GOLETA, Calif. -- Ice skating is a cool way to beat the heat during the summer heatwave. However, you need to plan your trip to Goleta's Ice in Paradise if you want to lace up a pair of skates to cool off.
The rink has softly reopened since it closure earlier this year due to the pandemic. Now the rink is enforcing strict physical distancing rules for all guests.
Sunday hockey players and figure skates hit the ice, ending months off. For many this was the longest they had gone without skating.
Figure skate Bridget Davenport is a regular at Ice in Paradise since the Oxnard rink closed. She said, “I maybe had taken two weeks off at the most in the summer.”
For Santa Barbara hockey player, Eric Valois, Sunday's pickup hockey game was one of his first since the pandemic. He said, “It was definitely a long time frame before I got to play again. So it’s nice to be back out there for sure.”
George Cody was on the ice with Valois. He added, “Getting a good skate in, getting pucks deep, you know, just doing what we love to do.”
The rink shutdown due to the pandemic in mid-March. And for the last month skaters have been able to do what they love to do, but with a bunch of new restrictions. They can't have a temperature over 100 degree, have to reserve a spot ahead of time, keep physical distancing on around the arena and sign a waiver just incase anyone ever tests positive for the coronavirus.
Ice in Paradise GM Larry Bruyere said, tracking everyone's information is for long term safety of the community. “If we find out somebody comes down with COVID, now we have a file to go through and all the people that were here at that time we start notifying regarding the issues."
For a skater like Davenport, she said she used the time the rink was closed to sharpen her skills off the ice.
"During my time off I did yoga, calisthenics workout, I dieted, I focused also on mental health,” said Davenport. She added she felt stronger when she came back too.
The rink has two ice surfaces, a main NHL-sized rink and miniature surface they call The Studio. Both are now available by reservation only.
The NHL rink can be reserved in portions, such as one end-zone per group. However, the entire surface can be reserved for a group per hour.
The NHL surface has a separated middle-zone that acts as a buffer between two groups that may share each end of the ice at the same time.
For more information about how to make a reservation or costs, visit the Ice in Paradise's website.