Curling brooms are absolute essentials when it comes to the sport of curling. A curling broom, also known as a curling brush, is used by a curler as the curling stone moves across the ice. Sweeping allows the broom to both warm up the ice and decrease the amount of friction between the stone and the ice.
While curling continues to grow, so does the technology for teams to utilize and improve their overall performance. The most significant technological advances in the sport of curling have involved the brooms. From the conception of the sport and the use of corn bristle brooms to the present in which most broom heads are made of synthetic material, it is likely that curling brooms will continue to be standardized at the international level. The World Curling Federation now requires that synthetic broom heads to be made of only a specific type of material, as some broom head materials can influence the trajectory of a stone more than others can.
The shaft of the broom is typically made of a composite material. This allows the broom to be lightweight and durable, which makes it easier for the sweepers to sweep the stone effectively. The shaft of the broom is usually about 4 feet long.
The broomhead is usually made of a synthetic material, but there are still some brooms out there that have hair or bristles instead of a pad. Due to progress in sweeping technology, the World Curling Federation has created a synthetic broomhead that all players must use when playing in major bonspiels and international competitions.
On some brooms, the broomhead has the ability to rotate and change its position. This makes it easier to use when you are delivering or sweeping a stone. Other brooms have a fixed broomhead.
As you sweep the ice, it is common for your broom to pick up tiny particles or debris on the ice that can make your broomhead dirty. You will notice that your broomhead is becoming dirty because it will begin to take on a black tint in color.
The best way to make sure this doesn't happen is to clean your broomhead regularly. Most people will clean their broomhead once or twice a year, or whenever they finish a curling season. The easiest way to clean your broomhead is by cleaning it in a washing machine or dishwasher. However, some people still prefer to clean it by hand. Regardless of washing method, make sure that all of the soap suds are rinsed from the broomhead before attaching it back on your broom.
Tips For Buying Brooms
A broom is one of the first pieces of equipment that curlers new to the sport will purchase. A curling broom consists of a head and handle. For the head, there are two types: hair and synthetic. Hair heads are usually made from hog hair or horsehair. A synthetic head is made out of nylon cordura. Synthetic heads are preferred by most curlers. As for the handle, it is made out of fiberglass as opposed to wood which was the material used in the past. Handles come in many different colors. Curling brooms can be purchased at multiple sites online and at sporting goods stores as well. They typically range from $50 to $150 in price.
Alternatives to Brooms
As an alternative to the broom, some curlers use a stabilizer, which serves the same purpose as a broom (during the delivery). It is rare, but a few professional curlers use the stabilizer to deliver, the most notable being Reid Carruthers.
The World Curling Federation recently made a chance to a rule establishing a specific type of broomhead required for major curling events that do not significantly affect the trajectory of a curling stone when swept.