My Canadian Curling Quest
May 29, 2011 5:29 AM   Subscribe

How can we go curling one afternoon on our Canadian Ski Trip next winter?

Over the Christmas holiday next year, my family is going to Whistler, Vancouver, and BC for 10 days. We pretty much have everything planned - but one thing we would like to do is curl.

I curled for one season, when I joined a curling club in Anchorage during the one winter I was there. So, I have some knowledge and skill. The other 6 members of the group have never curled, but are athletic and are interested in the game.

Do curling clubs in Canada allow non-members to come and play? Are there ever open curling days, when people can just come and play, or is it all league play? Do any curlers have any suggestions regarding this?

I figure that I need to contact each of the curling clubs within driving distance of route, and see if they would allow us to play there. But, I am just wondering if anyone has any initial thoughts for me - what should I say, or ask for?

We would like to have someone teach us a little, and maybe even play with us. (We are 7 people, so an 8th person would be great). We would have to rent equipment. And, of course, we are willing to pay for the experience.

Any thoughts? What are the chances that we can curl one afternoon on our trip?

Bonus Question: Anyone know a specific curling club in the Vancouver/Whistler area?
posted by Flood to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You could check out the Vancouver Curling Club and ask them your questions. It seems like they have open ice time, but you would have to inquire about availiability. I sense it is much like bowling - whatever is not booked by leagues is open to the public. The VCC does have a more specific rental page. HTH!
posted by Calzephyr at 5:41 AM on May 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Most curling rinks offer the ability to book sheets of ice by the hour when they're not otherwise in use for league play. You can either book them as practice ice, assuming you feel confident enough to teach your family to play, or it will often be possible to also pay a club employee to come teach a lesson to your group, though if you want them to play with you the whole time, you will probably have to pay them more.

Pretty much every club I've ever been in has a wall of (admittedly crappy) brooms available for anyone who wants to use them to use them. The only other equipment required is a slider, which can be approximated with teflon tape, which every club I've ever been in provides for free. Some of them also have an assortment of actual grippers and sliders available.

This is commonly done for parties, corporate events and random groups of friends who just want to curl once a year, you should have no issues whatsoever in booking it.

The Vancouver Curling Club, which was recently built for the Olympics and is, by all accounts, a lovely facility, has their rental rates laid out.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:42 AM on May 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Actually, I just looked again, and those are last season's rental rates from before they moved into the new building, so they may be higher next year in the Olympic legacy facility. Nonetheless, that should give you a sense of how easy it is to book this sort of thing, since curling clubs fully expect to get these inquiries, and openly encourage them.

In general, everyone associated with curling is ridiculously open to helping newbies play the game, because they're all convinced that if you just try it, you'll love it, and then maybe the late night comedy shows will stop mocking them.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:49 AM on May 29, 2011

Here are some additional options:

Howe Sound (Squamish is between Whistler and Vancouver on the Sea-to-Sky Highway)
North Shore Winter Club -- doesn't specifically have rental rates, but is open to corporate team building, so probably offers ice rentals, as well.
Richmond Curling Club
posted by jacquilynne at 6:00 AM on May 29, 2011

Response by poster: Thank you.
Exactly the info I was looking for.
posted by Flood at 8:14 AM on May 29, 2011

There's also the the Howe Sound Curling Club situated in lovely Squamish B.C., halfway between Vancouver and Whistler.
posted by furtive at 12:53 PM on May 29, 2011

Complete derail, but you do know Jonathan Coulton's song, right?
posted by AmbroseChapel at 5:49 PM on May 30, 2011

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