As we just noted, pebbling the ice creates a textured surface. Not only does this allow the stones to travel, but it provides some traction for curlers too. If you have seen curling before, you will notice that the players do not start and stop moving suddenly. Instead, they accelerate and decelerate gradually. In curling, moving gradually is the best safety practice that can be followed. If a player accelerates or decelerates rapidly, their feet will slip out from under them, and they would likely fall backward. Backwards falls are especially dangerous because it is possible for someone to hit their head on the ice.
To ensure that all players are safe on the ice, there is one piece of curling equipment that helps a curler maintain traction on the ice. This is conveniently called a gripper. A gripper looks like the bottom half of any shoe, and is made of a rubber material. Some curlers will attach grippers to their shoes while they play a game of curling so that they have extra traction on the ice.
If a curler owns a pair of curling shoes, the bottom of the shoes will be made of a rubber material so a gripper does not need to be attached. By attaching a gripper, curlers can move on the ice more freely, but must be aware of the movements they make on the ice. Remember, even when a player is wearing grippers on their shoes, sudden movements can still cause a player to fall.