Thursday, March 20, 2014

Olympia Experiment

I've been in the Zamboni tribe my whole career. I've driven 1960's and 1970's era model HDB machines and 1980's to now's 500-series models. But, if you were not aware, Zamboni is not the only ice resurfacing machine on the market. They were the first, but there are others. Their biggest competitor is the Olympia ice resurfacer from Resurfice Corporation in Ontario, Canada.

We began a business relationship with Ray Lafond of LSK Enterprises in Virginia Beach, Virginia last summer. The place we used to send our machine to for preventative maintenance and repairs unexpectedly closed. Qualified resurfacer mechanics, who really, truly, understand the ins-and-outs of the machines are hard to find. Ray bailed us out; he actually came to US Bank Arena with his mobile repair van and did all the PM's and some significant upgrades on our Zamboni model 520.

Ray is an old-school guy. Very cool. Very knowledgable. He understands both the science and the art of ice making. Ray is also a dealer for Olympia machines.

We talked to him about our upcoming NCAA Regional event, and the need to have two working resurfacers. He assessed our old model HDB machine. He agreed that they were the best resurfacing machines ever produced, but he also agreed that our Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang is too far gone to restore in a cost-effective manner. He said he would have an Olympia machine available for us to rent for the NCAA event.

This is huge for us. We got the machine for 30 days, beginning March 17. That gives us time to use it and get familiar with it before NCAA, have it to cut out the NCAA ice paint to restore the Cyclones surface, and also use it for a few Cyclones games.

I have now used this machine for a few days. It is very different from a Zamboni resurface. Since I have been content-starved on the blog, I will chronicle my adventures with the Olympia machine over the coming weeks.

Stay tuned!



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