CARP – It takes about 12 days to get the Huntley Curling Club’s ice ready for a season of competition.
“Water only freezes so fast,” icemaker Dwayne Lowe tells West Carleton Online from the ice surface of the club on Tuesday, Oct. 8.
Lowe and his wife Jackie Waters run The Burnt Rock Curling Company, a full-service curling business, based out of the Huntley Curling Club providing equipment, repairs and ice-making services.
Lowe builds the ice for around eight different clubs and it’s quite the process.
At the Huntley, he has a team of volunteers on the busy days. West Carleton Online dropped by the day the crew was putting the lines in and Lowe said it would take about eight hours to do that with the five club member volunteers working that day including Ice committee members Kevin Jones, Don Demaine, Tom Watters, Wayne Martin, Cary Honeywell and Gary Lennie.
But first he does about five or six floods over a few days to get a good base built up.
“Your floor might be crooked,” he said, between a quick flood. “You need to make sure the surface is level before you paint it. Once you get it level, you can paint the ice white. If it’s not level, the paint pools.”
Once the ice is painted white, and dry and frozen, and flooded over, the rest of the lines can be painted.
To paint the four-foot and eight-foot house, Lowe routers a few precise circular grooves in the ice, so the paint forms a perfect circle. When the house is painted, it’s time to put in the lines.
“You cut a groove in it to make it accurate,” Lowe said.
Lowe has a long tape feeder built to create a perfectly straight line to cover the 138-foot long sheet – the standard for a curling rink.
“You think I McGyver stuff?” Lowe says to a volunteer. “Wait ‘til you see this one.”
“Dwayne’s smarter than he looks,” one of the volunteers adds.
Once the lines are down and the paint painted, Lowe expects it will take seven or eight more floods to get the competition ice just right for the upcoming season.
“The Bearded One is our ice manager,” club President Blake Sinclair said. “The HCC is so fortunate to have one of the best ice makers in the country.”
But don’t take Sinclair’s word for it, come check out the ice for yourself. The Huntley Curling Club is offering Try Curling for Free this Saturday, Oct. 26. There are four 45-minute sessions available free for anyone who wants to give the sport and the club a try. The four sessions are scheduled between 3 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. this Saturday.
The sessions will give you the opportunity to try the challenging and fun sport under the direction of experienced club members. Sessions are limited to 16 people and you must be 18-years-old to participate. Organizers ask you please register in advance by clicking here.
The club is located at 199 Langstaff Dr. in Carp.