What the heck are they doing with those brushes? And why are they doing it? Vigorous sweeping, quickly and with pressure, tends to melt the surface of the pebble just a tiny bit. You can’t see it, but it’s there. This tiny sheen of water on the tops of the pebbles has has two purposes:
- to make a delivered stone travel farther, and
- to straighten out the curve of a delivered stone.
A third and unofficial reason to sweep is to keep warm! You will also see sweepers brushing lightly in front of the moving stone to “clean” the ice. This tends to eliminate sweater fuzz, pocket lint, dust, dirt from somebody’s shoe, etc. that may affect the path of the stone. [Read more...]