Guests - If You want access to member only forums on FM. You will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up on Fishing Minnesota.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Hester

BACK YARD HOCKEY RINK

8 posts in this topic

Just wondering what is the best way to make an outdoor rink in my back yard. I'm not planning on putting anything down to help the water freeze better. just planning on putting out the garden hose or spinkler untill enuf ice builds up and my kids can skate on it.

Any tips would be appreciated.

I tried it last year but it was to warm up through early January, I was never able to make good ice.

Thanks Hester

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried making a skating area on a lake one year. It was harder than I thought it would be. We had a hard time trying to make it smooth. We found that it helped to remove all snow before flooding it. This included snowblowing (if required), then shoveling, then sweeping off the rink. We only had a 12 volt pump to flood it, so maybe more water pressure would have made a difference. Good Luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Putting plastic down helps alot. You need a very level area to reduce the amount of water it takes. If you do a search there's some great webpages out there on backyard rinks, mostly from out of Canada. Most recommend some kind of Boards along the sides that are staked in before ground freeze with plastic inside the area.

It is not easy to make your own ice sheet. I've tried a couple of different times and last year was very disappointing because of the difficulty in finding a spot in the yard that is suitable and level. Plus your battling the elements the entire time garden hoses and freezing temps don't mix very well.

Then on top of that once you have it made it disappears every time it snows and turns into more work.

It can be done though.

Also there's lot's of do it yourself rinks available out there to purchase that are like a huge sandwich bag you fill and then unzip the top.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

growing up we always had a rink in the backyard. my dad put metal stakes in the ground just before freezing and had plywood attached to the stakes to make boards. got it as level with the ground as possible. flooded when temps were below freezing to get the ice going. once it snows it helps a lot because you can pack it in the spots that aren't perfectly level. you get ice pretty quick. we always seemed to have pretty good ice, some spots were better than others, but it worked great for a bunch of kids in the backyard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the tips guys, thats some good info.

I too had a rink as a kid every year, I just remember my dad staning in the back yard with a beer and garden hose.

Last year I came to find out its not that easy at all. You need cold winters like we used to get. Where it did not get above freezing for more than an hour or two for abaout 2 1/2 months.

I always remembered the ice being nice all the way across. But then again, as a kid, it could of seemed good cause I probly didnt care. I just wanted to be out there with my friends.

Then you had spring time when the top layer was still ice, but under it was water and you would walk across to see if you could make it without falling in and getting your shoes wet.

Hester

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My .02. I've done it a few times.

If your laying down plastic, make sure it is clear in color. Gray or black plastic will "heat" and without doubt melt the ice. Check with momma ahead of time too - with plastic down - your grass will take a beating. Be preared to have dead/dying grass come spring.

Use of a garden hose is good - IF you tie in to the inside faucet. Warmer water brings/cures better ice. Cold water freezes too fast and then you have the leveling game going on. So, make sure you have enough hose to come off the laundry tub or kitchen sink - out the window- and to the rink. Again, just as with dead grass, check with Momma on the hose idea. Your floor will have a heap of hose on it all winter long. An open window in January might make the queen wonder...

When it comes to leveling, throw some snow in and soak it. It;ll slush out and eventually freeze. A quick and easy fix to unlevel ice.

Distance from house - simplicity. The longer the distance the less it gets used. Build it as close to your front door as possible. Go to fleet farm or the like and get bailer belting and use it as a mat to have the kids get to the rink. Yep, right out your front door down the mat to the rink. Your other option is to tie the skates out side in the cold!

Rink size - smaller the better. I trust the intentions here in building the rink is to provide entertainment for the kids. You are, however, trying to solidy the D1 scholarship at age 8 as well! Force the "East/West" skating which will build ankle strength. The cross over skills will perfect here long before at any team practice forum. "North / South" rinks will only produce a weak ankled fast skater.

We live on a lake. I tried the rink thing there. Ice auger a hole, run the extension cord, drop the sump pump. Throw 1000's of gallons on it. Water freezes too fast. Its nothing more than a ice mound. Too far from the house. The kids are cold. Calling you on the walkie talkies 5 minutes after you got back up to the house cuz they are cold. Back down to the lake you go - untie the skates. Wind drifting the snow - shoveling/plowing constantly... Blah blah blah.

Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good stuff DTL

thanks

Hester

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a friend that had a tennis court in the back yard. In the winter his dad would flood it for a perfect ice rink. It was great because it had the chain-link on each end to keep the balls/pucks from going too far. We would play on that rink for hours. One of the kids that played with us all the time on that rink ended up playing for the Gophers and then in the NHL for years! I think that rink had a lot to do with his success!!!

Playing on a small rink like that with a tennis ball will really teach a kid how to stick handle. It develops quick hands and lateral movement. It also teaches you how to pass. On a surface that small you can’t be a “puck hog” or your toast. I would say over half the time we just played boot hockey. Full contact, frozen tennis ball, Head-high slap shots, kill your neighbor boot hockey!! God I miss those days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Posts

    • kayakfisherman
      Hi guys!  I used to be on this site long ago (participating mostly in the Mille Lacs forum), and the system wouldn't recognize my email.  So I created a new user name.   I'm planning to spend May and June in Ely.  My project is to autochart and create maps of a few small lakes I like off the Echo Trail, which I'll do via my Helix I have mounted on my bright orange fishing kayak.   I don't need any advice, as I pretty much know the area and what works to catch fish.  I'm just looking to possibly connect with other Ely anglers while I'm up there.  I'm tentatively planning on starting next week, assuming the "wintery mix" and wind in the forecast abates.  I'll be paddling around a bunch of different small lakes, going back and forth and back and forth, listening to either WELY or WEVE on my radio.  So if you see me, stop by and say hey.
    • huntnfish
      First off, welcome to the site. The Red River page gets kind of quiet but if you look back at previous posts there's a lot of good info. I've never fished much for cats but when I have I have always used cut up goldeye. I've also heard frogs are good but I have no first hand experience with that.    1- I feel that the fishery in Fargo is excellent and overlooked by a lot of people. The biggest eyes that I've caught have been on the river.  2,3- I normally use a chartreuse twister tail on the river with a jig head. The main reason for the color choice is because that is what I have an abundance of. I've caught them on white and yellow also. I don't use live bait at all unless the kids are along. They're not really able to do much pitch and retrieve yet and the minnows give them a little better chance I feel.  4- the only thing I've used is cut bait so I'd recommend finding some gold eyes or some suckers and chunk them up for bait.  5- last time I looked the ND NR license was something like $35.    My biggest tip for the river and pitching jigs would be that if you aren't getting snagged once in a while your jig is too light. Hung up too often and you are too heavy. I'm normally in the 1/8-1/4 ounce range. I have also caught a bunch of fish pitching cranks. I wasn't a believer until I watched Ed Carlson fish next to me and reel in fish while I kept on pitching my jig and not getting anything. Try something that's got a nice wide wobble. And if you are going to toss anything into the river be sure to remember that anything thats tied onto that line may not come back. I have donated lots of tackle to the old river gods over the years but I have also been rewarded with a lot of fish and some real dandies. These river fish have a lot of fight in them.     Remember that if you're keeping any walleyes or sauger on the red is that the limit is less than the MN and ND bag limit. I have seen more than one person ticketed at the north dam with their stringer of 4 eyes.     
    • eyeguy 54
      Hit the secret beach on the sippi for a couple hours today with some crawlers. wind was pretty crazy. smally bit first then a sucker. then caught 4 eyes and decided to leave. a young guy came down while I was fishing and was casting a spinnerbait and I asked him what he was after. he said bass so I let him know that it is illegal to target them and eyes till next month and that the game warden watches people in the area quite often. He said he had no idea he could not fish for them, thanked me and said he wont cast anymore. nice young guy. I bet he will be down again with some crawlers. 
    • SkunkedAgain
      I've seen a lot of people dragging raps for "crappies" before the opener
    • monstermoose78
      Bummer Erik