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>New streetluge the 'Speedstick' - interview with the inventor Darren Lott

We caught up with Darren Lott at the 'Highland Extreme' and we asked him a few questions about his recent invention... "The Speedstick"

Tell us about your new Speedstick and its design?

"The Speedstick is a totally new design. I build all of my boards around the trucks and wheels, where as a lot of other people build a luge to what they think it should look like and design to that image. The focus of my design is on performance and I design my luges to be an interface between my body, the trucks and the wheels.

Moe Speed who make Millennium Trucks, and other really nice custom equipment out of solid billet, showed me a set of really low trucks he had made. The trucks got me thinking. If I were to start with a set of really low trucks, I wouldn't have to design such drop in the board, and I could to keep the centre of gravity low. We discussed things further and after about a month or so a box arrived as a present and it contained some of the new low style trucks."

The Speedstick looks complex, is it difficult to manufacture?
"I had previously been building luges out of curved woods, which looks really nice but they are very difficult to duplicate and manufacturer. You can't send someone the plans because it doesn't really translate if they don't get the exact same curvature in the wood. I wanted to find something that had the potential to be relatively easy to manufacturer like the Lott Classic Buttboard that you now see tons of people have
One of the criteria for the new Speedstick was that no piece could be longer than 4 foot long so it could easily unbolt and pack into the same bag as a buttboard. I wanted to make it out of as few parts as possible and of course I wanted it to handle really well."

"If you have only 4 wheels it's very difficult to keep up in a hard turn with say a Rogers Luge that has 6 wheels. So I tried using the side-by-side wheel layout which is another unique thing about the Speedstick. So where you would normally have 1 wheel per axle, I have 2 wheels back to back. The Kryptonics have a narrower bearing set so they take up less room on an axle than a Cherry Bomb or one of the ABEC 11 wheels. So when I mount the wheels back-to-back it gives me 8 wheels to the Rogers 6 wheels, and it gives me only 2 trucks to worry about tuning.

Handling: Is it like a luge or like a buttboard?

I think this is my first big race with the Speedstick, and its behaving very nicely. The hand position and how your body is positioned is like the buttboard. However handling wise its very different. The buttboards have the Randal luge trucks or the R2 trucks and at speed those trucks want to go straight, so you can play around on the board and really have to grab on to it and really lean over to get it to go around a turn which makes it a very easy board for a beginner to ride.

The Millennium Trucks have a Z-roller geometry which are very twitchy and offer high performance. It takes very little input to make it turn. The Speedstick has a longer wheelbase than the buttboard but it retains the same neutral balance as the buttboard. So when you put it into a turn all 8 wheels slide, and you are not coning out the front and the back. I set out to distribute all the weight evenly on the 8 wheels and to provide as much traction as possible when going down the course."

Where do people buy Lott Buttboards?
"Go to Buttboarding.com it has links with companies that sell them like The Luge Store"


Darren Lott: World Ranking!
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Weirdest injury?