An Artist, Photographer, Writer, Poet

Tag Archives: broom or brush


Salt Lake City 2002-Curling-A curling stone

The Sochi Olympics have me curious about some of the older sports
I watched,  just because, and newer sports I don’t understand.
Curling and skeleton are two older sports that fascinate me but I realize
I don’t know much about.
Too much information and so little time to learn about the sport of curling.
I have watched curling and thought I understood it, but realized that what ever
information I thought I knew was not enough to enjoy watching the Sochi 
I decided to make myself some notes from various sources on www. mostly 
wikipedia and HowStuffWorks.  
I decided I would post it in case there was someone else that was curious about
the sport of curling.  
This is how I make my notes to myself…in color, various type size and
with no rhyme or reason…just impulse as I type. 
( My other unusual favorite Olympic sport is The Skeleton…
mainly because I can’t image why someone would do it and fascinated by the danger
of it.  It is not as complicated as Curling…
it’s more in my mind…why and WoW ! )

The word curling first appears in print in 1620 in Perth,

 in the preface and the verses of a poem by Henry Adamson.

The game was (and still is, in Scotland and Scottish-settled regions like southern New Zealand)

Is also known as “the roaring game” because of the 
sound the stones make while traveling over the pebble
(droplets of water applied to the playing surface). 
The verbal noun curling is formed from the verb curl, which describes the motion of the stone.
In the early history of curling, the playing stones (or rocks)
were simply flat-bottomed river stones 
that were sometimes notched or shaped;
the thrower, unlike those of today,
had little control over the stone,
and relied more on luck than on skill and strategy. 
because of the variance and inconsistency
 found in the size of river stones,
the velocity of so-called ‘curls’ varied hugely.
It is recorded that in DarvelEast Ayrshire, the weavers relaxed by playing curling matches.
The stones they used were the heavy stone weights from the weavers’ “warp beams,” 
fitted with a detachable handle for the purpose.
Many a wife would keep her husband’s brass curling stone handle on the mantelpiece,
brightly polished until the next time it was needed.
File:Curlingsheet flip.svg
A key part of the preparation of the playing surface is the spraying
of water droplets onto the ice, which form pebble on freezing.
The pebbled ice surface resembles an orange peel,
and the stone moves on top of the pebbled ice
As the stone moves over the pebble, any rotation of the stone
causes it to curl to the inside or outside.
The amount of curl (commonly referred to as the feet of curl
can change during a game as the pebble wears; the ice maker must monitor this
and be prepared to scrape and re-pebble the surface prior to each game.
The curling stone (also sometimes called a rock in North America) is made of granite
 … .weight between 38 and 44 pounds.
…  maximum circumference of 36 inches
…  a minimum height of 4.5 inches
The granite for the stones comes from two sources: Ailsa Craig,
 an island off the Ayrshire coast of Scotland and the Trefor Granite Quarry in Wales.
Ailsa Craig is the traditional source and produces two types of granite,
Blue Hone and Ailsa Craig Common Green.
Blue Hone has very low water absorption,
 which prevents the action of repeatedly freezing water from eroding the stone.
Ailsa Craig Common Green is a lesser quality granite than Blue Hone.
In the past,
most curling stones were made from Blue Hone
but the island is now a wildlife reserve
and the quarry is restricted by environmental conditions that exclude blasting.
The last “harvest” of Ailsa Craig granite 
by Kays took place in 2013, after a hiatus of 11 years;
 2,000 tons were harvested,
sufficient to fill anticipated orders through at least 2020.
Trefor granite comes in shades of pink, blue and grey. The quarry supplies
curling stone granite exclusively to the Canadian,
The  only part of the stone in contact with the ice is the running surface,
a narrow, flat annulus or ring, 0.25 to 0.50 inches
wide and about 5 inches (130 mm) in diameter
The sides of the stone bulge convex down to the ring
and the inside of the ring is hollowed concave to clear the ice.
A handle is attached by a bolt running vertically through a hole
in the centre of the stone.’
The  handle allows the stone to be gripped and rotated upon release
on properly prepared ice 
the rotation will bend (curl) the path of the stone in the direction
in which the front edge of the stone is turning, 
especially as the stone slows.
Handles are coloured to identify each team;
two popular colours in major tournaments being red and yellow.
In competition, an electronic handle known as the eye on the hog 
may be fitted to detect hog line violations, the game’s most frequent cause of controversy.
The curling broom, or brush, is used to sweep the ice surface in the path of the stone,
 and is also often used as a balancing aid during delivery of the stone.
Prior to the 1950s, most curling brooms were made of corn strands
and were similar to household brooms of the day
Modern curling brush handles are usually
hollow tubes made of fiberglass or carbon fiber
instead of a solid length of wooden dowel.
These hollow tube handles are lighter and stronger than wooden handles,
allowing faster sweeping
and also enabling more downward force to be applied
to the broom head with reduced shaft flex.

Curling shoes are similar to ordinary athletic shoes except that they have dissimilar soles;

the slider shoe is designed for the off foot (or sliding foot) and the non-sliding shoe for the hack foot.

The slider shoe is designed to slide and typically has a Teflon sole.

 It is worn by the thrower during delivery from the hack and by sweepers 

or the skip to glide down the ice when sweeping or otherwise traveling down the sheet quickly


The non-sliding shoe, or hack foot shoe, is worn by the thrower on the hack foot

during delivery and is designed to grip. 

It may have a normal athletic shoe sole or a special layer of rubbery material applied 

to the sole of a thickness to match the sliding shoe.

The toe of the hack foot shoe may also have a rubberised coating on the top surface

or a flap that hangs over the toe to reduce wear on the top of the shoe

as it drags on the ice behind the thrower.

Other equipment include:

  • Curling pants, made to be stretchy to accommodate the curling delivery.
  • stopwatch to time the stones while sweeping to get a feel of the speed of the stone.
  • Stopwatches can be attached either to clothing or the broom itself.
  • Curling gloves and mittens, to keep the hands warm and improve grip on the broom.
More to follow…this is the most I can absorb at one time…
before the curling begins, hope to learn the rest !


2/1/2014 5:30:00 PM