Deciding what is going to be the best path to take to get great at-home hockey training can be incredibly stressful. You have many choices to make, and deciding what’s going to work best for your situation can be more than a little overwhelming. Today we’re going to be looking at the debate of the century among at-home hockey training enthusiasts and, hopefully, we can help you decide once and for all which is better. Get your popcorn and take a seat, today we’re going to be looking at slick tiles vs synthetic ice.
Which one will come out on top? We’ll be looking at a few categories today so you can not only see which is better in each category but possibly even more accurately determine how good either option would be for you. You deserve to be as well informed as possible before making your choice, and there are a lot of different things that you need to think about before you make your final decision. That’s why we did a bit of research and are now more than happy to share the information that we’ve been able to find.
Which is Easier to Set-Up?
One of the biggest concerns that we hear from people that are going through the process of picking the best product for their home hockey training area is that they don’t have to have an incredibly involved setup process. It makes sense, we have jobs, lives, and families that we’d rather be spending our time with. If you’ve ever built a shed, you probably shiver at the thought of having to build an entire ice skating rink from scratch. Before we get into the depths of these details, you’ll probably be happy to know that getting hockey flooring set up is not anywhere near as hard as building a shed.
In this category, synthetic ice and dryland hockey tiles are actually tied. All you need to do for either is measure out the area where the tiles are going to go, lay out some plywood for support, and make sure that all of the tiles are aligned correctly. Depending on the size of the area that you’re looking to use for this project, you could likely have everything set up and good to use for practice in as little as an afternoon.
If this was your biggest concern for this project then we probably haven’t yet done much to sway you one way or the other, but don’t worry. We still have a few other categories to go over and by the end of this article, you’re certain to know which choice will be best for you. Who knows, maybe you’ll even feel confident enough to find a dealer that sells hockey flooring so you can make your purchase and move on to the next step of actually putting together your flooring. Let’s move on to the next section.
Is One Easier to Leave Up Than the Other?
Now, once you get your flooring set up you might be the kind of person that would prefer to leave it set up indefinitely. It only makes sense, even if it’s easy to set up and tear down you probably still don’t want to have to do so all the time. It can get very time-intensive to have to do so every day, week, or even month. So, with that in mind, is one easier to just leave up and never worry about taking down than the other? Let’s take a look at the specifications of the products.
Both products are weather-proof, which is a good start. That means that you can leave your hockey flooring out in the rain, snow, or shine and it’ll probably be fine. That’s a point for both synthetic ice and dryland hockey tiles. Both are also able to withstand a large amount of weight, meaning that you can park your car on them and not worry too much about the tiles. Another point for both, especially if you’re looking to leave the tiles set up in your garage indefinitely. But, which one is safer to just leave out?
We have to give this category to dryland hockey tiles. While both kinds of tiles can be left up indefinitely, dryland hockey tiles pose less of a slip and fall hazard. If you leave it in your garage, you could feasibly walk over the dryland tiles without worrying too much about slipping. Synthetic ice, on the other hand, is very slippery. While you’re on ice skates you’d be able to tell the difference between synthetic ice and real ice, but when you’re in your shoes you probably wouldn’t be able to notice the difference, especially if you happen to slip on it.
Could One Provide Better Training Opportunities?
Now that we’ve looked at ease of setup and viability for leaving either product out long-term, it’s time to get down to brass tacks. The most important detail for many people is the quality of training that the product can provide. After all, you are looking into investing in a training tool. If it can’t help you further your training, what’s the point of investing your time, space, and money into it? There are alternatives that can be used if neither one is able to provide the kind of training that you’re looking for, so let’s look at what both are good for.
Let’s start by looking at stickhandling and shooting training. Both synthetic ice and dryland hockey tiles are great for these things. Both types of tiles provide an adequate surface for hitting the puck around and getting some great stickhandling training in. That’s great for people that need help with things like accuracy and just generally hitting the puck. This is one of the biggest reasons why people choose to go with any type of hockey flooring, and the off-season training that it provides is hard to get anywhere else.
Now, we started off with stickhandling and shooting training because one of the two types of tiles that we’re talking about today has an unfair advantage over the other when it comes to ice skating practice. Synthetic ice, to be specific, is much better for using your ice skates on than dryland hockey tiles. You may be wondering why, and it’s simple. Dryland hockey tiles are designed to be used with your socks or shoes, ice skates would ruin the tiles. Synthetic ice is designed to be used with ice skates, so that’s the only one that gets a point in this category.
Either can be good for training, but if you need skating practice you’re going to have to choose the synthetic ice every time. This is doubly true if you need to get practice skating while you hit the puck around. Dryland hockey tiles can help with a lot of skills, but unfortunately, they’re entirely unable to help with skating practice. That being said, there are still other things that you should keep in mind before you make your final choice on this matter, like the things that we’ve already covered. Worst-case scenario, you’re stuck going to the ice skating rink to get ice skating practice.
Which One is the Winner?
Now, before we tally up the points, it’s important to note that ice skating may not be the most important part of this for you. The amount of space that you have to use can be a huge factor, especially if you need to use the space as a multi-purpose area without having to set up or tear down your rink constantly. That being said, after all of the research we are able to announce a true winner for this comparison without a shadow of a doubt.
The winner here is, without any surprise, synthetic ice. Dryland hockey tiles do have a few benefits that could make them a better choice for some people, but if you’re looking for ice skating practice you have to go with the only option that actually allows you to ice skate on it. If you have the space and a need for practice while wearing your skates, synthetic ice is the clear choice. Even if we tally up all of the points, synthetic ice comes out on top. Everything is neck and neck up until you get to how you can use the flooring for practice, and synthetic ice simply takes the gold.
Get the Best Hockey Practice
You always want to be in tiptop shape for your hockey games. It will allow you to have more fun, bring home more victories, and feel more confident overall. Using the right tools to get the best possible training is incredibly important, and it will help you get better and better results both in the short and long term. Fortunately, if neither one is an option you could always go down to the local ice skating rink and get some solid laps in.