Rink fights the summer heat with ‘slick’ fake ice

Building an ice rink that doesn’t melt into a puddle in Wollongong’s summer heat would be a near-impossible challenge. So Stars on Ice are stepping in with their synthetic ‘‘slick ice’’.

The fake ice is made of a plastic-teflon compound that is designed ‘‘to give the maximum amount of slide’’, according to general manager Peter Lynch.

It will appear on Crown Street Mall outside David Jones from December 1 surrounded by a big Christmas tree, ‘‘Santa’s workshop’’ and craft activities for kids. 

The installation will kick off with performances, costumes and a Christmas-themed show.

On selected days, skating competitions and school performances will be held.

Mr Lynch said that like a normal ice rink, the surface will scrape and fine fragments will come off.

‘‘The difference is, when you’re skating on it, it’s a bit slower than real ice,’’ he said.

‘‘It tends to be a great way for children to learn, as their feet don’t disappear out from under them.

‘‘It’s not cold so you can skate in shorts or your bathers.

‘‘We vacuum it to clean up, to collect up the shavings. The actual scratching on the surface doesn’t go away, but it contributes to the look of it looking more like real ice, it doesn’t slow people down.’’

The same ‘‘slick ice’’ has been used for the Andre Rieu world stadium tour and on top of a swimming pool in Sydney, so that it appeared to be floating.

The rink  will be open from December 1 to 23, with free entry for all on the first day. Prices start at $5, including skate hire, for a one-hour session.

On December 3, there will be a special day to  celebrate International Day of People with Disability and wheelchairs will be allowed onto the rink.


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