EZ ICE, Inc.: A Cup Winning Company
“The puck passes over to the right side. Gastel takes it and sweeps in over the blue line. He cuts in front of the net, dekes the goalie who drops to the ice, Gastel shoots it high over his shoulder, it hits the crossbar with a clang. Where is it? Where is it? The red light is on! It’s in the net! Gastel Scooorres! He Scooorres! The Stanley Cup finally belongs to Dylan Gastel!”
Or, how about landing that ‘Triple Salchow’ to take home the Olympic Gold medal in figure skating?
I also dreamed often of that. Well, not exactly of winning the gold. To tell you the truth, I dreamed instead of Dorothy Hamill. I wanted to marry her, badly, and I still resent Dino Martin (and his cursed faux celebrity) for wooing her first. I wish I weren’t so serious. Oh well. Life moves on, especially for Dorothy.
Throomers recently won the gold medal in a different, maybe not as theatrical way. We found an entrepreneurial company with a fantastic product for ice skating buffs to make such dreams seem a little more tangible.
EZ ICE, Inc. was founded in 2010 by Rhode island native, Dylan Gastel. While he’ll never have his name etched on a Stanley Cup, he’s done something even more meaningful for fans of winter sports played on a clean sheet of ice. Whether it be hockey, figure skating, curling (the rising sport whose USA Olympic team recently “swept” their way to a gold medal), or, if you just enjoy the fun and fitness of ice skating, you need to be aware of this easy-to-assemble, all surface winter rink.
Dylan Gastel grew up with a backyard rink and his stated mission is to share the same amazing childhood memories with children and families across North America. He has a further purpose in wanting to get kids off the couch and away from their video screens. He wants more kids moving their bodies and enjoying the outside world with their neighborhood friends, just like the good ol’ days. We not only support Gastel’s admirable vision, we enthusiastically applaud him.
Beginning as Rhody Rinks, the business was confined to the local New England market where nearly every day, from dawn to twilight, Gastel and partners would canvass the region, meet with prospective customers, measure the space, draw the plan, saw the plywood and two-by-fours, then hammer and drill it all into a semblance of an authentic ice rink. And they dreamed. They dreamed of something bigger, something better, something more effortless and ubiquitous, at least in the northern climes.
As all ultimately successful entrepreneurs do, Gastel and his team turned their vision into reality. The result of years of dream-chasing determination is ‘EZ ICE 60 Minute Backyard Rink,’ their trademarked, patent-pending ice rink system that can be easily assembled by anyone, anywhere, without tools. Per their website, [ezicerinks.com], the rink comes in several standard and custom sizes and can be put together in an hour or so. In the future, the rink can easily be expanded or downsized depending on the needs of the customer.
How did they do it? With the help of engineers at Yale University, they developed a system of brackets and straps, rather than ground-penetrating stakes, so the rink can be installed on any surface including uneven grass and turf yards, basketball courts, tennis courts, patios and driveways.
Once the EZ ICE rink was perfected, they next focused on marketing their breakthrough product. For example, they secured NHL star Martin St. Louis (recently retired) as their able spokesman. In his prime years with the Tampa Bay Lightning, St. Louis scored so many game-winning goals against my Florida Panthers that he’s on my same (relatively short) black list with Dino Martin. But unlike Dino, all is forgiven with the dynamic sniper, St. Louis. After all, if he hadn’t finished off my hapless Panthers time and again, his prodigious linemate, Vinny Lecavalier, would have happily taken the honors.
Gastel also understood they would need to offer superior customer service, and that they are doing. For example, they offer telephone consultation ahead of ordering so the perfect size rink is selected for their customers’ accommodations. If the order is placed in the summer months, the rink will ship beginning on October 1st. However, if the order is placed in the fall or winter months, it will ship next day. Customized rinks will ship in two days. Even better, the shipping is free (anywhere in North America). They want their advocates on the ice and enjoying their new rink as soon as possible. Other more specific questions, including proper maintenance of the ice surface, are answered in the FAQ section of their website.
Since debuting their new product, one of Gastel’s most pleasant surprises has been the large number of municipalities, schools and country clubs who’ve become delighted owners of larger (XXL) and customized rinks. In addition, he beams with pride for the many satisfied customers who’ve had so much fun that they’ve ordered expansion pieces for the upcoming winter. It’s become apparent that in some communities, the rink grows along with the family.
In closing, Throomers wishes Dylan Gastel and his impressive team nothing but the very best in the years ahead. They are engaged in important and honorable work in the context of supporting family leisure time, and, enhancing the lives of good, hard working people who deserve the very best. Because of their core mission and flawless execution, the future of EZ ICE appears to be as bright as a crisp, clear winter morning’s sunlight.