Drifting isn’t a sport for the faint of heart. Nor is it the sport for someone trying to keep their car pristine. It’s about getting down and dirty, running into one another, spinning out, hitting barriers, and everything going wrong. That’s part of the beauty of drifting, is all the danger behind it. From that danger, however, we need to protect our bodies. The Safety Equipment page has most of the items you’ll need, but here, we can talk about what makes or breaks a safe setup: Butt Holders.
(NOTE: Images aren’t of actual products, just similar ones. Thanks, Amazon! lol)
Going sideways puts a lot of forces on not only your car, but on its occupants as well. Front, back, and side-to-side, these forces could pull you around and even off any normal seat. With a bucket seat, however, you stay firmly planted in the center. The seat grabs you, and prevents three of the four angles of force you could possibly feel. Having daily driven a car with a bucket seat, let me tell ya. That was the most comfortable seat I’ve ever been in, after about 3 days. It was torture those first three days, but once I learned how to sit in it properly, that was more comfortable than any Cadillac seat.
Now, there is very little padding in most bucket seats. The padding isn’t where the comfort comes from, though. Being restrained just enough where it fits your body perfectly, that’s where the comfort comes from. Like a really snug blanket, of sorts. While a different type of comfort, once you get used to it, it’s incredible!
Remember when I said a bucket seat prevents three of the four angles of force? Well, a harnesses protects you from the last one. While you can’t get thrashed left, right, or back while in a bucket seat, you still need a harness to hold you into the seat. This becomes increasingly more apparent as you experience some crashes and spin-outs, when the g-force isn’t pushing you into the seat exclusively. Having a 4-point harness is much safer than using a stock seat belt.
First, the straps on a harness are much thicker and stronger than those on your average seatbelt. Secondly, there’s no give in a harness, there’s no chance of the harness “not locking” like a seatbelt could. Thirdly, and most importantly.. it looks cooler to wear a harness than a seatbelt 🙂 . Nah, the real third that’s important is that lots of tracks require a harness in your car when you go drifting.
Getting into a car with a bucket seat isn’t an easy feat. With high side walls, and little to no adjustability, you don’t have many angles of attack to get in. That pesky steering wheel doesn’t allow you to sit down into the seat, you have to slide in between. With a quick release hub, however, you’ll be able to easily remove your steering wheel, and get in much quicker. The hub consists of a piece that stays on your wheel, and the hub itself. They lock into one another when pressed, and act like a normal steering wheel.
This also adds style points, if you leave your steering wheel on your dashboard, or in a wire mesh on your backpack (I’m looking at you, Twinkie). This brings us into our next item…
A quick release hub is fairly useless without a steering wheel on it! While a stock wheel could theoretically fit on a quick release, it’d look quite odd. Having a real drift wheel in your car helps in a multitude of ways. First off, the yellow centering line can help you out in a pinch. It is meant to represent the angle of your wheels. Since you aren’t grip racing, your wheels aren’t facing the direction you’re facing. This line allows you to know which way your wheels are facing, allowing you to adjust with precision.
Also, with the wheel being light and perfectly round, flicking it from side to side is much easier. This is a big part of drifting, and having a misshapen wheel, or a heavy one, would be a huge detriment.