NOTE: This post was originally published in 2013
This week’s featured Goldline ambassador is the lead on the team skipped by Kevin Martin. Ben Hebert has achieved much success out on the curling ice, having won a gold medal at the world junior championships, 2 Briers, a gold and silver at the world championships, and a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, as well as numerous other curling events and titles. The Martin team recently won the Alberta provincial playdowns, thereby earning the opportunity to play for another Brier title in front of a hometown crowd.
Ben was featured recently in the YouTube series “Cullen and a Curler”; check it out to see what Ben had to say.
We wish Ben and the rest of the Martin team the best of luck as they prepare for the Brier in Edmonton, Alberta in March.
If you weren’t curling what sport would you be playing?
Where were you born?
What is your current hometown?
What is your "real" job?
Business Development Rep/Focus Corp
When did you start curling?
12 years old
Who is your favourite athlete?
Where is your favourite place to curl?
What is your favourite food?
Where is your favourite vacation spot?
What is your favourite TV show?
What are you listening to on your iPod?
Who is your favourite curler other than yourself?
Who is your role model?
Have you ever been in a bar fight?
Who is your celebrity crush?
What is your favourite book?
Don’t read books
What is your favourite movie?
If someone wrote a book about your life, what would they title it?
If you could be anyone dead or alive who would you be?
Michael Buble.. Huge Stud!
What would you do if you had a million dollars?
I'd be John Morris!
Who is the best curler to follow on twitter?
What is your favourite sports team?
What is your preferred shot to win a game?
What is one of your favourite quotes?
“If we put it here, we win the Brier… What, you don’t want to win the Brier”
– Rob Harris 2003
What is your favourite body part?
I hate Loaded questions… Chest?
What is your favourite form of exercise?
If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be?
25 was a good age!
What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
Juggling curling, work and wife!
Performance and Comfort Considerations for Curling Shoes
The Quantum integrated design system (I.D.S.) leaves behind the use of an adhesive to attach a slider and gripper to the sole of the shoe. The adhesive bond has been the standard for generations, however, in addition to delaminating problems, it has bound us to Teflon* as the only material that could be used as a slider. The Quantum employs an innovative mechanical attachment system wherein slider and gripper “disks” are snapped into strategically positioned receptacles in the sole.
The advantages of Quantum Discs are numerous:
Slider Thickness - slider speed increases with the thickness of the Teflon™, ¼” being the thickest and the fastest. Every curler should be looking for optimal slide with a minimum of leg thrust. For most curlers excessive leg thrust results in instability. Experienced curlers who are accustomed to the ice and do not have stability concerns usually prefer a fast slider, whereas less experienced curlers usually want to balance speed with stability. It is important to keep in mind that inexperienced curlers generally have low leg thrust and, if they are equipped with an excessively slow slider, the result will be an unsatisfactory delivery.
Hinged Front Slider - sliders that have a thickness of 5/32” or greater tend to be rigid, limiting any heel elevation during delivery. The Podium sole itself, not the slider, is designed to afford the appropriate degree of longitudinal flexibility. Rigidity also results in constant heel rubbing during walking. By splitting the front from the back slider and “hinging” the front slider, the negative effect of rigidity is eliminated on Podium Gold and Silver shoes.
Lateral Stability - stability during delivery is best achieved by distributing weight equally across the width of the sole. During delivery the natural tendency is for weight to be shifted to the outside of the sliding foot. The outsole on the Podium series is expressly moulded to incorporate a lateral stabilizer in the ball of the foot. The result is even distribution of weight across the slider, a wider balance platform and enhanced stability.
Warmth - insulation throughout the upper and air cushioning in the sole ensure warmth on all Podium models.
Comfort and Fit - careful attention to materials and design afford slipper like comfort from the first time Podium shoes are worn. Further, the Silver model is available in both REGULAR and WIDE fit. Unlike most curling shoes, ladies Podiums are built on specific women’s moulds.
Quality - most shoe manufacturing relies upon a high volume production line. Only high end shoes are still produced in lower volume “hand made” factories. The entire Podium line is produced in such an environment – guaranteeing careful attention to quality and detail.
In a curling game, players (other than the skip) throw only two rocks but sweep six others. The importance of sweeping cannot be underestimated! Good sweepers can make the difference between an average shot and an amazing shot. Given the importance of sweeping, it should come as no surprise that curling brooms (or curling brushes) are the second most important piece of curling equipment, ranking only behind curling shoes.
If you are like many curlers, you probably started off using a club broom that was available at your curling club when you took up the sport. But as you continue to play the game, you may be wondering whether it is time to invest in a broom of your own.
In choosing a broom, there are three key things you need to consider:
The broom handle, or shaft, is typically comprised of some combination of wood, fiberglass, and/or carbon fiber. And with such a wide variety of materials used, it leads to a broad range in the weight of brooms. Weight is key: the lighter the broom, the easier it is to apply pressure when brushing and the more effective a sweeper you will be.
Generally speaking, the greater the proportion of carbon fiber, the lighter the broom. At Goldline, we have two choices in handles. Our Carbon Fiber broom handles weigh between 170 and 200 grams (depending on the diameter of the shaft) whereas on our Fiberlite brooms (which are basically comprised of 65% fiberglass and 35% carbon fiber), the handles weigh between 270 and 300 grams.
If you’re just starting out, you don’t need to invest in a carbon fiber broom: a Fiberlite broom will already be much lighter than the club broom you’ve used previously. At some point, though, the logical choice may be to take the extra step and invest in a 100% carbon fiber broom.
Typically, broom handles come in different sizes to accommodate varying hand sizes. At Goldline, we offer 1” and 1-1/8” handles on our brooms. Which size handle you prefer is entirely a matter of personal taste; there is no requirement that women use a broom with a thinner handle while men use brooms with a thicker handle. When shopping, make sure to hold brooms with differing sizes of handles in your hands and determine which feels most comfortable.
In addition to the synthetic head Goldline has reintroduced a horse hair head this year, which is generally felt to be more effective on frosty ice, found in arenas and at televised events (where crowds and cameras combine to increase the frost on the playing surface).The vast majority of brooms come with a swivel head and a replaceable synthetic pad. This type of broom will be very effective on curling club ice. While the brush itself can last many years, the pads are replaceable and should be replaced at least once per season.
Once the choice of material, diameter of shaft, and type of head are made, the toughest decision remains: colour. At Goldline, we have a wide variety of colours available in both our Carbon Fiber and Fiberlite brooms. New colours this year include Metallic White in our Carbon Fiber line, and Steel and Ebony in our Fiberlite line. And if your current broom is still in excellent condition, evaluate if your synthetic pad needs to be replaced, or perhaps it’s time to try a Norway pad!
Buying your own broom: it’s a small investment which will make a world of difference in your game.