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Backyard Hockey

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Backyard Hockey last won the day on February 25 2013

Backyard Hockey had the most liked content!

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About Backyard Hockey

  • Birthday 05/28/1980


  • Skates
    Vapor 15's
  • Stick
    Sher-Wood 7000 (yes, WOOD!)

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    New England
  • Interests
    Pond hockey, street hockey, roller hockey, backyard rinks

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  1. Hey there. I'd say no smaller than 20x40...and larger is better. I used to have a 40x56 and that would get tight with 2-on-2 with college-level players. 32x40 is a good start. Plywood with Nicerink is a good setup. You can either use ATV ramps that you buy at the store, or just construct some sort of plywood/2x12 ramps on your own. And always try to load and unload the snowblower at the point in your rink where the water/ice is deepest. If you are using 16" boards, then you'll have to drop it down a foot if you're in an area with only 4" of ice. But if you find a spot in your rink with 10" of ice/water, then you only have to drop the snowblower down 6" inside the rink. Obviously if your yard is laser flat you won't have any deep or shallow areas, but if you do, load and unload your snowblower where the top of the boards is closest to your ice surface.
  2. I've never done it, nor have I ever seen it done. Without knowing more about the pool in question, I'm not sure I can answer your question. I seem to recall a kit that turned your inground pool into a rink, but I'm not sure that idea ever took off.
  3. I've grown up in one approach, and now I'm coaching the other, and I think starting kids out by focusing on skills is infinitely better than the "drop the puck, good luck kids" approach of years past. I know there are still some old-school organizations, but I'm not planning on putting my kids anywhere near them.
  4. Awesome, glad you liked the skate aid. I try to make things on my site both simple and cheap, adjectives not often used to describe the game of hockey. My hope is that it makes the game (or at least the backyard rink segment) more attainable for folks who didn't grow up with it like we did. I got my boy (now 6) on skates when he was 18mos...he loved it, but he honestly didn't stand on his own until he was over 3. My back hurt a lot those first couple years. But the best thing we ever did was gear him up, head to toe, at skate swaps and on ebay. Once he realized he could fall and not get hurt, he was golden, but I don't think getting him out there early helped much at all. I have twins who turn 2 next month, and I'm going to wait until next year. As for your daughter, still plenty of time! I love our local LTS/LTP programs (MRYHA in Manchester NH)...my son is finishing his first year in LTP after 1.5 years in LTS, and he's now ready for travel hockey. Back when I was a kid, they threw a house league jersey on me when I was 4, dropped a puck (on a full sheet of ice), and said "go play". The oldest, fastest kids scored 15 goals while the others didn't touch the puck. The station-based approach that ADM demands these days is much better. He'll be playing travel at age 7....I wasn't ready until my last year in mites at age 9. Good luck with you little ones! Being a hockey dad is even better than being a hockey player IMO. Cool to experience it the second time around from a different perspective.
  5. Yup, you are not alone. So many yards looked flat until the water truck comes, my first rink included (I got lucky that the water stopped at the top of my 1' boards). It's probably the most common rink mistake, and one you only make once. If you're down to try again, I do have a article on how to measure slope using cheap tools if you look at the URL in my profile (still not sure if it's ok to post my URLs here). Don't give up! That said, if you have the coin for either refrigeration or synthetic, let me know how it goes. Been wanting to get into both of those setups to expand my horizons a bit. Thanks! I'm such a sap for the generational hockey stuff. In exactly one week, my oldest hits the ice for his first-ever travel hockey tryouts, at the same rink and for the same organization I played for my whole life. I'm going to be one beaming dad next Monday. I love that hockey can do that to us. Nope. Wish I was. It would save me money on my oil bill.
  6. BTW, here's picture of my rink this year. I'd say on a scale of one to ten, this year was about a 6. Lots of bitter cold in January, book-ended by some crappy weather in December and a downright horrid February (it's either snowed or been warm, it seems). And don't forget, there's always "get a new fiancee", haha. JK...if she plays hockey at the college level, hold on to that one.
  7. Or maybe save up even MORE money and get refrigeration? Ahh...we can all dream. Good luck wherever you end up!
  8. Sweet! I maintain the blog to educate, instruct, and also to inspire! Nothing better than having your own backyard sheet. Hopefully you'll join the ranks of rinkbuilder soon enough! Or, like someone above said, go synthetic! (Hope your checkbook likes commas).
  9. Ah, sorry! What happened? Even as a veteran rinkbuilder, I still learn new things each year. That said, there are probably 3 or 4 items on the "you must do this or else" list, and almost all of us have screwed up a couple of those in our first years. Synthetic is nice for sure, and I'd love to start selling it up here in the Northeast. Only problem is many companies have their own reps and don't have much of a foothold up here. Still trying to break into that industry to expand what I can offer through my rinkbuilding company.
  10. Whoa...that's big-time! I've had folks rig up shades to keep the sun away, but a roof is another level entirely. That said, shade is a HUGE component of a successful rink. In January, when it tends to be bitterly cold, it doesn't matter much. But when we get those inevitable mid-season thaws, or in late February when the sun gets warmer, you can easily get another couple weeks to your season if the sun doesn't directly hit your rink for any length of time during the day. And you can't even quantify the help a roof will provide when it snows. I'd love to see pics of this (and also inquire about being adopted, haha). Joe
  11. Hi gang, Love this site, and spend lots of time lurking...but I'm nowhere near as well-versed in hockey gear as you guys are, despite playing competitively from age 4 through college. It's been men's leagues and pond hockey tourneys since. About six years ago I built my first backyard rink, and my blog is now an authority source on the subject. Two years ago I also opened a side business building rinks in the NH area, as well as selling backyard rink parts worldwide. We built 8 rinks our first year, 18 this past year, and have 15 more on a waiting list for 2013-2014. (Not sure if it's kosher if I post the links or names of the blog or business, so I won't...mods, please let me know if I'm doing anything wrong here). Anyways, since I get so much value from this site and can rarely give back, I thought I'd start this thread to give you all a resource should you decide to build your own rink. So ask away! Joe
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