Here is how to make an ice rink in your backyard

Here is how to make an ice rink in your backyard

Winter is still young, and while snowfall has been scarce since the onset of the cold season, there is still time to build the rink of your dreams in your backyard for the whole family. The newspaper gives you a comprehensive guide to getting there in seven easy steps, with a few tips along the way. Go to work !

• Read also: Crazy about their rink



  • 8 ft x 16 ft to introduce children to skating
  • 16 ft x 40 ft to play hockey


  • Wood, polyethylene, screws, support legs


  • Hammer, drill, saw, square, tape measure, clamps


  • About $ 1000


We are looking for a shady place (in the sun, ice softens and melts more quickly) and located near the water outlet. If you plan to skate in the evening, you also think of choosing a lighted corner. The back yard or the side of the property are generally good choices.


Our option is the grass, with the use of a polyethylene. This should not be damaged if removed early in the spring.

► Ideally, the work begins at the start of November

7 easy steps


Here is how to make an ice rink in your backyard

AT. The rink must be installed on a relatively flat surface, but it is possible to do it with terrain with a drop.

B. After the first snowfalls, the snow must be removed from the area to be frozen.

vs. Make this area as smooth as possible.


Here is how to make an ice rink in your backyard

AT. Provide strips at least 60 cm high to protect the frozen surface from the sun’s rays. A strip of snow is not recommended. For hockey, it is better to provide a wooden strip.

Here is how to make an ice rink in your backyard

B. Before assembling your bands or during the summer for the next season, go ahead with a little paint on the bands to help keep them in good condition.

Here is how to make an ice rink in your backyard

vs. To form our water basin (minipool), the installation of bands retained by band supports will be necessary.


Here is how to make an ice rink in your backyard

AT. Transparent or white polyethylene protects turf from freezing and thawing ice by creating a watertight basin to accommodate water. It should be large enough to cover the entire surface and height of the strips. At the same time, water is prevented from flowing into the grass each time there is a slight thaw or more severe warmth.

B. Before putting on our polyethylene, we wait until the earth is frozen and the mercury is between -10 ° C and -15 ° C for three consecutive nights (generally between the end of December and the beginning of January, depending on the region) .

vs. To prevent our polyethylene from swelling and blowing away, we install it on a beautiful evening without wind.

D. The polyethylene is spread over the smooth surface free of debris.

E. Once the polyethylene is installed, it should not be walked on.


AT. Connect the garden hose and allow water to collect on the polyethylene to have a thin layer of water (1/4 inch).

B. While the water collects on the polyethylene, the canvas is positioned as best as possible in place and it is temporarily fixed on top of the rink boards using several removable clips.

vs. There are two ways to continue the initial flooding:

  • Either we flood the rink all at once, until the water reaches 4 inches; it may take up to 3 or 4 days for the ice to solidify. Make sure that no one (children, animals) can access the surface until it is perfectly frozen.
  • Either we water one inch at a time, allowing ice to solidify between waterings; the ice then sets more quickly, but there is more work to be done since you have to reinstall the garden hose each time.


AT. It is cleaned after each skating or snowfall session. A steel snow plow is used to clear the snow. If you have a snowblower, this is ideal.

B. The work is finished with the passage of a large broom over the entire icy surface.


AT. Even well maintained, the ice will need to be resurfaced during the winter to stay beautiful. Using a homemade resurfacer will be very helpful.

B. Here again, we have two choices, either with cold water or with hot water:

  • The technique cold water is simple and quick. We start by connecting the garden hose to an outside tap and sprinkle 3 to 4 mm of cold water.
  • The one at hot water requires that you plug in inside the house. But it is the best way to obtain a very hard ice: it is in fact with hot water that the Zamboni works in an arena. We start by connecting the garden hose to an indoor tap and sprinkle 2 to 3 mm of water.


AT. In the spring, when the water thaws, if the water remains trapped in the polyethylene, the rays of the sun passing through it may have a magnifying effect and burn the grass. To facilitate the flow of water, armed with scissors, cut the polyethylene as the ice melts.

– With the special collaboration by Stéphane Kirouac, founder of the site Building an outdoor rink is easy

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