice rinks provide a backdrop for great winter memories. These rinks exist as gathering places for both kids and adults and promote a sense of belonging, community, wellness and nostalgia.
When considering your outdoor ice space, timely planning as well as an understanding of the challenges associated with an outdoor system is essential to its success. Becker Arena Products is always here to help guide you through the process.
Will you conquer the elements or will they conquer you?
The sun is an outdoor rink’s worst enemy – it warps wood, cooks caprail and can dramatically reduce the life of your boards. Making the investment to protect your rink is worth it – especially for outdoor systems. Installing UV-stabilized, high-density polyethylene caprail as well as fiberglass facing and kick plate helps to minimize fading. Many of our customers also partially or fully cover their rinks to keep the boards out of the sun and keep patrons cool. The ROC Center in St. Louis Park, Minnesota utilizes its covered outdoor rink during the off-season for non-ice events such as ice cream socials, concerts and shows.
How do you keep your ice (and budget!) from melting?
Whether your outdoor rink will be used for open skating or organized play, quality ice will keep patrons coming back time and time again. Flooding the rink once and hoping Mother Nature stays below 32 degrees is always an option but it may result in a less-than-favorable skating surface. Refrigerating the sand or concrete floor – while more of an investment initially – can attract serious skaters. Having installed a refrigerated floor allows the outdoor rink in Alamosa, Colorado to extend its season and provide valuable ice time to area hockey teams.
If you build it, they will come (and come back again)!
When given the choice, many skaters prefer to skate outdoors. There are many health benefits to outdoor recreation some of which include – stress reduction, aerobic and cardiovascular health and increased productivity at work or school. Providing patrons with a pleasant and convenient location and proper lighting as well as some ‘bonus’ features will increase the appeal of your outdoor rink. The Titletown Park District in Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin incorporated ice bikes and a holiday light show into their newly-opened skating trail, attracting skaters daily throughout the season.
If you’re thinking about building an outdoor ice rink this coming winter, Becker Arena Products has the products you need to make it happen. We offer four basic outdoor rink systems that are fully customizable so you can choose the system right for your community:
- BAP4.0 Outdoor Dasher System: This system is reminiscent of the traditional wooden dasher board system. This system is sturdy enough for hockey, utilizing a galvanized steel structure and treated lumber for years of durability. There are various anchoring options for both permanent and portable systems.
- BAP6.0 Signature Series: In terms of durability, this system is top dog. Not only sufficient for year-round recreational use, this system also holds up to the demands of public use and abuse (including hockey) while maintaining its structural and aesthetic integrity. The hot-dipped, galvanized steel frame and U.V.-protected, exterior-grade fiberglass system will not disappoint.
- BAP Signature Series Custom Railing Systems: This system provides patrons with a safe and fun outdoor pleasure skating environment. It is often used in a city center or mall environment and is customizable to your specifications. This system is not to be used for stick and puck play.
Now is the time to discuss how Becker Arena Products can assist you with your outdoor ice rink this coming winter. We would love to partner with you! You can give us a call at 800-234-5522 or visit us at our website at www.beckerarena.com.