In May of 2011, Bob Cohen along with officials from the All American Soap Box Derby, contacted Marcus Rietema of the IGSA ( International Gravity Sports Association ) in regards to possibly allowing extreme sports athletes, both from the Street Luge and Downhill Skateboarding ranks, to come demo their sports during the Soap Box Derby World Championships. Contact was made in an effort to cross promote these extreme sports along with the Derby in an effort to build co-interest.

Shortly after, Marcus traveled to the world famous Akron Derby Hill with Street Luge World Champion, David Dean, to do a “test demo” on the hill. Marcus, David and Derby officials were stunned when David beat the tracks fastest speed record reaching a top speed of just over 50mph. They were all even more stunned at the massive media attention generated by the un-promoted demo.

David along with 9 other professional downhill racers returned for a formal demonstration during the first 45 minutes of the All American Soap Box Derby World Championship in July 2011. In front of a crowd of thousands, these Athletes thrilled and amazed the crowd.

Bob Cohen, Derby members and City of Akron officials were so impressed by the response, they decided to immediately move forward with plans to cross-promote the two downhill sports.

The decision was unique in that no gravity sports other than Derby cars were ever previously allowed on the hill.

In the fall of 2011, a committee was formed with members of the Derby Board, IGSA and City of Akron officials. They formed and approved a three year plan to allow Street Luge and Downhill Skateboarding to utilize the Derby facilities.

The Akron Gravity Racing Event Series is a first of its kind opportunity for athletes to enter into the extreme world of downhill gravity sports ( Street Luge, Downhill Skateboarding ).

The series will consist of 9 events spanning from April – October of 2012. There will be two “Learn to Luge” days, five open track days and the signature event, the 2012 Akron Rubber City Gravity Games which will be an IGSA sanctioned events in the NorAm professional downhill Series.

See the Schedule of Events