Speaking with several Club Managers and Ice makers about this article http://communities.canada.com/calgaryherald/blogs/curling/archive/2010/09/09/canadian-olympic-broom-technology-to-finally-be-unveiled.aspx
They all seem very concerned because the ice is already flattening out late in games. This was obviously a concern for the men's Olympic team who chose not to use the new pads. It was fine for the ladies Olympic team because only one team was using the new pad. However, if both teams had been using the new pads we would likely have seen flat and unpredictable ice in the latter part of the game. A lot of those exciting late game shots simply could not have been called, let alone made - which in my opinion would suck the life out the game we all love.
What already happens at competitive levels is that the pebble is broken down in early and middle ends. Teams resort to less aggressive hair brushes in late ends so as to keep some pebble and therefore some predictability to the ice. Do we really want this at club level play? Essentially destroying the pebble and then resorting back to hair. Those of us who came through the hair era remember all too well the rocks lost to a hair on the ice.
There are a lot of aggressive materials that would likely be more effective in melting and wearing the pebble than the cordura fabric currently used. However they simple destroy the ice surface too quickly and undermine play. The trickery used by the Canadian women may have offered a slight advantage at that event, however widespread adoption will be a nightmare for icemakers and ultimately diminish the enjoyment of both playing and watching the game.
Like the ultra-curved hockey stick and the weighted boxing gloves, where personal advantage compromises the game, then we all have to say "no thanks"
What are your thoughts?