If you've been to
Clat Adams Park
lately, you may have noticed a new ice rink. But take a second look at it because it's not made of actual ice.
"It's a synthetic polymer and when you skate over it, the blade creates the friction which releases an oil and allows you to glide," Marion Dye, River Skate owner, said.
Marion Dye and her husband are originally from Quincy, but after college they lived in Colorado for a few years. Recently they returned home and opened
"We just fell in love with all things winter out there, from skiing to ice skating, to snow-shoeing even and we wanted to bring a little piece of Colorado back here to the Midwest," Dye said. And they did, but with a twist.
So is synthetic ice easier to skate on?
"It's easier because it's not as slippery as regular ice so you have to work a little bit more, the glide is a little bit less, but it's perfect for beginners and it allows you to find your perfect skating form," Dye said.
It's also gentler to fall on.
"It's a little bit softer, it doesn't have the hard smack when you fall because it is built on a platform and underneath that is the rubber underlayment," Dye said. "So it has a nice bounce to it if you do happen to slip and fall."
But there is one drawback.
"With the synthetic ice, these need to be sharpened more frequently than if you were skating on traditional ice," Dye said, because the blade dulls more quickly.
The rink is keeping Dye and her husband extra busy since they've seen more than 200 skaters every weekend since their grand opening in early November. Still, she says it's a small price to pay for an ice rink that'll stay cool in any temperature.