LIGETY’S ROLL OVER: HOW TED GETS EXTREME ANGLES


Here’s a highly edited video clip of Ligety that I created to show how Ted uses Roll Over.

The technique of the world’s best skier has always been about torsion, not simple leverage.

Watch carefully how Ligety starts to apply rotation to his uphill as soon as he starts the transition phase. As Ted crosses the fall line, his inclination reaches a point where the inside edge locks up with the snow and the shovel engages creating what I call a ‘comma hook’ that redirects his line while loading his outside ski like a springboard. The actual ‘loaded turn phase’ is a mere fraction of second after which Ligety is into the transition phase, off the edge of his old outside ski and accelerating forward towards the next gate. Anyone who thinks they can beat Ted or any racer using this technique with a pure carved turn needs to see a really good therapist.

Ligety’s use of Roll Over and torsion explains how he can reach extreme edge angles on his outside ski.

10 comments

  1. I am not going to waste my time getting into a war of words here,but I am interested in this sequence

    Ligety rotates his pelvis about its center so that the outside hip moves into the hill and forward while the inside hip moves forward and away from the hill. This requires the use of the inside leg and ski to close the kinetic chain. This action applies a powerful rotational force to this foot/ski in two planes into the turn; horizontally and about the long axis of the foot/ski

    Could you elaborate on that?

    1. I will elaborate on this mechanism at the appropriate time. However, it is will not make sense until I explain the mechanism of what I call Roll Over that happens when the inside (new outside) ski changes edges at ski flat. This sets up the mechanics and biomechanics that allows the global pelvic rotation that enables the outside ski to grip at high edge angles. The reason no one has succeeded in explaining how the mechanics of edge hold work is that they have been thinking in terms of simple opposing forces, not torques. The secret of the world’s best skiers has always been torques. The mechanism is so natural to them, that they are not aware of what they are doing. Trying to explain the mechanism so it is easily grasped is a challenge. I am going to try and generate some animations. But these can take many hours or days to produce. It is also difficult to point this out in video footage of racers such as Ligety (Shiffrin doesn’t do it) because the camera angles of race coverage are usually not optimal or change at the wrong time. Tommy Kircher is partially right with his waist steering their. But he is missing the extension/Roll Over component. Bare with me. An explanation is coming.

  2. phase. As Ted crosses the fall line, his inclination reaches a point where the inside edge locks up with the snow and the shovel engages creating what I call a ‘comma hook’ that redirects his line while loading his outside ski like a springboard
    Good boy

    1. Not so fast. The only reason Ligety can make his outside ski grip at high edge angles is because of the multi-plane rotational forces (torques) that the mechanism of Roll Over set in motion. Inclination by itself will not support edge grip at high angles.

    2. IIMHO the key to the sequence is the inside knee. What impressed me with your analysis is tat you recognized that the inside tip engages early and thereby does its part in initiating the rotational forces. That is not totally new

      .https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Kpl3KeUi7wA

      The Austrians have their ways.( Vee have ways to you speak, Schwein)

      Besides that what Ligety does best is that he rolls his inside knee until it almost touches the snow. That requires extreme flexibility in the hip..This move initiates the rotational forces in the waist. It is not just the outside leg that rotates.It is easy to verify standing on the floor.

      1. The inside ski is used to stabilize the hip on that side and assist in maintaining the alignment of COM over the ball of the outside foot. The weight on the inside foot is under the heel where it is causing the ski to rotate downhill. It is impossible for the shovel to hook with force applied to the ski from under the heel of the inside foot.

        The inside leg is used like a dead stick to oppose the flattening of the inside ski by applying what is primarily a abduction effort to the leg with the muscles in the thigh and pelvis in a closed kinetic chain. The angle of the knee is what makes the knee move. Applying ab-adduction or internal-external rotational forces to the leg in the closed kinetic chain that exists when the foot is linked to a ski with a set edge is very different from open kinetic chain biomechanics where the foot is free to rotate in space. Talking in terms of ‘rolling the knee’ belies a lack of knowledge of the underlying mechanics and biomechanics. Ligety rotates his whole leg as he extends and inclines. Extending as he crosses the fall line applies pressure to the outside ski while moving his COM uphill, away from the outside ski. Extension makes him taller thereby allowing a greater angle of inclination. But Ligety does one other very important thing which I have mentioned many times, but is seldom detected in my narrative or sketches. Ligety rotates his pelvis about its center so that the outside hip moves into the hill and forward while the inside hip moves forward and away from the hill. This requires the use of the inside leg and ski to close the kinetic chain. This action applies a powerful rotational force to this foot/ski in two planes into the turn; horizontally and about the long axis of the foot/ski. I have known about this mechanism for a long time. I have described it in written articles and am currently teaching it to a racer in Europe. Many use less than effective versions of this technique. What is needed to make it work is the mechanism of Roll Over which as far as I know, no one has ever recognized, let alone described, as evidenced by none-sensible, irrelevant statements such as ‘knee angulation’, ‘rolling the knees’ and ‘rolling the ankles’.

        Foster has his own issues to deal with. His shank ankle is way too straight. This puts his COM back and his weight on his heels. His stance is weak. He has no option but to share the load with his inside ski. The only reason it works is that he is skiing at Big White on forgivable snow.

  3. No one Ted included is “carving” a 35m radiusGS ski. Yes rotation of the leg,torsion. pivot, steering all come into play. The “tip and grip” seen in those earlier videos where performed on 13 m SL skis. Not even the same game.I like the fact that Ted and a few others have learned to project the ski to a position where they can apply the pressure to get around the gate on a clean line. Then repeat. Essentially they are skiing a shorter version of the traditional GS ski (35m) (SL was 45m) They are just doing it way better than we ever thought possible, More lift (ie plates etc) not mounted flat, boots that are way stiffer laterally. Your observations on foot mechanics all factor intoand interesting scenario. If we put Stenmark in modern gear and turned back the clock 35 years , could he be beat ? Just an observation

    1. I agree with everything you said. Everything contributes. In his day, I was one of the few who had sufficient knowledge of the issues to understand why Stenmark had 2 degree cants high side out on the soles of his boots. It was reported in a magazine article that Witherall tried to tell Stenmark that the cants were putting him on his inside edge to which Stenmark said words to the effect, “What’s your point? I work from ski to ski. I am never running flat on both skis”. I believe that Stenmark was more than just a great skier. He was a smart skier. He knew exactly what he was doing with the cants.

  4. I think I’m slowly starting to grasp in theory what Ligety is doing. How would you start applying it to your own skiing though? In my head it would be very easy to just say ok, just rollover and rotate my legs, but how in practise can I start learning to do that correctly?

    1. The actual mechanism is not only deceiving simple, it is familiar because it uses the same mechanism as walking; alternating single limb support. In the Burke Mountain Academy ‘One Ski Drill’ video, Shiffrin states that you are either on one ski or the other (outside or inside ski), never both at the same time. The pure carved turn mentality in which the objective is to use both legs like 2 x 4s to hold the skis on edge and let them self-turn and create arcs according to their fixed radius set skiing back 50 years by creating the perception that there was science behind the technique. It created the equivalent of ‘the world is flat’ following with the effect that when Ligety and Shiffrin not only ski differently but actually say as Ligety did in the NY Times video, “Hey, look at me. I step on the inside ski when it is still on its uphill edge and I create pressure”, no one hears the message because it is not consistent with their belief that the world is flat. The key is that stepping on the inside ski when it is still on its uphill edge and creating pressure sets the mechanism in motion. I am going to go through to step by step soon. It is not hard to learn providing the boots are properly set up.

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