10
Apr
09

Zamboni Driving 101


ph2009040904165Watching the Zamboni make its way around the ice, many a fan has dreamed of driving the beautiful contraption. At the Herbert Wells ice rink in College Park, Maryland you can have just that opportunity. Several times a year, for a $90 fee, ($75 if you sign up in advance) you can take a two-night Zamboni training course. There they will teach you the basics of blade changing, tank filling, scraping patterns and the all important vehicle storage. Of course, most people are there just to ride around on the big lumbering machine.

“People are just fascinated by them,” said Russell Barrett, the rink’s head Zamboni wrangler and the night’s instructor. “They line up to watch as we do cuts,” the professional term for the Zam’s periodic solo performances between hockey periods and breaks in the all-skate. “The kids wave. It makes some of the guys nervous to operate it with all the people watching.”

According to Barrett, the most eager participants are young men and dads, although occasionally a woman will come to take the class too. Slow moving machine plus maintaining an ice surface and moving in circles? Sign me up!

[Washington Post]


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