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Ligety Interview

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Highest level insights from one of the best in the SL business.

http://www.skiracing.com/news/news_d...hp/3262/ALPINE
post #2 of 26
Quote:
I ski with pretty low edge angle too. -Ted Ligety


Sure you do Ted

But all seriousness folks, some very, very good comments in his interview, especially on ski construction (thin edges) as well as loading in the fall line and being VERY Light across the bottom of his turn (passing the gate to the transition).

Here's the big difference between Rocca and Ted. Rocca bends at the waist at his transition to absorb the release and keeps his skis on the snow, this is why he looks so very smooth. Ted absorbs with his legs (Joulbert's Avalmont or active absorption). This is why you see Ted in the air so much. He is an acrobat where Rocca is a ballet dancer.

They both get HUGE EDGE ANGLE above the fall line and create amazing pressure at the belly of the turn. Remember the old "Float 'n Sting". Its BAAAACK, its just all turned around.

Thanks for the article - keep those ski racing posts coming!

Yes, they do have relevance to the recreational skier, it just needs to be translated from the simple things they say into a simple way to teach/learn what they do [the WC racers] naturally
post #3 of 26
Nice! Ted is amazing Two or three years from now (if not next year) he will absolutely OWN the WC SL.

In the interview, he talked about narrower skis. My question is (especially with the FIS limits on boot sole height) how do these guys get those angles without booting out? I boot out while just cruising around and carving quite a bit, and I'm on Lange 130 WC low volume boots (NOT wide boots) Is it the conditions? Does the hard race surface keep the skis from depressing the surface and therefore keep the boots from hitting the snow with enough force to dislodge the ski from the snow?
post #4 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Dranow
Here's the big difference between Rocca and Ted. Rocca bends at the waist at his transition to absorb the release and keeps his skis on the snow, this is why he looks so very smooth. Ted absorbs with his legs (Joulbert's Avalmont or active absorption). This is why you see Ted in the air so much. He is an acrobat where Rocca is a ballet dancer.
I wonder if absorbing with the legs and keeping his upper body quiet is what allows Ted to make those consistantly amazing recoveries? It's a lot easier to stay in balance when your torso isn't all over the place (ala Bode).
post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
In the interview, he talked about narrower skis. My question is (especially with the FIS limits on boot sole height) how do these guys get those angles without booting out? I boot out while just cruising around and carving quite a bit, and I'm on Lange 130 WC low volume boots (NOT wide boots).
The athletes are lifted to 55mm skis, 45mm boots. If you look at the designs of current race boots, you'll notice a distinct difference from your 130's - compare to the 150. The sole is much taller than on the 130.

Boot Canting appears to be set up much more 'positively' for them then for us mortals. They don't have to lay the knees in as deep to find (and balance on) precise edges.

As a side note, FIS requires alpine skis to be at least 60mm wide.
post #6 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Dranow
Yes, they do have relevance to the recreational skier, it just needs to be translated from the simple things they say into a simple way to teach/learn what they do [the WC racers] naturally
Gary, this is from the article:

Ski Racing: What is the secret to your slalom success?
Ted Ligety:
The key to being fast is having the most pressure in the fall line and the least out of the fall line, so that’s pretty much what I work on constantly -- trying to eliminate all pressure out of the fall line. At the bottom of the turn you just want to have nothing there.

SR: Then what?
TL:
As soon as I hit the gate, I’m off the downhill ski and onto the new ski. That’s what I do. On flats it’s super easy. I just kick my ski out right as I go by the gate and there’s nothing. It allows you to get that new pressure.

It's very interesting. What the Anja Pearson thread and these quotes say are similar. So it got me thinking... What can you teach from these quotes? What gets "watered down" does not even depend on the student. But what the student gets out of it would change.

When making short radius turns, maximum pressure needs to happen earlier -- in the fall line if possible.

It's what makes a short radius turn different -- A SR turn is not just a long/medium radius turn where things happen faster. They all happen sooner -- the pivot, edge set, pressure, and completion.

An athletic skier could generate and use the resulting rebound as a pressure control tool. Very useful in heavy snow to unweight and get the skis out of the snow between turns. So you need to start pressuring sooner.

OTOH, moving the time that the pressure starts to build earlier in the turn is useful even for those linking stemmed turns. It will allow them to roll the inside ski to the other edge sooner and with greater ease. It will ensure that they ski with commitment to the outside ski and make the transition to parallel skiing simpler.

Just my two cents.
post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
I wonder if absorbing with the legs and keeping his upper body quiet is what allows Ted to make those consistently amazing recoveries? It's a lot easier to stay in balance when your torso isn't all over the place (ala Bode).
Hey John. Actually, believe it or not, its the other way around between Rocca and Ligety. Rocca is much more quiet in the upper body while Ligety has VERY active hands, a whole bunch of twisting of the torso as he extends to get his skis back on the ground.

The one similarity between the two (and Bode, who when he skis his best is still one of the fastest Slalom skiers on earth) is that they all get great load at the fall line and then they get their direction change done in a very short distance. Rocca has more ski/snow contact so he pressures the ski for a greater duration of the turn, while Bode and Ted have greater pressure above the fall line, through the fall line and lighter across the bottom. But they all have the greatest load while going down the fall line and this comes from very early high edge angles instead of later high edge angles (as in the good 'ole days).

Its an interesting study. Both guys are equally fast for most of the race. Ligety tends to make more mistakes and a fabulous recoveries (a la Bode) while Rocca, the old man of the sport is efficient, quiet and fast. Ted is young and incredibly athletic so he pushes the envelope of technique. The jury is out whether Ted's approach will produce the most durable winning style or whether he will calm things down a bit and find ways to ski his radical line while keeping his skis on the snow. It will be fun to watch over the next few years.
post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE
Gary, this is from the article:

Ski Racing: What is the secret to your slalom success?
Ted Ligety: The key to being fast is having the most pressure in the fall line and the least out of the fall line, so that’s pretty much what I work on constantly -- trying to eliminate all pressure out of the fall line. At the bottom of the turn you just want to have nothing there.

SR: Then what?
TL: As soon as I hit the gate, I’m off the downhill ski and onto the new ski. That’s what I do. On flats it’s super easy. I just kick my ski out right as I go by the gate and there’s nothing. It allows you to get that new pressure.

It's very interesting. What the Anja Pearson thread and these quotes say are similar. So it got me thinking... What can you teach from these quotes? What gets "watered down" does not even depend on the student. But what the student gets out of it would change.

When making short radius turns, maximum pressure needs to happen earlier -- in the fall line if possible.

It's what makes a short radius turn different -- A SR turn is not just a long/medium radius turn where things happen faster. They all happen sooner -- the pivot, edge set, pressure, and completion.

An athletic skier could generate and use the resulting rebound as a pressure control tool. Very useful in heavy snow to unweight and get the skis out of the snow between turns. So you need to start pressuring sooner.

OTOH, moving the time that the pressure starts to build earlier in the turn is useful even for those linking stemmed turns. It will allow them to roll the inside ski to the other edge sooner and with greater ease. It will ensure that they ski with commitment to the outside ski and make the transition to parallel skiing simpler.

Just my two cents.
Very good! That's how any instructor can look at what is going on at the WC level and bring it to their students. It really doesn't matter the level (after probably level 1), the concepts will help them understand how to better use their equipment for different situations. In this case it can apply to all kinds of things, short swing turns, pressure distribution, fore/aft balance, skiing bumps to earlier parallel turns in the learning progression.

Good thinking!
post #9 of 26
Appending the thread above to JohnH.

If you watch a lot of video of Ted and Rocca here's what you'll see. At the release Rocca keeps his head and shoulders over or just in front of his feet, almost always. Ted's back is very straight on the vertical plane (a la Bode) and his feet are ahead of his shoulders. Ted's use of fore/aft movement is to the extreme while Rocca is much more centered on his skis.

Again, it is a very interesting comparison.

Bode has proven that keeping his skis in the fall line longer is faster, Ted has picked up on this and everything he does is to keep the pressure at the fall line and skis going downhill longer. Will it be only the domain of the insanely gifted like he and Bode or will this become the new standard in ski racing. Hmmmmmm
post #10 of 26
Gary,

I agree that Bode and Ted can be faster than Rocca. We've all seen it. I was dumbfounded when Ted beat* Rocca by .82 on the first run a couple weeks ago (*he ran over a gate with his tip and was DQ'd - but doing that probably slowed him down).

His style does seem very similar to Bode's, but he's able to make the recoveries Bode isn't. Is it just because he's smaller, lighter, younger, more agile?

So if Ted could learn to absorb with his torso and mabe his ankles instead of his knees and hips, would he then be as fast but more consistant? Or, does rocketing off his tails give him the speed, but is inherently unstable.

Watching both Bode and Ligety make those recoveries makes me fear for their knees.
post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
Gary,

I agree that Bode and Ted can be faster than Rocca. We've all seen it. I was dumbfounded when Ted beat* Rocca by .82 on the first run a couple weeks ago (*he ran over a gate with his tip and was DQ'd - but doing that probably slowed him down).

His style does seem very similar to Bode's, but he's able to make the recoveries Bode isn't. Is it just because he's smaller, lighter, younger, more agile?

So if Ted could learn to absorb with his torso and mabe his ankles instead of his knees and hips, would he then be as fast but more consistant? Or, does rocketing off his tails give him the speed, but is inherently unstable.

Watching both Bode and Ligety make those recoveries makes me fear for their knees.
John, you've posed a good question. That is kinda of where I was going.

There is something to be said for Rocca's incredible balance and no doubt his superior speed. Can Ligety get a bit more efficient in his approach and still win? I am sure as he matures as a racer he will clean it up a bit. Will he completely change his approach or refine remains to be seen. I am a very interested by-stander.

As for your other observation about Bode. Bode's line has been causing him problems since he became an official 5 event skier. Lately Bode has been shinning more with his inside knee not running quite as straight as early this season and it does appear to be a tactical decision on his part. Ted has always come up under the gate, a little bit more conservative line than Bode was playing with last year and early this year. I wonder how much of it is that Bode simply doesn't have the time to practice Slalom. Ted, though the reports are and he supposedly chafes at the portrayal, is more of Slalom specialist and I would assume has had more quality slalom training in the last two years than Bode. Ted also does not have the demands on his time (yet) that Bode does.

I believe that Bode can make as good a recovery as anyone in the world and he still proves it in just about every GS and SuperG (if not downhill). He is just a bit rusty in his slalom and nothing replaces gate time when it comes to slalom. So it will be interesting to see if the changes in his line, tactical approach, we have seen in his last few slaloms will be enough to get him on the podium at the Olympics and give him a shot at the combined. Of course at the Olympics the combined uses the two run slalom format rather than the 1 downhill/1 slalom of the "Super Combined" format. Based on where Bode is coming into the Olympics I believe this might actually play to his favor. We shall see.

It is an interesting time in ski racing. Rocca, Raich, Miller, Maier, Ligety, and the rest all do it a bit differently. It certainly isn't cookie cutter, even within the Austrian Team. Its fun to watch this develop and try and get a handle on where it is going.

FWIW
post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE
I just kick my ski out right as I go by the gate and there’s nothing. It allows you to get that new pressure.


Mmmmmmh. ????
post #13 of 26

Just guessing

That's Ted Ligety talking. Sounds to me a lot like a skating move.

The notion of "then there's nothing" refers to pressure -- it's gone.
post #14 of 26
Quote:
As soon as I hit the gate, I’m off the downhill ski and onto the new ski.
Transfer the weight to the little toe edge of the (uphill) new stance ski.

Quote:
I just kick my ski out right as I go by the gate and there’s nothing.
Release the big toe edge of the (downhill) old stance ski.

Quote:
It allows you to get that new pressure.
Engage the big toe edge of the (old uphill) new stance ski.

http://www.harbskisystems.com/olb2.htm
http://www.harbskisystems.com/olk1.htm

"Upside down skiing" is where the weight is transfered to the new stance foot big toe edge before the fall line is reached. The bottoms of the skis are visible to a person uphill from the skier.
http://www.zoom-agence.fr/galerie_ph...scms-05-69.jpg
http://www.zoom-agence.fr/galerie_ph...mwd-02-027.jpg
This is achieved by moving the center of mass (especially the hips) across the skis to the downhill side as soon as the old stance ski is released from the turn.


Ken
post #15 of 26
Ken, respectfully, no. Please bear with me...

Ligety: "trying to eliminate all pressure out of the fall line. At the bottom of the turn you just want to have nothing there."

There is no re-engagement of anything until the next gate -- if there was, pressure would not have been eliminated, it would have been transferred... Truly, there is NO edge, and NO pressure at the bottom/out of/betweeen his turns. (Just saw his run in the combined. In one section, you could replace each arc with a trampoline. Totally BTE to BTE )

More from Ligety:

SR: Some of the pictures of you this season show you with huge edge angle.
TL: I ski with pretty low edge angle too. When you’re able to create that much pressure at the top of your turn, and minimize your edge angle coming into the gate, that way it’s just faster and it lets you run it out better. You definitely get more of a platform to push off.

The bolding (especially "push off") strongluy suggests skating movements.

Anyhow, it's actually RTE isn't it? If you do get enought rebound the movements that occur while unweighted (during the float) are in preparation for the transfer. The release has clearly occurred, since the skier is off the snow, and no transfer has yet occurred, once again, because the skier is off the snow.

And isn't that precisely what happens when you skate? The preparation for the transfer is mid-stride, the transfer happens when you "kick out the outside leg" (kick -- like kickstart a motorcycle = "push off" ) then glide on the new stance leg, then engage the inside edge of the blade to "push off" once more.

The difference in skiing is that the rebound of the ski adds to your push off, making the glide phase occur while totally unweighted. ie. glide = float.

Then there is his notion of "pressure at the top of the turn". Which again is BTE pressure. All accounts indicate it's BTE to BTE, with pressure decreasing rapidly out of the fall-line via massive rebound/unweight assisted by a HYOOGE push off.

This technique MUST be faster, since it minimizes pressure in the turn AFTER the fall line; it avoids components that will slow you down. The analogy of trampoline to trampoline is very accurate, with the trampolines arranged parallel to the fall-line.

Oh, and Slalom technique does not use the cross-over move you are suggesting -- it's very much cross-under. You can't view every possible turn as a manifestation of the same technique -- you short change yourself when you do that.....

Cheers!
post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE
Ken, respectfully, no. Please bear with me...

Ligety: "trying to eliminate all pressure out of the fall line. At the bottom of the turn you just want to have nothing there."

There is no re-engagement of anything until the next gate -- if there was, pressure would not have been eliminated, it would have been transferred... Truly, there is NO edge, and NO pressure at the bottom/out of/betweeen his turns. (Just saw his run in the combined. In one section, you could replace each arc with a trampoline. Totally BTE to BTE )

More from Ligety:

SR: Some of the pictures of you this season show you with huge edge angle.
TL: I ski with pretty low edge angle too. When you’re able to create that much pressure at the top of your turn, and minimize your edge angle coming into the gate, that way it’s just faster and it lets you run it out better. You definitely get more of a platform to push off.

The bolding (especially "push off") strongluy suggests skating movements.

Anyhow, it's actually RTE isn't it? If you do get enought rebound the movements that occur while unweighted (during the float) are in preparation for the transfer. The release has clearly occurred, since the skier is off the snow, and no transfer has yet occurred, once again, because the skier is off the snow.

And isn't that precisely what happens when you skate? The preparation for the transfer is mid-stride, the transfer happens when you "kick out the outside leg" (kick -- like kickstart a motorcycle = "push off" ) then glide on the new stance leg, then engage the inside edge of the blade to "push off" once more.

The difference in skiing is that the rebound of the ski adds to your push off, making the glide phase occur while totally unweighted. ie. glide = float.

Then there is his notion of "pressure at the top of the turn". Which again is BTE pressure. All accounts indicate it's BTE to BTE, with pressure decreasing rapidly out of the fall-line via massive rebound/unweight assisted by a HYOOGE push off.

This technique MUST be faster, since it minimizes pressure in the turn AFTER the fall line; it avoids components that will slow you down. The analogy of trampoline to trampoline is very accurate, with the trampolines arranged parallel to the fall-line.

Oh, and Slalom technique does not use the cross-over move you are suggesting -- it's very much cross-under. You can't view every possible turn as a manifestation of the same technique -- you short change yourself when you do that.....

Cheers!
To support what you're saying:

http://www.ronlemaster.com/images/20...l-1a-flat.html
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Dranow
Hey John. Actually, believe it or not, its the other way around between Rocca and Ligety. Rocca is much more quiet in the upper body while Ligety has VERY active hands, a whole bunch of twisting of the torso as he extends to get his skis back on the ground.
Since you made this comment, I've been watching for this. I've noticed that in the past couple of races, Ted has gotten a lot quieter in the upper body, and as a result (I'm guessing) has gotten noticably faster. No more linked recoveries. If I recall correctly, in the Olympic Combined SL, he had to make one recovery at the top of the first SL run, but after that, and for the entire second run, he was on top of the skis and super smooth the whole time.

It looks like he's able to take a slightly straighter line and get the skis to hook up and rail through the turn more quickly than anyone else. I guess that's why he's able to (as he says), got off the edges really quickly.

I hope he can keep it up. I'd love to see him dominate the WC SL for a few years (5+?). As young as he is, he could be as good for skiing in the US as the Mahre's were.
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Oh, and Slalom technique does not use the cross-over move you are suggesting -- it's very much cross-under.
I noticed that too; he was carrying his CM almost straight down the course, while using his entire "body plus arm" length to edge the skis into the turn - kind of like what waterskiers do when they lie down into the turn.
post #19 of 26

Flash forward to Solden 2013 - first video is training runs and interview...

 

 

 

post #20 of 26

His home town Park City, rejoices.  As usual for TL, beautiful technical skiing on a course requiring the gamut of GS skill.

post #21 of 26
post #22 of 26
post #23 of 26

Another interesting Ligety interview/profile...

 

 

post #24 of 26

I saw him win the GS at Beaver Creek last Sunday. This one turn was pretty much where he won the race.

 

post #25 of 26

Pretty amazing! Did you see it in person? Where were you on the course?

 

In case you didn't know that's been a topic in another discussion recently.

post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by jc-ski View Post
 

Pretty amazing! Did you see it in person? Where were you on the course?

 

In case you didn't know that's been a topic in another discussion recently.

I was in the grandstand, so I "saw" it on the jumbotron at the finish. Most of the other skiers were really struggling at that point in the course: it was so cool to see Ted nail it.

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