You may be thinking of building your rink enclosure on an already frozen pond. The Iron Sleek pond bracket makes it easy to install your rink boards on a frozen pond. Our pond bracket is made of steel for strength and durability. The Iron Sleek Pond Hockey Bracket can be spiked it into the ice or you can bolt it into the ice with Tap Cons.
So, should you build your ice rink in your yard or on a pond? Building a rink on a pond is well worth it and makes for a great winter activity - we have customers that do both. In general, pond rink installs make certain parts of the build easier, with the drawback of having a shorter skating season. We will cover the pro's and con's of installing a rink enclosure on a frozen pond.
Pond rinks are limited on what can be prepared in advance. You have to wait until you have a deep freeze to even get started. On the other hand, a backyard rink can be in place well in advance. Many build their backyard rink early in the season while the weather is still mild.
PITCH, GRADE, & SLOPE
Pond rinks start off as a natural bodies of water so they are perfectly level while finding a relatively level site is the biggest challenge associated with backyard rinks. Most backyards have pitch by design to steer rainwater away from a home. For backyard rinks, pitch is always addressed. For ponds, pitch or grade is a non-issue.
One of the biggest draws of a pond rink versus a backyard rink is that pond rinks can be enormous. Also, on a pond, one rink can be divided into multiple rinks. With a backyard rink, you will need a liner and a certain amount of water to fill the rink; with a pond rink, half of the work is already done.
LENGTH OF SKATING SEASON
The skating season starts earlier with backyard rinks because backyard rinks have shallower water depths which freeze faster. Ponds, on the other hand, are deeper and take longer to freeze enough for skating conditions. On the tail end of the season, the backyard rink usually wins out as well because of shading. Ponds are usually fully exposed to sunlight while the backyard rink can be shaded by shadows cast by nearby trees and buildings.
SET-UP & CONSTRUCTION
Set-up on a pond can be as simple as giving an already frozen area a quick snow shovel. Some pond skaters are satisfied with snow banks for pond hockey where the effort is minimal while other like to go all out by putting in rink boards. With the Iron Sleek pond brackets, pond enclosures go up quickly. Setting up a backyard rink definitely requires more work than setting up a rink on a pond. Building a backyard rink requires site leveling, framing, rink liner set up, and flooding. Pond enclosures simply require framing.
FREEZE & THAW PATTERNS
Pond skating on marginal ice conditions can be dangerous for obvious reasons. On a backyard rink, a skate through the ice can end your season by putting a tear in your liner. In both circumstance, marginal ice is a definite no go for skating but on a backyard rink it is less dangerous. Another concern on the pond rink is board melt down. Be sure to take down your pond enclosure while the ice is still solid. You do not want to risk taking the pond enclosure down on marginal ice nor would you want your boards and brackets to sink down into the pond.
RINK ENCLOSURE COST
A rink on a frozen pond is less expensive than a backyard rink. Rink boards are optional on a pond or lake while in a yard there is no choice but to create a rigid board containment to hold water. For a backyard rink you would have the one-time cost for rink boards and hardware to build the rink frame. In addition to the one-time cost for the rink boards and hardware for a backyard rink, there is the reoccurring cost of water and that of a new rink liner every year. For bigger rinks, the cost of water is significantly more. On a frozen pond there is no cost for water.