Outdoor Skating Ovals
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skating ovals can be regulation 400 m speed skating tracks at official
training facilities or they can be recreational ovals set up on pond
ice, running tracks or soccer fields. An oval covers such a large area
it really isn't convenient to have to string out hoses every time it
needs to be resurfaced. Up until now, the only reasonable way to
resurface an oval has been with a large tank of hot water carried by or
towed behind a motor vehicle of some sort. This works, of course, and
if a community has already spent the money to purchase this equiment
then they may as well keep using it.
On the other hand there are many communities or neighborhoods that would love a skating oval if the maintenance could be done cheaply and easily. Clearing the snow off an oval is simple but smoothing the ice is a different matter. Two of our resurfacer prototypes fastened side by side resurface a strip 6 feet (2m) wide in one pass. A strip like this around a quarter-mile loop has an area of 8000 ft2, which means you'd need less than 2 gallons of propane and you'd be done in about 1/2 hour. Two concentric strips could be done in an hour with 4 gallons (16 liters) of propane, resulting in a fully resurfaced, quarter-mile (400m) skating oval that is 12 feet (4m) wide.