Making Great Ice: Starting the season right

Summer is heading out the door and another curling season is upon us.  Some of you have already done your install, while others are just getting ready.   Have you completed your summer checklist? Is your equipment all ready to go?

Making great ice in Sackville, New Brunswick (Photo J. Bourassa)

If humidity is putting a damper on the situation, remember you can always heat up the ice shed while doing your install to hold some of that moisture. When painting your ice and circles, don’t be in a hurry to complete the job or what you see today will look you in the face all season.  Take your time and do a good job.  When you’re done sealing in your paint, give it a couple more layers. The last thing you want is to have your nice paint job lift. Having trouble getting your ice to level out?  Remember to make sure you put enough water down to give it a chance to find its level: 100 to 120 gallons per sheet is a good number to work with.  Do not sacrifice ice being level for ice thickness – it will haunt you all season.  On your last flood, warm up your ice surface, which will help it level out by taking longer to freeze. Another good idea before your last flood is to give your sheets a good scrape to remove any high spots, dirt or debris, as well as anything that has come through while flooding.  This will help make your last flood level and clean. Speaking of scraping, did you send your blades away to get sharpened?  Have you charged the batteries and checked the tire pressure on your scraper?  These are all things you need to do in order to get a great start to the season. If you have an ice-making question or topics you would like covered this season in our monthly “Making Great Ice” column, please let us know by contacting the editor at [email protected]. Have a great start to the season!