From: Philip St. George, thenorthbaybay.ca staff
NORTH BAY — It all started with a face mask.
“I wanted to visit my family and friends again,” explains North Bay local Davie Ross. “But face masks were in short supply. So I made my own. But then I thought I should create some goggles as well.”
From there, Ross explains how things began to escalate.
“I own a 3D printer and shop. I thought it would be fun to join the goggles and mask together, so I designed a helmet. Then some gloves. Once I got going I couldn’t stop: I wanted to protect my hands, my arms; even my chest and back. Anywhere the virus could get to and stay on.”
After 6 weeks and nearly $30 000 spent, Davie finished his “COVID VI” suit.
The suit, which is tailored to fit its creator, weighs 158 pounds and takes the diminutive 5’8” Ross to a full 7’2” tall.
“It’s kind of hard to get on the bus,” laughs Ross.
“I first wore the suit to my niece’s birthday on [May] 10th. Everyone thought it was a riot. They wanted to know what it could do – what it could withstand.”
“By the end of the day I had four 9 year old girls wailing on me with folding chairs and I didn’t feel a thing.”
It was soon after that Ross realized he had re-created one of Troy Hurtubise’s famous Ursus Suits.
“It was on the walk home, actually, when I got hit through a brick wall by a pickup truck.”
“It took two men to pick me up. I was having flashbacks to ‘Project Grizzly.’”
Still, Ross says he won’t be facing off against bears anytime soon.
“I think I’ll use it help others,” smiles Ross. “Maybe take to the streets and get hit by a 300 pound log or shot at with arrows. Exhibition stuff to raise money for the hospital.”
Davie Ross laughs.
“If nothing else, watching a man get repeatedly smashed by a flatbed ought to give The North Bay Neighbourhood Watch something to talk about.”