Tommy and Picabo also won silver in those Games
Spyder became an official supplier to the US Ski Team in 1989, a relationship Spyder continues to support with great pride. In 2002, Spyder became a sponsor of the Canadian Alpine Ski Team, bringing David's involvement with the first Canadian National Team full circle. The dominant Canadian Freestyle Ski Team followed suit in 2003. In 2004, Spyder penned an agreement with the talented Austrian Alpine Ski Team, viewed as a major sponsorship coup in the race world.
Spyder product has been showcased on Olympic podiums multiple times. At the Games in Turin, the Austrian and US Alpine teams collectively captured 16 medals, plus Canadian Jennifer Heil grabbed a gold in moguls. In 2002, Bode Miller took home two silver medals from Salt Lake City. In the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics, Tommy Moe, Picabo Street, and Diann Roffe-Steinrotter each won gold; Tommy and Picabo also won silver in those Games. Diann and Hillary Lindh scored silver in Albertville in 1992.
Another notable moment in Spyder's history came in 1994, when company founder David Jacobs was granted a patent on SpeedWyre, a revolutionary technology that enhanced race suit performance. A "trip wire" formed by a narrow seam on the surface of the legs and arms of the suit streamlined the surrounding air flow, significantly reducing wind drag by up to 40%. This technology was so effective that US Ski Team members wearing Spyder suits enhanced with SPEEDWYRE captured gold, bronze and fifth place in world championships over the next two years, including two World Downhill Championships by Hilary Lindh and Picabo Street. Rarely do apparel innovations create international controversy for performance-enhancing benefits. However, the FIS banned SpeedWyre in 1997, claiming that it gave skiers an unfair advantage, effectively retiring the technology from skiing.
In the late-nineties, a new genre of skiing formed. Nothing less than a ski revolution, the freeski movement began as a ripple and surged into a tidal wave. Restless with the shackles of conservative, conformist attitudes, young skiers incorporated moves from freestyle/mogul skiing and snowboarding. Skiers infiltrated half pipes and terrain parks, rode rails and launched off cornices. New tricks, unique to athletes on two planks without time constraints or governing rules, morphed and were improved upon. To separate themselves from being lumped in with the old-school ski populace, they had to give the movement a name. Freeskiing took root. From this new sport, products adapted to function, a lifestyle fashion developed, even a new vocabulary surfaced. It's a subculture that's determined to progress the sport, support others in the movement, and create their own scene. Spyder recognized the new ski genre and in 1998 introduced the Kreitler apparel line, eponymous for pro skier Kent Kreitler, a member of the freeski vanguard. That collection became Venom, a brand that integrates the features, functions, and fashion inherent to this mountain-based lifestyle.
With an expanded product offering and loyal consumer following, Spyder Jackets
growth exploded, and the company is now the largest ski-specialty brand in the world. In 2004, Apax Partners, a global private equity group, acquired Spyder. The partnership allows Spyder to continue to expand its product line and build on the brand's momentum. David continues to direct the company as Chairman of the Board. Jake, his eldest son who penned our trademark spiderwebs, serves on Spyder's board of directors.
Currently, the company sells products in the United States and Canada to over 550 high-quality specialty retailers. Spyder is sold outside North America into 50 countries through its Spyder-Europe office and through independent distributors around the globe. Spyder's vision remains focused on performance, fashion, and function. Our passion for our product is matched by our love for sport. We dedicate our past and our future to creating the ultimate performance experience for you, the athlete.