Skaters test out Sarnia’s new artificial ice surface

Nathan Fazio takes a shot on goal as Grady Meyer, left, and Cohen Meyer look on while testing a new synthetic ice pad at Valley Axe. Troy Shantz

Troy Shantz

Sarnia’s Valley Axe has converted two of its target throwing ranges into 20-foot by 30-foot artificial ice pads this fall in an effort to attract a new audience.

The synthetic “ice” surface, called Glice, can be used for hockey training or recreational skating, said co-owner Bo Tait.

Its maintenance includes cleaning the snow-like shavings created by skate blades, followed by a relubrication.

During a recent demonstration, Tait’s friends and family tried it out for the first time.

Hockey player Nathan Fazio said he liked the artificial surface almost as much as the real thing.

“It’s kind of surprising how it feels so real,” he said. “You can do everything the same way, it’s just not wet and slippery.”

COVID restrictions have at times limited how many axe and knife throwers could use the London Road venue, impacting revenue, Tait said.

“We needed to diversify inside, to offer more things to a wider demographic.”

Home Ice rentals start at $65 per hour for four skaters. For more, visit http://valleyaxe.com/homeice/