Never heard of dasher boards? Most people have not. They are the walls erected around hockey rinks and skating rinks. They get their name from the movement executed by really fast ice skaters and hockey players who dash toward them only to spin away or smash into them. Roller rinks sometimes use dasher boards as well. If you are looking to construct your own roller or ice rink at home, or you need help rebuilding a public rink, here are some materials that make the best dasher boards.
Oak is one of the strongest woods in existence. It is also resistant to mold, insects, and moisture. The only difficult part you may have with oak boards is getting them to bend just enough to cover rounded sides of a rink. You could also use oak boards for the dasher boards on the straight sides of the rink and use a different material for the rounded sides or end zones of a rink.
Fiberglass is the go-to material of professional hockey rinks. It takes a beating and easily rebounds too. In addition to these nice features, fiberglass dasher boards are already pre-shaped to conform to your rink, so there is no need to do anything else with them besides install them. To get the correct height, width, and number of dasher boards, measure the entire inner edge of the rink all the way around.
Then take into account the tallest person you expect to be rolling or ice skating in the rink, which is typically three feet (for most kids) to four feet (for most adults). (Pee-wee hockey rinks tend to stick to the shorter boards because the ice is not generally used for adult purposes.) The company that manufactures the fiberglass dasher boards will calculate the rest for you.
Reinforced Sheet Metal
Sheet metal also has a little give when people crash into it, but when you have a roller rink indoors you do not want anyone crashing through the dasher boards. For that, you can use reinforced sheet metal. The sheet metal can be electroplated with a paint color, or left in shiny chrome form for reflective purposes. To reinforce it, you can use solid wood walls, brick, concrete or cement, and even steel girders. It just depends on your budget (or the community's budget) and how tough and durable you want these dasher boards to be.
For more information, talk to a professional like All American Arena Products.