ice - Curling Basics - curling explained; excellent for beginners

Go to content

Main menu:


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.
The ice needs to

be absolutely level

be "pebbled"- small frozen water drops that  reduce  friction between the ice and the stone

have the right temperature, depending on the environment
Here you have the bottom view and the side view of a "stone".
The "stone" has a concave area on the buttom in order to minimize the surface that contacts the ice.
Because of the concave surface of the "stone" and the "pebble" (frozen water drops) on the ice, the area where the stone touches the ice is minimized.
 As well, air can get under the "stone" which prevents a vacuum effect.
Back to content | Back to main menu