WHY THOMAS DRESSEN WON AT GARMISCH


In watching the Men’s Downhill at Garmisch on February 1, 2020 it was immediately obvious to me that most racers had their shaft buckles and especially their power straps on their boots far too tight and this was restricting the ankle flexion needed to absorb terrain changes and perturbations in the snow surface. It was painful to watch talented athletes ski so badly. The pleasant exception was Thomas Dressen.

In the 1980-81 World Cup Season Steve Podborksi won at Garmisch using a dorsal technology that maintained the position of his forefoot on the base of his boot without obstructing the forward movement of the shank of his leg that occurs relative to the dorsum of his foot during ankle flexion. Podborski won Garmisch again in 1982 and 1984 in what is called the Garmisch Trifecta. Only one other racer has ever done this.

Podborski is still the only non European to have ever won the World Cup Downhill title. Forty years after I invented and patented the dorsal restraint technology that enabled Podborski to compete and win on the most difficult downhill courses in the world with a partially healed reconstructed ACL If anything ski boots have gotten worse in terms of compromising ankle flexion and racer balance.

Reading my post The Shocking Truth about Power Straps is a good start. But you have to actually apply the principles as it seems Thomas Dressen did at Garmisch.

2 comments

  1. Hi David,

    I’m delighted to see your recent posts. You have much to teach and I have much to learn and I am always grateful for your generosity of knowledge and problem solving expertise.

    I am not a certified coach or instructor, but it is really easy to see all the World Cup racers who are having their legs bucked back and forth by their ski boots as they attempt to negotiate rough terrain or ruts in a race course. You can see the disruption of balance and stability migrate up their bodies to the top of their spines often causing their heads to be jerked around as well. Hard to balance when when your inner ear is being tossed about.

    It is even more shocking that one of the first things you realize after setting your boots up with a flat boot board, no arch support, functional ramp angle, proper flex in the cuff and metatarsal room is how easy it is to balance on your skis. ESPN commentator for the Garmisch DH Doug Lewis said one thing right: “A balanced Steven Nyman Is a fast Steven Nyman!” Unfortunately, Nyman’s boots were preventing balance as were so many other’s boots.

    Regards,
    Herb

    1. Hi Herb,

      I am not a certified coach or instructor, but it is really easy to see all the World Cup racers who are having their legs bucked back and forth by their ski boots as they attempt to negotiate rough terrain or ruts in a race course.

      “…..it is really easy to see”……

      . exactly. So why aren’t coaches, ski pros, World Cup racers and other ‘experts’ in the ski industry seeing what is obvious to you and I? What we are seeing is how tight boots are transferring the forces of skiing up the vertical chain where they are affecting the momentum of the Center of Mass. This is Newton’s Laws 101 not rocket science.

      Best,
      David

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