A New Speed Suit, Tested in a Wind Tunnel

Sorry for more ski racing news, but it's an Olympic year and we can't help ourselves. Spyder has announced a new, more aerodynamic speed suit, which will be worn by the U.S. and Canadian ski teams at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games. If nothing else, read this to check out the nifty wind tunnel video.
New Spyder Race Suit

Forgive us for covering ski racing so much: It’s an Olympic year and we simply can’t help ourselves. Today’s big news? Spyder’s got a new, more slippery, more aerodynamic race suit that will be worn by the U.S. and Canadian ski teams at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games. “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 Phil Shettig, Spyder’s product director. “Our goal is to manipulate airflow properties to make all of our suits faster against the competition.”

They’ve tested the product in wind tunnels (check out the video below) and found the suits to reduce times by hundredths of a second, which is nothing in real time, of course, but is actually a lot in ski racer time. Without boring you too much with technical details, here’s how Spyder redesigned the suit. (1) They refined the texture of the suit’s knit, giving it less friction against wind. (2) Designers replaced the pads with ones that have 40 percent less volume and are therefore more aerodynamic due to their lower profile. (3) The protective pads in the slalom and GS suits are now in a separate underlayer to reduce the seams on the outside of the fabric.

“Without a doubt we will have the best technical advantage at the Vancouver Games,” says Phil McNichol, former U.S. Ski Team Men’s Alpine Coach.



Jamaican Ski Wear?

Spyder makes the uniform for Errol Kerr, sole member of the Jamaican ski team and Olympic ski-cross hopeful. Here's a look at his apparel.

A few stats on the Peak to Peak Gondola.It will be four and a half times higher than the Statue of LibertyIt will be three times longer than the Golden Gate BridgeIt will span a length of 2.7 miles in 11 minutesIt will carry 28 people per cabin, moving 2050 people per hour each way.The highest point off the ground it will be is 1,427 feet over Fitzsimmons Creek.The longest length of unsupported track is 1.88 miles.

A Look at Whistler's Peak to Peak Gondola

Whislter's Peak to Peak Gondola opened in December 2008. The largest construction project of its kind in North America, the gondola connects Whistler to Blackcomb so that if you want to take turns in Symphony Bowl and Seventh Heaven in the same hour, you can. The gondola spans 2.7 miles in 11 minutes—three times longer than the Golden Gate Bridge. With the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and Whistler just around the corner, here are some shots of the gondola being constructed.

Stefan Thomas grabbing some tail above Park City's Eagle superpipe.

Train Like an Olympian in Park City, Utah

January is "Learn a Snow Sports" month. So why not pick up Nordic jumping? As the 2010 Olympic athletes gear up for their trip to Vancouver in a few weeks, you can fine tune your own skills at Olympic events in Park City, the site of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. They've got introductory courses in nearly all Olympic disciplines, from bobsledding to curling to slalom skiing.