5 reasons to hurry up and try curling
Hurry! Hurry! HARD! All that yelling might seem strange, but in curling, it’s a means to an end. As further proof, check out this hilarious two-minute video about the basics of the sport.
Curling is popular in Canada and holds a rock-solid place at number 5 on the ParticipACTION 150 Play List. Here are five reasons to give it a try, courtesy of Curling Canada:
1. IT’S INCLUSIVE
Curling can be played at any age and can be adapted to meet all abilities. For the visually impaired, auditory cues can be provided. Wheelchair curling is a growing sport, where the rock is thrown with a delivery stick and no sweeping occurs. Other modifications can include shortening the distance between the targets or swapping the sheet of ice and curling rocks for a gym floor with balls and pylons.
2. YOU DON’T NEED A LOT OF GEAR
You don’t have to own curling equipment to try the sport. A pair of stretchy or loose-fitting pants (trust us on this) and some clean running shoes are all you need, as most curling rinks will have the necessary equipment available. You can invest in a broom, curling shoes and fancy gloves as you begin to realize your slide is starting to resemble Canadian Olympians such as John Morris or Kaitlyn Lawes.
3. IT’S SOCIAL
Curlers police their own games – for example, you must call yourself out if you “burn” or touch a rock. Sportsmanship is evident on and off the ice in curling rinks. It is meant as a fun and social experience that usually results in a lot of laughs. Whether you want to get together with friends, try something new for date night, or organize a ladies’ night out, curling definitely fits the bill.
4. YOU GET TO THROW ROCKS AT HOUSES
Want to get the family hyped up for something different? Announce that “tonight, we’re going to throw rocks at houses!” and start the car. Got a group of dorm mates looking for something wild to do? Live on the edge and try a new sport. As a bonus, think of the stress release you’ll get from screaming at your kids or roommates to sweep for you.
5. IT’S A WORKOUT
Curlers have heard all the doubting comments, like “Curling? Please. Do you actually burn any calories?” Sweeping hard for 30 seconds while sliding down a sheet of ice without falling, touching the stone or knocking over your teammate isn’t as easy as it sounds. It’s a physically challenging game that takes balance and coordination. Here are a few safety tips to remember before your first attempt:
- Do a short warm-up or at least some pre-game lunges before you get going. Your body will thank you the next day.
- Bend your knees and stay low to the ice when sliding. The closer you are to the ice, the less it is going to hurt if you fall.
- If the rock is sliding so fast you can’t keep up to it, don’t sweep. As a new curler you are going to want to sweep everything, but a rock travelling that fast likely doesn’t need it anyway. You’re more likely to take a spill (or take someone down with you) if you chase it.
During their first on-ice experience, almost every new curler will say at some point: “Wow! This is way harder than it looks.” If possible, sign up for a curling lesson. A qualified instructor can share some useful pointers to give you a stronger start and a more enjoyable experience. For more information, visit curling.ca.