My Rink History
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My 2001 Backyard Rink

    In a word, I would describe this year as frustrating.  We had a record breaking year for snowfall in St. John's this year.  Approximately 650cm of snow fell in our region.  As a result, it was really a lot of work to keep the rink clear and to top it all off I came down with pneumonia so I couldn't continue to maintain it.

    I started early this year.  I actually constructed the wooden frame in the last week of November. I planned on flooding around the middle of December, but the temps didn't drop real low and when it did go down, we would get a snow storm. I spent most of December blowing snow out of the wooden frame I had made.  

    Finally on Jan 1 it was perfect.  Not a breath of wind, and the temp was about -10C with a forecast of -15C.  But there was a little bit of snow also in the forecast.  I decided to go for it.  I removed all the snow from inside the frame, because I didn't want to lose my base like last year.  I was late getting the plastic down so I let the hose run all night.  About 8 hours in all.  This was necessary because I didn't make a level snow base and I have a six inch slope over the 45' where my rink goes.

    The next day was not cold enough to freeze the rink entirely, and that night brought a small amount of wet snow, just like the forecast promised.  Wet snow is a nightmare for rink makers.  Now I had the problem of a partially frozen rink with wet snow on it.  I would crack the ice if I walked on it, but I had to get that snow off.  So I walked on it and cracked it all up.  When it finally froze I still had to level out the surface where the wet snow had made it rough and uneven.  I also had a "high spot" in one corner that had to go. For the next three weeks I spent all my time flooding and snowblowing, trying to get a level surface.

    I thought that by flooding the entire surface, it would eventually level out.  Maybe it would have after a while, but I gave that up and only flooded the low lying areas of the rink.  This is the quickest and most effective way to get rid of a high spot.  

    My rink only lasted a short time, about a month in all, but it was a lot of fun while it lasted.  On two occasions my son invited several of his friends over for a Friday night game of backyard hockey.  My little girl enjoyed it too.  The rink was awesome.  There was a usefull snow border all around it and all the snow we had actually made everything look nice.  On one occasion I even made bleachers in the high banks of snow for parents to stand and watch the games.  I also went against one of the tips I was sent, and put a "center ice" face-off dot in.  It looked really nice, but I think it would be the first area to melt in the spring and could even ruin some skating.  I think I will try it again this year though.  Hopefully we won't get as much snow in the winter of 2002.

Here are some pictures of 2001's rink:

Friday Night Hockey
2001 Rink

Notice the Face-off dot.  The rink was completely buried the next day.
2001 Rink
20' x 45'


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Last Updated on Sept 1, 2001