I spent Saturday curling in a local bonspiel. I’ve been curling for years; I used to curl competitively, then coached, but now I usually just curl in local bonspiels for a chance to win cheese and/or meat (apparently, I’m only competitive when food is involved). I love curling, because it’s such a social sport and distinctly non-competitive at the level I play at. It’s one of those sports that anyone can play and be relatively good at. Some of the best curlers I know come out of the hack all curled (hah) up, are 70 years old and hardly ever miss a shot. It’s amazing. Oh yeah, and being able to have a beer while you play makes for an awesome sport.
This weekend, I paid $35 to play in the bonspiel. For that fee, I got to play 3, 6-end games; got a roast beef lunch and a sandwich supper; a cheese basket for a 4th place finish; plus I won two door prizes, a big ole bag of peat moss and a bird feeder. Not bad ‘eh? Truth be told, I was really excited to win the giant bag of peat moss – it will be so handy when I start my gardens this year. After the bonspiel, while I was soaking my sore sweeping muscles, I got to thinking, curling is probably one of the cheapest winter sports out there. It requires very little equipment and the fees to play are usually pretty nominal.
What you need to curl:
- Shoes – sure you can buy curling shoes ($90-$120), but you really don’t need to. All you really need is a pair of clean running shoes. You can use duct tape on the bottom of a shoe for a slider, or buy a slider slip on ($20-$35). Most clubs have slip on sliders you can borrow too.
- Broom – new brooms cost anywhere from $45-$100, but every club I’ve ever been to has club brooms that everyone is welcome to use for free.
- Ice – renting a sheet of ice costs around $60, split between 8 people (4 players per team), makes it $15 a person. Of course, fancier clubs might charge more, but that’s the going rate at many rural clubs.
That’s it, that’s all you need to curl. Pretty cheap huh? Just another reason why I love curling.
Do you curl? What’s your go-to winter sport?