Differences?

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nancy1

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Feb 20, 2006, 12:08:37 PM2/20/06
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What's the difference between the luge competition and skeleton
competition? Sorry, I haven't caught any definitions on TV - I can see
that the lugers go down the track lying on their backs on their sleds,
with their feet first, and the skeleton competitors are on their
stomachs, head first. There must be some other difference that makes
them two completely different sports....?

N.

Harold Buck

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Feb 20, 2006, 12:15:05 PM2/20/06
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In article <1140455317.9...@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
"nancy1" <nancy-...@uiowa.edu> wrote:


The sleds are built differently to allow people to go on their stomachs
or their backs. Other than that, I think you've listed the differences.

--Harold Buck


"Hubris always wins in the end. The Greeks taught us that."

-Homer J. Simpson

wwd

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Feb 20, 2006, 1:31:30 PM2/20/06
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"Harold Buck" <no_one...@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:no_one_knows-D046...@comcast.dca.giganews.com...

> In article <1140455317.9...@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
> "nancy1" <nancy-...@uiowa.edu> wrote:
>
>> What's the difference between the luge competition and skeleton
>> competition? Sorry, I haven't caught any definitions on TV - I can see
>> that the lugers go down the track lying on their backs on their sleds,
>> with their feet first, and the skeleton competitors are on their
>> stomachs, head first. There must be some other difference that makes
>> them two completely different sports....?
>
>
> The sleds are built differently to allow people to go on their stomachs
> or their backs. Other than that, I think you've listed the differences.

Huge difference between going feet first and head first, much bigger
than say between back stroke and freestyle in swimming. Plus,
you have to be insane to go head first, hands by side :)


nancy1

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Feb 20, 2006, 1:42:10 PM2/20/06
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wwd wrote:


> Huge difference between going feet first and head first, much bigger
> than say between back stroke and freestyle in swimming. Plus,
> you have to be insane to go head first, hands by side :)

I'd agree with that. ;-) Thanks for the responses.

N.

Kong King

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Feb 20, 2006, 5:10:09 PM2/20/06
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"nancy1" <nancy-...@uiowa.edu> wrote in message
news:1140455317.9...@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...

I thought the lugers steer with their feet with little paddles/rudders ?
The skeleton seems to have no mechanical steering.
??


Raptor

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Feb 21, 2006, 12:41:12 AM2/21/06
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Running start in skeleton - you won't see any fat & successful skeleton
racers, unlike luge.

You can kind-of see where you're going in skeleton.

Luge is significantly more dangerous (higher center of gravity).

If you watch closely, you can see skeleton sliders steering by sticking
a leg out or dragging a toe. Lugers can bend their runners a tiny bit.

--
Lynn Wallace http://www.xmission.com/~lawall
"You American workers haven't seen an increase in real wages since the
1970s... But are you rioting? No. You're voting for Republican
candidates who give people like me tax cuts. You know what? I think
that's your way of saying 'Thank you.'" - Stephen Colbert

Gunny

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Feb 21, 2006, 2:35:20 AM2/21/06
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"nancy1" <nancy-...@uiowa.edu> wrote in message
news:1140460930....@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...

The other big difference is in accidents. In luge, you will have to look
past your feet, which will probably be the first part of your body to absorb
the impact. In skeleton you get a MUCH better view of the impact even while
it is actually happening. At least,...... for a split second you do. LOL

pizzaf...@gmail.com

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Feb 22, 2006, 6:02:28 PM2/22/06
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As a skeleton athlete and someone who has tried luge, I've noticed many
differences.

For starters, skeleton sliders use heavier sleds (mine is 95 lbs). By
contrast, luge sleds are so light I can easily lift and carry them with
one hand.

As Lynn correctly observed, skeleton is--despite the crazy headfirst
image--safer than luge. Given skeleton's lower center of gravity (face
is two inches off the ice) and heavier sleds, you're less likely to be
catapulted high into the air after hitting a wall. There were no
serious wipeouts for skeleton sliders in Torino, in sharp contrast to
the many luge crashes (including a coma-inducing one for Renato
Mizguchi in practice last year).

In terms of athletic requirements, the biggest difference is in the
start. Skeleton requires a 25 to 40 meter all-out sprint where you push
the sled then dive on. Hence, slow sprinters don't make it to the
Olympic level. By contrast, lugers require great upper body strength
for hurling themselves out of the starting gate (using the gate's hand
paddles).

In terms of steering, lugers exert much more control (by pressing their
legs on the "kufens") and go several mph faster (skeleton tops out at
"only" around 80 mph). Skeleton sliders, by contrast, steer with subtle
movements of the head, shoulders, knees, and dragging a toe.

Also, skeleton has an easier/faster learning curve. And two-person luge
is an Olympic sport, while two-person skeleton does not exist.

Hope that helps,
- George

===
www.newsliders.com NewSliders.com: "Intro to Skeleton" FAQ

I Attack People

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Feb 22, 2006, 6:21:35 PM2/22/06
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<pizzaf...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1140649198.5...@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...

Excellent post. Thanks G.


Raptor

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Feb 22, 2006, 11:29:24 PM2/22/06
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pizzaf...@gmail.com wrote:
> In terms of steering, lugers exert much more control (by pressing their
> legs on the "kufens") and go several mph faster (skeleton tops out at
> "only" around 80 mph). Skeleton sliders, by contrast, steer with subtle
> movements of the head, shoulders, knees, and dragging a toe.
>
> Also, skeleton has an easier/faster learning curve. And two-person luge
> is an Olympic sport, while two-person skeleton does not exist.
>
> Hope that helps,
> - George

Cool to hear from someone who's actually done it. All my "knowledge"
comes from watching coverage and taking the guided tour at UOP.

The steering, is it all aerodynamic, except the toe drag, or does the
weight shift cause the runners to turn?

pizzaf...@gmail.com

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Feb 23, 2006, 3:14:58 PM2/23/06
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Hi Lynn. In a nutshell, we alter direction by applying asymmetrical
friction.

The two runners along the sled's underside are in contact with the ice.
You apply pressure to them through pressure points (i.e. your knee or
shoulder). The same can be accomplished by a mere turn of the head, or
a toe dropped onto the ice.

If you want to turn right, just drop your right toe (or press down your
right knee)--the right rear corner suddenly slows down relative to the
sled's other three corners, which rotates your sled
rightwards/clockwise. Though, to complicate matters, knee/toe steers go
in the opposite direction of head/shoulder steers (i.e. your heads
looks to where you want to go).

The fastest sliders keep steering to a minimum because applying any
friction slows down the sled.

But some steering is required to counteract the physics of a turn,
which pushes you high up into the curve -- an "oscillation". You want
to reduce the oscillations because: 1) big oscillations mean you're
zig-zagging an inefficient path and, more importantly, 2) excessive
oscillations increase your likelihood of slamming into a wall upon
exiting a curve. Park City's dreaded double-oscillation, maximum-speed
Curve 6 is an exciting demonstration of this.

Raptor

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Feb 23, 2006, 10:25:57 PM2/23/06
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pizzaf...@gmail.com wrote:
Park City's dreaded double-oscillation, maximum-speed
> Curve 6 is an exciting demonstration of this.
>
> - George

I remember watching the lovely bobbing action of skeleton sleds in 2002.
Thanks for the info.

How does the typical skeleton slider's sprint compare to track
sprinters, or bobsled pushers?

Before I leave Utah, I'm going to take at least one slide on that track,
on an actual competition sled. Not from the top, most likely. :)

pizzaf...@gmail.com

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Feb 24, 2006, 2:52:10 PM2/24/06
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Lynn, for the skeleton push, you're hunched over and running downhill
for a short distance (roughly 30 meters or 16 steps). You push until
you're no longer accelerating the sled; hence, the actual distance
depends on individual ability and the slope of the track (Park City is
so steep you're forced to jump on quickly).

At my last club race, push times ranged from 4.91-5.76 for guys and
5.31-6.02 for women. My best push is 5.07. The track record is 4.58 by
Olympian Kevin Ellis (who also ran the 110m hurdles in 1996 Olympic
Trials), the guy who broke his vertebra yesterday (while doing a
non-skeleton event).

Although sprinting ability helps (I'm a nationally ranked Masters Track
& Field sprinter/hurdler), I think push starts are extremely overrated.
After all, you may spend five seconds pushing but another 50 seconds
driving, where one errant tap on the wall can erase any push start
advantage you had. Many speedy sprinters (including bobsledders) have
tried this sport, but only a tiny fraction of them make it to the
World-Cup level. I think it's more important to be able to relax in the
face of fear, and to possess quick thinking and dexterity--you'll use
your body to make subtle steering movements many times in a matter of
seconds.

But you only have to worry about all that stuff if you're serious; many
folks do this for fun (like me). Enjoy sliding, Lynn, it'll be a blast!

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