The Capital Winter Club in Fredericton got new curling stones, and they didn't come cheap. The club spent about $75,000 to purchase 81 stones.
The granite for the stones had to come all the way from Wales, the only part of the world where the right granite exists, according to Wayne Tallon.
Tallon is a member of the Capital Winter Club and was one of the people who took a lead on making the purchase happen.
He said the upgrade was much needed, as the club has been using the same rocks from when it opened in 1961.
"After awhile, the wear and tear, the striking bands become dull, and the running surfaces also becomes dull so therefore they just don't perform properly."
High quality stone
The club did some fundraising for the new rocks. It asked for $100 donations, and in exchange the person donating the money would get their name, or could put someone else's name, on the handle of one of the new curling stones.
The club also got some money from the city and the provincial government for the rocks. The new stones were important, as later this month Fredericton will be hosting the 2017 national senior curling championship.
Justine Comeau says the new rocks are noticeably different than the old ones.
"I was really excited to get out here this morning and get to try them out," said Comeau.
She's won multiple provincial championships and competes at national events as one of the provinces top young curlers, so she knows how a high quality rock feels.
"This will be important for me because I've competed at national events before," said Comeau.
"It would just be able to give us a better advantage going in, being able to practice with situations that resemble more of a national event."
Wednesday night was the first time the rocks were used, as they couldn't be used immediately upon arrival. They had to go through a process.
"For them to perform well they have to be frozen, so we had to wait about 72 hours to freeze them," said Tallon.
Otherwise the stones would've been too warm and wouldn't have slid along the ice properly.
The old rocks won't be swept under the rug, and never seen again. They will get a second life with a new club, somewhere else in the world.
"We're trading them in so we've received a trade in value for them," said Tallon.
"The company is going to re-profile them and sell them to probably a curling club in Europe somewhere where they're just starting to play the game so they don't really need the really top notch rocks yet, he said. "They can use the refurbished rocks to get them going."