08 February 2022

Word for the day: homeboni

Excerpts from an interesting longread at the StarTribune about the increasing prevalence of sophisticated backyard skating rinks.
"When you fly into California, you look down and see everybody's backyards with the pools," Jasper said. "If you're flying to Minnesota, you look down and everybody's got a backyard rink now. It's blowing up."

These rink builders — especially those with deluxe setups — spend long, frozen nights melting and chipping ice bumps, filling cracks, and standing out there with a garden hose. They dream of the Zambonis their spouses won't let them buy and settle for "homebonis" they've McGyvered out of hardware-store parts...

There's a huge range of rink-making materials and methods, including DIY lumber packages and kits with plastic liners, brackets and sideboards, which typically range from the high hundreds to low thousands of dollars...

For Deon Wolff, making smooth ice is a point of pride. He recently upgraded his handheld propane torch, for melting imperfections, to a retrofitted roofers' rack, so he can wheel several torches at once.

Rink-makers are famous for their homemade resurfacing contraptions, from PVC pipes and towels dragged behind buckets to tanks hauled on modified golf carts. Traff hooks three snow blowers together to clear his rink and invested in a military-grade water heater to make fresh coats of ice more robust...

"When you're out there at 10 o'clock and it's dark and the wind is still, you can hear everything from miles away," Greco said. "Then once you're done, you look at that perfect sheet for the morning and you're like, 'This is awesome.' "


  1. If only they had a backyard ice floe:

    https://www.cnn.com/2022/02/06/us/lake-erie-rescue-catawba-island/index.html 18 people rescued from ice floe on Lake Erie

  2. I heard about the backyard ice rink boom on a podcast. I can't remember which one. This is interesting. We work with Interior designers who saw growth during the pandemic with home upgrades.

    Also, slightly off/on topic: my 20-ish year old niece recently told me that when a drink spills on a table at a party and the spiller sticks their lips to the table to slurp up the spill, that's called a Zamboni. Oh the kids these days. Cracked me up.

  3. The 18 people rescued from lake Erie were snowmobiling on the ice. People rescued with a helicopter and 2 airboats but no mention of the snowmobiles.


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