Spyder to debut slippery suit for U.S. and Canadian Olympic Ski Teams

Posted By: The Ski Channel on October 28, 2009 10:29 am

What started as Spyder’s padded sweater circa 1970 and later, a “Speedwyre” suit in the 90’s which was banned by FIS for being “too fast,” has now turned into the uniform du jour among the U.S. and Canadian Ski Teams. Spyder has again re-engineered the technology of the racing suits in time for the Vancouver Olympics, and will debut the speedy outerwear in early 2010.

Both Canadian and U.S. Olympic Ski Teams will enjoy the new race suit system which incorporates improvements to the suit’s aerodynamics. “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.”

To slick the suit’s surface, Spyder refined the texture on the top face knit, to reduce friction against the wind. In fact, the new slippery surface was tested in wind tunnels and was proven to shave hundredths of seconds from racers’ times, a precious margin by which many ski races are won.

Spyder also revamped the suit system’s padding, reducing the volume by 40% compared to other models, which also helps aerodynamics. The special d30™ pads are made from ‘floating’ molecules that flow during movement, but

lock together on impact to absorb shock.

As if that wasn’t enough, Spyder moved the protective pads from the slalom and GS suits to a separate underlayer, to eliminate extra thread, needle holes and seams on the outer fabric. The move seems extreme, but the extra measures should only help our Olympic athletes. “Without a doubt we will have the best technical advantage at the Vancouver Games,” posits former U.S. Ski Team coach and consultant Phil McNichol.

If you’re interested in any technical advantages for yourself, you can have ‘em: The suit will be available to consumers in 2011.