The lowly broom, typically relegated to cleaning up messes, plays an integral role in the sport of curling. With out it, little would be possible. It serves as a target and a balance aid. It makes rocks go faster, straighter and farther. It is held by the “skip” as an aiming aid for the curler delivering the rock. It also provides the curler with much needed balance during the delivery of the rock. Additionally, the sweepers, at the direction of the skip, will use their brooms to straighten the path, increase the speed or improve the distance of any rock that may have (inadvertently) been delivered incorrectly.
While the rocks are virtually similar, brooms come in all sorts of sizes and shapes. High-tech carbon fiber handled products are very popular. Today's broom shafts are mostly comprised of either carbon-fiber or fiberglass. The brush pad portion on most newer brooms have synthetic materials, or a from of Cordura nylon. The most popular of today's pads are the EQ and Norway pads. The EQ brush pads are from BalancePlus and the Norway brush pads are from Goldline. These pads are not only made of a high-grade synthetic cloth, but they also have a layer of mylar "space blanket" on the inside. This helps retain the heat generated from the friction of sweeping and insulate it back down onto the ice. Obviously, there are a variety of prices and details, but in the end it is a matter of budget and preference as to which is best for the individual. Most clubs will have a wide selection of brooms that the beginner can borrow while learning to curl. Cost: most range from about $60 to $200.