After 10 years of building backyard ice rinks, I have been through a lot of backyard ice rink liners. There are really 2 types. Vinyl sheet, which is a thick plastic material cut from a huge roll. This stuff is used in construction, and is usually included with BYR kits. The second type is a poly tarp. I have used both, and now I stick to poly tarps. They make a great ice rink liner, last much longer, and are way better priced. You can usually find a tarp in pretty much any size to fit your needs, and you’ll get multiple seasons out of a good quality one.
Our list below is the top 5 we’ve found available right now on Amazon. Several we have used in the past, but I would confidently use any one on this list for my own rink. You can see some of the past rinks we’ve built here.
Our most economical recommendation for a good sized liner for an ice rink is this 20×40 tarp from E&K.
You’ll be able to make an 18×38′ rink out of this. Maybe a little larger if you have a good flat surface. its 10mil thickness will easily last a season or two, and is a great price point for a first time rink builder.
This 25×45 12mil tarp is great for 20×40 rinks. The extra material is perfect for deeper rinks, to provide higher side wall coverage. 17,000 consumers gave this tarp a 4.5 star rating although the grommet issue is apparent on this tarp as well. However its perfect for a DIY skating rink.
Huge 30×50 BRY Tarp – #3
This Tarp, made by Harpster is huge at 30×50, and well priced for the size and technology used. Its thinner and light weight, but both sides are laminated to provide a strong waterproof surface. The seams and hems are all heat sealed too so this one will not leak. This one only received a 3 star amazon rating, but thats because of the grommets, which don’t apply when you’re using it for a backyard rink liner.
24×36 Ice Rink Liner – #2
This Hydra Tarp is a close second, and better suited for a smaller rink. At 24×36, its the perfect size for a 20×30 rink, with enough overlap that you’ll be able to reposition it each season to maximize the lifespan. It’s also well suited if your rink is a little deeper, and your surface isn’t level.
30×50 Backyard Rink Liner – #1 Best all around backyard rink liner
With over 17,000 reviews and a 4.5 star rating, this 30×50 Ultra Thick Poly Tarp is probably the most expensive on our list, but it’s also extremely durable. We’ve used a liner like this one that was also 20mil think, and got 4 seasons out of it. It resists cuts much better than thinner liners, and will be good for several seasons on your Back Yard Rink.
Once you’ve found a good liner, you’ll want to bedazzle your rink with some awesome lights too. Check out our rink lights here.