The History Of GSI Is The History Of Synthetic Ice

Hockey on synthetic ice

Established in the late 1990s, Global Synthetic Ice has been developing and manufacturing premium synthetic ice for hockey and skating facilities, community and commercial, recreational and home ice-skating rinks domestically and internationally.

First introduced to “plastic skating” in 1985 Perry Boskus, the founder of GSI, was a demonstrator for one of the first plastic skating surfaces available at that time. He noticed the benefits right away and listened to the many complaints, then in the late 1990s innovated, invented, and improved the product he called Super-Glide creating the “Synthetic Ice” Industry we see today.

Constantly working on improving the quality of our synthetic ice we’ve developed a number of striking innovations many of which are patented and patent pending. Prior to these advancements, no plastic ice product had ever been successful for public use; they were only used for professional skating shows.

  • First (2000) we eliminated the wood-core and designed a solid core product allowing outdoor usage.
  • We made the panels larger (2000) and two sizes to make a brick pattern creating a stronger assembly.
  • Increased the length of the splines from just a few inches to 4ft. and 8ft. long to cover every section of connected panels. This new spline system was copied by many other companies and is still being sold today.
  • Replaced the wood perimeter with the same material as our surface to deliver a finished appearance while eliminating splinters for customers.
  • After months of intensive experimentation with new gliding materials, we developed our own non-silicone formula creating the “Skate Like Ice” experience that made us famous. This formula is dry to the touch and unnoticed by skaters.
  • In 2004, we introduced our newest Super-Glide surface material “Ice Blue”. This was also copied by other companies and sold but the glide was so bad it started to reduce our sales as those rinks failed.
  • In 2006, new machinery came online to manufacture Super-Glide. Advanced technology allowed us to do things never done before in this industry. Our modern machinery made production more precise; panels were more consistent and could be made thinner. In addition, we designed a new “Foam Core” surface for home use.
  • In 2007 we outgrew Florida Skating Inc. and became Global Synthetic Ice and Super-Glide became a registered Trademark around the World.
  • In 2008, we introduced our latest advancement, our patented Interlocking System (received patent in 2012, #8,129,005 B2) this new method replaced the old spline system with interlocking panels which eliminated expansion and contraction issues caused by outdoor changing temperatures. Our new system incorporates newly designed edge tabs that interlock and keep panels locked, a big advancement over the Dove-tail designs.
  • In 2010, we invented a hockey marking embedding process allowing hockey lines and goal creases. With this invention we now specialized in Full-Size Outdoor NHL rinks. Also in 2010 we invented a Hockey Net Holding system to keep the net in place but also breaks free when hit by a player, just like ice.
  • In 2011, we introduced Super-Glide Ultra (replacing the outdated foam core product and “Ice Blue” formula); this expanded the home market as sales of multiple rinks per day became the norm.
  • 2016 – New Super-Glide SLICK synthetic ice matching the glide of ice was released. In a short time SLICK became the highest selling skating surface breaking all previous records.

We introduce the new generation of Super-Glide synthetic ice every seven years on average.

Like no other manufacturer, GSI operates its own synthetic ice rinks and knows firsthand what it takes to make an ice rink a success.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Translate »