Curling Equipment

Several pieces of equipment are needed to enjoy the sport of curling:

Curling sheet

According to the Rules of Curling by the World Curling Federation, the playing surface (known as curling sheet) has to be 146 to 150 feet (40 to 46 metres) long and 14.5 to 16.5 feet (4.4 to 5 metres) wide. The ice surface must of course be as flat as possible. At the each end of the curling sheet is a target (known as the house) which consists of three rings, each of different colour. The smallest ring is 4 feet (1.2 metre) in diameter, the second largest ring is 8 feet (2.4 metres) in diameter and the largest ring is 12 feet (3.65 metres) in diameter. The rings are intended to provide only a visual aid in determining which stone is closer to the centre and don’t have any influence on scoring although stones outside the house (the very outer ring) don’t score.

Curling stone

According to the Rules of Curling, the curling stones must weight between 38 and 44 pounds (17 to 20 kilograms) and up to 36 inches (910 millimetres) in circumference, while the minimum height must be 4.5 inches (110 millimetres). Each curling stone has a handle which allows it to be gripped and rotated. But the colour of the handle also serves to distinguish the stones between the two curling teams. Yellow and red are the most popular colours in major competitions and tournaments.

Curling broom or brush

Curling teams today use brushes rather than brooms with heads from horsehair, fabric or hog hair and fibreglass or carbon fibre hollow tubes instead of the traditional solid wood handles. Modern curling brush handles are a lot stronger yet lighter which allows faster sweeping as well as application of a greater force to the head. Before introduction of the curling brooms with corn straw in the centre of the head (Blackjack), most curling brooms had corm strand heads and were very similar to ordinary household brooms. In the later period, Blackjack gave way to the so-called Rink Rat with the head from artificial fabric. But after some teams replaced brooms with brushes, proving that they are just as effective or even more, other teams followed and eventually, curling brooms gave way to brushes.

Curling shoes

They look and feel similar as regular athletic shoes but unlike the latter, they have dissimilar soles – slider and non-sliding to allow the player to move safely and effectively on the slippery curling sheet.

Other pieces of equipment

Of vital importance for the players is also comfortable and flexible clothing that doesn’t restrict movement, gloves or mittens which keep the player’s hands warm and allow a better grip of the brush, and stopwatches that are used to determine the speed of the curling stone.