With synthetic ice we tend to focus on skating and hockey training. But what about curling? Yes curling!
We get asked about this a fair amount. Enough for me to write about it and give you the straight facts. In partnership with another company we have actually been pretty successful in developing what I will call a “curling simulator” using our trademarked Icy-Blue700™ which our high performance skating product as well.
The company we are working with has developed a curling stone that has been modified to be used with synthetic ice. At only 2 pounds weight the stone is also a lot lighter. The primary purpose for this synthetic ice curling system is recreation and fun – not necessarily high end competition. It becomes a great way to introduce the game and teach the rules and strategies of curling to those looking to learn or be introduced to the sport.
Amazingly enough the curling stone they have developed runs right across our synthetic ice and covers the 40ft distance easily.
The main difference between this and real ice curling is the curl and sweep part. There is no point to sweeping on synthetic ice curling because the effect will be little to none. I’m no curling expert but my impression of sweeping on real ice is that the friction causes a temperature change on the ice – perhaps even a slight melting which then causes the rock to curl. This is a pretty big part of the game and the part that requires a lot of practice and skill.
As far as we can tell with synthetic ice this is not going to occur. So save your effort and focus on getting your stone to the button or taking out your opponent’s rocks. Hey isn’t that the fun part anyway? I could see this game getting very popular in venues such as sports bars, vacation resorts, cruise ships, schools, recreation centers, senior’s homes, condominiums, public recreation spaces, corporate events and so on.
Think of all those curling rinks that are empty all summer long…what a great way to offer clinics for kids or beginners to grow the game.
It will be fun to watch and see how this product takes off in the future.
If you would like to see a quick demo please click this link to view product testing.