Can synthetic ice be skated on both sides? The short answer is yes. I have only come across one product that couldn’t be skated on both sides and that was because it’s a molded thermoplastic material that has only one smooth side surface (that one is a bit of a “lone wolf”).
The better question and one that I discuss with potential clients is why would you ever want to turn it over? Let’s consider this question.
Most products get more efficient (less resistance) the more they are skated on. That sweat equity carves up that nice shiny surface with the sharp skate blades over and over. The more it gets carved up the better the glide because the skate blade has less contact with the smooth new surface. This is where the discussion gets tricky. There is no question about it, some materials wear out faster than others. If you are doing your research and a supplier talks about needing to turn the product over in a few years’ times then you have to be wary of that. We simply tell people straight out – yes you could turn it over (and start over) but you will never need to. Our best materials simply will never wear out. That starts a really good conversation then about different materials used in making synthetic ice.
I have definitely come across materials that needed to be turned over after a few years. That’s pretty surprising considering what most material costs. The owner was certainly not happy about that – but you get what you pay for and he was never informed or knew enough at the time to ask the right questions.
In my view knowing what I know, the only time I would ever recommend for someone to turn one of our panels over would simply be to make the surface look nice and shiny new again and it became so dirty that cleaning became impossible.
It’s always best to ask a potential supplier questions about the material and ask them if they will warranty it for a lifetime! We will if we know how it’s going to be used and we will put that in writing for you.