FIL Natural Track Luge World Cup 2016/2017 - Umhausen (AUT) - News

Natural track luge: action packed luge races

World Cup 2016/17

Umhausen (AUT), February 16-18, 2017

Natural track luge – that’s suspense, high speed, and winter sport in a classical style. This variation of luge looks back on a long history and has developed from the first ever international luge race at Davos, Switzerland, back in 1883. In the 1960s, artificial track luge emerged as an own discipline. In the winter of 2016/17, the world’s best natural track lugers compete at the World Cup and the World Championships of the “Fédération Internationale de Luge de Course” (FIL).


Unlike artificial luge tracks, natural tracks are adapted from existing mountain roads and paths. Artificially banked curves are not permitted. The track’s surface must be horizontal. As the use of artificial refrigeration is forbidden, they are naturally iced. Natural track luge requires a completely different technique than on an artificial track. At the start, the athletes gain momentum by “paddling”, dragging their hands on the ice to move forward. In order to drive around the tight flat corners, athletes use a steering rein, drag their hands and use their legs. Braking is often required in front of curves and is accomplished by the use of spikes built on the bottom of the shoes. A seat holds the athletes on their luges during the braking and steering manoeuvres. At the finish line, a lot of times hundredths of a second decide over victory or defeat.