LangrennNewsProduct NewsCraft’s Speedsuit Will Give Sweden Olympic Medals

Avatar Tim ReynoldsFebruary 2, 201018

Last week Craft presented the speedsuit that has been under development for the past year in collaboration with the Swedish national team for the Vancouver Olympics.  According to experts, the new suit could actually make a big difference.

After years of research, close cooperation with several of the worlds best skiers and engineers, and lots of plain hard work, Craft finally presented their new world class cross country ski racing suit.  Specialists on functional training and race apparel have focuses on the 2010 Olympics as the debut stage for the next generation of innovation- a muscle-assisting material using carbon fiber and a unique ergonomical construction branded as Craft’s new Moving Wing Technology™.  Swedish national team skiers will be racing in this new suit- and they’re hoping it will take them to the top of the podium on the Canadian trails in February.

Craft's Speedsuit Will Give Sweden Olympic Medals

The close cooperation with the world’s best skiers is the primary resource behind Crafts new product innovations.  Former Tour de Ski winner Charolotte Kalla is one of four skiers who have worked on the research and development team for the new suit.  At the National Winter Sports Center in Ostersund, Kalla and her teammates along with Craft product engineers and developers have tested and adjusted the new suit technology for optimal performance in Vancouver.

In Ostersund, the research team has used cameras to study skier’s movement patterns from all possible angles.  From these tests, they were able to develop a unique fabric with new stitching and panels and fantastic ergonomics.  A shaped 3D construction provides unmatched freedom of movement and comfort despite the suit’s tight and aerodynamic fit.  A final innovation detail is the Moving Wing Technology™, designed to give optimal release and pull-back across the back and shoulder muscles.

Craft's Speedsuit Will Give Sweden Olympic Medals

Craft’s Olympic 2010 racing suit is made of advanced technical material from the Swiss fabric specialist Eschler.  Polyester fiber gives optimal moisture transport while polyurethane protects against the natural elements.  The material even contains some carbon fiber, which according to studies published by the research institute EMPA in St. Gallen, Switzerland, improves heat regulation- a decisive factor on race day.

Source: langd.se

Translated by Tim Reynolds

Born and raised in Vermont, Tim Reynolds is psyched to be operating out of the Northeast Kingdom of his home state as part of the Craftsbury Green Racing Project. He spent his undergraduate years at Middlebury, where he was an EISA carnival winner and three-time NCAA qualifier and All-East pick. Tim captained the Panthers his senior year, and is looking forward to winters with more skiing and less studying. A convicted Europhile, look for Tim to do all he can to earn races in Europe this season. At Craftsbury he’s working on local food sourcing.

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18 comments

  • Avatar
    Mike Trecker

    February 2, 2010 at 8:44 am

    The over/under on this is $500. What’s your bet? I’m going with the Over.

    Go USA, make the Swedes set the tempo since they have the aero advantage…

  • Avatar
    marshall

    February 2, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Available exclusively in the new extra see-thru white…

  • Avatar
    Sven

    February 2, 2010 at 10:30 am

    What…no integrated head piece that was part of the “winning suit” like the last go-round? How many medals did that version of the speedsuit help win? I’m skeptical. I agree with Marshall–not very flattering. Team USA has a much more intimidating race suit going off of looks alone.

  • Avatar
    T.Eastman

    February 2, 2010 at 11:51 am

    I wonder how comfortable it will be in a steady downpour…

  • Avatar
    Tim Kelley

    February 2, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    No matter how much time and money Swedish apparel engineers put into designing race suits, they still can’t seem to figure out how to keep underwear from showing. They’ve been struggling with this design challenge for many years.

  • Avatar
    Patrick Stinson

    February 2, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    Who the hell wants to win a race when everyone knows it’s because they put on some new piece of equipment?

  • Avatar
    donpollari

    February 2, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    My best results are due to a pair of top secret windbriefs a good friend at NASA gave to me 😉

  • Avatar
    bcartwright

    February 2, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    Hey I’d like to try one of these suits for better speed!

  • Avatar
    Tim Kelley

    February 2, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    If xc ski racers can’t blood dope … they “fashion dope”. You can often tell blood dopers from their VILs (visible injection lines). You can tell Swedish fashion dopers from their trademark VPLs (visible panty lines).

    😉

  • Avatar
    Lars

    February 2, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    I doubt a suit will mean the difference between a medal and a no medal.

    And Stinson if they made a suit that could make me race like an Olympic i would so use it. 😀

  • Avatar
    OldManWinter

    February 3, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Curious responses. It seems like just a few weeks ago we were batting around the anticipated merits of the hole ski and mechanical bindings. Based on those conversations, I didn’t expect the above reactions. To echo Marty Hall: ‘…but we keep getting faster…’. Are these duds not second-shaving? Aren’t new fabrics producing measurable results and victories in the pool? Didn’t Thomas Alsgard race to photo-finish tie at SLC? Might this suit have made a difference? Personally, I would be ecstatic to see the U.S. medal in any fabric. I dunno…You will never (and wouldn’t want to) see my aged, sagging caboose in one of these outfits, but I think that if the Swedish ladies want to race in them then it would be great for (ahem) morale…

  • Avatar
    Tim Kelley

    February 3, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    OldManWinter: Speaking of Fischer and the Hole Ski … why hasn’t someone come out with the “Hole Suit”? If cutting a few grams from the ski tip will reduce swing weight and get you onto the podium, then by the same logic – cutting holes near the tips of a racing suit’s sleeves and legs should reduce swing weight and get you to the podium too. Break out the scissors and bring on the Hole Suits!

    I don’t think anyone is arguing that new technologies don’t make products faster. The arguments most often question the BS marketing hype around the new products. If a new product will make a minute marginal improvement – then that should be noted. And not some hype about how the product is revolutionary and will take you to the top of the podium.

    An example of such ski industry marketing hype with no integrity was seen a few years ago with the Swix speed suits – where on this web site, Swix’s web site and numerous ski shop web sites the claim was made that wearing the suit would improve your performance by 40%. In other words: “Just buy this suit and take an hour off your Bikie time!” That was offensive. 40% – no way. 4% – no way. 4/10th of a percent – no way. 4/100ths of a percent … maybe. As long as ski industry marketing departments subscribe to fairy tale ad campaigns (a politically correct term for “lying”) … there will be those (like me) that get entertainment out of taking pot shots at their BS.

  • Avatar
    donpollari

    February 3, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    I resemble your last comment Tim.

    I have one of those Swix suits and, in fact, clearly remember the 40% advantage claim made for them. Funny, that 40% efficiency seemed to be totally negated by a 10% decrease in fitness.

    I want my 30% increase in efficiency Swix!!!

    (If my 10% decrease in performance was actually due to a 50% decrease in fitness……my apologies go out to Swix.)

  • Avatar
    OldManWinter

    February 3, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    Tim – I agree…the industry is loaded with hype, bs and outright lying. I never tuned into the Swix offering, but if I had I’m sure I would have had a lot of fun with it. Typically, new technology has to win me over. In this case, I will never wear one of those things (few of us ever will) so I will never know first-hand but doubt I could tell the difference even if I could. However, I have seen enough interest and success with space-age fabrics elsewhere to think there might be something to it. As I recall, Michael Phelp’s stellar Olympic relay victory was won by the length of a human fingernail. Does that margin represent 4/100ths of a tick? I don’t know, but I’m fairly sure that he and his handlers had enough confidence in his suit to send him out with it for one of the biggest races of his career.
    If the Craft uni had holes, springs and Kevlar cables, I would be
    all over it like a bad suit (pun intended). However, my thinking is that if this technology is good enough for Michael and Lance, it’s good enough for our top guns (but only them, with one exception). With the advent of sprinting I’m aware of at least a couple of photo-finishes over the past few years. While I’m not a huge fan of sprinting, but I can understand why top WC skiers would be interested in seeking any edge, even if it is an immeasurable psychological one. Looking back at the Madshus photo contest winners, who can deny the nordic apparel industry hasn’t made progress? Who can deny that performances haven’t improved as a result? And, who can give Tim Kelly a Craft suit of his own to replace his poplin Odlo union suit? ; – ))

  • Avatar
    Mike Trecker

    February 4, 2010 at 8:54 am

    I’ll go back to my original take and the cost of this vs. real performance advantage. For me, the aero take is not as real as the temperature control angle of the carbon in the material. Temperature control can actually factor into the results. But the aero part? Not likely.

    The big difference between the swimmers and the skiers is water. There is much more drag in water than air, and thus, the speed advantage in water is real.

    Look at the track sprinters, 100m top speed is arguably similar to a nordic sprinter. Sure, the downhills are faster, but these guys aren’t exactly channeling their inner Bode with all the snowplowing I’ve seen lately. Those track guys used to care about speed suits and hoods etc. But then, alas, Usain Bolt shocked the world in nothing more than a singlet, shorts and some shoes.

    The aero advantage here is nothing but hype. And why raise the bar on cost when it is total bunk. That’s the last thing this sport needs is to get more expensive in reality or perception.

    And let’s talk about Eastman’s comment. Was he referring to how the suit feels in the rain? Or was he referring to the amount of rain falling instead of snow, and industry’s role in the latter.

  • Avatar
    nexer

    February 16, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    It worked!

  • Avatar
    Huub

    February 20, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Note only did the Craft suit work for the Swede’s it stood out. While one could not keep the Russian’s / Czech’s or German’s/Canadians apart, this suit, in it white color stood out and it was easier to spot the Swede’s.

    I hear the suit will be available in Black/Silver at retail this coming winter; go get one and break your one medal draught,

    Huub

  • Avatar
    Jim Falconer

    February 21, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    Hard to argue with the Swedes’ performance in the 30K pursuit yesterday – Gold and Bronze. While you can’t give the suit all the credit, you have to wonder if it might have made the difference of a few precious seconds over a race that lasts an hour and 15 minutes…

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