Curling is now considered primarily to be an indoor sport, having recently been played on an indoor rink during the 2010 Olympics, but it hasn't always been that way. The first curling rinks were formed on frozen ponds and lakes, according to the Canadian Curling Association. If you have a backyard, a hose and some common tools, you can build your own outdoor mini curling rink, where you and your family and friends can take part in this social game.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Garden hose
- 5 nails
- Package of red powdered beverage mix
- Spray paint
- 6-foot long piece of lumber
- 3-foot-by-3-foot piece of plywood or a lawn roller
- Even number of margarine containers, up to 16
Measure out your curling rink. A standard indoor curling rink is 146-feet by 15-feet, but a mini outdoor curling rink can be 30 feet long by 15 feet wide. Create an outline of your sheet of ice by walking off the perimeter in the snow.
Pack the snow using a 3-foot by 4-foot piece of plywood. Starting in one corner, lay the plywood down and use your body weight to flatten the snow. Repeat this packing process for the entire playing surface. You could also use a lawn roller filled with water.
Create the ice. Use a garden hose to flood the area you marked out. Let the water run for three or four hours at night for three straight cold nights. Ideally, the temperature should be around -10 degrees Celsius. Use a spray setting to let the water fall more gently.
Make a set of curling rings on both ends of the ice. Cut a 6-foot long piece of wood. Hammer a nail into the top of one end. Then hammer another nail 2 feet in from the first one. Hammer the third nail in 2 feet from the last one. Add the last nail in the top at the other end. Hammer the nails deep enough to keep them securely in place, but leave each one sticking out an inch. This piece of wood will be your scribe.
Make one hole in the centre of the ice, 9 feet away from both ends of the ice, using a hammer and nail.
Make your curling circles. Take the side of the board with the single nail and insert that nail into the hole you just made. Apply pressure to both ends of the scribe while moving it in a clockwise direction so the other three nails cut a half-inch deep line in the ice. You will have a 12-foot circle, an 8-foot circle and a 4-foot circle.
Mark the rings in the ice so they are visible from the other end of the ice. Mix the package of red powdered beverage mix in a water bottle and slowly pour the mixture into the lines you created with your scribe.
Make your hacks. Use an axe to chip away a square hole about 4-inches wide and 3-inches deep. This is the spot where you put your foot for support when throwing a rock. Center these at both ends of the ice, 1 foot away from the edge of where the ice begins.
Create something to slide down the ice using margarine containers. To distinguish the margarine containers for each team, paint one set red and one set blue.
Fill each margarine container with water. Put the lids back on the containers and place the containers in the freezer. Use an even number for each team, up to a maximum of eight for each.
Set up both sets of margarine containers on the same end of the ice but on opposite sides. Now you're ready to curl.
Tips and warnings
- Any activity that takes place on ice can be dangerous. Wear shoes or boots with plenty of traction and walk carefully.
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