You don't need much to start playing the game, but getting the right equipment can make a big difference. Wear warm comfortable clothing that allows you to bend and stretch easily. Sweat pants are better than jeans. Also close fitting gloves are easier than large padded ones. You might also want to consider a knee pad!
You cannot curl with your street shoes. You must change into Curling shoes or a pair of shoes only used for curling.
Curling shoes are not a necessity when starting out. A pair of training or deck shoes with clean soles can work well, but even the undersides of these (especially if they're new) can be a bit slippery. Purchasing two rubber grippers that fit over the soles of your shoes is the best way to go. These grippers really do the job of gripping, and so give curlers more confidence to move freely on the ice. Grippers also help keep the ice clean. The Port Moody Curling Club recommends that, for their own safety, all players have proper curling grippers.
Newcomers also need a full plastic slider that covers the entire sole of one shoe. Another option is a half slider, not quite as slippery as a full slider, and it is up to the individual which they are most comfortable with. The shoe shouldn't have a rubber gripper on it when you attach the slider. Once you have delivered your two rocks, the slider can be easily removed and the gripper put on again in order to play the sweeping part of the game. The Port Moody Curling Club recommends that, for their own safety, curlers practice two gripper sweeping.
First rule of safety: If you are wearing a slider, never step out onto the ice surface with this slider foot. Always step onto the ice with your gripper foot.
Brooms are available at the Port Moody rink for a nominal rental fee. If purchasing a broom, these can range in size, weight, and price. Hair brushes may start to shed over time, so synthetic head brooms generally are better for keeping the ice surface free of debris. The choice of broom is a personal one.
Where To Buy Equipment
There are undoubtedly other curling clubs and stores around the lower mainland that sell curling equipment, but here are just a few suggestions of places we know, and that are not too far away from the Tri-Cities area.
- The In Turn Curling now at Royal City Curling Club, 604.294.4044, 75 East 6th Ave, New Westminster. Located between McBride Blvd and Cumberland St, by the Canada Games Pool & Fitness Centre. Entrances to the Curling Club's parking lot are on Cumberland St.
- Golden Ears Winter Club, 604.463.4813, 23588 105th Ave, Maple Ridge. Take the Lougheed Hwy through Maple Ridge, or the Haney By-pass around the town centre. Just after the junction where the by-pass and Lougheed Hwy meet up, and before reaching the Albion Ferry, 105th Ave is on the left hand side. The curling club is located in the Fairgrounds complex by Planet Ice.
- Canadian Tire, www.canadiantire.ca (Prices expensive at this supplier)