Downhill Street is an unusual extreme sport where the driver slides down a course or paved road on a skateboard or with skates leveraging gravity. The racers travel at very high speeds and have to manage their turns with extreme care. Think of it as gravity land speed racing.
The tracks must be meticulously managed as the riders can easily slip or crash with one incorrect move or an object obstructing the path. Drivers are equipped with enough gear to protect them from slides, but other incidents can cause severe damage like crashing into another rider or object on or near the road. Gear usually includes a helmet, a Kevlar or leather suit, leather or Kevlar gloves, and sturdy shoes. There are 3 main categories of this sport: Luge, Downhill Skateboarding and Downhill Inline Skating. The latter two are sanctioned by the roller sport governing body World Skate.
Downhill street luge started in 1975 California after downhill skateboarders discovered they could travel a lot faster by laying down on their boards. The first professional street luge race was held in Signal Hill, California on a road with a downhill angle of nearly 30 degrees. The winner was picked based on the highest speed reached by the driver.
There are two governing bodies of the sport named IGSA (International Gravity Sports Association) and the IDF (International Downhill Federation). Racecourses are held on either mountains or city streets and are usually between 0.5 to 3 miles in length. Races are conducted on the following types:
• Single elimination involving 2, 4, or 6 racers at the same time.
• Double elimination involving 2, 4, or 6 racers at the same time
• Timed trials.
• No elimination points system.
• Mass runs, involving racers up to 20 in number at the same time.
Inline skating involves roller skates with two to five wheels attached to them. The most famous sporting event involving inline skating is The World Roller Games.
This sport involves riding a skateboard downhill as fast as possible while keeping it stable. The riders can reach speeds above 80 mph. The biggest sporting event covering downhill skateboarding is the Red Bull Big Drop.