Why are gloves compulsory in ice rinks?
The introduction of compulsory gloves in ice rinks is not only due to the cold, but above all to prevent injuries and has become a real safety asset for skaters.
Since January 2023, we have been helping the Accor Arena ice rink to implement these regulations. So we interviewed the rink’s operations manager, Julian MARCOS, who noted a big difference since the introduction of compulsory gloves, accompanied by our vending machines for gloves and other skating equipment.
The Accor Arena ice rink sets an example
The Accor Arena skating rink is open from September to June and welcomes nearly 50,000 skaters a year, with sessions open to the public 6 times a week. At its peak, from November to the end of March, this represents more than 500 people per public session.
To attract and maintain this level of attendance, the rink regularly organises themed evenings, mainly on Friday and Saturday evenings. It has also innovated by organising the Ice dance festival, a dance competition in battle on the ice, a first in France.
Mandatory gloves in ice rinks: a safety matter
We chose to interview Julian MARCOS, manager of the Accor Arena ice rink, to find out what prompted him to introduce compulsory gloves in his establishment:
“We introduced compulsory gloves for a simple reason: we had a lot of minor accidents and injuries to deal with at each public session, about ten of these types of health interventions. We thought that if we had gloves, we’d be able to reduce or even eliminate this number, and that’s what happened […] We hardly ever have any injuries in the infirmary during public sessions”, explains Julien MARCOS.
Indeed, when there are a lot of people during public sessions at the ice rink, and after a certain amount of time skating on it, the snow crystallises and becomes ice and therefore sharp. Every time you fall, you run the risk of scratching yourself, or even cutting your hands open more or less severely. This meant that more than a dozen people were injured at each session open to the public, and it was becoming complicated to manage.
“A lot of people have a strange reflex when they see snow on their skate blades: they want to take it off! So when you don’t have gloves and you run your fingers over a blade, you cut yourself”, explains Julian MARCOS.
A matter of hygiene
In addition to the risk of cuts, COVID also played an important role in the decision to introduce compulsory gloves in its ice rink, with the emphasis on barrier gestures.
The gloves represented a more effective alternative to the hydroalcoholic gel, as every purchase of a scarf or flag was offered 1 free wristband.
Why install a TOPSEC skate vending machine?
In order to implement these regulations, Julian MARCOS was looking for a solution to sell gloves directly in the ice rink.
He needed a turnkey service that would be accessible at all times and would not require them to manage stocks and sales.
“In-house, we had neither the staff nor the expertise to find the products, stock them and set up a point of sale for these gloves”, he explains.
He chose to join forces with TOPSEC in January 2023 to help him implement these regulations. He had already seen our SKATY skating equipment vending machine in another ice rink.
“We chose TOPSEC because they are the leaders in this sector. I also knew them from other ice rinks […] For me it was a real need […] we weren’t in a position to manage it ourselves, and outsourcing it entirely was a real flexibility for us, a real guarantee that it would work properly”, says Julian MARCOS.
Given the success of the SKATY skating equipment vending machine and the high level of use at the ice rink, Julien MARCOS even decided to add a 3rd vending machine.