Sunday, October 18, 2015



Last week, a new pad was introduced at the Stu Sells that had directional fabric, to prove a point that directional fabrics take away from the spirit of the game. The “Blackhead” brushes by our competitor were not only able to manipulate rocks far beyond reasonable expectations of a rock’s natural path, but they also damaged the ice to such an extent as to make it almost impossible to give opposing players the ability to make shots. These “Blackhead” brushes were NEVER intended to be sold.

Players using “Blackhead” brushes were asked to not use these brushes by the players at that event. Their response was that if they had to remove them from the game, then Hardline teams had to stop using the icePad fabric.  Hardline teams, after receiving significant pressure from all the other players, agreed that the “Blackhead” brush has no place in the game, and agreed to these demands, for the good of the game.

Since then, a player-driven agreement was sent for teams to sign, restricting directional fabric for use in games from the WCT and Grand Slams. Top teams signed the agreement, including Hardline teams.  The player agreement clearly states no single manufacturer or supplier is being targeted.  So then why was an ultimatum given to ONLY our Hardline teams not to play with the icePad cover as recently as this weekend?   Somehow, the icePad has also been targeted for having directional fabric. The fabric on the icePad is NOT a directional fabric. Hardline does not know how many times we can repeat the same thing. THE ICEPAD DOES NOT HAVE DIRECTIONAL FABRIC!

We believe you signed this player agreement and were misled into believing the icePad cover falls into the category of restricted fabrics, a self imposed “rule” by players.  The fabric on the icePad fabric has been used for the last 3 years at ALL levels of play.  It is not “new” fabric. 

This player agreement is a knee-jerk reaction to restrict directional fabric and we agree that directional fabric should be outlawed as we stated previously.  But the underlying intention is a blatant attempt by one of our competitors to discredit us due to an erosion in their market share. Some players have refused to sign the agreement for the simple reason of not knowing what they are signing. What is directional fabric?  Other teams have refused to sign the agreement understanding the baseless nature of an attack towards Hardline.  Other players, namely Hardline teams, signed the agreement so as to not be open to criticism by their peers. This is pure bullying by certain non-Hardline players towards Hardline players. Either stop using the icePad or "be looked down upon". 

There are too many questions to be answered before a proper decision can be made.  There has been no due process.   The Hardline icePad has been essentially found guilty without due process.  Why is that? 

The Hardline icePad cover has been played at all levels of play, from recreational to elite level, the last 3 years. Never once has there been a complaint. The “Blackhead” brush was used at one WCT event. After the first day, the number of complaints was staggering. All players were against this brush. How can one compare one established product which has never had a complaint in 4 years to another brush that was introduced and HAD COMPLAINTS FROM THE MOMENT IT WAS USED?

TO THE PLAYERS: We believe you have been misled into believing the icePad fabric belongs on the same restricted list as the “Blackhead’ brush. We ask you to remove this restriction on the icePad, and start asking questions to those responsible, and know all the facts. The integrity of due process, and your own integrity, should not be compromised.

At Hardline, our integrity, and our reputation, as well as every Hardline athlete, from Pro, to 1st year curler, will not be compromised by the few who have a secret agenda. The truth about corporate bullying will come out shortly. Anybody who has ever seen, bought, played against an icePad knows the players assertions about directional fabric on the icePad are baseless and without merit. It is up to you to know that you have every right to leave your name on the list, as long as you are informed about what you signed. Integrity of the game, as well as your own integrity, are both at stake. We ask you to do the right thing – remove any restriction on the icePad.