After almost two full seasons with my protective headgear for curling, I thought I’d provide a quick update.
Firstly, there have been too many falls and close calls at our club, which reinforces the idea that it’s worth putting something on your head. One of my leads fell in practice, got a concussion, and has to sit out for several weeks (he’s still out of the game as I write this). Just last week, another experienced player fell in a game and paramedics were called (though it looked like she might have hit her head on the ice at the time of the fall, thankfully it was “frame damage” with a sore tailbone being the main complaint).
More and more people out there are wearing something on their heads, whether it’s a bike helmet, curling helmet, or hat with protective elements (and I know I’ve managed to convince at least a handful of curlers to buy a Crasche or Ice Halo). I think we’re moving from the “early adopter” phase to the “mass adoption” phase — it’s no longer remotely strange to choose to wear something protective while you play, and I’d estimate that 20% or more of the adult curlers (and essentially all the kids) at our club are now sporting protection. While I don’t have appreciable hair myself, I am told that it’s exciting that Ice Halo now offers a hat with a ponytail hole.
I’m still wearing all my options in various rotations. It didn’t take long to get over myself and wear the headband-style ones without feeling any sense of fashion awkwardness. Indeed, the Ice Halo HD is the one I most commonly wear, particularly when I play mixed doubles (where I feel I have the greatest chance of a slip as I jump up after throwing to sweep). I also exclusively wear it when I volunteer with the Little Rocks, in that case I want my head protection to be obvious and not hidden within a hat so that I can be a good role model for the kids. Blueberry for her part wears a hockey helmet to Little Rocks.
I’ve found that the Ice Halo HD band has really settled in — I can position it nicely so it doesn’t interfere with my glasses, and the elastic has stretched out a touch so it’s more comfortable and sits in the right spot (without being loose — I’m not afraid it will fall off my head when I really need it). After a month or two (~6-8 games with it?) I no longer had to keep adjusting it from getting too tight.
When I skip in 4-person curling, I tend to go with one of my hat options. I like the Crasche Curler touque because it’s a little warmer and I get cold when I’m just holding the broom, and go for it a bit more than half the time. Unfortunately, while I’ve gotten used to it and figured out how to position it a bit better, it does still catch the arms of my glasses a few times per game, and sometimes will creep up out of position. I only tried it once with only the rear set of pads, and didn’t think it helped much, so I’ve still been using it as delivered. The Ice Halo ball cap is quite comfortable now (though I sometimes still get a mark on my forehead from the snugness, I don’t feel any discomfort when wearing it), and great when I think I don’t want to be warm, as it breathes better than the Crasche. I tend to go for the ballcap or Ice Halo HD when I play a position that involves sweeping on 4-person curling.
When I go to spiels (i.e., play multiple games in a day), I take two of my options with me, because if I get a little sweaty it’s good to have the option to rotate out and let one dry between games.