Ligety wins rare 'Triple Gold' (this is the ski gear he used)

“Ligety Completes Rare Triple at the World Championships.” That headline tops news sources this week around the world, noting the significance of U.S. Ski Team athlete Ted Ligety and his accomplishment of a ski-racing feat unequaled in 45 years.

This week, Ligety, age 28, won three events at ski racing’s world championships, including a gold medal Friday in the giant slalom in Schladming, Austria. Gold in the super-G and super-combined races came earlier this week.

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Ted Ligety, now among the most accomplished ski racers of all time

The last skier to win at least three gold medals at the world ski championships was Jean-Claude Killy in the 1960s. Ligety goes into the history books as the first American to accomplish the “triple gold” in one event.

Years of training and competing were obviously crucial. But so was Ligety’s gear. We dug in to investigate the skis, boots, bindings, and other equipment the champion chose to help dominate on the course. —Sean McCoy

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Ligety revels, much deservedly, in his victories this week in Austria

Skis — Sponsored by Head, Ligety rips down the mountain on Head Wordcup Rebels. For his Giant Slalom run, he rode the Worldcup Rebels i.GS RD, which have a sidecut profile of 98/65/81 at 195 cm for a 35-meter radius.

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Boots — Head Raptor B2 RD boots have a PU shell, a “Racing Pro” liner with an adjustable tongue, race-ready footbed, 4 alloy buckles, and a FIS approved sole thickness. Head gives them a speed rating of “superfast.”

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Bindings — Ligety’s skis are outfitted with the Head Freeflex Pro 18 X bindings, which lock in to a DIN 18 rating and are made for racers up to 175 pounds.

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Poles — Ligety grips high-end pointy sticks from Komperdell, the National Team Carbon Giant Slalom model. These custom, hand-bent poles have a tungsten/carbide tip, carbon shaft, and are made to order for each type of ski-racing event.

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Helmet — If you are going to go that fast, you better protect your head. The Shred Mega Brain Bucket meets American and European safety standards as well as the safety “DH/SG” label required for all World Cup events, signifying an energy-absorbing feature that can now better protect the brain.

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Goggles — The Shred Stupefy Goggle has been “key to my success,” Ligety has been quoted as stating. “Being able to put my head down and charge with a 360° clear field of view has enabled me to take extra risks.” The brand markets this goggle to have the widest uninhibited field of view on the market.

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Protection — Spinal safety is upped with the Slytech Backpro Naked XT back protector. This exoskeleton offers an EVA (ethylene-vinyl-acetate) foam shell that flexes as well as protects in the case of a crash.

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Arm Guards — Bashing gates at high speed is nasty work. Ligety uses Assault Armguards from Slytech. They are made in Italy with a thin plastic shell and absorbing foam underneath.

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—Sean McCoy is a contributing editor based in Denver. Photo credit (ski action imagery): Agency Zoom.

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Ligety in celebration mode after his triple-gold performance this week

Posted by Arno - 02/18/2013 05:04 AM

Please remember that any equipment T.L. is using is not standard, skis are made to his requirements, you can’t buy them in stores. Most likely same with the boots, fine tuned inner boot, quite likely ultra hard shell, not available in stores.

Posted by Ray Fougere - 02/21/2013 01:14 PM

One important part of Ted’s gear is a pair of Booster Straps attached to his ski boots. For the last 8 years Ted hasn’t left the start house without them. In the picture above you can see the tightening strap protruding from his upper cuff

Posted by HEAD USA - 02/25/2013 10:36 AM

@Arno – You are correct. The gear that Ted competes with is fined tuned to Ted specifically. Tiger Woods doesn’t play with the same irons you can buy from Nike either, nor would you want to. These competitors become world class athletes by excelling to a level in their respective sports that the majority of people can’t truly understand, therefore we would not want Ted to ski on the same product that we would produce for the general public. Nor would we want the general public to ski on Ted’s equipment, it’s just too difficult to use and Ted’s is too strong. However, the starting point from which Ted’s equipment is customized from, is the exact product that you see pictured above. In our RD line, we utilize the same moulds and technology that consumers can purchase, to build up our athletes arsenal.

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