In the spring of 2014 Hardline Curling approached our team. They were looking for ambassadors to showcase and win with their flagship product, the icePad. They strongly believed in our team to be an integral part of that plan. We took a leap of faith as we had nothing to lose except an opportunity to explore another avenue of tapping into our potential as a team. Part of the rejuvenation of our team at that time included training to be the best version of ourselves, both physically and mentally. The desire to use the top equipment available to enhance our performance also aligned with our goals.
It has been a full season since our debut as a Hardline team and there is no doubt in our minds that the icePad is the best brush ever produced. It has many beneficial attributes and even owes the odd design feature here or there to the athletes who use it. Working with a company that enjoys feedback from its users is both a pleasure and a privilege.
Team McEwen supports Hardline’s view that the design of the broom and the fabric operate within the standards of what is considered to be the integrity of the game. We believe that the fabric does not unduly damage the ice surface, nor does it perform in a manner that creates unfair advantages over other comparable technologies. We firmly believe that the icePad performs in line with the standards set by other leading broom technology, only better.
In recent weeks, we have been both disheartened and disillusioned with the actions by some directed at Hardline Curling and its teams. However, we do understand the concerns of many of our best teams and support the purity of athletic endeavour. Curling is on the brink of professionalism and equipment regulation for the top echelons of the sport has been a long time coming. How good is too good? That is the debate that is raging on as we speak. Creating clear and transparent testing and limitations need to be high priorities.
So, where do we go from here?
Team McEwen supports:
– The athletes’ voice to spur the governing bodies into action
– Hardline Curling and the integrity of their company and the teams that use their products
– Due process (proper timelines and steps)
Our team also respects both our competitors on the ice and the environment of good sportsmanship. Accordingly, for our next event, the Masters Grand Slam of Curling, we will be using a material on our icePads that will be a comparable fabric to other competitors’ sweeping utensils. A big thanks to Hardline Curling for going above and beyond to give us this option. We will continue to monitor the situation week by week until this issue is resolved, and in the meantime we will compete as we always have: with the spirit of our great game in mind.