It's still a novelty in the United States, but curling has become a growing sensation in California.
As it turns out, you don't need to go far to find out if the sport is as easy as it looks on TV.
Curling, which originated in Scotland, is the sport where players slide a 40-pound granite stone across the ice while teammates sweep the path in front of the stone to make it move further, eventually reaching a circle in the ice, which signifying scoring.
Roseville is home to one of the seven California curling clubs recognized by USA Curling. The Skatetown Ice Arena is home to the Wine Country Curling Club [WCCC], which was originally formed in Vacaville in 2007.
"It definitely looks easier than it is," Wine Country Curling Club competitive coordinator Evan Elliott said. "You definitely feel it in your hips afterwards. At a Bondspiel [curling tournaments] where you could be playing seven or eight games, you're walking a couple miles while you're sweeping. You'll definitely feel it in your hips, feel it in your shoulders, your back."
Katie Feldman, president of WCCC, says the club taught 150 people how to curl in 2017 and anticipates that number to double in the first half of this year. The social group consists of about 100 members and provides programs such as wheelchair and senior curling.
"I started curling in Oakland six years ago," Elliott said. "I expected to like the sport. I did not expect to fall so deeply in love with it. I've probably curled in seven states and three Canadian provinces."
Every Sunday morning, the WCCC offers "Learn To Curl" classes at Skatetown, where newbies learn how to slide, sweep, and be the skip in the strategic game. The Club also consists of league play and hosts Bondspiels, or tournaments.
"It's competitive, but it's not competitive in a bad way," Elliott said. "The way curling works, some people beat you and then you go sit with them and have beers."
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