Five questions with chief ice technician Jamie Danbrook, of Nova Scotia, Canada, who used his craft during the World Curling Qualifying event hosted in Naseby last week.
Q How did you get into this role?
It was one of my first jobs at a curling club. I’ve curled since I was 8 years old so, for 22 years now, and I started doing World Curling Federation work in 2016.
Q Is ice making a competitive industry to get into?
Yes, especially with Curling Canada.
The events don’t come often so they are very much a privilege to be part of.
I’m very fortunate to be a young up-and-coming ice technician who is getting those opportunities.
Q What is the key to being a good ice technician?
Hard work and due diligence. It’s a balance to find the right conditions, especially when you come to a new facility that you’ve never made ice at before, you go with the basics. If things go awry you have to adjust things to make them work.
Having good help works.
Q What is the process?
In between games we resurface the ice so we scrape off the game pebble (the little water droplets) and re-pebble it.
Then we do what’s called clipping it [which] just takes a tiny, tiny bit off to help the rocks curl more.
Q What do you enjoy about your job?
It’s a challenge.
Ice-making is an art and a science put together and even though there’s a general formula for how to make good ice, every building is different.
It’s a great challenge and every day is new.