Got Slope? How to measure the slope of your rink area

One of the biggest issues when trying to build your rink is the slope of the area where you want to build. Not checking this before building could potentially cause you major headaches when you get to the flooding stage. There are a few ways to to check your slope. The first is the string and stake method and the other is the more expensive method by utilizing a laser level. You can usually rent a laser level from your local tool rental shop. If you want to use the laser level, make sure the level has the ability cover the distance you are trying to measure. Some are meant for short measurements and some for longer.

String and Stake

What’s needed for this method? A tape measure, marker, a string long enough to each your corners and a minimum of two stakes, but Ideally enough stakes for each corner you are checking. Additionally, you could use paper and pen/pencil to draw out the site so you don’t forget the different measurements.

  1. Identify the highest corner (where you think it is at least) and place a stake there.
  2. Take and tie one end of the string to the stake at a minimum of 4″ off the ground. (This is typical ice depth for your outdoor rink)
  3. You would now take the string and run it out to each of the corners where you would have ideally placed stakes in the ground to help this process along. It’s not necessary but it helps.
  4. At each corner you would pull the string as tight as possible and place a line level on the string. Then adjust the string up and/or down until the bubble is centered on the level.
  5. Once the bubble is level, mark the stake appropriately. Then take your tape measure and measure the distance from the mark on the stake to the ground, not to the top of the grass but directly to the ground. This will represent the ice depth at this stake.
  6. Repeat at each of the other corners to get a good perspective on the slope of your site.
  7. Optionally you can document the whole thing so you know what you are dealing with.

Laser Level

Whats needed for this method? A tape measure, a piece of plywood  or something that the laser would show up against for measurement and laser level. Again additionally, you could use paper and pen/pencil to draw out the site so you don’t forget the different measurements.  You would perform this method similar to the string and stake method except replace the string for the laser level. The guys from NiceRink have a quick video on this process.

  1. Identify the highest corner (where you think it is at least) and place the laser level there at a minimum of 4″ off the ground. Pointing it at the first corner you want to measure.
  2. Go to the corner where you want to take your measurement and hold up your piece of plywood so that laser is hitting it.
  3. Measure from the ground up to the dot from the laser. This will represent the ice depth at this stake.
  4. Repeat at each of the other corners to get a good perspective on the slope of your site.
  5. Optionally you can document the whole thing so you know what you are dealing with.

 

Categories: Rink Building

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