Proper sweeping can add as much as 6-8 feet in length to the stone in the last 1/3 of the sheet. Sweeping earlier adds even more length – often as much as 10-12 feet. That could extend the stone the entire length of the house. But don’t take my word for it. The University of Western Ontario conducted research for Canadian Olympic team on the effects of sweeping prior to the 2010 Winter Olympics. In addition to how far sweeping will send the stone, here’s what else they found:
• A 45 – 90 degree angle is best for sweeping in front of the stone, i.e., wider is better as it maximizes the surface area covered. So when you’re sweeping, keep the head of the broom horizontal (90°) to the front of the stone – or at a 45° angle max.
• The area three feet in front of the stone is the optimum area for sweeping. Keep it as close to the stone as possible.
• The outside sweeper begins the warming process allowing the inside sweeper to create even more heat in front of the stone.If the sweepers are outside the three-foot zone, the effects are generally lost. The second sweeper warms up the ice for the first sweeper, . When done effectively in tandem, it optimizes the length the stone will travel. Adding a third sweeper adds little to no additional effect on the stone.
• Keep your broom as clean and dry as possible.