Like many Canadians, some of Jordan Chorneyko’s fondest childhood memories are of skating around with his brother on the backyard rink his dad built. Today, he helps families do the same with Dad’s Rink Kit, a plastic membrane and rink border (helmets not included). We asked him to explain his labour of love.
“You want to take the snow right down to the grass, because the temperature of the water will melt anything underneath, and the plastic membrane will ensure it doesn’t kill the grass. Our smallest one is 15 by 20 feet, and we go up to 40 by 100 feet. Most of our rink kits are easily filled with just tap water from your house, but for some of the bigger rinks, people have been getting water trucks in to fill them.”
“Leave snow banks around the edge, to make the shape your rink. Then you lay down our membrane liner over the grass, drape it over top of the snow banks and bury the edges, basically forming a basin for the water. You want the first flood to be at least four inches, in at least minus-five degrees, or colder. Most yards have a slope, so you want to start filling at your low end, and the water will find a level.”
“Once you have a nice frozen base down, then we have our unique ice borders that you put down and connect around the edge of the rink. You fill them with water and let those freeze and then you have a nice solid edge for pucks, and to shovel, and for future flooding.”
Shovel, Rinse and Repeat
“Get a good shovel, so after you skate you can get most of the snow off, because when you’re flooding, if there’s a lot of snow on there it’ll freeze up bumpy. We also offer an ice re-surfacer that you hook to your hose, which helps smooth the ice. But if you keep it clear you can just flood it with the hose again.
“Overall, it’s a really simple process and the kit comes with step-by-step instructions that are easy to follow for all skill levels. It’s a pretty easy process for all skill levels — our success rate is almost 100 per cent. And if you’re careful with them, you can get multiple seasons. But we love our returning customers, and they love getting out on their rinks with their kids whenever they want, or out with their buddies and being the talk of the neighbourhood because of their backyard rink.”