THINK ABOUT HEAD PROTECTION

Three different types of head protection were on display in a recent stick-league game at Winnipeg’s Fort Rouge CC.

Norm Magnusson, Manitoba Stick Curling Association’s Chief Clinician, always opens an introductory stick curling session with an emphasis on safety, including a recommendation that “curlers of a certain age” should be thinking about head protection. He has taken his own advice by always wearing his choice of head gear.

The three different types of headwear being used on this day were Asham’s full helmet (right) worn by Dale Gray; the Goldline baseball cap with back-of-head protection (left) worn by Resby Coutts; and a soccer-rugby helmet (centre) worn by Magnusson.

The Goldline head-gear also comes in a headband, visor, and toque version. The writer has been wearing the baseball cap since Goldline began development over a decade ago.

Dale Gray began wearing his helmet “about three years ago”. Earlier he had taken a fall on the ice and began thinking about head protection. Later, after suffering a broken ankle, he adopted the helmet to ensure his safety on the ice while the strength in the ankle recovered. He has never taken it off (during curling games, that is).

Magnusson, who admits he is “not a hat guy”, had used the visor version of the Goldline hat for a few years when he was introduced to the soccer-rugby helmet at the Canadian Stick Championship in Moncton in 2022 by Jean Lamere of Quebec. He likes the feel of this helmet and the full head protection which it provides.

The point here is not to promote any of these options as favoured, and certainly not to promote them as favoured over other products from other suppliers. The point, simply, is to encourage every curler and especially every curler “of a certain age” to think about head protection.

Those of us wearing these hats and helmets are not yet in the majority in the stick leagues but our numbers are increasing.

Norm Magnusson likes his soccer-rugby helmet for head protection

(l-r) Baseball cap with back-of-head protection, soccer-rubgy helmet, and full helmet: we all hope we never prove their effectiveness.

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