A Zamboni for Pond Hockey


…Or lake hockey.

DIY zamboni

Right after the first snowfall Joe was looking for deals on hockey nets. And it’s about time we got some snow! Everyone has been waiting on edge to get out there.

We have a pretty slick four-wheeler plow attached to the front Joe’s dad’s four-wheeler that we use to shovel the driveway. Wayyy faster than snowblowing. So we used that to shovel off an oval-shaped area for the rink on the lake, just offshore.

But when Joe told me he was making a zamboni, I honestly thought the idea was one big joke. He’s not actually serious, right? Silly me. I should know better by now… He already had the blueprints in his mind within minutes. So, now we have a redneck ice resurfacer.

The Supplies

It only took him 4 hours. Here’s the materials you will probably need:

  • lawn mower, tractor or four wheeler
  • 1″ pvc piping
  • pvc 90 degree elbows
  • shutoff valve
  • 3/8′ to 4′ length, 1.25″ diameter of flex hose or vacuum hose
  • pipe clamps
  • quick disconnect fitting
  • pipe cement/plumbers glue
  • old bath towel
  • grommets
  • eye hooks
  • water tank/plastic trash bin
  • plywood (optional)
  • drill
  • water source

This isn’t the only way to make one, so feel free to play around with materials. Generally, I assume you want to be able to reuse your lawn mower after winter. So please don’t do any permanent alterations to it. I’ll get to the how-to’s a little further down the page.


how to assembly a hockey net

Assembling the nets

hockey pads

Joe got some skates, pads, and breezers.


pair of choppers MN plaid

I suited up with my dainty figure skates.

panoramic ice rink zamboni DIY ice hockey

Here’s the full rink view. (It’s not really curved, just a panoramic shot)

hockey net pond hockey

Got some good shots on net

snow angel

A little fun before shoveling

how to make a zamboni DIY lawn mower

Step 1: Shovel the rink

how to make a zamboni DIY lawn mower

It’s important to keep it shoveled between snowfalls we learned.

Building a Zamboni

how to make a zamboni DIY lawn mowerHere’s what you’re finished product looks like. Da ‘boni.

how to make a zamboni DIY lawn mowerJoe stuck a trash bin on the back where the bagger was.


how to make a zamboni DIY lawn mower

He used clamps to temporarily secure the pvc piping and rigged up a crossbar to spray on the towel. He basically put grommets into the towel and attached that to some hooks. He poked holes into the crossbar at the bottom so that the water trickles out onto it like a lawn sprinkler.

how to make a zamboni DIY lawn mower

The main part you want to get right is the flex hose with the shutoff valve at the bottom of the trash bin. the water will slowly come out of the hose and distribute evenly out the holes you drilled in the crossbar, soaking the towel as you slowly drive across the ice.

how to build a zamboni hockey rink DIY

I wish Joe had taken step-by-step pictures, but it wasn’t as hard as he thought and I think this gives a decent framework to where I’d even feel confident making my own.

how to build a zamboni hockey rink DIY

Here’s a picture Joe used as a reference. He watched this tutorial for inspiration:

zamboni DIY ice hockey

What a kid in a candy store. It works really well! Use either hot or cold water, depending on what the outdoor temp is.


how to make a zamboni DIY lawn mower

If you only knew how much Joe likes mowing the lawn (in all seriousness), just imaging that x10 when he’s riding on the ice. I just have to shake my head and laugh. So clever!


Now that Minnesota is done with football, Go Wild!