The ice is usually frozen by a refrigeration plant pumping a brine solution through numerous pipes fixed lengthwise at the bottom of a shallow pan of water.
Most curling clubs have an ice maker whose main job is to care for the ice.
At the major curling championships, ice maintenance is extremely important. Large events, such as the international championships, are typically held in an arena that presents a challenge to the ice maker, who must constantly monitor and adjust the ice and air temperatures as well as air humidity levels to ensure a consistent playing surface.
It is common for each sheet of ice to have multiple sensors embedded in order to monitor surface temperature, as well as probes set up in the seating area (to monitor humidity) and in the compressor room (to monitor brine supply and return temperatures).
A key part of the preparation of the playing surface is the spraying of water droplets onto the ice, which form "pebble" on freezing. 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.