Whether we’re talking about field hockey or ice hockey there’s always more than one surface available. That may come as a surprise for ice hockey, but you can get synthetic ice hockey tiles that are very similar to play on.
In this article, we’ll discuss the different types of hockey flooring available to help you choose the surface that’s right for you.
Field hockey is played on the following surfaces:
- Artificial grass (3G pitches)
- Polyurethane (PU)
These surfaces offer different play characteristics. Hardwood is the fastest indoor surface and asphalt is the fastest outdoor surface. If you want a more forgiving surface, artificial 3G pitches are a good option indoors and outdoors.
Polyurethane (PU) is a multi-use surface where hockey, basketball, tennis and other court games can be played. This surface is a good choice in sports halls. Hardwood is another option. The hardwood floor will need to be sprung to absorb shock and protect players. The most common woods used are beech and maple.
Ice hockey should be played on ice. Where ice isn’t a realistic option, you can get synthetic ice tiles. These are compatible with skates. The tiles are made from polyethylene plastic and require no extreme maintenance, only general upkeep.
Ice can be impractical due to requiring refrigeration equipment. Synthetic tiles offer similar performance and can be installed anywhere.
What is the best hockey flooring?
With field hockey, the quicker the better – but not at the expense of grip.
The best surface for field hockey is artificial grass (3G pitches) and this is backed up by elite field hockey being played on this surface. The flat, smooth surface of artificial grass allows a consistent level of play and performance.
Hardwood and PU are even faster than artificial grass and some players prefer this. If you have a sports hall, you can use either surface for field hockey.
Ice hockey is another matter entirely. The surface has to be super-smooth and slippery so that skates glide across it. Ice is the gold standard. However, where ice isn’t practical, you can use synthetic ice tiles in their place. These are made from a polymer.
If you have any questions or would like to talk about your next hockey project, give us a call on (0)1706 260 220 and our sports surfaces specialists will help.