Over the years synthetic ice has gotten more and more advanced. Back when it was first introduced into the world in the ‘60s it was pretty much useless for a while. Now, science and technology have been able to open the doors for so many different types of breakthrough inventions it is no wonder that artificial ice is a lot like real ice. But, can you figure skate on it? You might be surprised.
In the first days of early synthetic ice, there was no way that a skater could successfully figure skate on the flooring without running into a plethora of issues. For starters, the flooring was softer back then because the type of plastic that it was made out of was still primitive and did not have the structure that it does today. Another major drawback of early artificial ice is that in order for it to be even remotely useable, it had to have a constant source of lubrication applied to it. Constantly applying lubricant was not only inconvenient but could be costly as well. Not to mention that the silicone solution that was used for lubrication actually created a layer of gunk that had to be scraped away on a regular basis.
Modern-day synthetic ice has greatly evolved over the past 60 years or so. In the old days, the flooring had to be constantly lubricated, scraped, then lubricated in order for it to work. The synthetic ice of today is equipped with self-lubrication technology that allows for constant skating without having to do anything but enjoy yourself. In fact, skating on artificial ice today is very similar to skating on real ice.
When skaters glide across the frozen water ice rinks they cause a bit of heat to emit from the friction of the skates on the ice. When the heat comes, next is a fine layer of water. The water that comes from the melted ice quickly converts into a very effective, natural lubricant. This way the ice skater can figure skate, and glide across the flooring without much resistance.
Developers and scientists worked together over the years in order to create a surface that mimics the way that ice reacts to skates. By creating synthetic plastic polymer-based surfaces they have been able to infuse lubricants into the structure of the flooring that is activated when there is friction. As the skater glides across the synthetic ice flooring, the pressure causes lubricants that are built into the flooring to rise to the top and lubricate the path of the skates. Because of this, there is very little resistance and not much drag at all.
In the present day, figure skaters are able to glide freely and boundlessly across synthetic ice skating rinks. Although there is a detectable difference in the way that the skates interact with the flooring, it is not enough to hinder the performance of the skater. Skaters might have to work a little harder and exert a little more energy in order to move around the rink, but all in all, it is an experience much like real ice. So, the answer to the question is yes. If you know how to do it, you can figure skate just fine on synthetic ice.
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