Are ice skating rinks cold? Ice skating is a fun sport with tons of health, physical and social benefits. However, the main risk associated with ice skating is the temperatures at the skating rinks. If you’re wondering how cold or warm the rinks are, I did research, and here’s what I discovered.
Indoor ice skating rinks are cold because of the ice-cold skating surface and the relatively low air temperature. This icy rink surface has a temperature of 0°C and an average air temperature of 12.8°C, significantly lower than the average normal room temperature of 20°C. These two can make the indoor ice skating rinks super cold.
This is only the tip of the iceberg. In the rest of this post, I cover why ice skating rinks are cold in detail and how to keep warm and protected when you’re at an ice skating rink. So, without much ado, let’s get to it!
How are Ice Skating Rinks Made? And what makes them cold
To help us understand why ice skating rinks are cold, it’s best to know how they are made. So, how are ice skating rinks made, you ask? Ice skating rinks feature a series of layers like the topmost chilled concrete slab. This is where the skating surface rests.
Below the concrete is an insulation system, followed by heated concrete sand and gravel base and a groundwater drain. Inside the concrete slap are a series of metal pipes running from one end to another.
Lastly, ice skating rinks feature an extensive refrigeration system that works like normal domestic or commercial refrigerators. This is what keeps the rinks cold. So, how does this work? You’re probably wondering. Let’s break it down!
- The concrete slab is fitted with several metallic pipes running side by side from one end to another.
- The refrigeration system produces an ice-cold glycol that runs through the metallic pipes. This makes the concrete temperature fall below the freezing point (0°C) to around -4°C.
- Thin layers of water are poured on the chilled concrete slab to form a ½ to ¾ inch icy surface.
Overall, ice skating rinks are cold because of the -4°C chilled concrete slab, 0°C ice cold and frozen thin layers of water, and the 12.8°C air temperature, which is significantly lower than the normal room temperature of 20°C.
More Reading: Is Ice Skating a Sport? Your Burning Questions Answered!
How to Keep Warm and Safe at an Ice Skating Rink
Ice skating is fun, and there’s no doubt about it. However, the immediate danger associated with it is the risk of exposure to cold. So, it’s important to keep warm if you want to enjoy the hobby for a long time.
According to Medical News Today, the virus that causes cold spreads faster in lower temperatures. In addition, lower temperatures negatively affect the body’s immune system, weakening it and making it susceptible to attack.
This is what you want to avoid by all means, and it calls for responsible ice skating. Therefore, you should wear the appropriate articles of clothing and the right protective gear.
Ice Skating Protective Gear
The recommended ice skating protective gear includes a helmet, wrist guards, elbow pads, and knee pads. This is the basic level of protection and a must-have for recreational ice skating, especially for beginners.
Other ice skating disciplines like hockey skating requires additional protection like chest guard to protect the thorax and shin guards to protect the shins. Since the skating surface is hard and slippery, you want to protect your head by wearing the recommended head helmet.
The recommended helmet for ice skating is multi-impact, offers ultimate rear coverage, is in good condition, and fits right. Most importantly, it should be approved by relevant authorities like the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Canada Standards Association.
Something else you need to look out for when buying the right helmet for ice skating is the labels. How do I mean, you ask? The recommended ice skating helmets are ASTM F 1492, ASTM F 1447, and ASTM F 1045.
The ASTM F 1045 is suitable for ice hockey, the ASTM F 1447 is ideal for speed skating, and the ASTM F 1492 is more suitable for recreational ice skating. This is your first line of protection. You need it to protect yourself from possible head injuries after falling on the hard icy concrete surface.
That being said, elbow and knee pads protect your elbows and knees respectively after an impactful fall. Without them, you can sustain various injuries like cuts and bruises.
When shopping for protective gear, it’s essential to make the right choices by following logic and criteria. Below is the article you need to check out when shopping for any skating protective gear.
Please check out these awesome helmets for ice skating on Amazon
Ice Skating Articles of Clothing
The recommended clothing articles for ice skating include long pants, long socks, gloves, long-sleeved shirts, neck scarves, light sweaters, and knit hats.
Please check out these awesome Jackets for ice skating on Amazon
- The right material plays an important role when choosing ice skating wear. For example, polyester is the recommended material for long pants because it makes them lightweight and doesn’t soak in water.
- Long socks protect your feet from injuries like blisters and ankle pain while also keeping you warm. The right ones are lightweight and moderately long.
- Gloves also serve two purposes. One, they help keep your hands warm. And two, they offer added protection for the hands from injuries like cuts and bruises.
- A long-sleeved- shirt protects your hands from the ice-cold rink temperatures.
- Use a neck scarf to cover your neck. However, ensure it’s of the appropriate length because excessively longer scarves can come in between your ice skates.
- Wear a light sweater and jacket to cover your chest. Lightweight sweaters and jackets are the best because they don’t hinder your skating.
- Lastly, wear a knit hat to protect your head from the cold.
Please check out these awesome Long pants for ice skating on Amazon
Please check out these awesome socks for ice skating on Amazon
Are Ice Skating Rinks Cold? Wrapping Up
Are ice skating rinks cold? The truth is, ice skating rinks are cold because of the -4°C chilled concrete slab, 0°C ice cold and frozen thin layers of water surface, and the 12.8°C air temperature. Your best shot at skating for fun is by wearing the right articles of clothing and protective gear.