You know we’ve been looking forward to the Long Island Curling fundraiser since we first heard about it. What could be better? Trying our hand at curling or trying our hand at curling while supporting a good cause? So we packed up a ton of books to donate to The Book Fairies and headed over to The Hub in Syosset.
But first we watched some curling so we were good and ready to get on the ice. We saw the Hamiltons basically make every shot in their match against the Norwegians. They basically made the bulls eye with every shot…..surely it couldn’t be as easy as it looks….
It’s not as easy as it looks….
What we learned:
1. Curlers are some of the nicest people we’ve ever met.
Everyone that we met was really nice, helpful, and patient. From the women that greeted us when we first entered to everyone on the ice, it was a great experience from start to finish.
2. The rock is heavier than you think.
Ok, so we knew that the rock was 42 pounds, but we just envisioned it gliding ever so gracefully down the ice as we released it…you know, like when the Olympians do it. Turns out that the rock actually sits on the ice and really does need more than a push to get it down the ice.
3. There’s a slippery foot pad
Ever wonder how the Hamiltons and the rest of the great curlers just glide over the ice….it’s because of a foot pad that their shoe is resting on. Ok, Olympians probably bought their own curling shoes that have the slippery foot pad adhered to the sole of the shoe. But still.
Here’s a link to a pair of curling shoes so you can see what we’re talking about. Doesn’t look like Nike or Adidas has made it to curling quite yet….
4. Coordination? Necessary.
First, your dominant foot rests on the ball while your other foot is placed on a foot pad. The foot pad has a special coating that allows you to slide across the ice. Next, your dominant hand takes hold of the stone while the other holds on to a bar. Still following? The next step is to raise your body up and then push off of your dominant foot. Heads up: this is where I got lost….because after you release, you’re somehow supposed to drag your foot behind you as you LET GO of the rock. Yeah, I couldn’t do that. But the 11-year old in the group could.
5. It’s more physical than we thought.
Throwing a stone isn’t the most physical aspect of the sport (we’ve learned that sweeping is the most aerobic part), but nevertheless there were some aches in some of the older bones in the party.
Him: “You know, I can kinda feel it in my legs.”
Me: “Yeah, I can feel something in my shoulders.”
11-year old: “I don’t feel anything.”
6. Many Curlers wear funky curling pants or skirts
We don’t know where they got ’em. But they were everywhere. Think Flow Society meets curling.
7. “GO TO GOAL” doesn’t really work
The foundation of curling is teamwork. It starts with a handshake, ends with a handshake and athletes must confess their mistakes if made. Each player is responsible for a specific role and can’t switch during play.
Would we do it again?
Yes. It was a lot of good natured fun with the kid in a great environment. We’re looking forward to trying sweeping (though we should start working out now).
We had been advised that a good starting age would be 11 or 13…we found that our 11-year old was able to throw a stone but she has a fair amount of physical strength. And so far she’s the only one that was able to successfully throw the stone…
Upcoming Curling Events
Save these dates if you’re interested in trying Curling with your family.