Outdoor Curling FAQ

We love answering your questions about Outdoor Curling! Here are some of the most frequent questions we receive. If you still need help then please contact us at sales@dakotacurling.supplies or give us a call at 800-256-0009.

Steel rocks have been specifically designed for outdoor curling and will hold up well under variable temperature and moisture conditions. Granite rocks are porous and if they are subjected to a freeze-thaw cycle outdoors any water that infiltrates the granite will weaken them and make them more likely to crack.

Steel rocks are also lighter than granite and easier to move on and off the ice for storage.

When playing on outdoor ice, you won't have the same fine control over the ice surface as you would indoors. As a result, curling rocks don't usually travel as far on outdoor ice as they would indoors, and the distance they travel will be influenced by your ice quality and weather conditions. 

We recommend that you install one curling ring and hack, then throw a couple of rocks to see where they naturally stop. Put your second set of rings and hack in at that distance. Make sure when you are throwing your "test" rocks that you are using a nice easy push using mostly your leg drive and not shoving with your arm.

During the curling season, it is fine (and even recommended) to leave them on the ice when not in use. If you do need to remove them from the ice for security reasons, you should keep them in a cold location, as close to ice temperature as possible. Some commercial establishments and schools build a "rock shed" with a small ice pad in the bottom for storing rocks securely when not in use.

When storing over the summer, any dry location is fine. It is best to store rocks during the off season upside down on their handles to avoid scratching up the bottoms.

If you find that the bottom surface of your rocks tarnishes, you can use a hand sander and extra fine sand paper to restore the surface.

If you are having trouble getting your rocks to make it to the other end you have a couple of options.

  1. Install your rings closer together. Whatever distance the rocks travel naturally is a good guideline for how long to make your rink. See "how long should I make my ice rink" in this FAQ.
  2. Reduce the friction between the rocks and the ice surface by pebbling the ice. See this link for more information about pebbling outdoor ice and when it might be necessary.
  3. Use a delivery stick like this one to "throw" the rocks from a standing position. You'll be able to push them much harder with a standing delivery over a sliding delivery.

The outline curling rings are made of a durable vinyl material and can be used year after year. When removing them from the ice, wait until the ice has melted and the rings are floating before lifting to avoid stretching them out of shape. Once removed from the ice at the end of the season, hang them to dry, and then roll them up and put a rubber band around them.