History of Spyder
Spider is an
American company, founded by David Jacobs, he's also the chairman,
born in Montréal, Canada. David Jacobs began skiing very
young, he was just 13 years of age. By 21, he officially decided
that he was going to try skiing professionally. Then he competed
in the Québec Kandahar and won. Between the years of 1957
all the way through 1961, he was a member of the Canadian national
ski team. David Jacobs pursued skiing professionally in 1957 again,
and he became the Canadian downhill ski champion. Next season, he
became the number one ranked team member of the Canadian FIS team.
Serving as the head coach and program administer, he took on the
role of the Canadian national ski teams’ first full time coach.
He occupied this role between 1964 to 1966.
Later on, in
1978, David had sons that were competing in the ski race circuit.
During this time, he noticed that there was really only one brand
of race sweaters that the competitors could purchase. He truly believed
and knew that he was able to make a better product for the racers
that competed in these competitions. The business was officially
called David L Jacobs, it became incorporated, and he began doing
small orders which he completed out of his Boulder, Colorado home.
was successfully able to market these race sweaters, he started
adding other types of ski apparel, like ski pants. These items were
officially added to his catalog of offerings for competitors in
races. One of the first types of ski pants that was introduced into
his line, was a Navy blue racing pant that featured yellow striped
pads that ran down from the hip to knee. One of his sons, named
Billy, told him that a lot of skiers were referring to the pants
as "spider" pants, because it had a spiderlike appearance
the way that the stripes ran down the pants. Jacob saw this as an
opportunity to establish a long-lasting name for his business. Officially,
he declared the name of the company "Spyder" and they
began moving forward with this branding. Jacobs was always a fan
of sports cars. He decided to name the company Spyder, with a "y",
instead of an "i" because he was a fan of the Ferrari
Spyder. Some of the earliest products that they sold were done by
mail order, these were padded sweaters, race pants, polls, sunglasses
and other types of racing accessories for skiers. The name of company
quickly began to spread and Spyder was becoming a successful brand
throughout the industry. The company officially operated out of
Jacobs' own kitchen, for about two years. After sales started to
reach six figures, he decided his kitchen was just a bit too crowded,
he should probably look to expand.
In order to
expand in the year 1980, Jacobs had to part with his branding, he
sold it to Boulder-based Hansen Industries. At the time, they were
a ski boot manufacturer, he was happy to give the brand to a company
within the industry. However, just 18 months later, he officially
bought back Spyder right before the Hansen company officially went
bought back the company, in 1994, he was granted a patent on his
SpeedWyre technology, which was based around performance race suits.
He designed a "trip wire" like device into the seams of
the suit, that could be found on the legs and arms. This seam allowed
airflow to get into the suit, which greatly reduced drag for skiers.
During laboratory tests, scientists were able to discover that the
drag was reduced by a whopping 40%. There were US ski team members
that were accompanied with Spyder SpeedWyre suits, and they were
able to get gold, bronze and fifth-place world championship medals
throughout two years of competing in the Olympics. Two downhill
world champions were won by Hillary Lynd and Picabo Street. Unfortunately,
FIS declared a ban against SpeedWyre technology, this occurred in
1997. They testified that it gave skiers who did not have these
types of suits an unfair disadvantage, and skiers that had them
had an advantage over their competitors. However, today, the US
ski team has a partnership with Spyder where they are continuously
provided top-quality, professional racing suits.