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I live in Minneapolis, getting ready to embark on my first of hopefully many backyard rink seasons.  I have a 35x70 rink set up with nice brackets and 18 inch sides with 36 inch backs.  Super flat back yard.

Question 1-I will be using my own water, should I do a 2-3 inches of water at a time?  or one big flood for my initial fill??

Question 2-After I am filled and frozen, what do people do with the excess tarp hanging over the edges??


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Hey Josh...

A1- your initial fill should cover the tarp at least.  You don't need to fill it up all the way, but at least make sure its all covered in water and let freeze.  Remember, the deeper the water, the longer it will take to freeze.  If you have the privilege of living in the colder climates, then you win half the battle. Once you have an ice base established, continue to flood or fill but you will need to keep the hose moving. (or whatever method  you are using) Pouring water in one spot for a prolonged time will melt a hole in the ice, no matter how warm or cold it is. You want to prevent water from going under the ice and then lifting it up or heaving what you already have there. Keep in mind, you will need a good solid 3-4" of ice to walk in and skate on. Even though it may look solid at first and you will be anxious to get on it right away, give it time to be nice and frozen and thick enough so you don't break or crack the ice.

A2- It is really up to you what you do with the excess tarp.  No right or wrong answer.  Some just leave it.  Some cut it away. Some put up kick plates or "dasher" boards to protect the liner at ice level from pucks and skates. If you decide to leave it on, make sure it is fastened down so its not blowing around in the wind or anything. Staple  it at the top, or use "pool noodles" to sit on top of the boards to hold the the liner, give  your rink a nice look, and protect kids and skates from the dangers of falling onto the board edges.


Thanks Kris.  The guy I bought the rink from said he ran into issues when he put a bunch of water down, but guessing that was 6-10 inches and he was getting some board stress.  I am planning on getting the liner covered and hopefully having a hard fast freeze, but will probably have to see what mother nature throws at me.

I guess I will cross the excess liner bridge when I get to it.  Appreciate the feedback.

Last year I tied something new with mine. I have a 30x 50 rink , use a tarp style liner, I filled mine to about 8 inches on deep end 4 inches shallow. I had 2 big air movers blowing cold air down on the rink and once I had about 1/2 inch of ice I used a sump pump to pump my water from a spot I broke open on the deep end to on top of my ice that allowed the water to be exposed to the air for about 6 hours. From initial fill 48 hours later I was able to walk on it. All I can say is make sure you get 3 days below 0 and 2 nights minus 10 c at least and no snow and you should be good to walk on it to clear snow. If you dont you could end up with a slush mess or a little ice with snow on top that dosent freeze. 

I just fill mine till I have 4 inches of water at the high spot and leave till frozen

to check I step on the corner and When the Ice breaks I check how thick the ice is

I push the broken ice under the Ice and wait another day and retest in the same spot.

As for the liner, I just leave the 3-4 feet overhanging and pile the snow on it

This keep the outside of board White and not heating up

@kris think I will try the pool noodles idea on the edging.

@Daniel, nice to see you back for another season. Can I send you some cold weather your way? We have too much of it up here right now.  

Kris thanks

I see it's coming in on Thursday :)

let the water run and the rink be filled Skating party Saturday if all works as plan

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