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Making Great Ice: Bonspiels and Wish Lists

It’s already November, which means we are now getting into bonspiel season at curling centres across the country.

(Photo CCA/Michael Burns)

As it is with our regular leagues, scraping every two or three draws lets you manage your ice surface better and gives a better quality of ice for your curlers.  So make sure you work with your bonspiel committee in setting out the draw times.  Work a scrape or two in during the day.  Curlers will be happier and your bonspiel numbers will grow

Speaking of scraping, how many blades do you have?  Every club should have at least two, and busy clubs should have more than that.  There’s nothing worse than scraping with a bad blade or having no blade at all.

With the holiday season approaching, it’s time for ice techs to put our Christmas wish list in. Here are a few ideas to help you with your job.

New pebble heads.  Did you know as we clean them and use them, the holes get bigger and change our ice surface. A couple of the sizes you use is a good idea.

TDS tester.  This piece of equipment checks the the total dissolved solids in your water and will let you know if you need to set up a filter or change your filter. Domestic water is around 300 ppm, and it should be less than 10 going through your filter.

Another scraper blade.  I don’t need to tell you why. Already have.

Ice monitoring system. For those busy clubs, it gives you real time ice and air temperatures from anywhere, including right from your phone.

New scraper.  Is yours getting old? Is scraping a chore?  It doesn’t hurt to get a whole new scraper on your wish list.

A helper for bonspiels and draw changes.  And it doesn’t have to be an ELF.

For those of you still using domestic water , how about a jet ice system. Better , quicker ice, happier curlers , better bar sales.   Win , win , win.

Those are just a few Christmas list ideas, and I’m sure you will have a few others. A new hand scraper? Mop heads? Pebble can? Hot water heater? The list can go on and on.

One last reminder: I know a lot of clubs wait till Christmas to do  a flood and freshen up the ice. My motto is, if it needs it, do it. And if the ice is good , keep doing what you are doing.

Need a new scraper? Put it on your Christmas list, ice techs! (Photo courtesy Jamie Bourassa)