All Images: Courtesy of Spyder
In the late ’90s and early 2000s freeskiing was gaining serious momentum within the industry. Spyder–and its freeski-specific collection, Venom–was at the forefront of the sport’s shift, outfitting some of freeskiing’s godfathers, including Shane McConkey, JP Auclair and Seth Morrison. But since 2010, when the brand discontinued its Venom offerings, Spyder has remained on the sidelines of freeskiing. That is, until now.
Last month, after two years in research and development, the brand debuted its brand-new freeski collection with athletes like Bobby Brown, Chris Davenport, Maggie Voisin and Amie Engerbretson all representing the new outerwear line. Beyond just wearing the new offerings, these athletes had a heavy hand in the design process, putting their own stamp of approval on each piece of the collection.
“We know how to build ski gear, but wanted to make sure we created our new freeski collection from the athlete’s perspective,” Spyder’s vice president of marketing, Brady Collings tells me over the phone.
Spyder has been the official apparel sponsor for the US Ski Team since 1989 and this summer, in tandem with its freeski outerwear launch, the brand reinforced its 30-year relationship with the US Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) by expanding its reach to the US Freeski and Freestyle Teams. To celebrate the deepened partnership and the “one team, one dream” idea Spyder initially brought to USSA last year, the brand flew out to Park City, Utah, last week to officially and personally unveil the new US Freeski Team uniforms to the athletes. Collings and the rest of the Spyder team were met with an overwhelming amount of positivity.
“The unveiling of our new Spyder lineup for the team this year was very sick,” says slopestyle and big-air competitor Caroline Claire. “They didn’t shy away from detail and it was obvious that Spyder really put in a lot of thought into making the pieces freeski-oriented. They wanted us to feel good in our new gear and they hit the bullseye on comfort and functionality.”
“I really like how the new gear is fully designed by freeskiers for freeskiers,” adds US Freeski Team athlete Mac Forehand. “It brings a new style to Spyder’s already huge racing background.”
The expanded partnership with USSA, encompassing its alpine, freeski and freestyle teams, gives Spyder exclusive rights through 2023, which means over 50 world-class athletes will be sporting the brand’s freeski offerings at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijiing.