The U.S. Team's Sweet New Suit

Spyder's new Slippery speed suit promises to shave seconds. Will the FIS ban it from competition?
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Spyder's Slippery speed suit thumb

We remember Spyder Speedwyre—a speed-suit technology so effective it was banned from FIS competition (naturally, since it was unavailable to European racers, and Americans Hilary Lindh and Picabo Street were winning World Championship medals in it). Now comes the Slippery, a new suit incorporating technologies that Spyder says will save precious hundredths of seconds for its U.S. and Canadian competitors.

The Speedwyre incorporated strategically placed piping on the leading surfaces of a skier’s body, where they would break suction and reduce drag. The Slippery takes a couple different approaches toward the same end. The surface of the suit’s material is a finer knit that reduces the coefficient of friction. (It still meets FIS regulations for porosity. Non-porous materials, like rubber, are illegal.) Meanwhile, Spyder has switched to a less bulky padding material that creates less wind-resistance. The new d30 pad material is said to provide the same protection in the event of impact, but its lower profile will allow racers to slip through the air more efficiently.

Want a Slippery of your own for Beer League races? You’ll have to wait. The U.S. and Canadian national teams get it to themselves until next season, when it’ll be available to consumers.


New Spyder Race Suit

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.

 Vonn Spyder suit thumb

Vonn's New Threads

All you racer chicks out there, get ready: Spyder has partnered with Lindsey Vonn to bring you her new line of custom speed suits for the 2010/2011 season. Each suit, available online from the U.S. Ski Team store, was designed for a stop on the World Cup circuit last season. Vonn says, "I think these race suit designs are a great way to generate more excitement in our sport and especially appeal to girls and women. I want more females on race courses!” They retail for around $999.