About the equipment
Curling, like every sport, requires the proper equipment to ensure comfort, safety and success. There are various levels of quality reflected by ranges in price. If you would like to get good equipment and support our club at the same time, check our Pro Shop Retail Prices.
Selecting your equipment
It is important for a curler to have knowledge of the types of curling equipment available for purchase. Emphasis is placed on key items such as:
- selection of appropriate footwear
- correct surfacing of the sliding foot and grip foot
- selection of brushes or brooms
The important thing is to wear clothes that are warm and comfortable and which allow ease of movement. You may consider getting specific curling pants made of a stretch material that allows for easy movement during the delivery, but general sport pants would work just fine. Pants are available for purchase at Whitehorse Curling Club store, or stores like Canadian Tire.
To be able to deliver a stone correctly, a curler requires a proper sliding show, one having a slick, low-friction material that covers the entire sole and heel. Specific curling shoes will have a sliding surface (usually on the left foot) and a non-sliding sole for proper grip on the ice. When not delivering a rock, protectors or grippers should be placed over the slider to prevent damage to it while walking off the ice.
While a slider is essential, it is equally important to have the non-sliding foot equipped with a surface that will grip the ice well and ensure proper balance. Common types of grippers are soles made of a pebbled type of rubber or those made of a soft crepe-like rubber. An additional gripper can also be placed on the non-sliding foot to improve balance.
Gloves provide warmth and protection for the hands during sweeping or brushing. For curlers who throw with the glove on it is necessary for the glove to fit snugly in order to retain the “feel” of the stone during delivery. The most popular type of curling gloves are made either of deer skin or calf skin. Calf skin gloves are less expensive than those of deer skin, but they are also less durable.
Prior to the 1980s, the common sweeping device used in Canada was almost exclusively the corn broom, or a synthetic broom modeled after the corn type. The brush was rarely seen even though it was quite common in Europe. However, during the 1980s, the use of the brush increased dramatically, and is now used almost exclusively by Canadian curlers.
Most brushes are made with either hog hair or horse hair. Hog hair brushes are slightly more durable and higher in cost. Synthetic brushes are also available and are gaining in popularity. These are usually made with nylon fabric covering the brush head. Various adaptations to the “standard” brush, including different handle shapes, have been made by manufacturers in their attempts to make sweeping with a brush easier and more effective.
Each side of a curling stone has a concave area commonly referred to as the cup. The edge of the cup is appropriately named the running surface, and it is this thin edge that actually contacts the ice.
An acceptable curling stone must be able to resist abrasion and be tough, dense, resilient, uniform in color and non-absorbent. This latter quality is highly important because moisture penetrating a stone and then freezing will cause chipping or pitting of the surface of the stone. Granite from the British Isles satisfies the requirements better than any other so far discovered, and is used almost exclusively.
The running surface is not polished like the rest of the stone, but is comparatively rough. For curling to be played as we experience it, the running surface must never be allowed to wear smoother or to be damaged.
A dull grey band around the greatest circumference of the stone is the striking surface of the stone, and is designed to absorb the shock when one stone strikes another.
Extracted from (with a few modifications): Canadian Curling Association – http://www.curling.ca/start-curling/about-the-equipment/