Building your backyard ice rink is very easy with Rink Wizard. You don’t have to worry about buying lumber, that will only last a season or two, or any cumbersome rink liners. Simply follow the steps in this article for our best practices on how to install and set up your back yard ice rink this winter!
Tools we recommend: a power drill (or screwdriver) and a hammer.
Step 1 – Map out the border of your ice rink. Using the boards and spikes, lay the pieces out in the shape of your rink. Rink Wizard’s ice rink kit can be customized to any size or shape to fit your backyard or your whimsy.
Step 2 – Once the boards are placed where you would like to install them, remove the protective film on both sides of all pieces you are assembling.
Step 3 – Attach one ground spike to the end of each of the 4-foot boards (one per board) using your power drill and the screws provided. Match the blue dot that is on the spike, with the blue dot that is on the board and secure with the provided bolts and locknuts. Continue this process until all the boards you are using to build your rink have a spike attached.
Note: The spikes go on the outside of your boards when they are installed in the ground. This ensures a seamless edge on the inside of the rink, so you can use your Rink Wizard boards to move a puck just like in a hockey arena.
Depending on the size and shape of rink you choose to build, you may have additional boards and spikes you won’t use.
Step 4 – With your hands, lightly push the first board and spike into the ground. Once upright, push the connecting board into the ground and secure to the first board’s spike using the screws provided. Continue the process for the remaining sides of the rink, attaching each section as you go.
Step 5 – Once all sections are inserted in the ground and connected, connect the last piece to the first piece. If there is a gap of a couple inches between the first and last board, readjust the angle of one of the corners until the boards of the ice rink connect with no gaps. If there is a gap of a foot or more, you will find 1-foot and 3-foot sections in your kit to bridge the gap.
Step 6 – Using a hammer, firmly secure all the spikes into the ground by hitting the top of the spike where the boards connect – now you will truly see how durable these boards are! Repeat this step on every spike driving them down a few inches at a time until the boards are flush to the ground.
Note: You may have to work in a circle and overlap areas you have already hit with your hammer to ensure the boards are evenly flush in the ground.
Step 7 – From our experience, we prefer to have a layer of compacted snow as a base for your ice, but it is not necessary. After snowfall, simply use a snow shovel and ensure the layer of snow is compressed and as smooth as you can get it. Using the mist setting on your hose, slowly add aa thin layer of water on the snow to create your base layer ‘crust.’ This ‘crust’ should be a minimum of 1/2 to 1 inch thick, and it is best to make sure it is frozen before you start your flood.
If you do not have snow, start filling the rink along the boards moving toward the centre of the rink, to create a seal of ice around the boards. This will ensure the water has frozen on the outside of the rink, and it will be easy to check that it is frozen without damaging the ice.
Note: Try to avoid walking on the rink surface until you have about 1/2 inch of solid ice.
Step 8 – Once the ice base has frozen and formed a seal to the boards, you can start flooding the rink using your hose. You will notice the water will start to fill the lower points in your ice rink area first, and gravity should even this out as the freezing process occurs.
It is best practice to freeze the ice in layers. We recommend anywhere from 1/4 of an inch to 1/2 an inch at time. You will want to continue this until you have approximately 2-3 inches of ice as your base, or more depending on how level your ground surface was.
Once the base of the ice is prepared, you can use your Magic Ice Resurfacer with a hose to smooth out the top layer for a glass-like finish!
Note: If you are creating a unique shape with a lot of curves, like a path or to fit around a tree, we recommend assembling a few boards together using the spikes to connect each board before inserting the spikes into the ground, for an easier installation. The boards on the Dreamscape model are designed to be a little more flexible than the Warrior model, and you will have an easier time with this kit to bend the boards into a custom shape to fit your backyard.
- Pick up sticks! This may seem obvious, but it is important to clear the space where you are going to build your ice pad. The space should be clear of all debris so the ice freezes with a smooth and even surface. Use a rake to best grab loose leaves and sticks and remove them from the rink.
- If you try and step on the ice before it is fully frozen, you can leave footprints on the surface which can cause an uneven freeze and potential tripping hazards.
- It is best practice to install your ice rink kit boards before the ground freezes. When you flood your rink, you want to make sure the air and the ground are at a temperature for the water to freeze.
- The ideal temperature for the water to freeze is anywhere between 5 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit, or -15 to -5 degrees Celsius. If there is a bit of wind, it will also help to quicken the freezing process.
- If you are creating a unique shape with a lot of curves, like a path or to fit around a tree, we recommend assembling a few boards together using the spikes to connect each board before inserting the spikes into the ground, for an easier installation. The boards on the Dreamscape model are designed to be a little more flexible than the Warrior model, and you will have an easier time with this kit to bend the boards into a custom shape to fit your back yard.
- Walking on the rink while you are flooding the rink may be unavoidable, but if you must walk on the surface, thoroughly test the previous layer to ensure it has frozen before you step on the ice. If the ice cracks or water seeps through the frozen layer, you may have to do some maintenance later. Ideally, flooding the ice should be done from the outside of the rink.
- Check out more tips on how to maintain your backyard ice rink.
We hope you enjoy your Rink Wizard back yard ice rink as much as we do! Please comment below and send pictures to email@example.com.