Curling Ice - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Curling Ice

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Although Olympic curling is done for the next 4 years - club curling and other events are still going strong.

Something you may not know - is how much goes into making the ice playable for curlers.

Dave Jensen: "curling ice is a little mysterious in that you never know what you are going to get."

And a lot goes into preparing the sheet.

Jensen: "curling ice looks flat, but it is not."

The sheet of ice receives a make-over before curlers even step out to play the game.

Jensen: "So you start out with pebbling the ice and that is basically just sprinkling water pebble onto the ice for it to freeze. The reason we do that is that so that reduces the friction with the bottom of the rock. The pebble therefor breaks that friction and allows it to go a lot further."

Jensen says if you were to throw a curling stone out on hockey ice ...it would hardly move at all.

Jensen: "after that is done the water pebble freezes kind of in a peak so we need to go over it and break that peak off to make that ice faster and after that is done we mop it and the ice is ready to curl on."

Although the ice is ready - the conditions usually change during the game.

Jensen: "It keens up so...like how a green would change from morning with the dew to a hot afternoon when it dries out . Curling ice does that during a game too."

He says it'll start off slower and then pick up speed.

Jensen: "So even through out the game you've got to be on guard for changes on the ice."

All of this due to factors involving the pebble size sprinkled on the ice to even the weather within the curling facility.

Jensen: "It is kind of interesting. Makes the game a little more frustrating because it is constantly changing...

"It is up to a good curler to pick up on those things and that is how you beat the other team."

Jensen says the ice at National Championships and the Olympics is about as fast as it can get.

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