Darby Racing Technology, LLC, has made its new product line –Speed Silks™– available to the public.
Speed Silks is a revolutionary new equine jockey uniform made almost entirely from Aero Dimplex®, an extremely lightweight, aerodynamically-engineered fabric that is textured to reduce drag.
The entire Speed Silks line includes four products: colors (jerseys), helmet covers, pants and boot sleeves. All Speed Silks products are form-fitting; that, in addition to the special material from which they are made, reduces the amount of aerodynamic drag, or, wind resistance, the jockey’s body creates.
Speed Silks’ design reduces aerodynamic drag in three ways:
• The “kite tail” effect – All Speed Silks products are form-fitting, so they don’t flap in the wind as the horse and jockey move through the air. Even Speed Silks pants conform to the rider’s body.
• Skin friction – The tiny dimples in the Aero Dimplex fabric act much like the dimples on a golf ball, creating tiny pockets of turbulence that allow the jockey to slide more smoothly through the air.
• Form drag – As a jockey moves through the air, a low-pressure pocket develops behind him. Cyclists and NASCAR drivers already know about this phenomenon, and take advantage of it by “drafting” closely behind another competitor. Race horses can’t “draft,” but Aero Dimplex’s special texture decreases the size of this low-pressure pocket by allowing the air to flow more smoothly around the rider. This lessens the backward pull on the jockey.
The use of Aero Dimplex is key to the design of Speed Silks; it is the industry standard in the world of competitive cycling, and according to manufacturer SwissTech, it’s the highest-rated aerodynamic fabric between 14 and 47 miles per hour. More information regarding the technology behind Speed Silks is available at www.SpeedSilks.com.
Speed Silks inventor Matt Darby says his product solves a problem many horsemen don’t even realize they have. “A jockey wearing traditional, old fashioned gear is basically a big parachute on top of the horse,” he says. “But since jockeys have worn loose, baggy uniforms for a hundred years or more, most owners and trainers never really think about it.
“Cyclists have been wearing uniforms made of Aero Dimplex for a few years. Even some competitive runners have adopted it, but the technology has never been used in horse racing until now. I spent about two and half years building and testing a complete head-to-toe uniform designed from the ground up with a jockey in mind. Speed Silks will cover the rider from head to ankles in an aerodynamic shell of Aero Dimplex.
“The colors, helmet covers and pants are all fully customizable. Anything you can dream of, we can put on the product in very bright, vibrant colors…owner colors, sponsor logos, anything. I’ll put a photo of your grandkids on your back if you ask me to. And the photo will look great.”