That is a question we get asked by all of our outdoor SmartRink customers. There's something about the age-old tradition of mastering the perfect backyard rink. It usually involves trial and error of hose connections at 10 p.m. in -20 degree temperature.
Having a backyard SmartRink gives you a level surface to work with. Your ice build up only needs to be about 3". I like this because you are not having to use much water to achieve a naturally refrigerated glide. In the image below, the layer of ice is just thick enough that you can still see the goal crease and goal line.
There are watering techniques to follow depending on the type of SmartRink panel you have. First, be sure to place a Loonie at centre ice. Once you have your ice base, use hot water to 'flood' your rink. It smooths out the bumps, fills the ruts and freezes faster than cold water. Remember to remove sticks and nets from your rink when not in use. Once the sun comes out, they start to melt into the ice and get locked into the ice overnight.
When the big thaw occurs, you just need to wait for the ice to clear and then you will have your synthetic ice surface to skate on until the next deep freeze in 48 weeks.