Knowing the best way to do your hockey training at home is incredibly important. Most hockey teams don’t meet up year-round to get their training in because the hockey season doesn’t last that long. That means that off-season training is entirely up to you. With that in mind, making sure that you pick the best possible hockey flooring can help you be sure that you’re getting the highest quality training even if it’s in the middle of July. But how exactly does this flooring make a difference, and what is the best choice for you?
We’re going to be taking a hard and honest look at these questions so that we can help you come to the best conclusion. Trying to get something that you can use in your home for hockey training can be hard and takes a great deal of research, and that’s exactly why we’ve gone ahead and taken care of a lot of the research for you. By doing this, we hope to save you a bit of time with that part of the process so you can spend more time getting in some much-needed practice.
What Types of Flooring are Used for Hockey Training?
When it comes to selecting what kind of flooring you want to use in your home for your hockey training, you have a couple of major options. That’s part of what makes this process so tricky. Of course, there are more than two options in general. There are countless brands that make these products and, of course, different companies manufacture products of different qualities. For now, we’re just going to be looking at the two entirely different products that exist for this so you can decide what will work the best for you.
The first is what most people mean when they say “hockey flooring” and those are dryland hockey tiles. These tiles are somewhat slick and designed to help with stickhandling more than anything. You practice on this flooring while in your socks or shoes and hit the puck around while experiencing a similar amount of puck glide as you do on the ice. You cannot use your ice skates on these tiles unless you want to risk destroying both the tiles and your skates. This option is great for a lot of reasons, but we’ll be covering the pros and cons a little later on.
The other is less commonly referred to as “hockey flooring” but some people do also refer to synthetic ice tiles as such. Synthetic ice tiles, unlike dryland hockey tiles, are designed to be used with your ice skates. You can use synthetic ice to practice shooting while skating around in the comfort of your own home. This synthetic ice, much like the dryland hockey tiles, does come with its own pros and cons that we’ll cover in more detail momentarily, but it is nearly just as common a choice as the dryland hockey tiles.
Both of these are excellent choices for helping you get a space at your house where you can practice hockey. Neither is a bad choice, but it does require a bit of thought to make sure that you’re getting what works best for you. Not everyone’s situation is the same, so it makes a huge difference which one you decide to go with. You have to think about things like how much space you have available, what kind of training you want to be doing, and also potentially things like storage space. It’s a lot to think about, but it’s definitely worth it in the long run.
Pros and Cons of Dryland Hockey Tiles
We’re going to start off by looking at dryland hockey tiles because out of the two things that we’re covering today, that’s the only one that is traditionally referred to as flooring. It just makes sense to start off talking about this one just in case our readers came here specifically looking for information about this type of tiles. So, with that in mind, let’s find out the reasons why people love and hate dryland hockey tiles so you can find out if it’s a good fit for you.
Starting off with the cons, you can’t use your ice skates on dryland hockey tiles. The tiles are not designed for ice skates so using them would have a high chance of destroying the hockey tiles and your skates. Doing this would be akin to using your ice skates on hardwood flooring. That limits the number of drills that you can use on this type of flooring, which can be troublesome if you need more practice on the ice. That’s really the biggest downside for using this kind of flooring, so now that we have that established let’s look at the positives.
Dryland hockey tiles are great for getting some stickhandling practice in. Of course, you won’t get to practice shooting while skating, but that’s made up for because of how easy dryland tiles are to store. Most dryland hockey tiles are designed to hold up under extreme weights, meaning that you can set up your dryland flooring in the garage and never have to worry about moving it. Of course, you’ll have to be a little more careful getting out of your car, but most people will be able to walk on the tiles without any issue.
These tiles are also regularly weather-proof, meaning that you can set them up in your backyard and forget about them no matter the weather. Because most people won’t have an issue walking on these tiles, you could even leave them up during family gatherings. Just make sure to warn your family members about the flooring being a little slick before they start walking around on them. You can do a great number of drills on these tiles, which makes them good for getting used to stickhandling and accuracy without having to put on your ice skates. That makes these tiles a great choice for many people.
The Pros and Cons of Synthetic Ice Tiles
As promised, we will be covering the positives and negatives of using synthetic ice even though that’s not what most people mean when they say “hockey flooring” simply because it’s an understandable mistake to make and you could have been searching for information about synthetic ice and ended up finding information about dryland tiles, which won’t help you find the information that you’re looking for or even get you closer to knowing if it’s the right choice for you. So, that’s why we’re here to tell you about it.
Synthetic ice is similar to dryland hockey tiles in a few ways, the biggest way is that they’re both made up of interlocking tiles. That means that both products are incredibly easy to set up and tear down. Synthetic ice is also weather-proof so you could also feasibly leave it up year-round with little to no concern. Now, this is where we start to diverge from the similarities. Synthetic ice isn’t something that you should keep up in a place where there’s any foot traffic if you want to keep it up without tearing it down.
That’s because synthetic ice is incredibly slippery and you have a much higher chance of slipping on it than with dryland hockey tiles. That’s a good thing for training because you can actually use your ice skates when you’re on synthetic ice, but it’s not great for just leaving set up in your garage if you park in there. Also, it’s worth noting that even though you can use your ice skates on the synthetic ice that doesn’t mean it’s exactly good for your ice skates. Most people report that the surface wears down their blades about twice as fast as normal ice.
Now, synthetic ice is still incredibly despite any shortcomings that it might have. You can get real training on the ice without having to leave your home after getting this setup. It does take a bit more upkeep, but if you need more practice in your skates while hitting the puck it’s hard to get something that will work as well as this. You can run any drill on synthetic ice that you can run on real ice, making it an invaluable tool for hockey players of all levels of experience, regardless of if you’re an amateur or professional.
Get the Most out of Your Home Training
Getting training at home can be tricky. Of course, you can and should get regular exercise in but that doesn’t really help you drill the fundamentals into your skull. By using some sort of hockey tiles, you can improve the training that you get and make sure that the basics of hockey become second nature to you before the next season rolls around. Your teammates and coach will thank you, while the other teams in your league may resent you for it. At the end of the day, that’s exactly the kind of reaction that you want to get.