League Standings, Pickup Games, and stuff

Saturday was our last League game before the playoff.

Another night of "mean" ice, and we just couldn't find the right weight.  I also learned tonight a little more about Curling Stones, and it makes a little more sense.

The World Curling Federation sponsors a program where new clubs can get Curling Stones through the national Federation (USCA), and of the 24 sets of stones that came to the U.S. this year, seven came to Southern California, and we have two.

The new stones, on our sheet 1 and sheet 3, are Ailsite -- Common Green Granite with Blue Hone inserts.  The common Ailsite withstands impacts better than Blue Hone, while Blue Hone is harder with a tighter grain and not nearly as absorbent.  You get the best of the chip-resistant granite with the better running surface you'd expect from the best of Ailsa Craig.

The old stones, on sheet 2, are probably Trefor.  They just don't run as fast as the new rocks.

A quick peek at the bottom of one of the new rocks and it's pretty obvious.

We're going into the playoffs with a 4 and 2 record -- the best in the division.

Tonights' pick-up game is my 4th night on my Balance Plus 200's.  It's a little odd picking shoes when you really have never worn another pair, and unlike brooms where you can swap brooms during a match and try what others have, shoes have to fit.  I read a lot of reviews, and talked to some people, and picked.

Some of the less expensive shoes are synthetic leather, and don't have the insulation.  These are leather, and insulated.  I hate cold feet.

I'm finally getting comfortable with them.

The club provides a teflon slider that is a little bit like the rubber "flip-flops" we used to wear to the beach.  They're absolutely great for what they're for, providing a way for anyone to get started without buying shoes.

You don't want hyper-fast sliders when you're getting started.  You want something with a little more control.

New shoes are a big adjustment.  It isn't quite starting over, but it is close, and it's taken four sessions.  My advice to other novice Curlers: sure, get the shoes, but get them between leagues, and play as many pick-up games as you can before the next league starts.

Pick-up games are fun because you get to change-around a bit, play with people you'd otherwise only play against.  You get to see other styles of play and play different positions.  I'm settling in to lead (some) on my regular league rink, but it's fun to play second or vice, and sometimes you get to share with someone playing their first match.

Posted June 29, 2010, Updated July 21, 2010