SAN DIEGO ICE ARENA (SDIA)
My home rink; where my skating career took its birth. Despite its odd location (middle of home development), SDIA is home to seasoned coaches and legendary skaters. SDIA reminds me of my grandmas’ house; tacky and old, yet charming and full of history. The ice is just above average, not the worst I’ve skated on, but not the best SD has to offer. Downside: too many skaters!! Thinking about practicing your MITF tests at 6am? Think again!!
Ice Quality= 4/5
Ahhhh Kroc. If I could pick up a sheet of ice and give it a hug… I would. A frozen master piece. Super cold and solid ice (let your edges rip!!). Kroc’s schedule isn’t as full as SDIA’s, giving them more opportunity for ice maintenance. The facility is always super clean and the giant windows that let in the SD sunshine make this rink one of my favorites. Downside: not enough freestyle times.
Ice Quality= 5/5
Skate Traffic= 3/5
Native to Escondido, Ice-plex is known for being the only rink in SD to offer two sheets of ice. North side (more like North Pole), is olympic size and south side is NHL size. The south side claims to be slightly warmer than the north side, but sometimes I feel like I’m in a frozen tundra on either side. Ice is super cold but noisy when you skate on it. Like SDIA, Ice-plex is a super old building too and desperately needing a facelift. Besides all of that, the freestyles are almost always empty. Private ice? Ice-plex is your best bet
Official practice rink to the newly developed AHL team, The Gulls. Poway is SD’s newest member to the skate rink community. Proper ice maintenance is lacking here. Some mornings the ice is fine, the next there are holes, slush patches, and paint coming off, OH THE HORROR! As far as facilities go, the rink is clean and offers a snack bar equipped with fresh coffee.
Ice Quality= 2/5
Skate Traffic= 4/5
CARLSBAD ICE TOWN
Like Poway, Ice Town is relatively new to the SD rink community too. It’s located in a super small building, so there’s no bleachers and pretty much only standing room. Personally I’ve never have the opportunity to skate here (I live too far) so I don’t have an opinion on their ice quality or anything else for that matter.
Ice Quality= NA
First rink I ever stepped blade on. I remember the orange rentals like it was yesterday… Good thing about UTC is that it is located in my favorite mall. Skate and shop? Ok! I would rate UTC’s ice right behind SDIA’s. Because it’s in a mall, the ice heats up the and slightly softens. Still very skateable. Though I’ve never actually skated during one, I hear the freestyles are pretty empty for the most part.
Ice Quality= 3/5