19 February 2010

The cost of "throwing stones at houses"

The Wisconsin State Journal has an article today about the Olympics-related boom in business for a curling supplies store in Madison:
Brown, who runs Steve's Curling Supplies out of his Far East Side home, gets calls from guys in bars who see the sport of curling on TV. They think it doesn't look too tough, that maybe they and their buddies could be like the Jamaican bobsled team and head from oblivion into the Olympics.

"So they'll get on a cell phone and say, ‘How much are those puck things? We want to go to the next Olympics,'" Brown said. "You tell them they cost about $500 and — boom — they hang up the phone."

Those delivering the stone need special Teflon-soled shoes to slide on the ice, and a pair of those range from $75 to the $236 shoes most Olympians are wearing. Grippers, for $16 a pair, go over the shoes to help competitors maneuver on the ice.

The top-selling brush is a $67 fiberglass model; carbon fiber ones used by Olympians cost $159...

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