Scranton, PA -- Long-time hockey coach and trainer Darrin Hersh chose Vycom’s Sanatec® HDPE to create a low-cost, readily available skating surface he calls UnReal Ice. He liked Sanatec for its durability and low-maintenance, as well as how closely it could replicate the feel of ice.
Initially, Sanatac was designed for direct and indirect food contact applications, including as cutting board material, and made to resist chipping or peeling. Kyle Jordan, co-owner and head of customer interest for UnReal Ice, in Sterling, Virginia, says it holds up as well to skate blades as it does to kitchen knives and has enough glide. “Micro-fractions of the material may eventually chip off as you skate, but you can’t tell; it doesn’t affect the skating ability,” says Jordan. “For maintenance, we just recommend sweeping the rink off and applying some glide-enhancer periodically and the surface will last a good five to 10 years.”
In any sport, practice makes perfect. In the case of hockey and other skating, however, Jordan explains the availability of an ice rink and cost of “ice time” can limit training. “Ice time can easily cost $150 to $350 an hour--add to that the time spent getting your gear together, loading and unloading the car and traveling to the rink at very early hours, and it becomes even more difficult to get adequate time for the sport,” he says. “With a synthetic rink at home, players are able to just grab their stuff and start skating.”
To make the synthetic rink more accessible to those who want to train or just play, Hersh developed UnReal Ice with an interlocking edge much like children’s play mats, using either ½” or ¾” Sanatec to create the pieces.
“It’s very easy to install as a DIY project,” says Jordan. “Customers will spend more time preparing and planning the space than they do installing the UnReal Ice sheets.”
With rising temperatures making nature’s ice less predictable, and rising ice rental costs, UnReal Ice is hoping to level the practice field for families who are trying to get their kids into hockey or help them up their game.
“Since Sanatec is durable enough to tolerate UV rays, weather, and ice skates, it can be installed indoors or out, wherever someone has space,” says Jordan. “Then, players can worry more about their technique than their surface.”
In one of their most recent installations, a customer converted his entire two-car garage into an indoor rink.
"This rink is amazing,” says the customer Matt Olson. “I still can't get over how similar skating, shooting and stick handling is to real ice--hence the name."
UnReal Ice, made with Sanatec, could transform all skating sports by making practice time available anytime, anywhere and for far less money.
“We really see this as a game-changer for the sport because it enables skaters to practice individually as often as they need or want, beyond designated team ice time,” says Jordan.
For more information about UnReal Ice, visit http://www.unrealice.com/.
Vycom, a division of CPG International, is dedicated to maintaining an environment where quality meets performance. Vycom offers the largest range of products, capabilities and inventory for all your Olefin and PVC needs. For more information, visit http://www.vycomplastics.com.