If you've watched luge athletes hurtle downhill on their backs at speeds over 85 miles per hour, you've probably asked yourself about their sanity. Or perhaps the speed and skill appeals to you and you want to try it out for yourself. Luge is a breathtaking but potentially dangerous winter sport, and those sleek speed suits and tiny sleds aren't just there for the coolness factor. Proper equipment is essential for luge performance and safety.
Buy a luge sled. It will have a flat surface or "pod" for you to lie down on, grips for steering, and steel-tipped runners for speed. Your luge sled should be tailor-made to suit your height and weight.
Purchase a helmet. Similar to a ski helmet, a luge helmet has a clear face mask that extends below your chin to minimize wind resistance.
Get your luge speed suit. This skintight racing suit is made to stretch and hug your body to give you an aerodynamic profile.
Invest in luge gloves, which have spikes at the tips of the fingers that allow you to grip ice as you propel off the start.
Purchase luge shoes. These "booties" have a zipper that runs along the top of your foot, preventing drag.