Wasatch Luge Club
Q. Can I really do this?
A. Most anyone in good health and average physical condition can luge. For the beginner, the way to get started is to contact the Wasatch Luge Club or Jon Owen the head of the Western Regional Office of the United States Luge Association. During regular club sliding sessions at the Utah Olympic Park the Wasatch Luge Club has set aside some spaces to accommodate people interested in trying luge for the fist time. These spots are limited, but we try to accommodate as many people as possible throughout the sliding season. For information regarding availability and scheduling call Jon Owen at 435-647-3800.
Q. Is it expensive?
A. The initial investment to get you started is very affordable compared to many other sports. You must become a member of the Wasatch Luge Club, annual membership dues are $25 and your first sliding session is $50.00 for a total of $75.00. During your first session all your equipment is provided and you will usually receive four runs on ice. Once you have taken the initial step, if you choose to continue having the time of your life, membership fees to the United States Luge Association are $45.00 and track fees are currently $35 for a day pass or $250 for a season pass at the Utah Olympic Park. No special equipment is needed to get started. Just a pair of good sweats and some tennis shoes. Helmets and sleds can be provided. After your first season you may be inclined to purchase your own racing sled. A decent sled runs around $800, the required helmet and face shield about $350, booties $100 and a speed suit. In other words for $1,500 you can make your own assault on the track record.
Q. Can I make the Olympic Team?
A. With enough effort and experience anything is possible. Reality is this, development programs are available for beginning kids up to 14 years old and frankly that is pushing the upper age envelope for a beginner to gain the experience necessary to make the U.S. National Team. The sport has evolved to a level that to be internationally competitive at the elite level requires an absolute minimum of 4-6 years full time training. As with any sport to compete at this level luge is not just a sport it is a lifestyle.
Q. I love to watch but actually sliding is a little more than I want. What other ways can I be involved?
A. Officials and volunteers are always needed and welcome. You can sit for a National Officials course, work some races, learn, and move on to gain an International Judges license. You can be part of the action up close and personal. So, if you like what you see of Luge during the Olympics, you still have a chance to participate with many of those same athletes in the coming seasons.
Q. I am 30 years old and an adrenaline junkie, I race everything and I am fast. When do I start?
A. Honestly a position on the national team is not going to happen but there are many opportunities for you to come out and play. We have different citizen categories to slide in and club races for the different skill levels. For the over 30 crowd there is the Masters level which holds an annual National Championship either here in Salt Lake or Lake Placid, New York. So although you may only start out going 30 mph, the opportunity exists with practice to compete with those sliders that are racing at speeds in excess of 80 mph. So come join the club and then start moving your way up the hill. Club sliding sessions are usually once a week during the season and sometimes more often. We have several races throughout the year and its more fun than any of your friends will ever have.
Q. At what age can you start?
A. The sport of luge can be enjoyed by persons of almost any age. Sliders range from 6-80 years old. However, if you want your plans to include the Olympics then starting between the ages of 9-14 is best.
Q. How does someone get their son/daughter involved?
A. Currently there are several ways to get young people involved in the sport of luge. The WLC along with the United States Luge Association (USLA) holds a series of summer wheel clinics to screen interested kids for their potential in the sport. Clinics run from May-September. See the Summer Luge Programs section of this webpage for current clinics. If you miss the summer wheel program, interested individuals can still try the sport through an on-ice clinic offered during the winter months. Call 435-647-3800 for registration information.