Using lasers in curling

This article is joint work with John Newhook of Dalhousie University. In curling, a point, or “dot”, laser is (nearly) essential to the setup of several drills, most commonly the “gauntlet drill”. In the gauntlet drill, the laser acts as the “target broom” to which the athlete throws their stone, and at the same time the laser shines a “dot” on the striking band of the stone so that it is much easier to observe lateral movement in the stone during

Dryland Training for Open Brushing Footwork

This article is joint work with Dr. John Newhook, Dean of Engineering, Dalhousie University. In a previous article, entitled “Dryland Training for Closed Brushing Footwork”, we described a simple, wheeled apparatus that an athlete could use to practice closed brushing footwork in the off-season. The closed footwork trainer assists an athlete in (1) keeping their hips closed to the trajectory of the stone while brushing, (2) holding their body upright with a considerable proportion of their body weight

Building a dryland footwork trainer

Since publishing the first article about the footwork trainer in June, a number of people have asked for more detailed specifications and additional photographs so that they can construct their own. The trainer itself is simple to construct. The parts list is as follows: two 30-inch wood pieces of 2×6 glued and screwed together using 3-inch brass wood screws; one 30-inch piece of 2×4 attached to the top, again using 3-inch brass screws; two 18-inch 2×4 pieces for the trainer’s wheelbase.

Dalhousie students develop new smartbroom prototype

This past week, on September 15 2016, Dalhousie University engineering students Devon Hartlen and Katherine Adye presented their team’s design for a sophisticated curling “smart broom” to the 2016 Engineers Nova Scotia Annual General Meeting in Halifax, by invitation after the students’ presentation at the CEEA annual student design competition. The project team included students Alex Landry and Emile Feniyanos, and was supervised by Dalhousie Civil Engineering professor John Newhook. The students’ design improves on existing

Dryland training for brushing footwork

In the Curling Canada High Performance Program coaching manual, under “Technical Development: Sweeping”, you will find the following quote attributed to Darryl Horne: Without doubt sweeping is the most under-coached, under-practiced, under-appreciated, and under-rated aspect of the game. I could not agree more. With nearly three years of smart-broom testing of bantam- and junior-aged players in Ontario I can safely say that the number of top-quality brushers amongst (even) championship teams needs to increase. Which brings me to the work I am

The research behind instrumented curling brooms

Author’s note: This is joint work with John Newhook, Department of Civil and Resource Engineering, Dalhousie University. Over the past two years I have had the privilege to work on a number of different engineering initiatives related to the sport of curling. One of these is the development of an instrumented curling broom, a device that permits the measurement of force and stroke rate of a player, in real time, while brushing a curling stone. In this article, I’d like to