Curling Brush Buying Guide
Lots of choices in curling brushes, or brooms as the terms are interchangeable. I'll try to break it down quickly here, but please contact us if you have any unanswered questions after reading.
Different kinds of brushes: probably the biggest difference in brooms is the weight. There are Carbon Fiber, composite, and fiberglass handles.
Carbon Fiber: The carbon fiber brushes are the lightest and the most expensive. This is what you'll see the people on TV using. They are great, super light and super stiff, and once you use one you'll probably never want to use a heavier curling brush again.
Composite: some companies call this hybrid or fiberlite or composite - basically it just means it's a mix of carbon fiber and fiberglass. Heavier and less expensive than carbon fiber models and lighter and more expensive than fiberglass models. These are nice, and it's the fastest growing category in curling brushes.
Fiberglass: These are the heaviest and least expensive, this is the brush most people start with until they decide they are going to stick with the sport. Nothing wrong with them and a great way to save some money.
Why is lighter better? Carbon fiber handles are lighter and stiffer. You use less energy to move the brush head faster on the ice and lose less energy through flex in the handle as you're sweeping. I like to compare it to fancy bicycles. A $5000 bike and a $200 bike will be both get you from where you are to where you want to go, but the expensive one will do it faster while using less energy. Fortunately curling brooms are not as expensive as bikes.
Swivel Heads? All of the brushes these days come with swivel heads and replaceable fabric. The heads vary from company to company in size and shape, but they are all fairly similar in effectiveness, so it mostly boils down to price, shape, style, and small differences in fabric.
Are there different length brooms? Not really. All handles are within an inch or so of being the same length, most of them are just under 48" without head.
Do they break if I sweep too hard? No. Back when wooden handles were used brooms would break from use occasionally. Now that they are made of these other materials they won't break from curling. That being said, sometime you may have a crack in a handle that will result in it breaking while curling, but that crack most likely came when the handle was stepped on, something heavy was put on it in the trunk of the car, or the most common way it gets pinched in a door. A cracked carbon fiber broom will snap if enough sweeping pressure is put on it.