The Origin of the Canadian Yellow Downhill Suit

Race suit and gloves, Ken Read c. 1976.

In 1979 Descente, a Japanese designer of high-performance sportswear presented the Crazy Canucks with a new, form-fitting, one-piece, downhill racing suit. According to Steve Podborski, “A Swiss guy – named Hans Hess, who was renowned for developing highly specialized competition gear – was making the making the suits

Said Ken Read, “We saw it was distinctive and photogenic.” Said Podborski, “I called it gold. I think the Austrians had red, so we got gold. The colour of winners.”

Archival footage and photos the Crazy Canucks flying down icy race courses and standing on podiums shows just how right they both were on all counts.

Artifact Details

Date: ca 1975-1985
Discipline: Alpine
Type: Clothing / Equipment / Bibs
Colour: Yellow, red, white
Material: N/A
Measurements: Mannequin: height 180 cm, Width (arm to arm) 64 cm, Depth (23cm)
Markings: "Dynafit", "Descente", "Carrera", "Innsbruck 1976"
Catalogue Number: L2008.222