Thoughts of a New Curler

In Vermont, September is a special time. The leaves have started to change and will soon drop. The days become shorter and darker and the farmers are at the market selling brussel sprouts and butternut squash. The whole world seems to be preparing for winter.  

This week it has been in the 70’s and it's hard to think about curling when it's so warm and green and sunny outside, but in just a few short months seasonal arenas everywhere will be abuzz with the “klack klack” of stones and the laughter and good cheer of the curlers. As I reflect upon my first season of curling I think about how much I've learned since the first time I stepped into the hack and pushed that 45-pound stone toward the house. There were so many thoughts that went through my mind at that instant and throughout the season. I thought I'd share some that could resonate with other new curlers or soon-to-be curlers.

1. Will I slip and fall and break my face?

You probably won’t. I was pretty surprised to find out that the ice isn’t as slippery as I thought it would be. Some good advice I got was to “walk like a penguin”. This means to take smaller steps keeping your feet right underneath you. Once you develop your “ice legs” you’ll feel comfortable walking like you usually do on non-ice. But you ARE ON ICE! Keeping that situational awareness will keep you from breaking your face.

2. What if I suck?

You probably will. It took me at least half a season to develop basic skills like realizing when it was my turn to throw the stone or sweep or what was going on, generally. Often times curling clubs have “learn to curl” sessions. Take advantage of these! Not only is it a great introduction to curling, but it is a chance to develop skills. Remember that everyone was new at one time, has off days, and is there to have fun!   

3. Am I going to freeze to death?

Nope! If I didn’t, you wont! The temperature in our local arena fluctuates with the temperature outside. Sometimes it felt like 15 degrees F, sometimes it felt like 50 degrees F. I usually came prepared by dressing in layers (see #4 below) and had at least one hand warmer in my pocket at all times. This temperature fluctuation, of course, also affects the ice conditions. We’ll talk about this in a later post. (Note: Some fancy arenas are even temperature controlled so its like 40 degrees F on the ice. They even have warm rooms with food and booze!).

4. What do I wear?

To start out you won’t need anything special. Just plan to wear some warm clothes that allow you to move. For some, this mean jeans and a sweater! I found myself dressing in layers, a base layer of non-cotton pants and shirt and wool socks underneath athletic tights and an active-wear dress. Finally, I wore a lightweight down jacket with gloves, a hat, and sometimes a scarf. One person in the league gave me her old curling shoes to wear! Otherwise, you can wear some clean, rubber-soled shoes to start out.

5. What do I bring?

I usually bring a bag with extra gloves, hand warmers, and a water bottle. You’ll see veteran curlers bring in their own brooms, but don’t worry about that quite yet. Curling clubs will have equipment for members to borrow including brooms, sliders, and stabilizers. Sometimes people bring flasks, but gauge the club etiquette before boozing it up on the ice!

I hope sharing my thoughts as a brand-new curler helps folks who are also new to the sport or are thinking about joining a local club. See you on the ice!

Good curling!  

-Teri-Anne Walker, RRCC

Have a great curling topic? Want to contribute your own writing to #curling802? We'd just love to hear from you! Please email and we'll get back to you! Good curling!

#curling802 is live!

Welcome to the official blog of Rutland Rocks Curling Club! Our Board Secretary, Lauren, has worked super hard on developing our website and social media accounts. (She also keeps us all on task and makes a killer curry chickpea dish!) I have, as a new board member, volunteered (read: was coerced into) helping manage these outreach tools.

 The thing is, I am neither savvy in social media nor a writer. So, I asked a colleague what non-writers should write about on social media. His advice was to, “write what you know.” Well, I have one season under my belt, so don't know a whole lot. So I'm going to do the opposite of the advice and write what I don't know. That means I get to learn and share! So, some things this blog will cover over time  are: being a beginner curler, curling etiquette, curling current  events, The Olympics, curling history,  drinking, curling history and drinking, interviews with club members and drinking, women in curling, curling’s place in the sporting community, sportsmanship, and even possibly product reviews! I know, exciting stuff, right?! 

We at RRCC are excited to grow our local club membership as we grow our social media presence. What a perfect way to fulfill our mission: “The Rutland Rocks Curling Club is dedicated to fostering the spirit and sport of curling in Rutland and the surrounding communities.”

Stay tuned for our first post coming soon!

Good curling!

 -Teri-Anne Walker


Have a great curling topic? Want to contribute your own writing to #curling802? We'd just love to hear from you! Please email and we'll get back to you! Good curling!