Curling is a growing sport around the world that can be played on arena ice or dedicated ice. If you're playing curling for the first time, you'll need to make sure you have the proper equipment. We've divided this list into three sections around equipment for playing, scoring, and ice preparations.
What equipment do you need for curling?
Here is a complete list of equipment needed to play curling:
Equipment For Playing
There are six main pieces of equipment a curler will definitely use while playing a game of curling. These pieces of equipment are:
A curling stone is what is thrown in a game of curling. A curling stone must weigh between 38 and 44 pounds, and is made of granite from Ailsa Craig, an island in Scotland. Attached to the curling stone is a plastic handle, and a sticker or engraving on the handle, which is used to identify which curling sheet the stone belongs to.
A curling broom is used to sweep in front of a curling stone as it travels down the ice. Currently, broom shafts are made from composite materials, which allow the brooms to be very light and durable. The broomheads are made from a synthetic material, although you can still find ones with bristles and hair instead of a synthetic pad.
A hack is what a player pushes off from whilst delivering a curling stone. The hacks are frozen into the ice so that they do not move when being used during the game. The base of the hack is made of metal and the two footholds on the hack are made of rubber.
A slider is used by curlers when they are delivering the stone. The bottom side of a slider is made of teflon, which allows the curler to glide as they deliver the stone. A slider is worn on the foot of a curler that is not in the hack. There are sliders that can be attached to a curlers' shoe and sliders that a curler can step on and off from. At curling clubs, step on sliders will likely be available for your use.
A gripper is used by curlers at all times on the ice. The bottom side of a gripper is made of rubber, which allows the curler to have more traction on the ice. Grippers are worn on both of a curler's shoes. All grippers attach to a curler's shoes.
A stabilizer is used by curlers when they are delivering the stone so that they remain balanced while gliding on the ice. Stabilizers are usually made of some plastic or PVC material. There is a small horizontal piece on the front of the stabilizer.
A scoreboard is used by curlers to display the score on an end-by-end basis. There are two types of scoreboards that can be used. The first type displays the cumulative score, and teams place the end in which that score was reached. The second type displays the score on an end-by-end basis, and teams add up the scores from each end to find the cumulative score. It is common to use the first type of scoreboard in a curling club, but see the second type of scoreboard on televised curling programs.
Equipment For Scoring
In addition to the six main pieces of equipment used by a curler during a game, there are two pieces of equipment that help curlers determine the score, if needed. They are called the micrometer and biter bar.
A micrometer (or measuring device) is used by curlers when it is too difficult to see which of two stones is closest to the button. The micrometer is six feet in length and contains a pressure gauge to determine the stone closest to the button.
A biter bar is used by curlers when it is too difficult to determine if a stone is biting (or barely touching) the 12 foot. The biter bar is six feet in length, and contains a small piece of plastic on the end. If the plastic touches the stone, it is biting the 12 foot. If the plastic does not touch the stone, it is not biting the 12 foot.
Equipment For Ice Preparation
In order to prepare the ice for a game of curling, there are a few pieces of equipment used. These pieces of equipment ensure that the curling sheet is flat and textured. They are called the pebblers, nippers, and scrapers.
A pebbler is used by curlers to texture the ice before a curling game begins. A pebbler contains a water tank to hold hot water and a hose connected to a pebblehead, which sprays droplets of hot water (pebble) on to the ice. A pebbler is worn like a backpack, and curlers walk backwards while wearing it.
A nipper is used by curlers after the ice has been pebbled. A nipper cuts the tips of the pebble off with a metal blade so that the curling sheet remains textured, but also flat. Behind the blade is a mop so that all the small ice shavings can be collected and disposed of after nipping is finished.
A scraper is used by curlers to remove ice from the curling sheet. A scraper uses a metal blade to cut beneath the pebbled ice so that a fresh playing surface can be created. Nowadays, scrapers are run with a motor that moves the blade and wheels, making it much easier for a curler to use a scraper.