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