When people are serious about hockey and practice they want to know the ins and outs of the hockey training aids available, and which ones are best to use. How effective is synthetic ice? What is dryland hockey flooring? Will a shooting pad help? A portable shooting surface is one of those items that has many names but leaves questions about what exactly it is. How can a portable shooting surface help a player to sharpen skills? You might be surprised at the value of a hockey shooting pad, and how good it can be to practice those one-timer shots.
Hockey Shooting Pad
A hockey shooting pad is a portable hockey flooring that allows for players to practice hockey shots from anywhere they choose. Some are larger around 30 inches by 60 inches and some are smaller around 24 inches by 48 inches. They are made with a special kind of plastic that mimics ice so that when you slap a puck at a goal from it, it is just like real ice. The great thing about it is that you can pick it up and pack it anywhere. Often when people use a shooting pad they have a shooting tarp in place so that they can practice precision shots just like in a game, or on a rink.
Synthetic Ice Flooring Area
Another very popular type of flooring is synthetic ice. This type of flooring is made especially for ice skaters so that they can skate on ice as they practice their skills. Much like shooting pads, it is made out of a special plastic that mimics real ice. Although it is not considered portable, it is comprised of tiles or panels that easily lock together on a flat surface to form a great hockey flooring. You can even remove the panels and move them somewhere else without a whole lot of effort. Since they are not permanently fixed to the ground and are only held together by their own tabs it makes it easy to remove and install over and over again. Sniper’s Edge synthetic ice is made so that you can flip them over and use the other side when the first side gets worn. Would most people consider synthetic ice tiles portable? That is all a matter of perspective.
Dryland Hockey Flooring
Dryland hockey flooring is becoming pretty popular these days. It is much like synthetic ice in the way that it is slick and allows for the puck to slide across its surface much like it would if it were on real ice. In most instances, this type of flooring comes in 12 inches by 12-inch squares so that they can neatly fit into small spaces and create a hockey flooring environment that is suitable for most hockey players. The biggest difference between slick tiles and synthetic ice is that you can’t use ice skates on dryland flooring. Dryland flooring tiles are great for shooting and practicing stickhandling moves, but you can’t ice skate on them. Imagine trying to ice skate on your kitchen floor. It just doesn’t work. Although dryland ice flooring fails in the ice skating category, it is so slick for the pucks and the sticks that it works great for practicing and rollerblading. Dryland tiles can be installed very easily by placing them on a hard, flat surface and joining the tabs together much like synthetic ice. They are easily installed and easily removed so that they can be placed in one area, then moved to another one. Does this make them portable as well? Again, it is all in the way a person looks at it.
So all in all at the end of the day the only type of flooring that is technically portable is the kind that you can roll up and put into your gym bag. The hockey shooting pad is probably the most portable hockey training aid there is when it comes to floorikng. Whatever way you choose to continue to strengthen your game, is the best way to go. Just keep practicing and do what you do best.