Street & ice luge

Street luge vs ice luge

Safety gear

In ice luge there is hardly any safety gear. Except for the helmet of course, which I will discuss in a separate point. Some people use some padding on knees and/or shoulders, but this is not obligated and more a personal preference than a must. I have used some volleyball knee pads in the first week, but I have removed them by now and I ride without. I am looking to get some small leather pads to cover my shoulders in case of hitting the wall.

Helmet

A street luge helmet is not a special kind of helmet. Some use a motor helmet, which is very safe, but ofetn has limited vision if you’re laying down. The most frequently used helmet is a helmet which is designed with downhill skateboarding (and sometimes street luge).

Some also use a helmet which is designed for paragliding, because it has a very wide field of vision, but these are not deemed safe. I have two different helmets, both are certified full face helmets. These are a Predator DH-6 and a Zero Gravity Vector M-6.

For ice luge there is only one helmet which is used. It’s an helmet made by UVEX, which is the only accepted helmet provider for luge. Contrary to the downhill skating helmet it is not full face but the sides are longer to cover your entire face, until below your jaw. The visor is separate and runs all the way underneath your chin, which gives you perfect view, regardless of which position you’re in.

Suit

In street luge you mostly use a full leather suit. Beginners often use a motor suit, which you can buy second hand from an online market place (or something). If you progress you can choose to get a custom tailored leather suit, with prices varying from € 250,- to € 800,-.

My street luge suit is all leather and has kevlar stretch panels in it. It’s made by BTR Sports (UK) and prices are somewhere around £ 300,-.

Luge suits

The ice luge suit is made of polypropylene and feels like a big ass condom which has a very tight fit. It has no protective parts in it, it’s just a very thin suit with a zipper in the back.

Shoes

The shoes which are used for both sports are very different. The ice luge shoes are not meant for walking, they are meant to be aero. They have no profile on the soles and are very light.

Street luge shoes on the other hand are ordinary trainers, which you equip with an extra rubber sole for braking. Some riders use cut up car tires, some use scooter tires, but I prefer pre-cut soles, which are made by a fellow luger from Austria. Those give a lot of traction and smoke nicely :) You just glue them on your shoes with very powerful (industrial) glue.

Conclusion

I thought both sports had more similarities but after practicing both, I’ve noticed a lot of differences. Regardless of that, I love doing both (with street luge still being my favorite).

2 comments on “Street luge vs ice luge

  1. Hi ,Some of the guys that raced streetluge last year at “Ride The Dragon” raced with “Ice luges” with up to ten in-line skate wheels each side to convert them to tarmac spec , very quick too :)

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