Say the word "curling" and the most common reaction is confusion or a brief moment of recognition, and then it's gone. Banish the images of the Revlon curling iron, because the hottest sport in South Haven Michigan takes place on the ice rink this winter.
For most people, their exposure to curling came through the Winter Olympics television coverage of the event. It was like shuffleboard on ice - highly controlled, incredibly serious and not much fun. Contrast that to the raucous, laughter filled pavilion in downtown South Haven, and you can see why so many people are trying curling in South Haven.
The random factors make curling at South Haven's rink fun - a dusting of snow, a breeze from the east instead of the west, the mixture of young and old participants, the multitude of approaches to sliding the forty pound granite stones across the ice. You might meet Barb one evening, whose Canadian heritage includes previous experience in curling. You'll find the rink manager running around the facility, but when Spencer decides to place a stone in dead center there's no stopping him. One of the gals is notorious for falling down every time she releases a stone...and her aim is deadly, although the delivery is unconventional.
New participants are welcome any time. Tuesday evening, the rink is ready for curling around 7:15pm and Saturday morning stop by around 10:30am. The cost is $10 per person, and all of the stones, sweeps, blocks and other supplies are provided. Wear several layers of warm clothes, boots or shoes with decent traction, hats, gloves...and a smile, because this is going to be fun!