By: Bryan Osegueda 

Street luge, also known as road luge or land 

luge, is an extreme gravity-powered sport in which 

the equivalent of skateboarders lay on their 

skateboards and go downhill, at speeds reaching up 

to 40-97 mph. This sport was born in Southern 

California in 1975, when downhill skateboarders 

realized they could reach higher speeds by laying 

down on their boards. That year street luge became an official sport and it made its way across the U.S. after 

ESPN’s X Games showcased it to the world. By the mid 90’s, street luge spread to Canada, South Africa, Australia, 

South Gate High School’s freshman Alexis Mendez who enjoys skating said, “This sport seems too 

dangerous even for me, a person who has a background and experience skating.” Of course she is not the only one 

who thinks this way. Crashes are common with other lugers. Due to the high speeds in this sport, these riders have to 

be trained at governing their bodies, meaning they need to know how to drift their body weight in tight curves. They 

must wear a full size helmet with a chin strap, a leather or Kevlar racing suit and gloves, and sturdy shoes. They 

won’t be allowed to ride if they don’t meet these safety requirements. 

Although street luge is not that popular, it’s considered by many who have tried this sport, to be a 

“wonderful and memorable experience.” There are annual tournaments led by the Classic Luge World Series and the 

Street Luge World Series. Brendan Burke of Canada is the 3rd fastest street luge racer in the world. You can check 

out Brendan and his amazing drifting abilities on Vimeo.com.