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Making Great Ice: Some Advice for Curlers

Here’s hoping all the ice installs have gone well and that everyone is up and running. Ice techs, here are a few reminders you can share with your curlers.

Oops! (CCA Photo)

Curlers, we as ice techs work hard at keeping a good playing surface. But all our hard work is for nothing if you don’t do your part, too.

Let’s start at the door. If your club has a boot boy at the front door, it’s there for you to use, not to walk around.  Every bit of dirt that is removed at the front door means less for people to track around once they enter the building.  Yes, that applies even if you are just dropping in to watch.

Equipment.  Let’s talk grippers – probably the biggest culprit in picks next to hand and knee prints (and we’ll get to that shortly).  Grippers should be changed at least every season. As they wear, they start to lose little pieces of rubber, which cause picks.

Brooms should have a smooth surface on one side of the head for sliding so they will not scratch the ice. Also, brooms should be cleaned to keep the sweeping surface free of debris. You can purchase new heads when your old ones wear out.

Sliders.  If you have metal sliders, please cool them down before sliding. Warm metal has a tendency to melt pebble.  NOT GOOD.  Also if your slider has any rough spots, it will scratch the ice

Clothing.  A warning about new fleece: the first week after Christmas I see more picks than ever. All that new clothing is losing fluff like crazy. Do yourself and your fellow curlers a big favor: wash it before you wear it.

Hands and knees – this one is pretty easy. Body temperature will melt ice. Keep the warm parts off it.

Sorry, curlers. I’m sure this is nothing you haven’t been told already.  But try to remember: new grippers, hands and knees off the ice, and we don’t care if your feet are dirty, but your shoes had better be clean.

One last tip: HAVE FUN and SUPPORT the LOUNGE!

Jamie’s great ice in Ft. McMurray (Photo J. Bourassa)