Great River Road 06 - Curling Lessons in St. Paul, MN (VIDEO)

When we were in Bemidji I saw a sign for the “Curling Center”. We wanted to learn more!

We might be from Michigan where curling is also played but it was never on our radar. I started Googling around to see if we could take lessons, get a demo, see curling in action, or even just see an arena where Curling was done. 

Free Clinic

I came across Curling clinics being offered by the Frogtown Curling Club in St. Paul.

And for free?

Sign. Us. Up!

We were having a busy few days in the area but extended our stay by a night to have time for the clinics.

So Uh, What Do We Do?

I vague-ishly knew Curling involved:

  • Sliding what looked like kettlebells down an ice rink
  • People frantically sweeping in front of it while it moved
  • An ‘end zone’ that kinda looked like a rearranged shuffleboard court
  • Beer

Well, the last was really a guess but I did go to school briefly in the Upper Penninsula of Michigan and kept stats for the hockey team, so I think it was an educated guess.

If you want the true lowdown on the rules of the sport you can visit the Wikipedia page - but basically if you roll bowling, shuffleboard, and chess together, put it on ice, and add sweeping that’s Curling.

What’s With the Sweeping?

We were told that the sport was originally played on frozen rivers and the sweepers were needed to sweep the snow off the ice in front of the stone.

As the sport is played today the sweepers can influence both the speed and direction of the stone by how much and how hard they sweep in front of it. The experienced Curlers said sweeping could make a 4’ - 5’ difference in how far the stone would travel.

Check out the Frogtown Curling Club if you are in the Twin Cities Area - nice folks.

Check out the Frogtown Curling Club if you are in the Twin Cities Area - nice folks.

Miranda gets some instruction on throwing stones towards the house.

Miranda gets some instruction on throwing stones towards the house.

MsBoyink tries to figure out the throw sequence...

MsBoyink tries to figure out the throw sequence...

...and ends up on the ice.

...and ends up on the ice.

Boyink throwing, Miranda and a team mate get ready to sweep.

Boyink throwing, Miranda and a team mate get ready to sweep.

Boyink and Miranda sweeping for a team-mates stone.

Boyink and Miranda sweeping for a team-mates stone.

Curling Clinic in St. Paul, Minnesota

More Fun Than Expected!

I’ll admit it - I went into this with my tongue a little bit in my cheek. Curling isn’t exactly mainstream and has often been the butt of jokes in movies, etc.

Turns out - I really enjoyed it.

Throwing the stone is a matter of balance and finesse. I fell the first couple of times while throwing but then managed to stay upright. Working with the “Skip” (a teammate who is at the other end of the court calling the strategy) to figure out the best move appeals to my thinking side.

Sweeping is more about speed and fitness (at least at the beginner level). My heartrate was up and I quickly ditched a layer of clothes and my hat - I was sweating!

Good People

The clinic was well attended by people of all ages, builds and genders. We had some great conversations and I could tell being part of a Curling League would be a fun time.

Have You Curled?

Have you ever tried Curling?

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