DO I NEED A CURLING BROOM?
You’ve pruchased curling shoes (and hopefully made an informed decision by asking yourself the questions as laid out in the blog entry below) so now should you purchase a broom?
If you are a new curler some curling facilities allow members to use the their club brooms. That is a nice gesture on their part. That gesture, however, might not do you any favours.
No matter which club has the broom lending policy, club brooms are not very well maintained – they tend to be dirty. No one owns the brooms so nobody really takes care of them. Dirty broom pads (the synthetic material that touches the ice) are not next to Godliness and God can dirt ever make your key shot go astray.
Owning your own broom is the best way to go.
WHAT BROOM SHOULD I GET? Brooms consist of a shaft and a broom head with a pad.
The Shaft: Every curler gets the shaft and thats a good thing. Shafts are made of either wood, fibre glass or carbon fibre material. All shafts are the same length except for brooms made for Little Rockers (kids who curl). In order of weight wood is heavier than fibre glass and fibre glass is heavier than carbon fibre. As a rule of thumb the lighter the broom shaft the more costly the broom. Competitive curlers or those that play lots and are serious sweepers usually choose the lighter carbon fibre handles. The light weight allows for faster head movement of the broom which in turn imparts more effect on the rock.
The Shaft Width: Shafts are either 1 inch or 1&1/8 inch. The best shaft width is the one that feels most comfortable in your hand. As a rule of thumb (or in this case hand) women prefer a more narrow widgth.
The Head & Pad: Synthetic pads are the rule of the day. They attach to the broom head. There are stationary heads that don’t move and ones that are flexible, allowing you to sweep at closer proximity to the rock and in tight places (don’t use the brooms to sweep in tight places like under your bed). For the first time brush buyer either is good.
The Pad: Just like in housing some pads are cooler than others – funky colours, way out designs etc. The synthetic pads easily attach to the heads with a twist of a couple of screws. The frequency with which you replace your pad depends on your frequency of play and the pressure you exert on your pad. (if you can skim the surfaace of the ice and fool your skip into thinking you’re sweeping you may never have to replace the pad). At the very least replace the pad once a season.
So get your own broom. You don’t have to spend a lot and your ice technician will love you for it!
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The Hogline Curlers Proshop is owned and operated by an experienced curler - Joe Pavia.
While Joe knows many renowned curlers, he’s most at home serving club curlers, rookies, children, youth and senior curlers who might not want to shop but just want to chat about the game we all love.
Joe has been involved with the curling world for decades as a player, organizer and curling commentator. He’s the weekly curling columnist for the Ottawa Sun where his Wednesday column is eagerly anticipated and is indeed available across the country.