Alex Stone, Massachusetts YardRink Owner Since 2023

 Massachusetts winters are notoriously cold and snowy which can make it tough to motivate my kids to play outside. It’s important to me that my kids are active, play sports and spend time outside year-round, even in the winter. 

 As someone who loves hockey but hates winter – I know an odd combination – it’s been great to see my kids also find a passion for the sport and skating. That’s one of the reasons I knew it was time to set up a backyard rink. YardRink played a role in helping my kids stay active this winter and providing a bonding experience for the entire family. 

 Making Outdoor Fun Possible 

 As a family who loves hockey, it’s hard to play on a whim because you need a rink to skate on – unless there’s one right in your backyard. With a six-year-old who loves hockey, a four-year-old who is interested in skating, and an almost two-year-old who likes to throw hockey sticks around, I knew there was no doubt we would use a backyard skating rink. 

 Over the years, I've stayed in touch with Dan Touhey, YardRink’s VP of Business Development and a former colleague of mine. When I saw that he was joining Yardrink, I decided to look into the company because of my and my family’s love for hockey. After speaking with Dan and learning more about what YardRink had to offer, I knew this was the path we wanted to take. 

 Eagerly Awaiting Playable Ice!

 As soon as the rink arrived, my kids wanted to put it up and I could already see the joy on their faces. While putting the rink together, the laminated instructions were fantastic and super helpful and everything I needed to set the rink up was included. Overall the setup was a straightforward process – the toughest part was waiting for the ice to freeze! 

 Even before the rink froze, I knew we made the right decision because my kids would come home every day and check if we finally had ice. When the rink first started to freeze, it wasn't strong enough for a person to stand on, but it could hold a puck. My son and I would stay outside and just pass the puck back and forth working on our shooting and passing skills. 

 The rounded boards and retention nets make it feel like we’re playing on a real rink. I’m very excited that I didn't take the DIY rink route and make my own rink out of wood. I’m already thinking about how easy this rink will be to disassemble and store so we can use it for years to come. In the meantime, now that we have ice, the whole family is enjoying the rink, and my wife and I can relax by the firepit while our kids skate. 

 A Family Bonding Experience

 One of the unexpected benefits of having ice in our backyard is the lesson it’s taught my children about the rewards of hard work. They have embraced the effort required to maintain the rink, whether it’s lending a hand in cleaning the ice, watching the weather reports to plan skating sessions, creating better locker rooms in the garage, and much more. It has been a lot of fun to embrace this with them and work together as a family. 

 While it is certainly a lot of work and patience to keep things running smoothly, my wife and I have watched our kids have fun and skate for hours from the kitchen window. Nothing makes me happier than seeing them enjoy the rink during the week after school, when typically on a cold evening they would be inside watching TV. Being able to get outside and skating on the YardRink has been a great bonding experience for the entire family.

Written by YardRink

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