There are plenty of high-speed sports out there in the world but one in particular really captured my attention. The sport of street luge is a relatively new invention but rapidly picked up steam over the course of the past few years. Let’s talk about the history of the sport and how it works.
History of Street Luge
Like many extreme or action sports, street luge finds its roots on the Pacific Coast in California. Skateboarders found they could achieve higher speeds by lying down on their skateboards as opposed to standing. This discovery led to the first races being held at Signal Hill, California in 1975. The top speed achieved decided the winner of the competition.
Though the original Signal Hill races were shut down in 1978 thanks to repeated injuries to both competitors and spectators, the young sport managed to stay alive in Southern California. As the sport grew, advances in safety managed to lower the risks. Finally, with the boom of the X Games in the ’90s and early 2000s.
The boards have also evolved rapidly as the sport has grown. From basic skateboards to highly evolved boards or “sleds” that feature advanced turning mechanics, modern boards are more capable of taking on challenging courses. Helmets, pads, and specialized riding suits help protect riders from injury in spite of the fact that riders are now reaching speeds of over 100mph.
Though you won’t find the sport featured in the X-Games, street luge still takes place across the world. From the Alps of Austria to the streets of New Zealand back to the birthplace of the sport in Southern California – just about anywhere there are hills, you can find street luge.