Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Ted Ligety's technique explained!

Ted Ligety
Everyone who watches the world cup knows Ted Ligety is dominating GS. The second GS race of the year was closer, under 2 seconds, but still a huge margin.

So what is Ted doing the others are not?

 Well, first he's doing what I have been advocating for years, his stance is much narrower in transition than last year. I saw this happening in his training earlier this season before the WC season started. He then collapses his inside leg more quickly then any of his competitors. This means his inside leg is tipping and flexing really quickly, into the apex or belly of the arc,  which drops his hips to the snow at the precise moment to gain huge angles. These perfectly timed movements engage his skis and create instant pressure and a shorter, stronger radius than the rest of the GS racers.

OK, that said it sounds easy, but if it were everyone would do it. Ted has practiced this for months and has focused on these details. He may not even realize what he is doing, but he has the sense of timing and angle creation that no one else has. Eventually the others will figure it out, but for now he still has the movements that give him the advantage and amazing confidence that his equipment will keep him up when he makes those incredible movements..

Check out his narrow stance, this is as close as I could find a photo, in transition, before pressure is loaded. This is a Super G photo, so notice the difference in stance the last few years. The racers are going to narrow up their stance, even more and use inside ski and leg tipping and flexing more precisely, then before.


Unknown said...

"...amazing confidence that his equipment will keep him up when he makes those incredible movements..."

I noticed something different in the confidence he had a the top of turn starting last year at Kranjska Gora where he won by 1.61. Then Schladmig where he screwed up the first run but won the second by 0.52. I remember he had way superior edge grip compared to the rest of the field and that something had changed in the equipment he was using. Some say its his boots. I've seen them and there is no magic there. There is something different about his skis. Of course he's still the best skier, but something changed too quickly and too dramatically for it to be a technique change.

This is something to think about. I am.

Harald Harb said...

I agree, I've been pondering this for some time. Taking a few mm of the edges under the foot for added side cut can be done, also thinner profiles of the skis give the stack height more effect. But I'm sure all the ski techs have been thinking the same thing.
It's turned into a F1 like cat and mouse game. However, Ted has improved his technique dramatically as well. He used to lean and get away with inclination, but not any more. Funny how his fore/aft balance on his GS skis is far superior than on his slaloms. He has no chance in slalom with this butt down where it is.