Title:
Snow ski with slotted edges
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A snow ski or snowboard includes an edge arrangement to facilitate turns on snow. Slots can be formed in the body portion which provide blades and additional edges for engaging snow during a turn with each slot facilitating the flow of snow during a turn. Alternatively, attachments to the body portion can provide the additional blades and edges in parallel with edges of the body portion. Greater control and slowing action is provided during a turn maneuver.



Inventors:
Sommer, Graham (Stanford, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/217255
Publication Date:
03/02/2006
Filing Date:
08/31/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63C5/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
AVERY, BRIDGET D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WEAVER AUSTIN VILLENEUVE & SAMPSON LLP (OAKLAND, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A snow ski comprising: a) a body portion for engaging snow and including first edges for engaging snow during a turn, and b) slots associated with peripheral portions of the body portion and defining a blade for engaging snow during a ski turn.

2. The snow ski as defined by claim 1 wherein the slots are formed in the body portion with a slot edge comprising a blade edge.

3. The snow ski as defined by claim 1 and including an attachment for the ski body, the attachment including blades generally parallel to and spaced from the first edges.

4. The snow ski as defined by claim 1 wherein dislodged snow is directed through the slots during a ski turn.

5. A snow traversing apparatus comprising a body portion for supporting a human, the body portion including first generally parallel edges for engaging snow during a turn maneuver, and blades including second generally parallel edges in spaced alignment with the first edges to assist in executing a turn maneuver.

6. The apparatus of claim 5 and including slots between first and second parallel edges to permit the flow of snow during a turn maneuver.

7. The apparatus of claim 6 wherein the slots are formed in the body portion.

8. The apparatus of claim 7 wherein the blades are defined by the slots.

9. The apparatus of claim 8 and further including struts fastened to the body portion and supporting alignment of the blades.

10. The apparatus of claim 5 and further including at least one attachment to the body portion, the attachment including at least one blade having an edge in spaced generally parallel alignment with a first edge and which provides a second edge to assist in a turn maneuver of the apparatus on snow.

11. The apparatus of claim 10 wherein the attachment includes two blades which are in spaced generally parallel alignment with the first edges.

12. The apparatus of claim 10 wherein the attachment includes a support plate and an outer blade attached to the support plate, the blade providing a second edge generally in parallel with a first edge of the body portion.

13. The apparatus of claim 10 and further including spacers between the support plate and the outer blade to maintain a slot therebetween.

14. The apparatus of claim 10 wherein the attachment includes a support plate having an edge in spaced alignment with a first edge of the body portion.

15. The apparatus of claim 14 wherein the support plate includes a slot to permit the flow if snow during a turn maneuver.

16. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein the body portion comprises a snowboard.

17. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein the body portion comprises a ski.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. §119 from U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/607,393, filed Sep. 2, 2004, entitled “SNOW SKI WITH SLOTTED EDGES”, by Graham Sommer; which is incorporated herein by reference for all purposes.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to snow skis, and more particularly the invention relates to enhancements to the ski body to aid in ski turns in downhill skiing.

In downhill snow skiing, a skier typically uses flat skis having a single edge at each side, and the skier may either head directly downhill on such skis, or, more typically, performs a series of “turns” in which the ski edges are “engaged” so as to maneuver the skis. This engagement of the edges basically consists of angling the ski bottoms at an angle to the snow, thereby increasing friction between the skis and the snow surface. The increased friction resulting from ski edge engagement is caused by deformation of the snow surface with the reactive force both altering the skier's direction and slowing his speed. The manner of performance of “turns” and the amount of ski edge engagement is typically controlled by the skier to slow speed to a desired level. More turning, and more slowing, is typically performed on steep slopes to slow speed more; on relatively gentle slopes, the skier will often opt not to turn at all thus keeping up speed.

Attempts have been made to make turning easier by shaping the edges of the skis. See for example U.S. Pat. No. 6,394,482 for “Snow Skis Having Asymmetrical Edges” and U.S. Pat. No. 5,083,810 for “Double Edge Snow Ski” in which edge runners define a pair of sharp turning edges.

The present invention provides enhanced ease and control when executing a turn while on skis or other snow apparatus.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the invention, slots are provided in the ski body or in attachment to the ski body and provide a snow engaging blade and additional engaging edges to aid in ski turns in downhill skiing. Whereas the conventional ski tends to slide over the snow during a turn, the blade digs into the snow to increase friction between ski and snow with snow dislodged by the blade passing through the slot.

The invention and object and features thereof will be more readily apparent from the following detailed description and appended claims when taken with the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIGS. 1A-1C are respectively a top view, section view, and side view showing edging for a conventional ski.

FIGS. 2A-2D are respectively a top view, section view, and side views showing edging for a ski with grooves in accordance with one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of a ski and attachment for forming a slot structure in accordance with another embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 4 is a section view of the assembled ski and attachment of FIG. 3.

FIG. 5A is a perspective view of a ski and attachment in accordance with another embodiment of the invention, and FIG. 5B is a section view taken along link B-B in FIG. 5A.

FIG. 6 is a section view of another embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present design relates to an improved edge mechanism allowing enhanced maneuvering and slowing capability for a skier, in one embodiment. The improvement can be understood by first describing the process involved with “edging” (using the edges to steer and slow the skier) using conventional skis. FIGS. 1A-1C are respectively a top view, a section view, and a side view illustrating edging for a conventional ski. As illustrated in FIG. 1C, in a turn, both ski edges on the same side (right or left) of both skis are used by tilting the skis at a variable angle to the snow surface. In conventional downhill skiing, the skis will typically make an angle of less than 45 degrees with the snow surface, as shown. In addition to creating a steering effect to the side tilted into the snow, the skis are slowed by the increased friction from deformation of the snow surface caused by the cambered edges (typically made of steel or other hard metal) which dig into the snow.

In one embodiment, the present invention incorporates a channel, or slot, near the two edges of a downhill snow ski. The outside or lateral portion of the ski spaced from the main body of the ski is relatively thin, compared to the main body of the ski and can be a thin metal blade 10, as shown in FIG. 2A which is exaggerated in width for ease of viewing. One or more struts 12 can be used to provide sufficient rigidity to the blade 10 as shown in FIG. 2A. The blade is preferably made of steel or other hard metal to allow engagement of this region with the snow during turns. As illustrated in FIG. 2C, the arrangement results in a different form of engagement of the ski edge with the snow surface, as compared with a conventional ski in FIG. 1C. Rather than relying solely on the force caused by snow deformation at the outer edge of the angled ski, a second powerful source of engagement with the snow surface becomes the blades and inside edges of the cambered slots engaged with the snow surface. The thin blade cuts into the snow to increase friction between ski and snow with dislodged snow passing through the slot rather than building up under the ski. This is further illustrated in the enlarged section view of FIG. 2D. The blade edge digs into the snow because of the reaction force from the ski. Again, the thin blade is shown exaggerated in width for ease of viewing.

The blades may be constructed so as to present a surface almost perpendicular to the snow surface, while the inner edges may be cambered upward as for a conventional ski edge. With this perpendicular face engaging the snow surface in addition to the conventional lateral edge, snow surface deformation will be considerably greater than for the conventional ski edge alone. Some snow will be directed upward through the slots as the slot edges engage the snow surface. Skis incorporating the slotted edges as described will thus be considerably easier to maneuver and, importantly, to control the speed of downhill descent

In the embodiment of FIG. 2, the slots are formed in the ski body. However, the slots, blade, can be provided by attachments to a conventional ski. In FIG. 3 a member 30 is bolted or otherwise attached to ski 32 with outer edges of member 30 forming blades 36 which to extend vertically in a spaced arrangement with the edges of ski 32, as shown in the section view of FIG. 4. Slots 34 in member 30 allow the edges of ski 32 to continue to actively engage snow during a turn maneuver without excess snow build up upon the ski. Member 30 can be made of a suitable material such as steel or aluminum, for example.

FIG. 5A is a perspective view of another embodiment of the invention in which attachments 40 are provided on ski 42 in front of and behind ski bindings shown at 44. The positioning of the attachments will affect the lateral torque on the skier. If the skier's feet represent the approximate fulcrum for a turn, the enhancement of turning force will be a strong function of slot positioning, forward or near the back of the skier. Further, a shorter slot region will produce less turning and slowing power, which may be optimal.

FIG. 5B is a section view taken along line B-B in FIG. 5A, and each attachment 40 includes a L-shaped support plate 46 which is bolted to the ski and an outer blade 48 which is attached to support plate 46 by bolts 50 with a spacer and support strut 52 maintaining runner 48 in spaced relationship with support plate 46 with a slot therebetween.

FIG. 6 is a section view of another embodiment of the invention in which a support plate 60 is fastened to ski 62 and is formed to provide an outer blade 64, which can be above the bottom edge of ski 62, as shown. Slots 66 can be provided to facilitate snow flow when bottom edge of ski 62 is engaging snow during a turn.

The invention is particularly useful with snow skis but has applicability in other recreational equipment such as snowboards. The invention can be implemented in various shapes and sizes with various positions of the slots and blades. Thus, while the invention has been described with reference to specific embodiments, the description is illustrative of the invention and is not to be construed as limiting the invention. Various modifications and applications may occur to those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.