Making Great Ice: Avoiding Runs

As we go through our daily maintenance schedule, sometimes we create new problems for ourselves. For instance, there are three types of runs that we can create in our ice.

Check your blade to avoid creating runs when scraping (Photo J. Bourassa)

Traffic runs These are created from constant use without daily scraping. The way we fix them is to scrape more often. Also, when you scrape pebble first, this will help fill in any runs and make your blade cut better. Runs caused by pebbling The other way runs are created is through pebbling. For example, if you have a tendency to pebble heavily to the middle, you create high centres causing your blade to cut more aggressively on the edge of the 4-foot circle and into the 8-foot circle. The same is true if you pebble heavily to the wings. This will cause your ice to dish and create an 8-foot run. The way to correct these problems is to work on your pebbling to create a more even pebble population. Practice is important. Pebbling on pavement lets you see how evenly you are pebbling and where you need work.  The other thing is to make sure you alternate your direction of travel. Runs caused by scraping The third way runs are created is through scraping either with a bad blade (not cutting true) or using the same pattern for a continuous amount of time. Always check your blade before scraping to ensure it is cutting true.  Have an assortment of patterns and rotate through them to ensure your ice doesn’t develop runs. Enjoy the rest of the season, and remember it’s just frozen water. Off to the Brier…

Making great ice for the 2012 Scotties Tournament of Hearts (Photo J. Bourassa)