Download Pool Tip #29: Converting Swimming Pools to Ice Skating Rinks (PDF format, 19KB)
Allowing the water in a pool to freeze is not damaging to the pool, and actually protects pool surfaces. If your pool is located in Canada, the Northern U. S., New England, the Great Lakes states, or some areas of the Midwest, and you have at least two months of the year where daily temperatures average below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, you might want to consider converting your outdoor swimming pool into a ice rink for the winter.
A frozen backyard swimming pool can be a convenient, safe, supervised location for recreational skating, figure skating, hockey drills, and even racing remote control toy cars.
To prepare the swimming pool for conversion to an ice rink, first winterize the pipes and equipment as you normally would at the end of the summer swimming season. Then, drop the water level in the pool 18 to 20 inches below the coping.
Install a vinyl pool blanket or liner over the pool so it floats on the surface of the water, and lays up over the side of the pool and coping and onto the surrounding deck. It is important that the blanket remain in contact with the water. The blanket must be sized to overlap the pool dimensions by about two and a half feet so that it can be properly anchored.
Install weighted water bags, sand bags, or specially designed polymeric energy absorbing panels (Link–a–Rink® panels) around the perimeter of the pool to hold the blanket in place and protect the tiles and coping.
After the vinyl blanket has been properly installed and secured, add four inches of water to the pool on top of the blanket. Let the water freeze. Check ice depth daily. Make sure the water has frozen to a minimum depth of four inches before permitting group skating.