In the sport of luge, the start phase plays a critical role in overall race performance. However, the biomechanical factors influencing start performance are currently unexplored. The goal of this thesis was to achieve a better understanding of the biomechanics behind the luge start and to validate the use of an accelerometer to assess continuous sled velocity.
It was found that an accelerometer is not a valid tool to evaluate luge sled velocity during the starts. A systematic bias was found in the accelerometer underestimating sled velocity in almost 90% of the trials.
For the pull phase of the start, kinetic variables had a high relationship with pull performance. Gender differences were found in the velocity development and relative force application. None of the hypothesis discussed for the paddling phase were related to performance. However, two very distinct mechanisms in the development of sled velocity were found.