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Newbie needs kit advice

PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 3:48 am
by graeme
Just come across this board and it seems an excellent resource. Getting into skeleton always seems hard enough, but at least in the US you’ve got this and (some of) your tracks seem to be encouraging people to have a go. In Europe its even more difficult, especially in a country that doesn’t have it’s own track.

I’ve been driving bobsleigh “recreationally” for the last couple of years, and at the British Championships (in Austria…) earlier this year I borrowed a sled off the Air Force, a helmet off the Navy (the military is one of the few ways into sliding sports here…) and went straight off the Top with no instruction :D. It was fantastic! – I made it to the bottom twice (second run with a running start) but then thought I better quit as I was racing bobsleigh in the afternoon.

Anyway I’ve managed to get myself on the Swiss skeleton school at St Moritz this coming season (it’s meant for young Swiss athletes – I fail on all three counts!). So I need to get myself some kit:

Helmets – there seems to be four options: Z1 (?), Jofa, UVEX and the Czech helmet. I’ve heard there’s a new regulation coming in (might only in Europe?) that helmets need to be certified, so that seems to narrow it down to the UVEX or the Czech one. Any views on these? UVEX is a bit more pricey, but the Czech’s seem to have more customer service (took a month to get a reply from UVEX and they are quoting 12 weeks delivery).

Spikes. I was going to get a pair of those fancy new orange & black ice spikes from RGS (?) in Germany. But I’ve seen comments here that they are too stiff… So maybe I’ll just go for a pair of the last generation bob spikes and save a few quid. If I did go for the fancy ones (bearing in mind I need them for bobsleigh and skeleton), would I be better getting bob shoes (and duck taping the toes over) or skelly ones (would the topcaps get in the way of jumping into a bob?)?

The item I’m having biggest problem finding is a one-piece track suit (not a skin suit at this stage…). Any ideas where to order one?


PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 6:04 am
by George
Welcome, Graeme.

I don't have helmet advice, but I did want to point out to others that you bring up a good point. The FIBT is establishing helmet requirements that'll prohibit many/most of the helmet models currently in use. Again, as with the bobspikes requirement, apparently this applies mainly to national-team racers rather than recreational sliders:

Yeah, those German bobspikes are expensive. I've never used them, but others tell me they're too stiff. I currently use an older model of Adidas bobspikes. Watch out, duct tape may just fall onto the track. Like most athletes, I use "Shoe Goo" - a product available at any US sporting goods store for a few dollars.

If any full-body track singlets are available online, they might be at Eastbay, VS Athletics, Anaconda Sports, or

- George


PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2007 7:23 am
by graeme
Okay, got a Czech helmet and ice spikes (well, I will have when I get them exchanged - I'm normally a UK 6 1/2, ordered 7 1/2 which were too small and am waiting on some 8 1/2s!).

But what gloves do people use?

Still having no luck with a one-piece training suit - think I'll end up with a two-piece duck-taped together...

Skeleton equipment

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:13 am
by George

Good luck in your equipment search. Once I get the chance to look up my specs, I'll post info on what I have (helmet, gloves, suit, spikes, tools) and where I found it.

Spandex suit

PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 7:48 pm
by shannonfaulkinbury
I found a website that sells spandex suits for under $25 US. It's made for dancing, but will work if anyone doesn't want to wait for a custom made suit or is on a serious budget...just wanted to share. ... tcatid=131

PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 11:31 pm
by mongoose
Hi Graham

I have just spend the past 4 months obtaining my skeleton kit, hope this helps

Z1 Fullface helmet purchased from ... x.html;d=1

Bodysuit purchased off ebay
contact her to see what she has in stock, good kit at a good price

My gloves are designed for downhill mountain bike racing and they work well for skeleton

Spiked shoes from RGS, pricey, but you need them

Race sled from Randell Parker



PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 3:23 am
by graeme
Thanks for the tip off for the ebay speed suits - got one last month (whether I'll wear it much it another matter - I prefer downhilling body armour with a sweatshirt of the top to take the battering...).

Gloves - I got some carbon-fibre backed winter motorbike gloves, which work well (I even smashed some of the carbon bits rubbing against the wall, so they do work!).

PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:21 am
by mongoose
Hi Graham

Glad I have helped, these contacts have work well for me accept for parker sleds, who agreed to build sled back in June, we were arranging delivery of sled in late Sept, two days later he cancelled my order for no reason. :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: f##ker