29.6.2012 Underc the watchfull eye of manager Jean Roelofse (blue shirt) the public enjoy the artificial ice skateing rink at Irene Village Mall. Picture: Etienne Creux

Mix oil and water, spread the solution over a smooth hard plastic surface, put on a pair of ice-skates and you have an ice-skating facility.

Such is the entertainment Magic-Ice rink is offering at Irene Village Mall.

According to on-site supervisor Jean Roelofse, his uncle saw a similar artificial ice-rink in London, and decided to start his own business in SA.

So far it has been successful, having featured at the Rand Show in April.

According to Roelofse, it is also popular in Irene and “people are having a blast”.

But how does the artificial surface compare to real ice?

Roelofse said the skates’ blades were not as sharp as the usual ice blades to preserve the plastic surface, but the skating experience remained the same.

“It carries the same effect as real ice.”

However, Ilene Fullard, 11, said she found the artificial surface more difficult to adapt to.

“It is easier on real ice,” she said.

“You’ve got to fall to learn,” said Arthur Pereira, who was skating for the first time.

Roelofse’s assistant, Jacob Mashigo, said participants had to initially “find your balance, but it is easy to learn”.

The artificial ice-rink will be at the Irene Village Mall until July 16.