Equipment Guide for New Members

This is part 2 of the New Member's Guide, a series of articles that help prepare new club members for their first season.

You will need to get some equipment before your first game, and the best thing to do is to visit the club pro shop and talk to our helpful staff about what you might want to purchase.

Here are the basics you need to get started:

1. Warm, comfortable clothing in layers
2. Head gear
3. Shoes
4. Grippers
5. Slider
6. Broom
7. Stabilizer

Clothing

Here are some tips for what to wear when you curl:

Wear light layers

You will be playing on ice, which is cold. You will also be sweeping a lot, and many players work up a sweat during a game. Wear several light layers so you can easily take them on and off as you need. Over time you will figure out where your comfort level is and dress accordingly.

Wear stretchy pants

You will be in some stretched out positions while sliding, and it’s important to wear pants that will not hinder you.

Jeans are not comfortable to curl in, as they usually don’t provide enough flexibility to stretch out completely.

There are curling pants you can buy, or if you have a pair of lightweight stretchable pants (sweat pants, workout pants and yoga pants work well, or hiking pants sometimes work), those will be perfect.

Head Gear

Many curlers wear head gear for either warmth or protection. For warmth, many kinds of hats, caps, and toques can be quite comfortable. For protection during falls on the ice, there are padded headbands, toques, and helmets. Head protection is available for purchase in our pro shop.

Shoes

Curling shoes come with a sliding plastic surface on one foot, and a grippy rubber surface on the other. Usually we put a rubber "gripper" on the sliding surface so we can walk around safely.

We have a wide variety of curling shoes available for purchase in our pro shop. If you’re interested in buying shoes, our staff will be happy to walk you through our inventory and find a pair that fits your feet and your budget.

However, you do not need curling shoes to start curling. If you do not have your own curling shoes, you will need to have a pair of flat-soled, comfortable shoes to wear. We put rubber grippers both shoes so they are less slippery to walk around on the ice.

Sneakers work great as long as they are clean, since debris on the ice does affect how rocks travel. Also, avoid shoes that have metal eye loops, as these can scratch the ice while you slide.

Please dedicate a pair of clean sneakers to be your curling shoes. Please do not wear your regular street shoes on the ice. Have a pair of clean sneakers you can dedicate just to curling and keep them tucked away when you are not using them so they do not get dirty.

Gripper

Grippers are special soles that allow you to walk safely on the ice; they fit over the bottom of your shoes. If you do not buy curling shoes, please purchase a pair of slip-on grippers that can easily slip over a pair of tennis shoes or sneakers. Bring your dedicated curling shoes with you to the pro shop to ensure that your grippers fit your shoes properly.

Slider

If you decided against buying curling shoes, you will need a step-on slider for delivering rocks. This is a flat piece of Teflon backed by foam that you simply place on the ice and step on so you can slide out of the hack when it is your turn to throw. Step-on sliders are great for beginners but you will probably graduate to curling shoes pretty quickly if you play in a league.

Broom

There are a few different types of brooms, with heavier or lighter handles and different types of sweeping surfaces / material. These are available for purchase at the pro shop.

The club has a collection of brooms that can be used for your game for a nominal rental fee. Please clean and return them to the bin when you are done with them for others to use.

Stabilizer

This is a device you can use to balance yourself while throwing a rock; you hold it in your non-throwing hand. There are several types available, and some curlers choose to not use one and use a broom for balance instead.

It is worth noting that we teach new curlers to use a stabilizer for delivering rocks at Nanaimo Curling Club, since they are more stable than using a broom as a balancing device, and therefore one less variable when learning how to deliver a rock. The stabilizers are allowed for all levels of play so it is entirely a preference to use a stabilizer or to use a broom. Some new curlers do choose to use a broom because it is one less piece of equipment to manage while on the ice.

There are stabilizers available to borrow out on the ice, or you can purchase your own from the pro shop.

The Pro Shop

The pro shop at Nanaimo Curling Club is the best one on Vancouver Island. It is located on the main floor near the washrooms. You can purchase most types of equipment (and more!) at the pro shop.

The pro shop is open most days of the week during the curling season, and occasionally during non-curling months. Check our Club Calendar for a detailed schedule of store hours.

Before your first game, be sure to arrive at least 45 minutes ahead of your draw time to spend some time in the pro shop getting your equipment. Or, visit the pro shop at an earlier time so you can take your time and even try out the equipment right away. Bring the shoes you will wear curling so you can get the right-sized grippers and slider.

Now that you have your curling equipment, you are ready for Your First Game!