Curling 101: Equipment

Curling 101: Equipment

Olympic curling stone

Broom

Most brooms have synthetic bristles. Straw brooms were used in the past, but leave remnants of straw on the ice and thus are not commonly used in Olympic-level competition.

Shoes

Special curling shoes are common; shoes should grip the ice well. While shooting, extremely slippery surfaces such as Teflon are used on the sliding foot. Some are built into the shoes, while other are strapped on over the shoes.

Slider

The smooth object worn on the sliding foot that allows for a long, smooth delivery.

Stones

Also known as rocks, curling stones are made of a rare, dense granite that is quarried on Scotland’s Ailsa Craig. The stones must weigh between 38 and 44 pounds. On average, stones weight about 42 pounds (19.1 kg). In Olympic competition, one set of stones has red handles and the other has yellow handles. The stones themselves are gray and are polished.

Fun facts about curling stones

An averge curling stone weighs 42 lbs., equivalent to the weight of approximately 131 baseballs or 101 softballs.

Curling stones need to sit on the ice for at least 72 hours to cool down to the same temperature as the ice. Otherwise, they will melt the ice.

Curling is also called, “The Roaring Game,” for the sound the stones make when moving across the pebbled ice. Pebbling the ice reduces the friction between the stone and the ice, thus allowing the stone to slide faster/longer – much like the sand used on shuffleboard courts. As the pebbling wears down near the end of games, rocks will not travel as fast.

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