The kit: what's needed and why
Apart from the actual bobsleigh itself, the equipment required by each athlete can appear relatively straightforward to newcomers to the sport. The amount of race kit required by the athletes is certainly limited, but the technology behind it can be cutting edge.
Here’s what every athlete needs to compete:
The race suit
A bobsleigh race suit is made from Lycra because it’s light and tight-fitting. The material and design of the suit aid aerodynamics and prevent athletes getting their clothing caught on any part of the bobsleigh when loading at high speed.
A bobsleigh helmet is very similar to a standard motorbike helmet. A helmet must be worn by all the athletes in the bobsleigh, regardless of their position in the sled. However, with the exception of the driver for a whom visibility after the start is essential, not all athletes in the sled use a visor.
Ice spikes are absolutely essential when it comes to moving the sled as quickly as possible from a standing start. These spikes are a unique piece of equipment to bobsleigh and skeleton which are designed on a similar basis to a sprint spike but feature over 400 needle spikes rather than the traditional six or nine on their athletic counterparts. The ‘brush spikes’ under the front part of the foot help give maximum grip while sprinting on ice.