CARLSBAD— It's the winter sport most famous for being a bit odd. Curling usually soars in popularity during the Winter Olympics, but you can also play year-round, even in sunny San Diego.
Each week, members of “Curl San Diego” gather at the Icetown Skating Rink in Carlsbad to teach people curling. “It’s fascinating and something you don’t usually see, so everyone wants to try it,” said Owen McLachlan, the club’s vice president.
The idea behind curling is simple. Shove a 42-pound rock as close to the center of a target as possible.
In reality, it’s not so easy. “It’s usually called, ‘Chess on Ice,’” McLachlan said. Similar to bocce or shuffleboard, the team closest to the center gets the points.
The sweeping heats up the ice, reducing friction and allowing the stone to travel farther and straighter.
“An eighth of an inch can make or break a shot,” said Karen Coombs, who grew up playing in Canada, but now lives in San Diego.
The Carlsbad club started after the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. Organizers say a lot of Canadians in San Diego wanted a place to play, and when the Winter Olympics come around..
“We'll have 200 people for a learn to curl,” Coombs said. A close-knit community just a stone's throw away. “Anywhere you have ice, you can have curling,” McLachlan said.