Junkyard » Still not sure if it was true or an April fools prank
I had the same feeling when I saw it - just seems like far too large an effect! However no obvious fakery, and the folks in the video also expressed their surprise.
thisisnotaspoon » It's nonsense, in pretty much any situation smooth/polished is better for reducing friction. Drag is proprtional to the drag coefficient (Cd) and area (A). If you imagine that the boundary layer reduces friction (part of Cd) then it also increaces the area of the object, which negates any benifit.
It's not quite that simple though. Flow separation results in an increase in drag when the fluid flowing around a body can no longer follow it. It has been shown that turbulent flow stays attached for longer than laminar flow, hence roughness to generate turbulent flow can help the flow stay attached for longer and decrease drag.
It's unlikely that hairy legs would help at all with this (and the video if it's genuine provides real world evidence that it doesn't), but it is a recognised effect, well beyond golf balls and cooling towers.