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Street Luge is a sport you don't see much on television, but it's a great spectacle and very interesting to watch. Also known as 'land luge' or 'road luge' riders lie in a supine position on modified skateboards, use the force of gravity to carry them the length of the course and lean from side to side to steer the sleds down the normally mountain road courses. Courses vary in length (1 to 5km) and the number and severity of turns, which make courses more challenging for participants. It is a very dangerous sport indeed with many riders injuring themselves during high speed crashes; sleds can reach speeds of up to 70mph or steep courses. To reduce the risk of injury the riders they wear lots of protective equipment and the course is lined with bails of hay, making the impact of a crash slightly softer for riders.
Brief history: The sport originated in Southern California when skateboarders learned they could travel faster when going downhill if they lied on their boards instead of standing. The first professional race was held in 1975 at Signal Hill in California and was hosted by the U.S. Skateboard Association. However, due to high number of injuries both to riders and spectators of the event racing was abandoned at Signal Hill in 1978. Southern California continued to attract riders though and throughout the 1980's underground and professional races were staged. It was during this period that race organisers realised the huge safety risk which the sport posed and introduced more stringent measures to reduce the risk to riders and spectators alike. It was during the mid 1990's that street luge was really introduced to the world when it appeared as an extreme sport at ESPN's 'X Games'. Following this smaller tournament sprung up all over Europe. Unfortunately the X Games becoming more commercialised has led it to become a stadium based event, meaning that street luge was removed from the programme of sports. This has affected the sport quite badly and the fact that it is no longer showcased has reduced the number of riders participating in the sport worldwide; there are only about 1500 riders worldwide now.
From what I have seen at street luge it looks great fun, even if the risks are quite high. I would definitely have a go myself if the opportunity came about and if the course wasn't to steep and fairly short as I wouldn't want to have a nasty crash. If you would like more information on the sport there are many internet sites dedicated to it, streetluge.com being one of the most popular.
Thanks for reading.
street Luging has to one fo the most exciting edrenalin rushes in life. Speeding down the windy roads only an inch off the ground. You come even closer to the edges of the straw bails and sometimes even cars. The old spreed record was set at 86mph untill Eric Thomson smashed that with his record of 102mph. The reason he atchived this scary feet was by attaching sets of rockets to hte back of his luge. each time he ignighted one set of rockets he came dangerously close to losing control at these increadible speeds. it was measured by an on-board computer, which measured this. This sport is so good and i recomend that every one gives it a go. To basically get started in this sport you have to go to your nearest extreme shop and ask about there. Dont just get into it by your self but always join with a friend because that gives you some one to race with. The basic stuff just costs just over a hundred pounds and is worth every penny.