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Spyder Unveils “Slippery” Suits for US & Canadian Olympic Ski Teams

Posted in News, Ski Gear by Jason Mitchell - 10.27.2009

Spyder, the world’s leading skiwear and mountain-based apparel brand, announces the debut of a completely re-engineered speed suit for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics to be worn by the U.S. and Canadian teams. The new race suit system incorporates three key innovations that will improve the suit’s aerodynamics and result in significant time savings for North American athletes. It will be available for consumer purchase in 2011.

“The focus of Spyder’s research during the last few years has been about how we can make our speed suits more slippery against air,” says Spyder Product Director Phil Shettig, “Our goal is to manipulate airflow properties to make all of our suits faster against the competition.”

Spyder refined the surface texture on the top face knit, reducing the co-efficient of friction against wind. The new slippery surface has less texture than past fabrics, and was tested in wind tunnels to shave off precious hundredths of seconds from racers’ times, a margin by which many ski races are won and lost.

To replace traditional padding, Spyder worked with d30™ Labs to create a pad that has 40% less volume than prior protection. d30™ pads are made from intelligent molecules that flow during movement, but reactively lock together on impact to absorb shock. The padding system is more aerodynamic due to its lower profile and a lack of abrupt edges that can “catch” wind.

Finally, Spyder moved their protective pads from their slalom and GS suits to a separate underlayer in order to reduce the amount of thread, seams and needle holes on the outside fabric, all of which contribute to wind friction.

Phil McNichol, former U.S. Ski Team Men’s Alpine Coach says, “Spyder is at the forefront of developing these technologies through wind tunnel and on-snow testing. Without a doubt we will have the best technical advantage at the Vancouver Games.”

Spyder’s Slippery Technology is the latest in a long line of innovations that have historically allowed Spyder race suits to stay far ahead of the competition. From the brand’s first padded slalom sweaters in 1970s to the Speedwyre suits that were banned by the FIS in the 1990s for being “too fast,” Spyder will once again charge ahead and separate itself as the leader in speed suit engineering.

About Spyder Active Sports
Spyder revolutionized ski apparel in 1978 with a padded slalom sweater designed “for racing, by racers.” Spyder products continue to dominate the race circuit and are the choice of the US Alpine and Canadian Alpine World Cup Ski Teams. Renown for integration of high-tech fabrication, function and fashion, Spyder is the world’s leading skiwear and mountain-based apparel brand. Based in Boulder, Colorado, Spyder products are distributed in over 50 countries worldwide.

In 2008 Spyder acquired Cloudveil Mountain Works, credited as starting the modern day soft shell revolution. Cloudveil draws inspiration from its home-base of Jackson, Wyoming, building innovative and functional apparel for the outdoor, snowsports, fly fishing and casual apparel markets. For more information, visit www.spyder.com and www.cloudveil.com



4 Responses to 'Spyder Unveils “Slippery” Suits for US & Canadian Olympic Ski Teams'

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  1. Brig Graff

    I love the potential that materials like d30 have, which Spyder is using for padding here. See Laura Drexler’s comments about it here: http://www.gear.com/why-is-ski-andbike-protective-gear-so-expensive/

    Check out d30 at their website here: http://www.d3olab.com/

  2. Nick Kreuter

    This speed suit is awesome. I think they should market this to the public now. Also spyder should only creat the US Ski Team Issue Speed suits, produce more of them and lower the price.. Every racer like all the sponsers and likes the x-static and D30 technology but cant afford it. if the prices were lower they would sell more and every racer would be happier

  3. brad k

    The suits sell for $800 but no pads in the suit there are sold as a top and bottom for $200 each.

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