Luge 101: Equipment

Learn about the equipment used in luge at the Olympic Games. (Usa Today Sports)


The name for a luge racing shoe. Designed to be lightweight and aerodynamic. The sole of the shoe cannot be more than 20mm (.78 inches) thick. 

Face shield

Attaches to the front of a helmet. Designed to protect athletes from cold temperatures and potential injuries from crashing. 


A required item. In international competitions, athletes use a standardized helmet. 

Neck Strap

Used to help an athlete hold his or head up under high G-forces. 

Racing gloves

Made of a thin material, often leather.

Racing suit

Also known as a speed suit. Skin-tight uniform that is designed to reduce drag. 


The basic components of a sled are two runners, two steels, two bridges and a pod seat. The sled rides on the two steel pieces. The steels are attached to the runners, which respond to the athlete’s slight leg movements. The two runners are connected by the two bridges. The athlete sits in the pod seat. There are no braking devices. 

A singles sled weighs between 21-25kg (46.3-55.1 pounds), and a doubles sled weighs between 25-30kg (55.1-66.1 pounds). 

The maximum width of a singles sled is 550mm (21.65 inches), and the maximum height of the racing pod is 120mm (4.72 inches). 


Worn on gloves to help an athlete grip the ice and propel the sled forward.