"Ride Smart, Ride Safe, Be able to ride tomorrow" - Darren Lott.
Your first priority when participating in the sport of Street Luge should always be Safety. The Safety Gear shown in this site is considered by the Street Luge community to be Not Negotiable when riding. It is common practice within the Street Luge Community not to ride with persons who refuse to wear Safety Gear.
There are several styles of helmets that can be used for Street Luge. They all vary in price and quality so it is up to you to choose the best helmet for you. Here you will find information about the most commonly used types of helmets in Street Luge and what to look for with the not so common.
Your helmet should be a full face unmodified and undamaged helmet that has a shatter proof visor such as Lexan. The buckle straps should be strong enough to withstand extreme forces. There are two types of acceptable buckle for your helmet. 'D Ring' and your standard push clip seen on most push bike helmets. The 'D Ring' type is recommended.
Whist riding you will have your head back and low to avoid wind resistance, with your chin pressed firmly against your upper chest looking down the length of your body. When in this 'Full Tuck' position a helmet with a low cut jaw is best to allow you to lay flatter on your board thus reducing wind resistance.
A standard motorcycle helmet is a great helmet for the first time luger. They can be obtained quite cheaply and easily and have extensive safety testing carried out on them. The downside to the standard motorcycle helmet is reduced vision in a full tuck position because of the high jaw line.
Snowmobile helmets have been used for many years by Luge Pilots, commonly referred to as a Wedge Helmet. It is very similar to a standard motorcycle helmet but has the described lower jaw line.
These helmets have not been produced for a long time now though, so obtaining one is can be difficult. You may be lucky to find one the internet, however this can be dangerous as you cannot guarantee the helmets history and condition. If you choose to go down this path be sure to take all necessary measures to ensure its quality. If in doubt, move on.
As safety becomes more prominent in all sports there have been an increasing amount of helmets being produced. Helmets of all different shapes and sizes are popping up all over the place so it pays to keep and eye on what's out there. A new helmet design for a totally unrelated sport could potentially traverse from that sport to Street Luge.
Some of those helmets that have already traversed the gap are Hang Gliding Helmets, Motor Racing Pit Crew helmets and Mountain Bike Helmets. Some of these more unusual styles of helmets can offer great protection with improved visibility. If considering one of these alternative styles be sure to check the integrity of it and associated rule books for events you may be attending. A great looking helmet with good visibility may not be strong enough to withstand a crash at high speed or pass tech inspection at some races.
You should check the rating of a helmet you intend to buy. Most rulebooks at events will require a Australian Standards, DOT or SNELL ratings to pass. These ratings can be found on the helmet itself in a sticker or tag or by reserching the helmet online.
In some rulebooks unrated or experimental helmets are permitted. However at these event it will be at the discretion of the Tech Inspector and/or Safety Officer as to wether you will be allowed to use it or not.
Tests the inspectors may use include but are not limited to: Compressing the sides of the chin piece by hand to ensure the integrity of the helmet. They will be looking for minimal flexing and no "cracking" sounds.
Padding must be of a consistency as to protect the head in a crash, with minimal padding being similar to any "rated" production helmet.
It is highly recommended that "production" and "rated" helmets be used by all riders.
After you have been riding for awhile you may want to enter in a Street Luge race. Most races will run to a specific set of rules. These rules cover race etiquette and board design but also cover safety gear. If you plan to enter races make sure you take this into consideration when choosing a helmet. Copies of known rulebooks can be found here.
A properly fitting helmet should be difficult to get on and off. It should fit snugly around your head and cheeks. Test this my Grabbing the nose of the helmet and rotating it. There should be little to no movement around your head. If this does occur the helmet is mostly likely too big or it not suited to your head shape.
Next, Test to see if the helmet will come off in a crash. You do this by tightening the chin strap then lifting the back of the helmet, try to pull it off of your head. If you succeed DO NOT use the helmet. If you can pull the helmet off with a tight chin strap there is little to no chance that it will stay on in a crash.
If the helmet has passed these two tests take it off, connect the chin strap and pull sternly. If the clip comes apart or the strap does not look to be sufficiently connected to the helmet itself DO NOT use it.
It is not wise to always go for the cheapest option, at the end of the day it is your head, and you must ask yourself "how much is my head worth?"
Please keep in mind all information on this page is purely a guide, "DO NOT" attempt to build or ride your own board, the boards and equipment shown here have been made by professionals and are at competition level, make sure you have the correct equipment and safety gear before attempting to ride any board.