Bored and looking for a fun winter hobby? Desperate for an activity to keep your kids entertained? Love ice skating or hockey? Then you should get a backyard ice rink kit! These kits are super easy to use. In no time you’ll transform your backyard into a superb skating spot. This complete buyer’s guide will help you determine which rink kit is best for you, with pro tips and reviews of the 5 best ice rink kits you can buy online.
Best Backyard Ice Rink Kit Comparison Table
|Iron Sleek Skating Rink||Check The Price!|
|Skate Anytime Rink||Check The Price!|
|Nicerink Skating Rink||Check The Price!|
|GazeboPenguins Simple Skating Rink||Check The Price!|
|Snipers Edge Synthetic Ice Rink||Check The Price!|
Why You Should Trust Us
When it comes to winter activities, Backyard Boss has got you covered. We love the winter and have covered almost every activity or subject that has to do with it. Whether it’s holiday activities like making Christmas crafts or decorating for Christmas, cooking activities, like baking winter treats or making crock-pot creations, or outdoor activities, like sledding or ice skating, we’ve got a guide for you.
I’m not only someone who loves winter though, I also, specifically, love ice skating. I use to skate competitively, so I’ve spent a fair amount of time on indoor and outdoor rinks, and know exactly what makes a good rink and what doesn’t.
Pulling all of this knowledge together along with insider industry information, this guide features the absolute best ice skating rinks you can buy online.
What are the Advantages of a Backyard Ice Rink?
The most obvious advantage of a backyard ice skating rink is having a rink that you can easily access. No need to book a spot at your local rink, buy scheduled passes, or workaround lessons and game schedules. You can skate whenever you want, whether it’s 6 in the morning or 11 at night. If you live in a spot where getting to a rink is a real commute, this perk is especially invaluable.
If you are paying a lot for skate passes at your local rink, it can even end up being a wise financial decision to have your own rink in your backyard. Of course, for competitions, lessons, and practices you’ll probably still need to go to your local rink, but if you are skating every day the cost of passes can really add up.
If your someone who is interested in a rink for entertainment, consider the possibilities! You could have skating parties with your friends and family members, you always will have an activity on hand to entertain your kids, and you can learn a new skill, picking up tricky skating moves, or hockey techniques. The options are endless for what you can do with your rink, and therefore so are the advantages!
What are the Disadvantages of a Backyard Ice Rink?
Of course, even things with a seemingly endless amount of advantages have their disadvantages. There are a few disadvantages to having your own backyard ice rink.
The first is that backyard ice rink kits can be expensive, ranging from a few hundred dollars to even a thousand. Of course, if you plan on using your rink a lot, that price might not seem so bad.
The second is that if your backyard ice rink requires real ice, you’ll only be able to use it when it’s cold enough out that water freezes. If you live in a place where it’s regularly that cold in the winter, you’re fine. But obviously, if you’re somewhere like Florida, a backyard ice rink kit is probably not for you.
Lastly, if you set up a backyard ice rink kit you need to make sure that you put some safety precautions in place. At indoor ice rinks there are typically safety patrols who skate around, keeping order and checking on people who fall. When you have your own rink you don’t have that kind of monitoring, and the burden of safety fully falls on your shoulders.
What Safety Precautions Can You Take With a Backyard Ice Rink?
While safety isn’t a fun topic, it is an important one. Trust me, I’ve seen enough terrible ice skating injuries, ranging from skated over fingers to bruised backs from falling, to know that it’s important.
The key to making sure that your backyard ice skating rink is safe is ensuring that no one skates alone. Always have people skate in at least pairs so that if someone is hurt, the other person can run and get help.
If two people don’t want to skate together than make sure that you, or someone else, is watching the person skating. You have to be your own safety patrol.
Another note of warning: Do not skate on your rink if the temperature outside is above freezing. This could cause ice to melt, leading to an uneven skating surface, and consequently, injuries.
For this same reason, if you skate while it’s dark out, make sure there is a light on the rink so you can see any unevenness in it.
With all of these safety precautions in mind and implemented you can ensure that your backyard skating experience is a blast.
What to Look for When Buying a Backyard Ice Rink
There are so many backyard ice skating rinks to choose from! When picking yours, consider these important features and parts.
The boards that outline your rink are an incredibly important part of your kit because they dictate the size, height, and, in some ways, the quality of your rink.
How big your boards are will determine how thick and wide your rink is. Keep in mind that you want a thicker rink because the more water you can fill it with the safer and smoother it will be.
Also, keep in mind that your boards should be weather-proof. How else are they going to survive a whole winter outside?
Skate in shorts and a t-shirt on your refrigerated rink. Not only will it befuddle your neighbors, it’s also freezing fun!
Using ice rink chillers, a refrigerant, and lots of pipes, your ice rink’s refrigeration system will ensure that your rink’s water stays frozen in temperatures as high as the low 60’s. This convenient feature’s downside is that it will, of course, cost you a pretty penny.
Bigger is better, especially when it comes to ice rinks. Having a bigger rink means more people can use it and there is more space to skate. Of course, while bigger is better it’s also more expensive.
You’ll want to evaluate your yard’s size before buying a rink to make sure that whatever you buy actually fits in your backyard. Also, consider if you want it to take up your whole backyard, or save space for other activities.
Real Ice vs. Fake Ice
What will they come up with next?
If you live in a warm climate or aren’t feeling super committed to possibly killing your backyard’s grass with an ice rink, you can build a rink with synthetic ice.
On synthetic ice, you can skate normally, with your actual ice skates, indoors or outdoors, no matter the temperature. The only downside of synthetic ice rink kits is that do tend to cost a lot more than real ice kits, but also, keep in mind, they last a lot longer.
Of course, there is nothing like skating on real ice. It won’t be the exact same experience, but rather close enough.
Because you only use your ice rink one season of the year, it’s extremely important to consider how you are going to store it. Check to see if your kit easily stores, or even better, if it comes with storage vessels like a bag or box. Also, before buying, consider where you want to keep your ice rink.
Rink Set-Up Tips
Making a backyard ice rink is actually fairly easy with a kit. Below are some tips to ensure that building your ice rink goes smoothly.
- The best time for building your rink is in the week leading up to the first freeze. That way you can install the boards and bracing before the ground is too frozen.
- Find the right spot for your rink! The spot should be flat, near an outdoor water source, not over a septic or drain field, and have proper lighting.
- If you can’t find a totally flat spot, check your yard’s slope and factor it into deciding where your rink’s water line will be.
- You’ll have to put some bracing down- do so carefully. If your bracing isn’t set up carefully it may cause icing and flooding in your yard.
- Don’t put your liner down until you’re going to fill it with water. Otherwise sticks, bugs, grass, and whatever else may end up in it.
- Fill your rink up all at once to avoid damaging your liner.
Check out the link below for some more backyard ice rink set-up tips!
Rink Maintenance Tips
Setting up your ice rink is only half of the work you have to put into it. You also have to maintain it while you have it to make sure that it stays smooth and safe. The maintenance tips below are crucial for keeping your ice rink in good shape.
- If a crack develops in your rink, pack it with ice shavings or snow. Then, cover it with a light coat of water, smooth it over, and allow it to refreeze.
- Every now and then reflood your rink with an additional layer of water.
- If snow gets on your rink, shovel it off! A classic plastic shovel is perfect for the task, but you can also use a broom or snowblower.
- Holes happen. If your liner gets a hole patch it up quickly with patching tape or roof tar.
- Use a resurfacer and thin layer of hot water to smooth out your rink’s ice.
Disassembling Your Rink
- When winter ends, and your rink’s ice melts, promptly disassemble your rink so your grass doesn’t sustain damage. You can use a submersible pump or siphon to drain it.
- Dispose of your liner. Sorry, there’s no recycling it. While you can reuse your ice rink kit’s other parts, you will have to get a new liner next year.
- Store your ice rink parts in a safe space, out of the way, until next winter comes.
Top 5 Best Backyard Ice Rink Reviews
Best Real Ice Skating Rink Kit for Large Backyards
This ginormous skating rink is perfect for people with large families or people who want to host lots of friends on their rink. Of course, it’s not a great option for people with small yards, and it’s probably not worth the cost if you plan on only using your rink for solo skating.
Although it’s a monstrous 35-feet x 45 feet, this rink is fairly affordable. However, part of that affordability stems from the kit not even including wooden boards. To set it up you’ll have to purchase 15 2-feet x 12-feet x 10-inch pieces of lumber which will cost you a few hundred dollars more.
What you do get with your kit is 26 iron sleek brackets, 8 iron sleek corner brackets, and a 35-feet by 50-feet all-white liner.
This quality kit will provide you with an excellent ice rink for cheap. It’s extremely easy to set-up and disassemble, with easy-to-follow instructions to help you along the way.
The only thing to note is that because of the size of this rink if you don’t have a flat yard or have even just a slight hill in your backyard, you will encounter a lot of difficulty in setting it up.
Best Synthetic Ice Skating Rink Kit for Average Backyards
Get unlimited ice time with your Skate Anytime rink- not only because you’ll have your own rink, but also because your rink won’t depend on cold weather to work.
Why? Because this rink is made of synthetic ice! The synthetic ice this rink is made of is some of the best on the market. You can wear your skates on it without damaging them, and experience a similar sensation to skating on ice.
You can set up this rink inside or outside, in your backyard, basement, garage, deck, driveway, or even bedroom. The sky’s the limit when it comes to synthetic ice!
You can practice ice skating or hockey year-round, making this rink perfect for people who are serious ice athletes. However, this advantage does come at a cost. Namely, this rink kit’s cost. Synthetic ice is expensive, and this kit is no exception. With this kit, you only get a 5-feet by 5-feet rink, which would work for small kids and practicing skating and hockey techniques, but isn’t big enough to do some real skating. You do get a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty on your rink though, so keep in mind you’ll have this rink for a while.
This synthetic ice is super lightweight and easy to set-up and take apart making it a great no-hassle ice rink option.
Best Ice Skating Rink Kit for Uneven Backyards
This rink is the perfect size for most backyards, with a sizable 20-feet x 40-feet perimeter that provides more than enough room for skating and hockey with family and friends, but not enough that it takes up your entire backyard.
The set-up for this rink is super simple because its patented NiceRink Bracket System was created to adapt to uneven ground, making it the perfect rink for people who have slight slopes to their backyards.
You don’t get any wooden sideboards with your rink, having to purchase them separately, but you do get 34 of the patented NiceRink Brackets with your rink kit, along with a 24-feet by 44-feet ultra-white UV stabilized ice rink liner. The liner not only doesn’t attract sunlight, keeping your rink frozen for longer, it also is 6 millimeters thick, giving it some structure and durability.
In the event that you do rip it, your kit also comes with NiceRink patch tape and 1 tube of underwater glue.
However, keep in mind, the liner is only meant to last one season, and you will have to spend a couple hundred bucks on a new one next season. The brackets and other kit parts, on the other hand, are reusable.
Best Easy-to-Use Backyard Ice Skating Rink Kit
If you love the idea of a backyard rink but hate the idea of setting up a backyard rink, then this is absolutely the kit for you. You really don’t get a simpler skating rink set-up than this.
First, the Simple Rink arrives at your front door as a sturdy bag, which you then unfold into a rectangular rink in whichever spot in your backyard you’ve chosen to host it. You then flood the rink with water so there are about 2-3 inches of water throughout it.
To maintain the rink occasionally spray it with water to keep its surface smooth. Or in other words, this rink’s set up and maintenance is “Just add water.” It will only last you one season, but at its incredibly affordable price, who cares?
This isn’t a huge rink, it’s only 10-feet by 20-feet, but that’s enough space for a couple of people to skate around to their heart’s content. If you have a small backyard, that may even be the perfect size for you. It is cheaply made, and the sides can be hard to stabilize, but overall it’s still easier to set-up and lasts an impressively long time considering its price.
Best Synthetic Ice Skating Rink Kit for Small Backyards
Synthetic ice is truly incredible. This skating rink is also made from quality, synthetic ice that you can use 365 days a year.
At 8-feet by 16-feet, it’s not a huge rink for its high price tag but is relatively affordable compared to other synthetic ice rinks on the market. To set up you simply have to remove the panels from their packaging and lock them together using a rubber mallet that you have to purchase separately. In other words, set-up and disassembly are totally hassle-free.
This premium-grade artificial ice works like real ice with a self-lubricating design that will keep you skating for years. However, unlike the other synthetic ice rink on this list, Snipers Edge’s warranty on this rink is only 90 days long.
This rink is perfect for individuals who live in less than ideal climates for outdoor ice skating, or who want to set-up a personal rink that they can use 365 days a year.
How We Picked
We picked these rinks based on size, versatility, price, quality, and durability.
Each of these rinks was the best in their category, whether it was the best synthetic backyard ice rink kit, best real ice backyard ice rink kit, best small backyard ice rink kit, best large backyard ice rink kit, and so on.
We tried to pick ice skating rinks that had affordable and premium prices, to suit different consumers with different budgets.
Overall, we looked for rinks with quality parts that were easy to set-up and put away. These rinks are indubitably some of the best ice skating rinks you can buy online. Of course, there can only be one winner.
The best ice rink kit on this list is the Skate Anytime Rink. With synthetic ice technology, it is the perfect personal rink because you can quite literally use it whenever you want, no matter the weather or time of year. It’s particularly great for athletes who ice skate or play hockey and want to practice their techniques.
Of course, if you are looking for a more social rink, some of the bigger, real ice rinks on this list are probably better suited for you.
I hope you found this guide helpful! If you did, be sure to share it and comment below with any questions!