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A recent Instagram live interview with legendary freestyle skier Jonny Moseley and “Mr. GSTed Ligety (you can watch it here) was what motivated me to write this post.
In an hour or so one-on-one, they covered a lot of topics, but the part that fascinated me the most was when they broke down Ted’s GS turn together.
Ted Ligety’s secrets are revealed, by the man himself.
Here’s a list of quotes that were really interesting, eye-opening, and very enjoyable to listen to…

The outside ski is king

“One of the most common novice questions people ask me is regarding how much weight on each ski… And I never think about it but it is pretty much 100% on the outside foot. The inside foot is kind of just dragging in there. On the flats, might be 80/20 because you’re pumping the turn. But you’re never thinking about what the percentage is. Definitely, it is over the outside ski where you want to be!
Jonny Moseley agrees and says mogul skiing is just the same, 100% from outside ski to outside ski.

Vertical separation of the skis-feet - Ted Ligey - Ph Ron LeMaster

Pulling the inside foot back at the beginning of the turn

“I suck my inside foot back at the beginning of the turn in order to take weight off it and tip it. The way I do that is with a hamstring pull of the old outside leg, at the end of the turn.”

Hands position

“The outside hand for me is just for balance. Often times people think too much about their hands. Your hands help aid the rest of the system. They should be in a place where they help you react to stuff, but that’s just it.
Beginners ski with their arms forward all the time. But if you drive your hands forward all the time, your hips go back.”

Ted Ligety outside hand position at beginning of the turn

Building angles from the ground up and “hip drags”

“You always start a turn in this order: ankles, knees, and hips. Everything starts from the ground. You build angles from the ground up.
I’m not trying to drive my hip to the ground. The hip gets to the ground because of the outside leg extension/push at the top of the turn.
For me to build a high edge angle I need to drag my hip to the ground. That’s because of my anatomy. Other guys in the world cup don’t need to have the hip that close to the ground because they can drive the inside knee further in and get that same edge angle. But I do need to have my hip in, in order to achieve edge angle.”

Ski technique is adjusted to the skier’s anatomy

“The analytical piece of ski racing is that everybody’s body is a little bit different so everybody’s technique has to adjust around their body, as well as the equipment. That’s why trying to copy one person’s technique doesn’t really work.

Ted Ligety with official USST Jacket and a Land Rover truck

I hope you enjoy these tips as much as I did, and try to incorporate them in your own skiing. Always looking for that perfect turn, a never-ending search by the way…

Keep ripping some arcs!

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