Why Super-Glide Is the World’s Best Synthetic Ice System
Since 1985, Perry Boskus, President of Global Synthetic Ice, has been innovating and inventing new products to make skating on synthetic ice an experience comparable to – or better than – skating on real ice. Even as a young competitive figure skater in the 1970s, Mr. Boskus searched for new ways to make skating on synthetic ice more realistic. By the 1990s, he began intensively testing products to develop a lower-cost alternative to the high price of maintaining real ice.
Since then, Global Synthetic Ice has developed a number of striking innovations, which are listed below. Prior to these advancements, no synthetic ice product had ever been successful for public use; they were only used for professional skaters. Competitors were quick to copy the technological innovations introduced by Global Synthetic Ice. To guard against future infringements, manufacturing details of subsequent advances shall remain trade secrets.
Now, with the addition of the latest computer-controlled production equipment, Global Synthetic Ice produces the most advanced synthetic ice system imaginable.
- The first major Super-Glide breakthrough was our very first synthetic ice product. Before Super-Glide's first system in 1999, other synthetic ice surfaces used 4-inch splines to link corners of same-size panels. Their temperature-sensitive wood-core panels could not be used outdoors. Rinks were held together with a perimeter of 2x4 lumber that splintered when kicked by skates. Poor ice glide quality also hindered performance. Some of our competitors still use this very old technology today, but we knew there had to be a better way. The first Super-Glide surface offered skaters the following improvements over previous products:
- Elimination of wood-core panels to allow outdoor use.
- Creation of two-size panels (4x8 and 4x4) to allow panels to be staggered in a secure brick pattern.
- Increase in the length of splines from just a few inches in the corners to the full length of the joint. This ensured spline coverage of all seams, creating a much more stable surface.
- Replacement of lumber perimeters with synthetic material from our surface to deliver a finished appearance with no more wood splinters.
- Before 2000, all synthetic ice manufacturers recommended spraying their surfaces with large quantities of silicone mixed with water to improve skate glide. Often, this mess ruined skaters’ clothing. After 2000, following months of intensive experimentation with new materials, we introduced our own non-silicone formula that allows skaters on Super-Glide synthetic ice a glide that is as close to that of real ice as is technically possible. Our formula is dry to the touch and will not stick to clothing. The Super-Glide surface treatment, designed specifically to work with the properties of our synthetic ice is simply the most advanced surface lubricant available today.
- In 2004, we introduced our newest Super-Glide surface material, "Ice Blue." This delivers a cleaner look, much like real ice. With this new formula, glide quality was also improved.
- In 2006, we introduced new production machinery for Super-Glide with advanced designs unlike any other competing producer. Other synthetic ice sold today is manufactured by 1980s-era equipment. Our modern machinery is capable of producing more precise and consistent panel thickness. We can also add lubrication ingredients during the manufacturing process. In addition, we designed new foam core surface panels for home use. These lighter panels make assembly easier and reduce shipping costs. The 4-foot by 4-foot panels easily fit on truck lift gates to help with home delivery.
- In 2008, we introduced our latest advancement, our patent-pending Interlocking Systm. This new method of interlocking panels eliminates expansion and contraction caused by outdoor temperature changes. Our new interlock system incorporates newly designed edge tabs to hold seams rigid, unlike older dove-tail designs. We also developed the first successful full-size system, and will now specialize in full-size outdoor facilities for N.H.L. games, figure skating shows and general public use.
- In 2010, we installed our first rinks with embedded hockey lines. Available in both full size and mini-rinks, the markings are highly visible and completely maintenance-free.
- In 2011, we released Super-Glide Ultra. Designed specifically for home use, sheets are made thinner and smaller, making them lighter, less expensive to buy and ship, and easily installed by a single person. Like all Global Synthetic Ice products, it uses the same Super-Glide surface and patent-pending interlocking system.
Often Imitated, Never Duplicated
Since 1999, we have introduced numerous advancements to the synthetic ice industry. Competitors follow us, but they never match us. We have never promoted a new product that did not advance synthetic ice technology over previous products. Superior technology ensures our leadership in the synthetic ice industry today.