Here are Answers to some frequently asked questions!
How big is the ice surface at Alpine Ice?
26 metres by 56 metres
How thick is the ice?
3 inches or about 10 centimetres.
What colour is the ice?
The ice is usually clear, so we apply paint under the ice to make it appear white and then we use paper on top of the paint to add the lines and dots used for speed skating and ice hockey. Ice is then formed over the top of these.
How heavy is the ice?
1 cubic metre of ice weighs a ton, so the whole ice sheet would be about 150 tons.
How long does it take to freeze the ice surface?
About 5-10 minutes after each groom.
Are there fish under there?
Yes (No - that's a joke, there aren't really fish under the ice).
Can I fall through?
Absolutely not! Although you may see videos on You Tube and other websites showing people falling through the ice on artificial rinks, these are just jokes. It really can't happen! There is way too much sand and other materials under there for you to ever fall through!
How many people work at Alpine Ice?
Around 30 people, including part-timers, DJs and coaches work at Alpine Ice. There are usually around 5 - 12 staff working at a public session depending on how busy it is.
Can I walk on the ice?
No sorry, it is against OSH regulations to be on the ice without skates, it is very slippery!
What does the Zamboni do? (pronounced Zam - bo - nee)
The Zamboni cuts off the top layer of the ice, picks it up and lays down hot water which freezes giving you a lovely new smooth surface to skate on. It's really fun to drive and people love watching it do its work!
How fast does the Zamboni move?
About 20 km per hour.
Is it hard to drive the Zamboni?
No, but it does require specialised training and a good understanding of how the ice surface is maintained.
Do you have to have a drivers licence to drive it?
No, but you do have to be specially trained.
Why do you drive the Zamboni around in circles?
So we can cover the ice evenly and it's much faster than going backwards and forwards because it takes a while to turn the Zamboni around.
What special things do you have to do to look after the ice?
Edging, the small edge that the Zamboni doesn't reach needs to be cut back regularly to keep it smooth.
Grooming with the Zamboni.
Filling holes and grooves, so you don't stop suddenly when you are skating . Water treatment, to keep the ice in tip top shape.
Keeping an eye on the temperature outside as the different seasons require different ice temperatures.
How many lights are there in the ceiling?
183 Coloured lights, 6 Moving Heads, 2 Strobe Lights, 2 Bubble Machines and 27 Mercury Vapour Flood Lights.
How do you change bulbs in them?
We use a cherry picker or a scissor lift
How loud are the speakers?
There are 6 speakers hanging in the roof with power output of up to 750w each, so that's about 4500w total... but we never turn it up that loud!
How many pairs of hire skates are there?
1300 pairs from childrens size 6 to adults size 14.