Coming to grip with the trails – GORE-TEX gloves for professional ski racing
Streif, Lauberhorn and Kandahar call for downhill racers with courage, technique and strength. At the same time, the equipment must provide optimal performance. Every detail counts when it comes to delivering top performances in the battle for best times and positions. Functional specialist W.L. Gore & Associates has developed two highly functional technologies for professional ski racing for the 2009/2010 winter season: Reusch is implementing the X-TRAFIT™ product technology in racing gloves for the first time, while Level is using the Gore 2-in-1 product technology in its Aksel Pro Gloves.
Intelligent sports clothing supports the athletes and helps them to concentrate as much as possible on their sport. The respective technologies optimise the fit and tactility of the racing gloves in a unique way while still providing the traditional features – they are completely waterproof, windproof and highly breathable. The result is maximum performance and protection, thanks to a perfect grip on the poles and the comfort of having dry, warm hands.
The technologies in detail
The X-TRAFIT™ product technology was previously applied only in motorcycling gloves, where optimal grip is essential. In collaboration with Reusch and their athletes, this technology was adapted for the sport of ski racing. The revolutionary features are a special cut and layered structure, as well as a new special tape between the membrane and the lining incorporated at the strategic points which are under stress when gripping the pole. This prevents movement of the individual layers of material, creating unimpeded and direct contact with the ski pole. This special racing technology is marketed by Reusch under the name RACE-TEC GX, and is used by more than 30 top athletes in the world cup circus.
By contrast, the Gore 2-in-1 product technology is based on a two-chamber system made up of a ”warm“ chamber and a ”grip“ chamber. The concept of a glove combining more insulation and warmth with greater pole grip and tactility was already successfully realised last season in GORE-TEX ski gloves. In collaboration with Level and the overall world cup winner Aksel Lund Svindal, a racing glove has now been designed that offers both protection and maximum performance. ”When you are on the trail, you often get hot hands, and later on the lift or in the start hut you quickly feel the cold. With the 2-in-1 system, you have two options, and based on the temperature and the required tactility you can decide whether you slip into the warm chamber or into the grip chamber“, says Aksel Lund Svindal when describing the advantages of his new racing gloves.
In addition to professional athletes, speed-hungry amateur racers also have the opportunity to break their own records in the 2009/10 winter season with the new GORE-TEX racing gloves.