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Backyard Ice Skating Rink

Backyard Ice Skating Rink - House & Home

Spend some quality family time outside this winter — without crowds of skaters cutting you off!

Situate the rink in an area of the yard that's relatively flat. Sturdy benches and chairs are must-haves for lacing up skates or taking a breather.

Materials and Tools

  • 10 2” x 10” boards, cut to 8’ in length
  • 10 1” x 3” boards, cut to 8’ in length
  • One roll of 10’ x 100’ vapour barrier
  • 1 tube of tar caulking (for roofing use, not driveways)
  • 3-1/2” deck screws
  • 1-1/2” deck screws

Step 1

A plastic liner gives a flatter rink, helps protect the lawn and retains water during thaws. Create a liner using vapour barrier (available in 10’ x 100’ rolls at hardware stores) by cutting two 10’ x 27’ pieces. Lay a bead of tar caulking along the length of one piece about 3” from the edge. Overlap the other piece on the caulking and press pieces together so that the dimension is approximately 20’ x 27’.

Step 2

For the border, assemble the 2” x 10” boards to form a 16’ x 24’ rectangle. Set the boards on their edges and screw them together (screws make it easy to dismantle the structure in the spring).

Step 3

Align liner on top of the border with excess hanging over sides. Push liner down in the corners so it lies flat on the ground but don’t worry about wrinkles, it won’t affect the ice surface. Screw 1” x 3” boards on top of the border, sandwiching the liner underneath. The top boards should be placed horizontally on their sides. Trim excess liner.

Step 4

Fill the rink when there’s little wind — it creates ripples — and it’s at least -18 degrees C. Fill border using a hose until there is 5-7 cm of slushy ice (it takes about 30-40 minutes). Once the base is frozen, flood the rink after every skate by spraying on thin layers of water.

Photographer: 

Michael Alberstat

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