Gloves Helmet with Face Shield Leather of Kevlar Racing Suit Shoes Street Luge Board
Street luge is currently governed by numerous organizations around the world. Each of these organizations has it own rules although all of them are similar. Race courses are usually held on mountain roads but have been held on city streets as well. Courses can range in length from half mile to three miles and vary in layout (number and severity of turns). Racing can take the following formats: single elimination with 2, 4, or 6 racers at a time; double elimination with 2, 4, or 6 racers at a time; timed trials; no elimination points system (points for each finishing position in several heats); and mass runs, with up to 20 racers at a time (positions are decided by the order they cross the finish line).
Street Luge is a form of luge where participants race boards with wheels down a paved incline. Street luge is an extreme sport involving riding a street luge board down a paved road or course. Street lugers ride modified skateboards in the supine position. Other than the supine riding position and very high speeds (40-70 mph / 64-115 km/h), street luge has little relation to its winter namesake. There are approximately 1,200 active street luge riders in the world.
Street luge was born in Southern California as downhill skateboarders found they could reach faster speeds by lying down on their skateboards. In 1975 the first professional race was held at Signal Hill, California and hosted by the U.S. Skateboard Association. The race winner was based on top speed. The boards used in this race varied from basic skateboards to complex skate cars in which the rider was completely enclosed by plastic or fiberglass. By 1978, repeated injuries to both riders and spectators halted the races at Signal Hill. Several riders from the Signal Hill races kept the sport alive by continuing to hold races in Southern California. Throughout the 1980s and into the early 1990s, both underground and professional races continued to be held in Southern California. In the mid 1990s, ESPN's X Games showcased street luge to the world and the sport was originally sanctioned by RAIL, then by the International Gravity Sports Association (IGSA). NBC followed ESPN's lead and created the Gravity Games in which the sport was sanctioned by Extreme Downhill International (EDI). Smaller events also appeared in Canada, South Africa, Australia, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden and the U.K.. After a media splurge through the late 90's and early 00's, extreme sports like street luge have taken a lower profile. While no longer a sport in either the X Games or Gravity Games, street luge is a burgeoning sport in numerous countries with competitions around the globe.