Rink Boards

One of the most important parts of your outdoor rink build is the boards. In a sense they keep it all together. There are two main ways to go about your boards. You can use wood or you can go the pre-made route. They each have their pros and cons.

Wood boards allow you to customize how you see fit. Since you can cut the boards to any size you want to make your rink how you want. This is the more economical approach up front but over time you will have to replace your boards as they wear due to weather and what not. You can use certain wood boards with NiceRink brackets. NiceRink brackets allow you to use sheets of plywood with their bracket system. Your other option is to forgo buying pre-made brackets and build your own or use stakes.

Pre-made boards are a nice convenience. I haven’t personally used them but from what I have heard from others and read they seem sturdy and durable. NiceRInk make the most  popular and they are thermoformed plastic boards that come in 4 foot lengths and 18 inches high.

No matter which method you go with, if you have a slope in your yard and you are holding back more than 12 inches of water you should look towards plywood with extra bracing to hold back the water. You can always read our article about measuring slope to learn more about that.

NiceRink board
NiceRInk setup with plywood
NiceRInk setup with plywood

Brace Yourself: A quick guide to bracing your rink boards

In building your rink you need to determine what you are going to use for your boards and how to brace them. One of the biggest parts of picking your bracing is measuring your slope and knowing if you have to hold back a lot of water or not.  This was one of of the toughest things for me, I knew I had about a 18″ difference from highest to lowest corners and wasn’t trying to bust the bank. You have three choices: build braces, buy braces or simply use stakes or rebar. I suggest you really dig into these options. If you are handy give the build option a whirl. The NiceRink brackets are a really great product and can work with plywood as well.

Build Option

This options is where you can really get creative with your build. The options are endless and below are a few examples of bracing.


Small brace with rebar

Tall braces with rebar

Buy Option

The brace below is a major brand producing an amazing product.


NiceRink bracket

Wood Stake Option

This is the simplest option but you need to be careful when it comes down to your slope.


Simple wooden stake

Sport Court/Pond/Lake Rink Build

If you happen to be building your rink on your sport court, pond, lake or some other body of water, you can still build boards. You can go about this using two methods previously discussed. You can build your braces or you can buy your braces. If you go the build route you would build just like we showed above. On the other hand, if you want to buy your braces both NiceRink and IronSleek have a version of their brackets that can be installed on flat surfaces like a pond or sport court. Each bracket also allows you to reinforce with a stake or rebar.