FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions)


How is Buttboarding different from Street Luge?


What are the advantages of Buttboarding?


Why such a silly name?


Is there a book about Buttboarding?


Is there a Video I can buy?


When is the next Race; can I go someplace to watch?


Is Buttboarding Legal?


What's the fastest anyone goes?


How do you stop?


How much does it cost?


Can I use a regular skateboard to race?


Which deck is the fastest?


Can I make my own?


Which trucks should I use?


Which wheels should I use?


Can I buy all this stuff in one place?


Wouldn't it be cool to have a dual truck, dropped, carbon fiber Buttboard?


Do I really need leathers if I'm not racing?


Are Buttboards faster than a Street Luge?


Do Buttboarders use a different riding style?

1. How is Buttboarding different from Street Luge?
Street Luge and Buttboarding are two racing divisions of Laydown Downhill Skateboarding. Thanks to ESPN's X Games, Street Luge is more widely known. Here are some of the more obvious differences:

  • Street Luges may be made of metal or high tech composites while Buttboards must be made of wood.
  • A Street Luge may be up to 10 feet in length while Buttboards are limited to 48 inches.
  • Street Luges may be dropped very low for better aerodynamics. Buttboards have a minimum ride height.
  • Street Luges typically have 6, 8 or more wheels, up to 5 inches in diameter and use Ceramic or other high tech bearings. Buttboards must use exactly four 70mm skateboard wheels with standard metal bearings.

In other words:

Buttboards are LIMITED to standard skateboard sizes and technology, while Street Luges are highly customized for performace.

However, the advanced technology of a Street Luge yields about a 5% advantage which can be overcome by a talented Buttboarder.

Read "Rules" for full specifications that define the racing class.
Play "Identify The Buttboard" to see the differences.

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2. What are the advantages of Buttboarding?
They are far less expensive than a competition Street Luge. Competiton metal luges are easily over $1,000 while a world class Buttboard is under $200. A Buttboard is easy to transport. You can carry it in your lap when getting a ride up the hill. It can stay in the trunk of your car. Airlines won't charge you extra to transport them. They are more fun to ride according to most racers who do both. The ride is less like driving a little vehicle and much more like skimming along the suface of the road.

After his first month of riding, Chris Chaput posted what he liked:

"Buttboards have a separate class that protects them from having to race Open Class luges. Your reasons for riding a Buttboard are your own. They may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • You like them.
  • You are fast on them.
  • You can afford them.
  • You feel safe(r) on them.
  • You can build and design them yourself.
  • You can find parts for them.
  • You have friends with them.
  • You get to spend more time on the hill at events.
  • You like the cross-training.
  • You have one more toy in the toy chest.
  • You appreciate the history of skateboarding and want to carry the torch.
  • You get recognition as being a good rider by beating faster luges."

We only pretend to be "Luge Hostile." Professional racers who do both will hop off their luge during practice, grab a buttboard, and say "let's get those stinkin' luges." It's part of the fun to be rebels against a supposedly rebelious sport. But the truth about Buttboarding is that it's also an excellent entree to the world of Street Luge. And if you become an excellent Buttboarder, you are more likely to become a world class Luger. Plus the Luge guys are a bunch of crybabies who only took up their sport to be on TV.

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3. Why such a silly name?
When faced with a hill too steep to ride, skateboarders will sit and "buttboard" down the grade. The less skilled the rider, the more often they must buttboard. Hence, "buttboard" has a pejorative sense to skaters, associated with a lack of skill or bravery.

A legacy of laydown skateboarding is the shadowy accusation that it is really "just buttboarding." Some "Extreme Athletes" actually fear that Street Luge (a new name for Laydown Skateboarding) might become associated with Buttboarding (an old name for Laydown Skateboarding.)

We can try to hide from the insult, or we can turn it inside out.

The TRUTH is that all variants of Downhill Skateboarding require considerable skill and bravery. Buttboard racing pushes the speeds higher than Standup. And it pushes beyond the skills required by Street Luge. When the fastest Speedboarders are passed by a Buttboarder going 20 mph faster, they are not thinking "LAME." They are thinking "Damn, that's fast!"

And so part of the goal of this sport is to REVERSE the impression that Buttboarding is a trivial activity practiced by cowards. Instead of hiding from the name, we are changing the definition.


It can be fun to speculate about differerent titles and their effect on the public.

Buttboarding sounds silly because of the BUTT portion. However, the silliness puts it on the tip of every kid's tongue. "I wanna go BUTTboarding!" "Can we watch the BUTTboards?" They love an excuse to say "BUTT" without getting in trouble. So they say it as often as possible. Free advertising.

Detractors will call us "Buttboarders" no matter what we want to call ourselves. Beat them to the punch. Tom Mason came up the ultimate blend of Street Luge arrogance and Buttboard self deprecating humor:

"You guys are really just BUTTboarders!"
"Actually we prefer to be called 'Butt Pilots'."
"Ha, ha, ha"
"Wanna race?"
"Uh, no."

(Click to see a larger image)

Another problem with altering "Buttboarding" is it can get worse. Much worse. The Brits took a turn at "cleaning up" the name and ran through lovely variants like "Ass Planking", "Syphincter Racing", and finally "Ringboards". The ever charming Jeremy Gilder even folded a "Lott Classic Racing Boards" sweatshirt to his desired effect.

(Click to see a larger image)

"Body Rocket" sounds very cool. The infamous Bama even made a masterpeice version of a Lott Classic, of sculpted aluminum and inlaid wood. It was routed with the logo "BODYROCKET" and glassed in with B-Bs to hi-light the name. But Bama retired and sold the name to Tim Cayer who marketed luges under this brand. Had we adopted it, the downside would be everyone confusing it with Billy Copeland's Rocket powered Street Luge. Also the "Rocket" idea encourages people to want to make the board itself "hi-tech."

"Skate Luge" is a term coined by Tim Novak at HAE. His goal was to remember the Skating roots of luge and "take the spirit of all the 'family snow sledding fun' and put wheels on it." At 16 inches they are too wide to fit the Buttboard racing rules. Find out more about Novak's Skate Luge at SkateLuge.com.


Tim's Skate Luge was actually designed to be ridden sitting up, whereas racing Buttboards are ridden in the luge position. Both are all about having fun. To expand the horizon of fun Tim also sells his own race winning HAE Buttboards

HAE Buttboard

AGTERENTSKAATPLANKRY is Afrikaans for Buttboarding. Literally translated it means "Rear End Skate Board Riding."

"Luge Boarding" is a combo name several have suggested. It's a nice alternate way to refer to the activity. It's good when someone insists on trying Street Luge and you plan to start them off on a Buttboard. After a great day riding, they will tell their friends they went "Street Luging" anyway.

"Classic Luge" is as close to an alternate title for the sport as it gets. Sometimes it is blended as in "Classic Buttboarding." It has some factual basis as this was the earliest form of skateboarding in the luge position. IGSA is very good about using the title. They also list the rules as "Classic Luge (Buttboarding)" which is another great blend.

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4. Is there a book about Buttboarding?
Street Luge Suvival Guide covers a tremendous amount of necessary information. A future edition will certainly have Buttboard specific topics. Until then, this site coupled with the book covers most of what's available.

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5. Is there a Video I can buy?
Jeremy Kahn took the plunge and produced "Street Luge 101." It's a DVD featuring many of the Legends from this site talking about safety, hills, and other things common to Street Luge and Buttboarding. It's an excellent addition to any rider's library.

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6. When is the next Race; can I go someplace to watch?
Dave Auld maintains the most reliable racing schedule for Luge and Buttboarding, regardless of Organizer. He rarely misses an event and doesn't print rumors or tentative schedules. Check it out at :

East Coast riders should check in with Tim Cayer's New Hampshire track. He organizes events under the GSI banner:

www.Gravity-Sports.com maintains info for the IGSA.

Exciting spectating can also be had on practice or training days. If you live in Southern California, there will certainly be someone riding on any given weekend. The message boards are a good place to look for local riders.

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7. Is Buttboarding Legal?

On Open Roads:
Street Luge Survival Guide provides a good editorial sense of this issue. Unless there are specific laws against Skateboarding, you will probably be considered a pedestrian. Some states also have laws concerning "toy vehicles" or "sledding" which may apply. LA County has a specific Ordinance against riding a skateboard on greater than a 3% grade or faster than 10 mph. Some hills in neighboring counties have roads which specify "No Skating." The web offers ways to check the vehicle codes in your area.

If there aren't laws explicitly concerning skateboarding, you can still get in trouble depending on how you ride. If you obstruct traffic in any way, expect to get busted. There are federal "reckless endangerment" laws that can be applied to how Law Enforcement views what you are doing. Punishment ranges from Warnings (typical) to Tickets (ocassionally) to Equipment Confiscation (rarely) to Arrest (extreme circumstances). If things go very badly with Police, either you deserve it or the guys just before you deserved and you're inheriting their bad PR.

If you conduct yourself in a professional manner, have all the safety equipment, NEVER go into the on-coming lane, NEVER blow stop signs or speed, you will have a much better time when approached by Police. Also don't run or hide if they approach you. This indicates you believe you are breaking the law. Take off your helmet and walk over to them. Let them see you are a person. Say "Hi." Let them know you are being as safe as possible and certainly safer than the bicycles. Let them know that even if there is no specific law against what you are doing (there probably isn't) you are ready to go home if they have the slightest problem with your presence.

Possible scenario (unfavorable):

Police car arrives and you approach with your helmet off. Take a helpful and respectful tone. The Police don't want to be bad guys, but a Worried Mortorist called and they have been sent to make you stop riding. It's their job and they can't afford to lose here.




"You know you can't do that here."


"I'm sorry. I checked the <Insert State> DMV code and couldn't find anything about it being illegal. Is there a specific law to this county or road which I missed?"


"What you are doing is dangerous."


"I'm sorry. We have all the proper safety gear. We also stay in our lane and the chase car prevents us from being overtaken from behind."


"A motorist called and said she couldn't see you and almost ran over you."


"Is there another road close by you would prefer us to ride? Maybe one that has less traffic?"


"Well, you can't ride here."


"Thanks Officer, we're going home."

Possible scenario (favorable):

Police car arrives and you approach with your helmet off. Take a helpful and respectful tone. They just happened to see you in leathers with skateboards and want to check it out.




"How fast do you go on those things?"


"We can get going about <not over 10 mph over the posted limit>. We have a chase car which prevents cars from overtaking us in our lane."


"I see you wear leathers."


"Yes. And full face motorcycle helmets. We're actually very protected if we fall."


"I think you guys are nuts."


"It's actually a lot of fun. We could teach you when you're off duty some time."


"Have fun and be careful."


"Thanks Officer!"

If someone has already called the Police it is very unlikely to get the "Favorable" scenario. But by offering to leave you may be able to return to the hill under favorable conditions later. If you give Law Enforcement the slightest problem (including Park Rangers, Fish and Game, Corporate Security and anyone with a badge who's job it is to tell you to go home) they will forever be hostile to your cause and tell all their Associates that cover nearby areas.

You best bet is to ride where the Neighbors, Pedestrains, or Motorists never call. If you do find a good road somewhere, make friends with the locals. Never hinder normal traffic. Don't frighten pedestrains. Don't spook the horses or make the dogs bark. Yield to everyone. If you do see a car, sit up so they can see you and give your friendliest wave.

On Pedestrian Trails:
Buttboards have the advantage of being fun and nimble at low speeds on tight tracks. This opens more places to ride than for a Street Luge. You can find a short hilly section of bike or walking path in a park. These are usually slower in speed than roads, but require quick reactions because they are so narrow. Make sure you scope out what things line the trail if you go off path. Even a little tree at 15 mph could really hurt you.

You also have an advantage as you'll have to walk back up. So carrying a 10 lb Buttboard is nicer than a 45 lb luge.

The main concern is hitting a pedestrian. You would probably rather hit a car than break the legs of someone walking a dog in the park. Don't go around blind corners unless you are sitting up and going slow enough to stop immediately. If you want to practice fast turning, set a friend on the corner to signal if the track is clear. It's what they do in real races anyway.

At Organized Events:
The best bet is to attend organized events. For a fee, you get a good track, and rides up the hill. The tricky corners will be protected with hay bales (within reason) so you can challenge yourself a bit more than on an unprotected course. You also get to watch and learn from others more skilled than yourself. Swap tips and strategies. Organized Events are well worth it when they happen.

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8. What's the fastest anyone goes?
The 2000 & 2001 Guinness Book of World Records list Darren Lott as "World's Fastest Buttboarder" at 65.24 mph. You can read about how this was established in the
AIS Fountain Hills Event Coverage.

Most Buttboard races don't exceed 100 kph (62 mph). Even a 40 mph course could be extremely challenging. The fastest course on the World Cup Circuit is the Aviemore Scotland race, which is closer to 70 mph.

Since the AIS event, Darren has been clocked by car (not a reliable method) at over 75 mph down a faster hill. Several other fast riders have also broken the 70 mph barrier (unofficially) on various hills in the States. It appears that ultra high top speeds are a function of the hill. Only another contest on a very fast hill will indicate who is best at top speeds. The next non-trivial, official record should be just under 80 mph.

In the meantime, we do have a current measure of "Who is Fastest" based on current racing results. The "Legends" page gives a good feel for which racers are consistently faster against other top names.

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9. How do you stop?
With your feet! Someone coined the phrase "Fred Flintstone Style" which some people instantly get. You can imagine that skidding your shoes to a stop wears them out quickly. Most active participants attach tire treads to their soles, enhancing braking power and extending the life of their shoes. More about this in Street Luge Survival Guide.

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10. How much does it cost?
How much you got?

Like any sport, you will get out of it what you put into it. Fortunately, the entry level is affordable. It is also considerably less expensive than sports with a similar thrill factor. Here are some ideas of what you can expect with various levels of commitment (your mileage may vary):


A) You have friends that do this and they totally set you up with their gear and let you roll a slow portion of the hill a few times. You probably have to drive and/or guard a corner while they ride in exchange.

B) You already own a skateboard and you sit going down some local hills. If you get hurt or don't have a fabulous time, you probably did it wrong.


You find a venue that will rent you the equipment. Bring extra shoes to wear out. Bring your own competitent instructor. Or add $$ for proper training.


Buy and study the Street Luge Survival Guide. Watch the Street Luge 101 DVD. Study this site. Improvise protective gear from what you already own. Borrow a helmet. Cut out your own deck if you don't have a suitable longboard. Spend the money on decent wheels, or trucks, or missing protective gear. Find a local hill without any traffic. Don't go too fast!


Buy really inexpensive leathers and a full face helmet. Perhaps good used stuff. Make your own deck with 70mm Kryps and RIIs. Get 3 or 4 friends to do the same. See above "Dabbler" tips.


You can get all competion level stuff and have enough money left over to attend your first local race. Make friends there and pick up the current hot tips. Find people with whom you can ride between events. Perhaps a Pro lives near you.


Aside from having all the best gear, you have money to make all the local races and a few international ones. You have duplicates of the necessary stuff for racing, but don't get into "Collector Mode." You practice before upcoming races, but never kid yourself you will make any money back on this sport.

But you do pop for a $300 color printer so you can make your own "Hero Cards."

You start racing Street Luge because a Roger's sled is only a grand more (now you've done it).

And you begin to budget for the extra days taken off work.


Professional Racer:
You have the coolest stuff and are racing the World Circuit: The Scottish Highlands, the Austrian Alps, Barrett Junction(?)... You still can't fly first class to events, but perhaps soon a sponsor will notice and provide some travel money. The majority of your budget goes to Airfare and Lodging. You also start to include all the money you spend on gas driving to events. And to practice.

You get your trucks and wheels at wholesale...and need it. To stay on top you need to ride very hard and very frequently. Practice wheels are good for only one weekend, and race wheels for a few runs. You have boxes with multiple sets of every 70 mm wheel ever made. You never use your last set of anything. You have several decks in case one breaks before a race. You've bought enough stuff from Randal to make his February house payment.

You have totally cool custom leathers with your name all over them. You need a second set for practice since they get torn up. A German will knock you off your board during an international race and tear your cool leathers. Every year. Either a German or Tom Mason. The repair bill at Z Leathers is always more than a new budget set from Jeffrey's LLLV deal, but then you'd look like a "Sport" level guy. Plus the budget leathers are good for only a few high speed get-off's and you'd need a new set every month.

You have at least two helmets. A dozen set of shoes and gloves each year. You also need special boxes to organize all this stuff. Extra rolls of Duct tape (in various colors), tubes of Shoe Goo. Hundreds of dollars in little screws, nuts and various fasteners. Also tools for those little modification you are sure make"just enough difference" but really don't.

You justify all this by not buying that new [SUV/Sports Car/Motorcycle] you wanted. You get to travel the world and your old car still runs OK. Plus there is always hope for sponsorship or prize money down the road.

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11. Can I use a regular skateboard to race?

The first popular boards to be raced were actually "Santa Monica Airlines" pool boards. Those decks are a bit hard to find now, but fortunately skating has made a nice comeback.

A longboard works best. There are longboards which are actually too long, so make sure it fits in the 48"x12" spec. A smaller trick board with small hard wheels is also legal. But you probably won't be very fast or have as much fun.

Gerhard Lanz got top results on his Sector 9 in the US Nationals. Lee Dansie raced the same deck in Longboard Slalom and Buttboarding at West LA College.

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12. Which deck is the fastest?

A deck is just a peice of wood. One can't be faster than another. It's purpose is to provide a surface between the Trucks and the Rider's body. That's about it. Trucks screwed into your back would work but be very uncomfortable.

Some decks are more confortable than others. And that's what's important. If you feel more comfortable on the board, then you are more in control and can perform better.

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13. Can I make my own?

You can't make a sculpted deck with concave and a kicktail very easily. But many racing Buttboards are just cut from a flat piece of plywood. You are not limited to what gets exported from Southern California (where almost all molded skateboard decks are produced). With local materials and a hand saw, you can make your own competiton Buttboard anywhere in the world!

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14. Which trucks should I use?
Wide ones.

To prevent speed wobbles, you end up tightening the trucks considerably. With a narrow truck, you can lean and have the wheels on the far side pick up in the air. This means less turning and less traction. Wide trucks provide more leverage against tight cushions, so the wheels are more apt to stay on the ground.

A wider truck is also less rapid in it's response. So it will feel more stable or controllable. An Independent 215 is an example of a wide skateboard truck that will work. Indys retail for about $23.95 each at the Luge Store

If you plan on high speed riding or racing, you need to remember that regular truck geometries were designed to provide a fast lively ride at about 10 mph. Sidewalk Surfing. At high speeds you'll want a more stable geometry than provided by the "Indys."


Randal designs trucks for more stable high speed applications. The RII is wide like an Indy, cost about the same ($25 at the Luge Store), and was designed to be more stable both at speed and in a turn. The RII-B was specifically adapted for Buttboarding. Randal selects the most "Balanced and Blueprinted" RIIs from each lot, then retrofits them with grade 8 Kingpins and the cushions from his Luge trucks. The result is a championship truck that is light and affordable. ($29.95 at the Luge Store)

Randal RII-Bs recieve the highest recommendation for our sport.


Hard core racers use the Randal Luge Truck. There is a misconception that the spinning axle makes them faster than say the RII-Bs. But what we find is that the RII-Bs are as fast and win just as often. They share the same geometry and the RII was actually designed after the Luge Truck. It was Randal's way to bring performance to the masses.

The advantage of the Luge truck is it's bullet proof. Off road excursions which would destroy or bend a normal truck, just yield some nice "Battle Scars." The spinning axles let you know if they are bent (nice feature) and they are MUCH stronger than normal axles. They should be. A replacement axle alone is the cost of an entire RII.

You see a lot of them on competition Buttboards and could be fooled into thinking they are de rigueur. The truth is most racers cross train, and since they already have lots of extra parts from Luge racing it's easier not to mix truck types.

If you plan on lots of hard riding, and can afford the cost ($75 each at the Luge Store) consider the 50 degree base plates and turn the Hanger over so "F" shows. Also beware that "Heavy Duty" also means much heavier weight than the RIIs.


Other trucks may also be applicable. Thunder and Invader make fairly wide inexpensive trucks that compete with the Indy 215. Some riders prefer these trucks as they have a lower profile than the taller Randals.

Another lower profile truck is the Z Roller. Popular for Street Luge the Z Roller was the first truck with a spinning axle. However, the geometry is the EXACT opposite of the high stability Randal. They are also pricey ($45 at the Luge Store) and the axles bend more easily and are fussy to work with. Great care needs to be exercised in expeimenting with these trucks. They work on Luges with very long wheelsbases and which are dropped below the plane of the wheels. Some Germans/Austrians use them for racing, but it is an aquired skill.

Also remember that lowering the ride height of your Buttboard places your delicate fingers all the closer to the flesh eating pavement.

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15. Which wheels should I use?
The racing rule is to use 70mm skateboard wheels. There is good reason for this. First, almost every manufacture makes a 70mm wheel. They have been around since the 1970s or earlier and are a very mature form factor. They are the least expensive of the wheels that will work. Since everyone has an equivalent level of technology in the wheels, it makes for closer racing.

The original Hot Heels practice was to use 72.5mm Super Mundos. But 73mm were illegal. When Mundos went off the market years ago it made an easy decision to write the rule as 70mm. It becomes a slippery slope to move from a very solid standard like 70 mm up to 72.5 mm. Another manufacturer makes 73mm longboard wheels, and another 76mm, 80s, 82s, 85s and then 90s. As the wheel size increases, so does the price. Sometimes dramatically.

Ironically, Europeans made big noises to remove the 70mm rule for Hot Heels, thinking they "discovered" the 76mm Turbo. What they missed was that these wheels are not a secret to Americans. Almost every wheel in the world is made in Southern California. Local racers can meet with any number of manufactures during their lunch hour, pick up "special pours", influence new designs, get the last of discontinued wheels. The 70mm rule is to PROTECT riders outside the United States from a technology war which they cannot win.

If you are not racing, you may be tempted to run larger wheels. Keep in mind that with normal trucks on a normal deck, wheels larger than 70mm may "bite", particularly if you have a flat deck. "Bite" happens when you are leaning in a turn, and the inside wheels hit the deck and stop spinning. This is highly undesireable. You can either cut away the deck where the wheels hit, or put riser pads under the trucks. Taller wheels already make you higher, the pads put up even more. This is a recipe for instability. Or since you are laying across the board, if you cut away the deck, larger wheels may bite against your body. 76mm is about the largest you can use without too many mechanical problems. Unfortunately these mid range wheels usually have a hub designed for a larger wheel and even less urethane than the typical 70mm. Crossover (Luge and Buttboard) Racers will sometimes wear down their luge wheels on rough practice roads, and when they get into the 75mm range, shift them to the Buttboard. The main appeal is to save the new 70mms for racing.

Personal preference determines which 70s you will use. Randal successfully raced at Hot Heels on Power Paws. Gerhard won the 1999 World Championship on ExKate Easy Riders. Darren set the Guinness Record on 70mm Labedas. But most riders are now using Kyrptonics Classic 70s. They are readily available, have decent speed and good traction. They also come in Red, Blue or Green with different durometers (hardness). Reds are the softest and most grippy. Greens are harder and supposedly faster on a straighter course. Bob Ozman is the king of "psyching out" his competiton by combining different colors at places on his board. Perhaps one Red on the left front, matched to a Blue and two Greens in back. Because he "needs the speed but wants extra traction for turn 3."

Wow, here's an update. For top racers ABEC 11s are in - way in. When Chris Chaput wanted to produce a 70mm racing wheel he called me and talked about making a Kryptonics clone, but using his Street Luge formula. "Chris, be different. Make it wider. It's all about 'contact patch' when you're in the corners," I suggested (OK...pleaded). He took it to heart and the result was the ABEC11 Flashback. I like to think of it as the first wheel DESIGNED SPECIFICALLY for Buttboard racing. But that's not the end of the story.

The 70mm (tall) Kryps have nice rounded edges, but it leaves a contact patch (the part that you actually ride on) of about 36mm. The Flashbacks came out with a whopping 43mm contact patch (20% more) which is as wide as his bigger Street Luge wheels. And they immediately started winning races. Racing in Scotland, I tried both the Kryps and the Flashbacks against Dave Rogers' on Flashbacks. The Kryps were competitive, but there was little doubt that the ABECs were just a bit faster.

In 2004, ABEC11 introduced 70mm Grippins. Chris said they'd be my "Secret Weapon" at the "Fire on the Mountain" race (read the report to see). With a contact patch of 50.5mm, Chris's claim of "Suction Cups for your Buttboard" may not be just hype.

However, in terms of just having fun, all the 70mm wheels seem to be up to the task. Unless you go really fast, and then none of them are.

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16. Can I buy all this stuff in one place?
The closest to "One Stop Shopping" is Tim Cayer's
Luge Store. They carry all the trucks, wheels, leathers, helmets and protective gear you might want. They also carry Lott Classic Racing Decks and ready to ride Buttboards. Tim is very knowledgeable and will also be the first one to sell you a Street Luge Survival Guide to go with the kit. He also runs a GSI track in New Hampshire.
Tim is running a "No Excuses" package deal to help people get into the sport.
CLICK HERE to findout more.

Jeffrey Schonzeit runs StreetLuge.net and features deals on inexpensive Leathers and Gloves. He's also carried equipment through his local "City Board Shop."

In Britain, contact Chris Beard though his site - www.GravitySports.co.uk. Chris imports Trucks, wheels, and Lott Classic Racing Boards. Chris also runs the Highland Wheels Extreme World Cup race.

In Australia, Leon Smith is the current ambassador for Buttboard racing. Contact Leon via email

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17. Wouldn't it be cool to have a dual truck, dropped, carbon fiber Buttboard?

When you start making "performance modifications" then it ceases to be a Buttboard. But there is Good News. You can persue the road to higher performance and still race against others. It's called "Street Luge." By having two classes there is no need to make even further divisions like "Super Modified Buttboard" or "Spec Class Street Luge." If you want to see who is the best racer by keeping the equipment virtually the same, race Buttboard. If you want to pursue the limits of technology making a skateboard go even faster, race Street Luge. Many do both. Buttboard is an excellent reality check when designing your World Championship Luge. If it's not faster, then it's not worth the effort.

Pegs and Dual trucks were added when Laydown Skateboarders wanted to go even faster on the switchbacks of GMR. In Austria they kept the same equipment and worked on riding technique instead. Same kind of roads, different approach to increasing speed. What happens when you combine the best of both worlds?

The IGSA Rule is that you can't race a potentially legal Buttboard against the Luges (political reasons). If you make a design such that it could not be legal for Buttboarding (dropped, too long, too heavy) then you can add big wheels, ceramic bearings, carbon fiber and race the big boys. You'll still have to add bumpers and a number plate and check the IGSA Rules for any other Street Luge requirements.

Or if you don't want to bother with all the equipment hassles, stick to Buttboarding.

If you are still unclear about the boundries between Street Luge and Buttboard, take the "Identify the Buttboard" quiz.

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18. Do I really need leathers if I'm not racing?
What you really need is "appropriate abrasion protection for the conditons under which you will be participating." If you are limiting yourself to very slow speeds, then you don't need the same protection as someone falling off at 40 mph. But leathers are always a good idea and experienced racers will not ride without them even at 20 mph.

You WILL FALL. And you will scrape against the ground even if you don't come off comepletely. All of your skin needs to be covered with a durable material before you ride. Or it will be covered with road rash for weeks after.

Leather gloves are absolutely manditory. Pros wear out good gloves by touching the ground while riding. Without gloves you'll take your knuckles off at even walking speeds. Your hands are mere inches off the ground when you ride.

Elbow pads will extend the life of whatever kind of jacket you are wearing. Elbows scrape the ground frequently. Jeremy Gilder added sparking sliders to his elbows so you can tell when they hit. To the right is Jeremy in a race in Wales. He probably doesn't know he is touching the ground, but he sure would find out if he didn't have pads!

If you ride slowly, you can wear thick demin shorts under a pair of thick denim pants. Some people put old empty wallets in the back pockets for another layer. This gives some protection against abrasion. But the denim wears out quickly, and you'll find that $300 leathers are probably cheaper in the long run.

You always need a jacket. Pads help the jacket last. But what's going to keep the jacket from riding up your back when you crash? Maybe a set of workman overalls over that.

You can make some decent protection by layering a bunch of regular clothes and taping seams closed. Tape in bits of leather and/or sheets of plastic. It might last for a few slow wipe outs.

Until you can get some leathers, please don't go too fast.

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19. Are Buttboards faster than a Street Luge?
This is a myth.

The fastest Buttboarders are faster than the average Street Luger. So if they ride together, the Buttboards may seem to have an advantage. But if you look at comparative qualifying times, the fastest Buttboarders are even a little faster on their luges.

A competiton Buttboard will be faster than a poorly designed Street Luge (and there are many of those). There are also courses which favor the smaller wheels, lighter weight, and shorter wheelbase. But a World Class Luge (like the Roger's Brothers) will be still be faster, if only because of the extra traction provided by four front wheels.

Interestingly, many of the fastest Lugers started winning regularly AFTER taking up Buttboard. So rather than slowing down by dividing their practice time, these guys learned something valuable, making them even faster.

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20. Do Buttboarders use a different riding style?
Not too long ago there was a huge debate centering on the notion that Buttboards forced a radically different style of riding than Street Luge. Photographic evidence suggested otherwise.

In this composite photo we have Gerhard racing his luge against Gerhard racing his buttboard. No matter what you put him on, Gerhard's style is very consistant for Gerhard. The two boards might feel different to him, but to someone watching, Gerhard's distinctive style over shadows any difference between his luge and buttboard.

Darren's style is also recognizable. He rides very differently than Gerhard. Gerhard sits up through the turns while Darren keeps his back very low,transfering weight to the back trucks.

The composite picture is nice, because we can distinguish two separate styles. But instead of the expected "Luge Style" and "Buttboard Style", the obvious distinction is a "Gerhard Style" and a "Darren Style."

This also works for photos of other riders with distinctive styles such as Bob Ozman, Tom Mason, and Dave Rogers.

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(bonus) Where can I get more answers about Street Luge?
For more valuable information on the Web, check out
AuldOverTheRoad.com's excellent
Street Luge FAQ.

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