Every four years after the excitement of the Winter Olympics has quieted down, curling clubs all across the United States and Canada — and beyond — see an increase in visitors and membership. If I had to guess, it’s because
- Curling seems to be a more accessible (read: doable) sport than, say, the Luge.
- It is a fun-loving team sport, and that “curling spirit” seems to come across even on television.
- It doesn’t hurt as much as speed skating or figure skating when you fall.
All of these are true.
Fortunately, there are many Curling Clubs across the country eager to welcome those interested in learning how to curl. This past October I had the opportunity to join the World Curling Federation on one of their Olympic Celebration Tour stops in Oakland, California to spend the day with the San Francisco Bay Area Curling Club. I was mostly there to take pictures and video, but somehow the curlers convinced me to get on the ice and give the sport a try. What can I say, I was overcome by the “curling spirit.”
So, I straightened up my leg warmers (I was shocked at how cold the ice rink was…) and put on my game face. It was really fun, the little bit of curling I did. Admittedly, I didn’t get very far before sprawling flat on the ice in a most uncomfortable position. It seemed really nerve wracking to give that push that sent me gliding (all of 2-3 feet), but once I pushed off, it was pretty cool. Despite my falling and the extreme cold of the ice rink, I would definitely try this again.
But really, the best part of that day was watching the teenagers who were also there to learn the sport of curling. It was such a great opportunity for them to develop interest in the new-to-them sport. The San Francisco Bay Area Curling Club has offered many of these clinics for the local youth, many of whom lack access to sports otherwise.
For those of you interested in learning how to curl, I’ve compiled a list of curling clubs across the United States. So many people ask “How does a person get involved in curling in the first place?” Well, the simple answer would be to find a curling club near you and show up. Check out these clubs and see if you can attend a “Learn to Curl” workshop. You won’t regret it!
CURLING CLUBS BY STATE
Barrow Curling Club (Barrow)