Growing up, the Habs spent most of their nights ripping it up on outdoor rinks in their local communities. From learning to skate to fine-tuning skills, a backyard rink is the perfect place to spend active time as a family while staying at home.
This winter, RONA and the Habs want to see your backyard creations. From January 13 to 27, submit photos or videos of your outdoor rinks using the form below or by sharing them on Twitter using the hashtag #canadiensXrona and you could win a $500 RONA gift card and a visit from a Habs alumni and Youppi!, who will come by to join you for a game of shinny on your very own rink!
Need some inspiration? RONA and the Habs are here to help you make the most of your outdoor space with a step-by-step guide to building your very own backyard rink.
You can adjust your plans to fit any sized yard, budget, or level of handiness!
Approximate budget to build the pictured rink: $2,500
Construction time: 10 hours (with the help of two additional people)
Difficulty level: Intermediate
First thing's first: you need the right tools and materials! Our friends at RONA have helped us curate this list of supplies you'll need to get going:
• Plywood, Spruce Standard, 5/8"
• Spruce stud 2"x4"
• Spruce stud 2"x6"
• Spruce stud 2"x10"
• Steel Hex Bolts - Grade 5 - 3/8" x 4 1/2"
• Flat Washers - Steel - 3/8"
• Hex Head Lag Bolt - 3/8'' x 5'' - Zinc Plated
• Precision Deck Screws - Steel - #8 x 3" - 5 lb - Cedar
• Multipurpose Plastic Film - 1,500 sq.ft. - Heavy
• Outdoor Repair Tape
• Stake Hook - Right-Hand Opening - 3" - Zinc
• Stake Eye - Steel - 5/8" - Zinc Finish
• Light Duty Self-Adjusting Barrel Bolt - 6" - Zinc
• Sico - Anti-rust paint - Corrostop - 900 mL - Gloss Finish - Super White (optional)
• Lint-Free Roller covers - 10 mm x 9 1/2'' (optional)
• All-Purpose Paintbrush - Synthetic Bristles - 3" (optional)
• Mitre saw
• Nail gun
• Air compressor and hose
• Hammer stapler
• Before beginning, evaluate the general state of the terrain you're working with. If you need to level the ground or make any modifications or repairs, do so before you start construction.
• Ensure you have accurate measurements, leaving room for support beams on the exterior of your rink and leaving ample space between fence, your patio, your outdoor fire pit, or any other obstacles that may be in the yard.
• Determine your plans based on your needs and budget; for a less expensive rink, consider opting for 2' boards, which will allow you to cut your plywood in half. You can also opt to build your rink without boards.
• Most DIY rink builders prefer to lay down a tarp. Depending on the type of ground you're working with, you can anchor it to the base. Using a thicker tarp and securing it to the outside of the frame is recommended to protect your lawn.
• Using your rink measurements, determine the exact quantities of each item you will need to purchase.
• Determine where you will store your rink in the offseason; if you do not have ample storage space available, consider building a smaller rink.
• Before starting construction, check with your municipality to familiarize yourself with any regulations you need to follow. We also recommend checking with your insurance company before beginning any construction projects.
1) Using the measurements you have established for the length and height of your boards, measure and cut your plywood to create the first rinkboard.
2) Place your cut pieces on the ground or a solid surface and begin assembling your boards.
You can screw or nail your boards together using a pneumatic nail gun. Nailing the boards is quicker, but they will be more difficult to disassemble if you want to take the boards apart for storage at the end of the season.
3) Repeat steps 1 and 2 to create the number of boards necessary for your chosen rink size.
4) If you have opted to add a door to your rink, measure and cut those pieces of plywood accordingly.
Adding a door will make access to and from the playing surface easier in rinks with higher boards.
5) Assemble the boards. Because the base structure for the rinkboards includes an opening for the door, it will need to be reinforced. Double up the support beams around the opening to the door.
6) Measure and cut your materials to begin building your door. To ensure your door stays even as it freezes and thaws throughout the winter, create 45° wooden brackets to install in all four corners of the door.
7) Lay your tarp on the ground exactly where you will install your rink.
Be careful not to puncture the tarp. Be sure the terrain is clear of rocks and other debris that might damage the tarp before installing and do not walk on top of the tarp.
8) Place the boards next to each other, side-by-side on the ground, directly at the edge of the tarp.
9) Attach the boards to each other one at a time.
a. During the initial assembly, drill your holes in the boards using your drill and a large enough drill bit to accommodate your bolts.
To make assembly easier, use a C-Clamp to keep your boards together. Place one at the top of the boards and one at the bottom before drilling your holes or adding your bolts to secure the boards.
10) Insert your bolts. On the other side of the bolt, add a washer and screw on a nut.
Check that each section of your boards is level before securing your bolts.
11) Verify that the distance between your boards remains equal by measuring across the rink before installing each new set of boards. For example, if your rink plans call for a 20' x 36' surface, ensure those measurements are consistent as you install each new rinkboard.
12) Screw the hinges to your door.
To ensure your hinges do not freeze during the winter, use a stake eye model.
13) Install the door.
14) Affix the boards to the ground or install support legs.
There are a number of different ways you can reinforce your boards to ensure your rink is solid, including triangle feet, stakes driven through the base, or 12" galvanized nails. Select at least one of the aforementioned options to reinforce your structure.
15) Paint your boards.
You can use any color, though white is the most common. It is important to use a paint designed for outdoor use. If you prefer to paint your boards before they are installed, lay them flat to ensure an even coating.