Title:
Quad roller skate
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This is a description of a quad roller skate for use on outdoor surfaces, including a traditional roller skate boot with a stiff sole, with the sole bottom, and the heel bottom being in general alignment with an imaginary horizontal plane. The sole and boot of the skate have opposed side edges with the wheels being positioned in vertical planes spaced from the opposed side edges. The wheels of the quad skate are of such diameter that each wheel apex is at least as high as the imaginary horizontal plane. The wheels can have larger diameters with the apexes being higher than the horizontal plane. A support plate is secured to the sole bottom and the heel bottom. Double action forward and rearward trucks with front and rear axles are mounted to the support plate. The skate has thin lightweight wheels having profiles defining a semicircular surface.



Inventors:
Cole, Lee (San Francisco, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/492310
Publication Date:
01/31/2008
Filing Date:
07/25/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63C17/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
VANAMAN, FRANK BENNETT
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LEE COLE (2514 GREAT HIGHWAY, SAN FRANCISCO, CA, 94116, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A quad roller skate for use on outdoor flat surfaces, including, in combination, a boot having a boot forward area and a boot rearward area, said boot including a boot sole and a boot heel attached to said boot sole at said rearward area, said sole having a sole bottom and said heel having a heel bottom, said sole bottom and said heel bottom being in general alignment with a horizontal plane, said sole being a stiff sole, a support plate secured to said sole bottom and to said heel bottom, a forward truck and a rearward truck, said forward truck and said rearward truck being secured to said support plate, each said forward truck and said rearward truck being a double action truck, a front axle mounted within said front truck and a rear axle mounted within said rear truck, a pair of left and right front wheels mounted to said front axle and a pair of left and right rear wheels mounted to said rear axle, each of said front wheels and each of said rear wheels having an apex at least as high as said horizontal plane, each of said front wheels and each of said rear wheels being a thin-width wheel, each of said front and rear wheels including a rim defining a semicircular profile, and said boot including said sole and said heel defining opposed boot side edges extending between said boot forward area and said boot rearward area, said left front wheel and said left rear wheel being positioned in a first vertical plane, and said right front wheel and said right rear wheel being positioned in a second vertical plane parallel to said first vertical plane, each of said first and second vertical planes being spaced away from said opposed boot side edges.

2. The quad skate as set forth in claim 1, wherein each of said thin-width wheels is in the range of 24 millimeters to 25 millimeters in width.

3. The quad skate as set forth in claim 1, wherein each of said front and rear wheels has a diameter in the range of 100 millimeters.

4. The quad skate as set forth in claim 1, wherein each of said front wheels and each of said rear wheels having an apex at least as high as said horizontal plane includes said apex of each of said front wheels and of each of said rear wheels being higher than said horizontal plane.

5. The quad skate as described in claim 4, wherein each of said wheels has a diameter in the range of between over 100 millimeters and 135 millimeters.

6. The quad skate as described in claim 1, wherein said stiff sole is made of a stiff leather.

7. The quad skate as described in claim 1, wherein said stiff and thick sole is made of polyvinyl chloride

8. The quad skate as described in claim 1, wherein each of said wheels includes a hub mounted to each of said axles and each of said wheels further includes a plurality of spokes extending from each said rim to each said hub.

9. The quad skate as described in claim 1, wherein each of said wheels is made of a lightweight hard plastic

10. The quad skate as described in claim 9, wherein said lightweight hard plastic is polyurethane.

11. The quad skate as described in claim 1, wherein each said rim of said wheels has a durometer hardness factor in the range of 78A to 82A.

12. The quad skate as described in claim 1, wherein said front axle and said rear axle are solid axles.

13. The quad skate as described in claim 1, further including a toe stop mounted to said support plate.

14. The quad skate as described in claim 1, wherein said a support plate is secured to said sole bottom and to said heel bottom by at least four bolts.

15. The quad skate as described in claim 1, wherein said a support plate is secured to said sole bottom and to said heel bottom by at least four rivets.

16. The quad skate as described in claim 1, wherein said stiff sole is also a thick sole.

17. The quad skate as described in claim 1, wherein said forward and rearward trucks include forward and rearward truck castings, respectively, that define first and second bores, respectively, said front and rear axles being rotatably positioned in said first and second bores, respectively, wherein said first and second axles having first and second axles ends, respectively, that are positioned beyond said first and second opposed side edges, respectively, of said boot, and further wherein said forward and rearward trucks have truck ends that are positioned beyond said opposed boot side edges.

18. The quad skate as described in claim 1, wherein said forward and rearward trucks include forward and rearward truck castings, respectively, that define first and second bores, respectively, said front and rear axles being positioned in said first and second bores, respectively, wherein said first and second axles having first and second axles ends, respectively, that are positioned beyond said first and second opposed side edges, respectively, of said boot, and further wherein said forward and rearward trucks have truck ends that are positioned under said boot.

19. The quad skate as defined in claim 1, wherein said stiff sole is a stiff, thick sole.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to the field of roller skates and in particular to four-wheel roller skates known as quad roller skates or quads,

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Quad roller skates were typically called “roller skates” for about a century until “inline skates” came into use in recent years. The term “quad skate” will be used herein for the four wheel roller skate that is the subject of the present invention, although the term “quad” is a popular term of reference.

A quad skate has four wheels mounted that spin on front and rear axles mounted through bored-through aluminum cast trucks. The truck is differentiated from the axle. The axle is inserted thru the center of the truck casting. Trucks are independently pivoting assemblies that connect the wheels to the underside of the plate, or chassis, which is riveted or bolted to the bottom of the skate boot. A truck is also known as a hanger. The wheelbase is the distance between the front and rear wheels measured between the two sets of innermost truck holes for the bolts that connect the trucks to the plate.

Each quad wheel of the present state of the art has a relatively small diameter and is wide in width with a wide, flat rim. The rim is outside surface of the tire which contacts the ground, which provides grip and stability for the wheel as it contacts a hard surface, the force of which contact is generally transmitted to the bottom of the boot and to the foot of the skater.

In the art of roller skates, the configuration of the rim outer surface of the wheel is known as the profile. The profile of a wheel can also be defined as the cross-section of the wheel where it meets the ground when viewed head on. The profile determines how much of the wheel is in contact with the surface at any given time. In this application, the terms “profile” and “rim outer surface” will be used interchangeably. The profile of quad roller skates as known in the art today is flat.

Some brief comments relating to the trucks of quad roller skates are as follows. Double action trucks were invented by James Plimpton in 1863. Almost all quad roller skate trucks employ double action trucks. Such a truck incorporates a suspension cushion that that is operative both above and below the truck casting. The truck turns on a pivot point. As a result, a skater can turn his foot inside the boot. The boot and plate together act as a unit to turn the trucks, which in turn pivot on two pivot cushions, one for the front truck and one for the rear truck. Thus a quad roller skater can turn and the profile of all eight wheels (the wheels of both skates combined) remain in contact with the ground. In summary, double action trucks pivot and thus all wheels wear on their profiles, which as mentioned above, are flat.

The wheels of each quad roller skate of the present state of the art are traditionally positioned under the skate boot. The apex of each roller wheel is spaced below the horizontal plane of the sole of the boot and the heel of the boot by about 20 millimeters to prevent “wheel bite.” When a skater turns, the edge of a front wheel can catch against the bottom of the boot if the wheel exceeds a certain height. The apex of each wheel is also spaced below the mounting plate of the skate.

Quad skates today are generally limited for use in indoor skating, particularly in competitions in artistic areas such as figure and dance skating where skating surfaces are smooth and free of irregularities.

Quad skates have not been known for use on outdoor flat surfaces such as paved streets, parkways, bikeways, bike paths and boardwalks, which often have irregularities that the wide, flat rims of quad skates encounter with some frequency with the result that smooth skating cannot be achieved. Also, the small diameters of typical quad skates, in the range of 60 to 70 millimeters, are not conducive to speed, since in general small diameter wheels limit speed.

Inline skates, which have a wheel diameter in the range of 70 to 100+ millimeters, provide a greater capability for speed and are generally used outdoors. Inline skate wheels have been proven by use to have the capability to negotiate the irregularities of outdoor surfaces with efficiency. Also, the inline configuration of the inline wheels reduce contact with irregularities as compared to quad skates. Also, inline skate wheels are relatively thin in the range of 24 to 25 millimeters so as to reduce both the weight factor and the drag factor since greater width creates greater drag. Inline roller skates as known in the art today generally are curved and commonly have a profile of a semicircle.

It is noted that the structural dynamics of quad skates and the structural dynamics of inline skates are fundamentally different. This is apparent in that a single quad skate stands alone and can be rolled by itself, but a single inline skate cannot stand alone or be rolled by itself but requires the skater to stand in both left and right skates at the same time. This difference should be kept in mind when comparing quad skates with inline skates.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The object of the present invention is to provide quad skates that are able to be used with ease and efficiency on flat outdoor flat surfaces, typically paved roadways, parkways, streets, bike paths and boardwalks and on paved ascents and descents.

It is another object of the present invention to provide quad skates that are in some respects superior in maneuverability and stability as compared to inline skates when used on outdoor paved surfaces, either flat or varying in steepness.

It is another object of the present invention to provide quad skates that are able to negotiate certain types of irregularities of outdoor flat surfaces with greater facility than inline skates, such as lateral cracks in the surface.

In is another object of the present invention to provide quad skates that have excellent balance capability on outdoor flat surfaces.

It is another object of the present invention to provide quad skates that have superior speed capability on outdoor flat surfaces with the understanding that this comment relates to the fact that less effort is required to attain a desired speed.

In accordance with these and other objects that will become apparent, there is provided a quad skate that has the capability of being used with ease and efficiency on outdoor flat surfaces such as parkways, streets, bike paths, and boardwalks and even paved roads.

In order to achieve this overall goal of providing quad skates capable of being used with ease and efficiency on outdoor flat surfaces, quad skates must be improved over the present quad skate capability basically in four areas, as follows:

1. Improved speed. The speed capability of quad skates as now known in the art should be significantly improved to the level that they can be used as an acceptable alternative to inline skates on outdoor flat surfaces.

2. Improved overall balance. The short axles of present quad skates as now known in the art must be improved so that side to side movement on outdoor flat surfaces be stabilized when irregularities in flat surfaces are encountered. The quad wheels spin on the standardized short-axles as now known in the present state of the art.

3. Improved ability to overcome road irregularities. The wide-width, flat profiles of the wheels of quad skates now known in the art must be improved so that bumps and holes on outdoor paved areas do not continuously interfere with such wheels.

4. Improved weight factor. Quad skates now known in the art are relatively wide, or thick, and thus are relatively heavy, which can affect both maneuverability and speed.

It is noted in particular that the overall goal of providing quad skates with the ability to compete with in some respects and otherwise be advantageous in overall performance relative to inline skates on outdoor paved areas must be achieved by having a combined improvement in all four of the named areas. A single improvement or even more than one improvement will not accomplish the goal of providing quad skates to be efficiently and easily used on outdoor flat surfaces.

These goals are met by the present invention as follows:

1. Improved speed is accomplished by providing large diameter quad wheels, which as is known in the laws of mechanics generally increases performance of overall speed. Each wheel of the present invention would have a wheel apex that would be greater than the apex of the roller wheels that it is possible to be used in the present state of the art. The apex of the wheels of a quad wheel in the present state of the art is limited by the horizontal plane of the bottom of the boot. The roller wheels of the present invention, as will be elucidated below, are positioned outside the opposed sides of the boot as defined by the sole and heel of the boot. The wheels of the quad skate of the present state of the art are positioned under and so are limited to be less than the plane of the sole and heel of the boot. Thus, the wheel of the present invention is such that its apex can now be at least as high as the bottom of the boot of the prior art. The diameter of the apex of the roller wheel of the quad skate of the present state of the art as just mentioned is limited to be less than the bottom of the skate boot, a height generally in the range of 100 millimeters. In fact, however, the apex of the wheel of the present state of the art of quad wheels as before noted is in fact is limited to a 60 to 70 millimeter range to provide clearance between the bottom of the boot and the apex of the wheel because of needed spacing, or clearance, of about 30 to 40 millimeters between the apex of the wheel and the bottom of the boot to prevent wheel bite. A wheel diameter for the present inventive wheel can now far exceed the actual 60 to 70 millimeter wheel diameter of present quad wheels and so can be in the range of 100 millimeters and even higher to a higher range of 135 millimeters or even to 150 millimeters or greater. As a design matter, the size of the diameter of the roller wheel of the present invention is limited by the horizontal transverse space needed to separate the front and rear wheels. Therefore, skaters who wear larger boots such as size 15 or greater can accommodate wheels greater than 150 millimeters. The diameter of the wheel is only limited in theory by the distance between the front and rear axle. Since the front axle of both the present inventive quad skate and the traditional quad skate is always under the ball of the foot and the rear axle always under the heel, skaters with larger feet can have larger wheels.

2. Improved overall balance is provided by quad wheels with wide axles that are laterally positioned beyond the sides of the boot thus increasing the transverse distance between each of the front wheels and each of the rear wheels of each skate. In accordance with the laws of mechanics, wheels mounted on wide axles in turn mounted on wide trucks provide greater ability to maintain balance than wheels with short axles on short trucks, especially at slower speeds. It is noted that the width of the truck casting usually determines where the wheel sits, not the length of the axle. The truck of the present invention usually extends beyond the sides of the boot of quad skate. On the other hand, it is known in the art that a narrow truck casting can be bored with a long axle, wherein the truck of the present invention can in fact be positioned under the boot of the inventive quad skate with the axle extending beyond the sides of the boot.

3. Improved ability to overcome surface irregularities is provided by providing the present inventive quad roller skate with thin-width wheels with a 24 millimeter to 25 millimeter thickness known in the art of wheels for inline skates and for inline push scooters. The thin width quad wheels of the present invention are provided with semicircular rim outer surfaces, or profiles, in place of the wide-width, flat profiles, of the generally 34 to 50 millimeter width quad wheels of the current state of the art.

Such thin-width quad wheels are in an inherently stable tracking line, so that ridges and cracks in the pavement lateral to the direction of movement of the wheel are more easily overcome. Such thin-width quad wheels additionally provided with semicircular profiles are especially superior to the wide, flat profile of the quad skate of the present state of the art.

Inline wheels have a radial and convex profile whereas traditional quad wheels have a flat profile. The footprint of a wheel is the portion of the surface profile that makes contact with the ground. An inline wheel that is 24 millimeters wide may have a footprint of only 12 millimeters wide due to its radial convex profile. A traditional quad wheel 36 millimeters wide will have a footprint of 36 millimeters wide as a result of its flat profile. All points of the traditional flat-profiled quad wheel make contact with the ground simultaneously

4. Improved weight factor is met by providing thin roller wheels made of lightweight material such as polyurethane for the wheel tire and a lightweight metal such as aluminum or a durable plastic for other areas such as the hub. Spokes are also provided between the tire and the hub to reduce weight. The thin-width wheels of the present invention are in the range of 24 to 25 millimeters. The interior of the wheel, hub and spokes, is created from a single mold

In summary, the combined four-way improvement for quad wheels as outlined above provides an inventive quad skate that is not only usable on a great variety of outdoor paved flat surfaces but is even superior in many aspects to inline skates, for example, in quick turns. Furthermore, thin-width wheels having a semicircular profile in accordance with the present invention are in contact with the skating surface during rotation of the wheel in such a manner that the skating surface is in tangential bearing contact with a single radial contact point at the wheel profile at all times. In addition, in an analogous manner, when a thin-width wheel of the quad skate of the present invention is tilted, as can happen during a typical skating turn or cornering, or more commonly when the opposite wheel strikes an irregularity in the outdoor surface, the striking surface of the wheel profile, continues to be in tangential bearing contact with skating surface. This result is in reinforcement of the stability provided by the double action trucks known in the art of quad roller skates as previously described. Thus, the forces applied to the outer surfaces of the four thin-width wheels of the present inventive quad skate with the semicircular profile are always directed in a radial line of force to the same radial center that is positioned at the same distance from the strike surface of the rim profile. With the line of force being so directed, the skater can make turns and overcome irregularities with confidence and ease. Thus, the thin-width wheel combined with the semicircular profile increases the ability to overcome common irregularities in outdoor surfaces. These advantages are not present in the wide wheel with the flat profile of quad wheels presently known in the art.

It is noted parenthetically that actual use of the improved quad skates on outdoor flat surfaces has shown that they continue to retain many of the maneuverable characteristics of quad skates relating to indoor artistic figure and dance skating, including quick turning ability.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,953,041 issued to Buss on Apr. 27, 1976, discloses a quad skate having 1) large diameter wheels that are positioned spaced from the sides of the skate boot; 2) long axles that extend beyond the sides of the skate boot; and 3) rims that are positioned above the heel-and-sole horizontal plane of the boot. Buss, however, shows the quad wheels as being thick, or wide, and also having the usual flat profile of traditional quad skates. The wide Buss wheels with their flat profiles when used outdoors will create instability as a result of the shocks from encountering the many irregularities of outdoor flat surfaces. As a practical matter, the wide flat profiles of the wheels of the Buss quad skate would be usable only on the smoothly finished surfaces of indoor rinks where no irregularities are encountered, which is consistent with the usual environment for usage of traditional quad skates in the past.

A French company, Hawaii Surf, Hawaii Surf 69 av. D. Casanova-94200-Ivry sur Seine—France, has recently been advertising on the Internet a combination support plate, internal plate, truck and wheel assembly that is designed to be mounted on athletic shoes only. The assembly is being marketed on the Internet at least since Jun. 7, 2005, under the trade name “Wide Boy”. The Wide Boy assembly is not a complete roller skate. It is being sold to buyers to construct a non-traditional quad roller skate. The Wide Boy assembly includes thin quad wheels having a 100 millimeter diameter with a semicircular profile and a durometer factor of 83A mounted to front and rear axles positioned in front and rear trucks attached to the support plate by a forward mounting bolt and a rearward support bolt. The Internet site shows two illustrations of the described assembly one of which clearly shows a separate thin metal plate that is removable and bolted to the support plate. Instructions for making a full Wide Boy quad skate are not posted on the Internet site. Nonetheless, an illustration on the web site for the Wide Boy shows an athletic shoe, clearly seen to be a Nike™ athletic shoe by its trade dress marking, mounted atop the Wide Boy assembly.

The purpose of the Wide Boy assembly is clear to one experienced in the art of roller skates. The thin metal plate shown in Wide Boy is to be unbolted from its temporary attachment to the support plate at the mentioned forward mounting bolt and rearward mounting bolt. The insole of the athletic shoe is then removed. Then two holes are drilled by the buyer of the Wide Boy through the sole of the Nike athletic shoe, or any other suitable athletic shoe. After the two holes are drilled through the sole, the thin plate is then placed into the shoe as a thin internal plate so that in effect the sole of the athletic shoe is sandwiched between the thin internal plate and the substantial external plate. Then the two mounting bolts are placed in the two holes of the sole of the athletic shoe and threaded into the internal threads of the bolt holes of the thin internal plate. The insole is then inserted into the shoe over the thin internal plate. It is noted that the entire truck and wheel assembly when fully assembled is attached to the external plate. The two-bolt mounting attachment is traditional in and based upon inline skate structure.

Athletic shoes have relatively soft and flexible soles since athletic shoes designed for walking and running. The thin internal plate is required to stiffen and stabilize the sole of the athletic shoe for the greater shocks of roller-skating. The thin internal plate in the athletic shoe prevents the torque pressure of normal roller skate movements from tearing the external plate from the sole of the athletic shoe. The Wide Boy skate is not provided with a toe stop assembly for the reason that the invention is directed to talented skaters and did not envision one being necessary and therefore did not incorporate a place for one in the Wide Boy design. The use of a thin internal plate to stabilize lateral movement is well-known in the art of inline roller skates. The single hole sole mount and single hole heel mount cannot hold the support plate squarely on the sole and heel of any athletic shoe without the internal plate. Thus, the Wide Boy has combined elements of a traditional inline skate with a quad skate.

It is parenthetically noted that authentic, or traditional, quad skate boots as known in the art of roller skates have relatively rigid, or stiff, thick soles known in the tradition of the dress shoe industry. Bending is not required at the ball of the foot while skating for the reason that the stiff, thick sole of the skate boot is attached to the substantial and rigid external plate. The present inventive quad skate uses a traditional roller skate boot with a stiff, thick sole. The soles of traditional roller skate boots are sturdy and so are able to resist the torque forces created while skating and need no internal plate to resist such forces. At least four mounting rivets, or mounting bolts as the case may be, which are relatively thin, preferably being about 9/32 inch in diameter, are used to mount the traditional quad boot to the support plate of the traditional quad skate. On the other hand, the views shown of the Wide Boy assembly show only two bolts to secure the external plate to the thin internal plate within the athletic shoe.

Dress shoe construction, which is the basis of the boot used in the roller skating industry, basically differs from the shoe of the athletic shoe industry. Rigid roller skate plates work best with a hard, or stiff, leather, or leather-like, soles. The traditional mounting pattern of the sole of the standard, or traditional, skating boot to the mounting plate uses a stable four-hole mounting pattern as follows: 2 mounting holes in the sole at the front axle and 2 mounting holes in the heel at the rear axle, both sets of holes being for receiving rivets or bolts of the mounting plate as the case may be. Some mounting plates at times include more than 4 rivets, or bolts, requiring additional mounting holes in the soles, but the basic 2 front and 2 rear mounting hole pattern in the sole and heel of the boot is standard.

The standard roller skate boot, such as, for example, the Sure-Grip Carrera, which is designed by Riedell Skates of Redwing, Minn. and manufactured in China, appears somewhat like an athletic shoe but in fact is merely disguised as such for marketing purposes only and in fact is based upon the traditional dress shoe. The present invention uses the standard roller skate boot with a stiff, thick sole.

The present invention will be better understood and the objects and important features, other than those specifically set forth above, will become apparent when consideration is given to the following details and description, which when taken in conjunction with the annexed drawings, describes, illustrates, and shows preferred embodiments or modifications of the present invention and what is presently considered and believed to be the best mode of practice in the principles thereof.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of the right quad roller skate of a pair of quad roller skates in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a side view of the quad skate shown in FIG. 1 with the apex of the front and rear wheels being vertically aligned with the generally horizontal plane of the bottom of the heel-sole of the skate boot.

FIG. 3 is a side view of the quad skate shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 with the apex of the front and rear wheels being positioned above the generally horizontal place of the bottom of the heel-sole of the skate boot;

FIG. 4 is a rear view of the quad skate shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a bottom view of the quad skate shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary sectional view showing the tangential contact point between the flat skating surface and the semicircular surface of the rim of the wheel of the quad skate when the wheel is in a vertical mode relative to an outdoor flat surface; and

FIG. 6A is a fragmentary sectional view showing the tangential contact point between the flat skating surface and the semicircular surface of the rim of the wheel of the quad skate when the wheel is in an angled or tilted mode relative to the flat surface.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Reference is now made to the drawings in which identical or similar parts are designated by the same reference numerals throughout.

An exemplary right quad shoe 10 of a pair of quad shoes for use on outdoor flat surfaces includes a boot 12 having a sole 14 and a heel 16. Sole 14 has a sole forward area 18 and a sole rearward area 20. Sole 14 has a sole bottom 22 and heel 16 has a heel bottom 24. Heel 16 is secured to sole bottom 22 at sole rearward area 20. Sole bottom 22 and heel bottom 24 are in general alignment with an imaginary horizontal plane 26. Boot 12 is a traditional boot known in the art of roller skates including sole 14 being stiff and thick and made of a stiff, or hard, leather or stiff hard leather-like material, such as molded polymer of vinyl chloride or polyvinyl chloride.

A metal support plate 28 is secured to sole forward area 18 and heel bottom 24. A forward truck 30A and a rearward truck 30B are transversely mounted to support plate 28 at sole forward area 18 and at sole rearward area 20 by front and rear bolts 32A and 32B, respectively. Forward truck 30A is located in the area below the ball of the foot of the wearer and rearward truck 30B is located in the area below heel 16. Front bottom bolt 32A secures forward truck 30A to support plate 28. Rear bottom bolt 32B secures rearward truck 30B to support plate 28. Both forward truck 30A and rearward truck 30B are double action trucks.

Two rivets 33 secure forward area 18 of support plate 28 to sole 14 and two rivets 33 secure rearward area 20 of support plate 28 to heel 16. Front and rear axles 34A and 34B are rotationally mounted through forward truck 30A and rearward truck 30B, respectively. A toe stop 36 is secured to support plate 28. Axles 34A and 34B are preferably solid axles with external threads at the ends. A pair of left and right front wheels, 38A and 38B, respectively, are mounted to front axle 34A; and a pair of left and right rear wheels 40A and 40B, respectively, are mounted to rear axle 34B. Each wheel 38A,B and 40A,B is provided with a plastic hub 42 molded with seven plastic spokes 44. Hub 42 can alternatively be made of a lightweight metal such as aluminum. A lock nut 46 at the axle ends holds wheels 38A,B and 40A,B to axles 34A,B, and also holds axles 34A,B to trucks 30A,B.

Each wheel 38A,B and 40A,B includes a tire 48 having a rim 50 that has a rim outer surface, or profile, 52 configured as a semi-circle in cross-section as seen in FIGS. 6 and 6A. Rim 50 is connected to spokes 44.

Each of front wheels 38A,B and each of rear wheels 40A,B has a rim apex 54 that is at least as high as imaginary horizontal plane 26.

An expository alternative quad skate 56 analogous to quad skate 10 is shown in FIG. 3 and includes a boot 58 analogous to boot 12 of skate 10, with a stiff, thick sole 60 made of a stiff, or hard, leather or stiff, or hard, leather-like material analogous to sole 14 of skate 10. Boot 58 includes a heel 62, and a support plate 64. Quad skate 56 includes a left front wheel 66 and a left rear wheel 68 analogous to left front wheel 38A and left rear wheel 40A, respectively, of skate 10. Each left front wheel 66 and left rear wheel 68 has a wheel apex 70 that extends several millimeters above the imaginary horizontal plane 26 shown in FIG. 2 that is formed by the bottom of sole 60 and the bottom of heel 62. The diameter of the wheels of quad skate 56 is limited only by the horizontal space 72 required between front and rear wheels 66 and 68 wherein the rims of the wheels would not interfere in rotation.

The diameter of the wheels of quad skate 10 vary in the general range of 100 millimeters up to 135 millimeters or greater for skaters who wear larger boots. It may be also noted children with smaller feet would skate on a quad skate 10 configured identically but with proportionally smaller wheels. In theory 175 millimeter wheels would be possible for a skater who wears a size 20 boot. Also, a 90 millimeter wheel would be suitable for a child who wears a size 3 or 4 boot due to horizontal size limitations between the front and rear axles.

Each of front wheels 36A,B and rear wheels 38A,B is a thin-width wheel having a width in the general range of 24 to 25 millimeters. FIG. 6 shows a section of the bottom of front wheel 38B as typical of all wheels 38A,B and 40A,B wherein flat skating surface 74 meets profile 52 at a tangential point of contact 76 where a vertical line of force 78 is transmitted from flat skating surface 74 to the radial center 80 of profile 52 of wheel 38A.

FIG. 6A shows wheel 38A in a tilted, or angled, mode when skate to for any of several reasons, such a during cornering, or when the opposite right front wheel 38B has struck an obstacle, or when left front wheel 38A has entered a lateral crack in outdoor surface 74. A vertical line of force 78 is sent from flat outdoor surface 74 from tangential point of contact 76 to radial center 80.

FIG. 5 shows right boot 12 particularly including sole 14 and heel 16 having opposed left and right side edges 82A and 82B, respectively, that define opposed left and right side edges 82A and 82B that extend between forward area 18 and rearward area 20 of boot 12. Left and right side edges 82A and 82B are asymmetrical because of the characteristics of the human foot. Left front wheel 38A and left rear wheel 40A are positioned in a first vertical plane and right front wheel 38B; and right front wheel 38B and right rear wheel 40B are positioned in a second vertical plane that is parallel to the first vertical plane. The first and second vertical planes are spaced away from opposed left and right side edges 82A and 82B, respectively.

Forward and rearward trucks 30A and 30B comprise forward and rearward truck castings that define first and second borings, respectively, within which front and rear axles 34A and 34B are respectively rotationally positioned. As seen in FIGS. 4 and 5, forward and rearward trucks 30A and 30B have ends that are positioned beyond boot side edges 82A and 82B, respectively. Alternatively, short forward and rearward trucks (not shown) generally analogous to forward and rearward trucks 30A and 30B can have truck ends that are positioned under boot 12, that is, positioned within boot side edges 82A and 82B, with axles 34A and 34B nonetheless being positioned beyond boot side edges 82A and 82B as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. The technology for maintaining axles 34A and 34B into their lateral positions while mounted to such short forward and rearward trucks is known in the art.

The principles and description of a mating left quad skate are analogous to right quad skate 10 as set forth herein.

The aluminum truck castings 30A and 30B of the present invention must be at least 4 inches wide. Axles 34A and 34B are inserted thru the center of truck castings 34A and 34B. The length of axles 34A and 34B is in the range of 6 inches. Therefore 1.25 inch of axles 34A and 34B protrude from each end of truck casting 30A,B.

In general, the tire area 48 of each wheel 38A,B and 40A,B preferably has a durometer hardness factor in the range of 74A to 88A. The durometer reading is a measure of the hardness of the material that makes up wheel's tire. The higher the hardness, the harder the wheel. In addition, the harder the wheel, the longer it lasts, but the less it absorbs shock and vibration when skating. Most wheels on the market range from 74A (softest) to 88A (hardest), where the letter A denotes the durometer scale. However, recreational skaters are normally interested in a narrower range from 78A to 82A. This hardness range provides good control and a smooth roll for trail skating.

Although the present invention has been described in some detail by way of illustration and example for purposes of clarity and understanding, it will, of course, be understood that various changes and modifications may be made in the form, details, and arrangements of the parts without departing from the scope of the invention set forth in the following claims.