Downhill skier Ted Ligety won the first ever Olympic gold medal for the United States in giant slalom on Wednesday. Skiing in a style noteworthy enough to be analyzed by an in-depth news graphic, “A New Way Of Skiing,” in the New York Times.
But downhill skiing is a gear-intensive sport that relies on a perfect synergy between athlete and equipment. We looked through photos and did some research to find out what gear he used in his gold medal run.
Skis: Head Worldcup Rebels i.GS RD ($1,150) — This FIS approved ski comes in two lengths, 190cm and 195cm. It has a sidecut profile of 98/65/81 at 195cm and a radius of 35 meters. A “kinetic energy recovery system” provides additional power and acceleration by stiffening the tail of the ski in out-turns, catapulting the skier into the next turn, Head touts.
Boots: Head Raptor B2 RD ($849) — This boot is built for racing. The super-stiff (140/150/160) four-buckle boot has a PU shell, Racing Pro liner with adjustable tongue, race-ready footbed, spoiler and FIS-approved sole thickness.
Bindings: “, target=”_blank”>Head Freeflex Pro 16 ($399) — This binding has a 19mm stand height and DIN from 5-16. The free-gliding heel allows the ski to flex while ensuring consistent release values. Full Diagonal Toes allow for 180 release action for safety in backward, twisting falls. It adheres to FIS regulations.
Poles: Komperdell National Team Carbon GS ($239) — This 100 percent carbon pole is extremely resilient, able to withstand forces up to 440 lbs, and it has a tungsten/carbide tip.
Helmet: Shred Mega-Brain Bucket ($249) — How he fits it into his schedule, I’m not sure, but Ligety is also president of Shred Optics and uses several of the brand’s products. This helmet has a Slytech 2nd Skin (a unique EVA-based polygonal-cell-foam that provides protection but softens with body heat) inside to reduce forces in a fall. It weighs 230 grams, has available ICEdot technology, a removable inner lining for comfortable and dry fit, a custom fitting system and adjustable ear pads.
Goggles: Shred Stupefy ($169) — The Stupefy is a spherical goggle with oversize lenses and an almost frameless design. It has Shred’s proprietary “Nodistortion” lens technology and the brand claims the widest uninhibited field of view on the market.
Mittens: — Slytech Fortress Race Mittens ($269) — Designed and tested by Ligety, this “winter hand armor” has protection on the entire back of the hand and on the thumb. Durable Pittards leather keeps the hands dry and grips ski poles well. They are insulated with PrimaLoft ONE.
Back Protector: Slytech BackPro XT Naked ($159) — The lightest and simplest back protector made by Skytech, the Slytech Venting Pattern allows air flow between your back and the shock-absorbing element.