Title:
Device for Adjusting the Nose of a Gliding Board
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A gliding board comprising a connecting means (7) of the cable or bar type extending from a point (6) of connection with the gliding board as far as a moving connecting element (8; 18; 18′; 28; 48) of an adjusting device (5) mounted on the gliding board, wherein the adjusting device (5) comprises a lever actuator (10; 20; 30; 50) acting on the moving connecting element (8; 18; 18′; 28; 48) in such a way as to move it in order to alter the tension exerted on the connecting means (7), so as to alter at least one mechanical characteristic of the gliding board, and wherein the lever actuator (10; 20; 30; 50) is such that it returns to the same position after each actuation irrespective of the position of the moving connecting element (8; 18; 18′; 28; 48).



Inventors:
Noviant, Jerome (Voiron, FR)
Pascal, Jean-marc (Voreppe, FR)
Bertagnolio, Denis (Coublevie, FR)
Application Number:
12/117134
Publication Date:
11/13/2008
Filing Date:
05/08/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63C11/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
PHAN, HAU VAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FROMMER LAWRENCE & HAUG LLP (NEW YORK, NY, US)
Claims:
1. A gliding board comprising a connecting means (7) of the cable, strap or bar type extending from a point (6) of connection with the gliding board as far as a moving connecting element (8; 18; 18′; 28; 48) of an adjusting device (5) mounted on the gliding board, wherein the adjusting device (5) comprises a lever actuator (10; 20; 30; 50) acting on the moving connecting element (8; 18; 18′; 28; 48) in such a way as to move it in order to alter the tension exerted on the connecting means (7), and wherein the lever actuator (10; 20; 30; 50;) is such that it returns to the same position after each actuation irrespective of the position of the moving connecting element (8; 18; 18′; 28; 48), so as to make an adjustment to the geometry or to the surface area of a nose and/or to the curvature of a gliding board.

2. The gliding board as claimed in claim 1, wherein the adjusting device (5) allows the geometry or the surface area of at least one nose (2) of the gliding board to be adjusted.

3. The gliding board as claimed in claim 2, wherein the adjusting device (5) is positioned on the surface of the gliding board near the front or rear (3) point of contact of the gliding board.

4. The gliding board as claimed in claim 2, wherein the connecting means (7) extends over at most the length from one end as far as the point at which the middle of a boot is positioned on the gliding board.

5. The gliding board as claimed in claim 3, wherein the connecting means (7) works in traction and wherein the point (6) of connection of the connecting means (7) with the nose (2) is positioned on the nose (2) between 5 and 10 centimeters from the front or rear (3) point of contact of the gliding board or at a height of between 1 and 2 centimeters.

6. The gliding board as claimed in claim 4, wherein the connecting means (7) works in compression and wherein the point (6) of connection of the connecting means (7) with the nose (2) is positioned on the nose (2) between 25 and 40 centimeters from the front or rear (3) point of contact and at a height of less than 4 centimeters.

7. The gliding board as claimed in claim 1, wherein the adjusting device (5) is incorporated into part of the binding device (4) used to secure a boot to the gliding board.

8. The gliding board as claimed in claim 1, wherein the adjusting device (5) comprises a mechanical coupling between the lever actuator (20; 30) and the moving connecting element (18; 18′; 28) comprising a cam (22; 22′; 32) defining a closed surface over successive portions of which an element (23; 23′; 27) of the mechanical coupling travels in response to various successive actuations of the lever actuator (20; 30).

9. The gliding board as claimed in claim 8, wherein the cam (22; 22′) is movably mounted in rotation and wherein the lever actuator (20) comprises a rod (17) acting on the cam (22; 22′) to cause it to rotate, the cam (22; 22′) collaborating with a part (23; 23′) of the moving connecting element (18; 18′) to cause it to move.

10. The gliding board as claimed in claim 9, wherein the cam (22) has several lobes (25) the end (24) of which can interact with a rod (23) of the moving connecting element (18).

11. The gliding board as claimed in claim 8, wherein the cam (22′) has a structure with a long side and a short side to press directly against a surface (23′) at the end of the moving connecting element (18′).

12. The gliding board as claimed in claim 8, wherein the moving connecting element (28) comprises an opening (31) forming a cam surface (32) along which a finger (27) of a link rod (36) connected to the lever actuator (30) travels.

13. The gliding board as claimed in claim 12, wherein the adjusting device further comprises a lever latch (38) able to cooperate with a pin (29) of the moving connecting element (28) in order to keep it in a retreated position or not to keep it in a retreated position.

14. The gliding board as claimed in claim 13, wherein the adjusting device comprises a leaf spring (39) with one end (40) curved outward to guide the finger (27) of the link rod (36) in its travel along the interior cam surface (32).

15. The gliding board as claimed in claim 1, wherein the adjusting device (5) comprises a mechanical coupling between the lever actuator (50) and the moving connecting element (48) comprising a first drive means (47) for driving the lever actuator (50) allowing the moving connecting element (48) to be rotated in a first direction as it rotates, and a second drive means (51) allowing the moving connecting element (48) to be rotated in the opposite direction as it rotates, so as to move this connecting element from a first position to a retreated second position and vice versa.

16. The gliding board as claimed in claim 1, wherein the moving connecting element (8; 18; 18′; 28; 48) is able to move and can occupy two different positions obtained by two successive actuations of the lever actuator (10; 20; 30; 50).

17. The gliding board as claimed in claim 1, wherein the moving connecting element is able to move and can occupy more than two different positions obtained by successive actuations of the lever actuator.

18. The gliding board as claimed in claim 1, wherein the adjusting device (5) is mounted on a free end of a longitudinal plate attached to the gliding board.

19. The gliding board as claimed in claim 1, wherein at least the connecting means (7) is mounted removably on the gliding board.

20. An adjusting device (5) for adjusting the geometry or the surface area of a nose and/or the curvature of a gliding board and which comprises a lever actuator (10; 20; 30; 50) acting on the moving connecting element (8; 18; 18′; 28; 48) in such a way as to move it, and wherein the lever actuator is such that it returns to the same position after each actuation irrespective of the position of the moving connecting element (8; 18; 18′; 28; 48).

21. The adjusting device (5) for a gliding board as claimed in claim 20, which comprises a mechanical coupling between the lever actuator (20; 30) and the moving connecting element (18; 18′; 28) comprising a cam (22; 22′; 32) defining a closed surface over successive portions of which an element (23; 23′; 27) of the mechanical coupling travels in response to various successive actuations of the lever actuator (10; 20; 30).

22. The adjusting device (5) for a gliding board as claimed in claim 19, which comprises a mechanical coupling between the lever actuator (50) and the moving connecting element (48) comprising a first drive means (47) for driving the lever actuator (50) allowing the moving connecting element (48) to be rotated in a first direction as it rotates, and a second drive means (51) allowing the moving connecting element (48) to be rotated in the opposite direction as it rotates, so as to move this connecting element successively from a first position to a retreated second position and vice versa.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a device for adjusting the geometry or the surface area of a nose and/or the curvature of a gliding board, particularly a ski. It also relates to a gliding board equipped with such a device.

In its front part a ski is equipped with a nose which in general consists of a rounded and turned-up part which extends from the front point of contact of the ski, which is defined as the forwardmost point of contact of the ski with the ground when the ski is resting on a horizontal surface. The main technical purpose of the nose is to make sliding easier by, for example, making it easier to negotiate obstacles. On well-groomed pistes covered with hard snow, the nose is of practically no use, or can even prove to be a hindrance because there is no obstacle to impede the sliding of the ski. By contrast, on slopes covered with a thick covering of powdery snow, a large nose is essential to allow the ski to lift and to prevent it from digging in. Similarly, other mechanical properties of a gliding board, such as its curvature, are well suited to a certain type of piste and less so to others.

Most skis have a nose of medium dimensions, somewhere between the two extreme solutions mentioned hereinabove. That means that skiers have to have at least two pairs of skis in order to ski their best either on hard snow or in powdery snow. This same line of argument applies to the curvature of the ski. Even were the skier to multiply the number of pairs of skis he owns in order to have all kinds of skis suited to different terrain, which naturally would be an expensive solution, he would still not be able to change the type of terrain in the same descent, because in general a skier carries just one pair of skis with him at a time.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART

There are, in the prior art, skis the performance of which can be adjusted.

Document FR 1 118 857 for example describes a solution that allows the curvature of the ski to be adjusted. This relies on rigid bars running along a long length of the ski in order to act in compression on its two ends in order to curve the ski. A solution such as this is complicated, requires the application of very high loads with a vertical component, and relies on a complex mechanism.

Document FR 2 448 360 describes another, similar, solution in which it is possible to adjust the elasticity of a ski by means of a cable running over practically the entire length of the ski and exerting adjustable tension forces, a vertical component of which is used to alter the elasticity of the ski. The front part of the cable is anchored near the point of contact of the ski with the ground.

These solutions are designed to alter the elasticity of the ski as a whole and have only an indirect and negligible effect on the nose. They do not allow accurate and targeted adjustment of the nose. In addition, these existing solutions rely on adjusting screws and are generally complicated and difficult to put into effect for reasons of technical complexity and for economic reasons because they are very expensive. The screws also require the user to furnish a very large force in order to adjust them. Finally, they are bulky, some were visually unattractive and thus difficult to put into application. All these disadvantages make these solutions unusable in practical terms.

In addition, these solutions rely on adjusting devices secured to the ski, often by screw-fastening, and intended to remain permanently on the ski. This has the disadvantage that the rigid bars or the cable remain permanently on the ski even in snow conditions in which the skier has no need to alter the natural geometry of his ski. In situations such as this, that makes the ski heavier and has a needless detrimental effect on its esthetic appearance. In addition, these rigid bars and cables also remain on the ski even when the ski is not in use and is simply in storage. Thus, there is a risk that the tensile or compressive forces, which may be high, will be constantly applied to the ski during storage and accelerate the wear of its structure and lead to the alteration of its natural elastic properties.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A general objective of the present invention is to find a solution for adjusting the geometry of the nose or the curvature of a gliding board, like the surface area of the nose, that has only some or none of the disadvantages of the prior art.

More specifically, a first objective of the present invention is to find a simple and convenient solution to adjusting a gliding board.

A second objective of the present invention is to find a solution which is esthetic, occupies a small amount of space, and adds only a small amount of additional weight to the surface of a gliding board.

The invention is based on a gliding board comprising a connecting means of the cable, strap or bar type extending from a point of connection with the gliding board as far as a moving connecting element of an adjusting device mounted on the gliding board, wherein the adjusting device comprises a lever actuator acting on the moving connecting element in such a way as to move it in order to alter the tension exerted on the connecting means, and wherein the lever actuator is such that it returns to the same position after each actuation irrespective of the position of the moving connecting element.

According to one particular embodiment of the invention, the adjusting device allows the geometry or the surface area of at least one nose of the gliding board to be adjusted. In this case, the adjusting device may be positioned on the surface of the gliding board near the front or rear point of contact of the gliding board, and in any event the connecting means extends over at most the length from one end as far as the point at which the middle of a boot is positioned on the gliding board.

According to a first alternative form, the connecting means works in traction and the point of connection of the connecting means with the nose can be positioned on the nose between 5 and 10 centimeters from the front or rear point of contact of the gliding board or at a height of between 1 and 2 centimeters. According to another alternative form, the connecting means works in compression and the point of connection of the connecting means with the nose is positioned on the nose between 25 and 40 centimeters from the front or rear point of contact and at a height of less than 4 centimeters.

The adjusting device may be incorporated into part of the binding device used to secure a boot to the gliding board.

According to one embodiment, the adjusting device may comprise a mechanical coupling between the lever actuator and the moving connecting element comprising a cam defining a closed surface over successive portions of which an element of the mechanical coupling travels in response to various successive actuations of the lever actuator.

The cam may be mounted such that it can rotate and the lever actuator may comprise a rod acting on the cam to cause it to rotate, the cam collaborating with a part of the moving connecting element to cause it to move.

The cam may have several lobes the end of which can collaborate with a rod of the moving connecting element.

The cam may have a structure with a long side and a short side to press directly against a surface at the end of the moving connecting element.

According to another alternative form, the moving connecting element may comprise an opening forming a cam surface along which a finger of a link rod connected to the lever actuator travels. In this case, the adjusting device may further comprise a lever latch able to collaborate with a pin of the moving connecting element in order to keep it in a retreated position or not to keep it in a retreated position. In addition, the adjusting device may comprise a leaf spring with one end curved outward to guide the finger of the link rod in its travel along the interior cam surface.

According to another alternative form of embodiment, the adjusting device may comprise a mechanical coupling between the lever actuator and the moving connecting element comprising a first drive means for driving the lever actuator allowing the moving connecting element to be rotated in a first direction as it rotates, and a second drive means allowing the moving connecting element to be rotated in the opposite direction as it rotates, so as to move this connecting element from a first position to a retreated second position and vice versa.

The moving connecting element may be able to move so as to occupy two different positions obtained by two successive actuations of the lever actuator. As an alternative, the moving connecting element may occupy more than two different positions obtained by successive actuations of the lever actuator.

The adjusting device may be mounted on a free end of a longitudinal plate attached to the gliding board.

The invention also relates to an adjusting device for a gliding board, and which comprises a lever actuator acting on the moving connecting element in such a way as to move it, and wherein the lever actuator is such that it returns to the same position after each actuation irrespective of the position of the moving connecting element.

This adjusting device for a gliding board may comprise a mechanical coupling between the lever actuator and the moving connecting element comprising a cam defining a closed surface over successive portions of which an element of the mechanical coupling travels in response to various successive actuations of the lever actuator.

As an alternative, the adjusting device for a gliding board may comprise a mechanical coupling between the lever actuator and the moving connecting element comprising a first drive means for driving the lever actuator allowing the moving connecting element to be rotated in a first direction as it rotates, and a second drive means allowing the moving connecting element to be rotated in the opposite direction as it rotates, so as to move this connecting element successively from a first position to a retreated second position and vice versa.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These objectives, characteristics and advantages of the present invention will be explained in greater detail in the following description of some particular embodiments given without implying any limitation in conjunction with the attached figures among which:

FIG. 1 depicts a schematic view of a ski incorporating a solution according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view from above of an element of a nose adjusting device according to a first embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 3 is a sectioned perspective side view of an element of a nose adjusting device according to the first embodiment of the invention, in a first position;

FIG. 4 is a sectioned perspective side view of an element of a nose adjusting device according to the first embodiment of the invention, in a second position;

FIG. 5 schematically illustrates the path of a rod connected to the lever along the cam as the lever is actuated;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an element of an adjusting device according to a variant of the first embodiment;

FIG. 7 is a simplified side view of an element of an adjusting device according to a second embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 8 is a side view of an element of an adjusting device according to the second embodiment of the invention in a first position;

FIGS. 9 to 15 illustrate, in various views, the way in which the adjusting device according to the second embodiment of the invention works;

FIG. 16 illustrates a side view of an adjusting device according to a third embodiment of the invention in a first position;

FIG. 17 illustrates a side view of an adjusting device according to a third embodiment of the invention in a second position;

FIG. 18 illustrates a side view of the third embodiment with the lever in a position that allows it to return to the first position.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The figures illustrate the implementation of the invention in the context of a ski, for adjusting the surface area and geometry of the nose. However, this concept could be implemented on all kinds of gliding boards, for example on a surfboard or snowboard, and for adjusting the curvature of the gliding board.

FIG. 1 thus schematically depicts a ski 1 viewed from the side, comprising a nose 2 extending from the front point of contact 3 of the ski as far as its end. This ski in its central part comprises a binding device 4 for securing a ski boot, corresponding to the upper part of its curvature. It additionally comprises a device 5 for adjusting the nose 2, mounted in the forward part of the ski 1 on its top surface and connected to the nose 2 at a point 6 by a connecting means 7 of the cable, strap, filament, blade or any equivalent type. The device 5 comprises a moving connecting element 8 to which the other end of the connecting means 7 is attached, an actuator 10 of the lever type mounted such that it can move on a mount 9 attached to the ski 1. A coupling mechanism, not depicted, coupling the actuator 10 and the moving connecting element 8 allows this connecting element 8 to be made to move relative to the mount 9 by actuating the lever 10.

According to the principle of the invention, the lever actuator 10 allows the tension in the cable 7 to be adjusted by moving the connecting element 8 longitudinally along the ski and thus transmitting a force to the point of connection 6 of the nose, which force gives rise to a particular geometry of the nose. What happens is that this force deforms the front of the ski, which allows the nose 2 to be turned up to a greater or lesser extent thus altering its geometry. To do that, the point 6 of contact with the nose has to be positioned forward of the front point of contact 3 of the ski and therefore at some height. Positioning it fairly high up on the nose improves the transmission of force but has the disadvantage of being somewhat visually unattractive and dangerous because in such an instance another ski could slip under the connecting means 7 and remain jammed, assuming that the two skis were to cross. Positioning the point 6 of connection with the nose 2 between 5 and 10 centimeters from the front point of contact 3 of the ski or at a height of 1 to 2 centimeters ultimately represents a good compromise. That allows the cable to run fairly horizontally and close to the surface of the ski, which is an acceptable look, occupies a small amount of space and does not present the danger recalled hereinabove. To improve the latter aspects still further, one option might consist in modifying at least part of the top surface of the ski by adding a longitudinal boss that has a slot in it forming a housing to accommodate the connecting means. As an alternative, it is possible for the connecting means to be at least partially surrounded in a flexible sheath, for example made of rubber or soft plastic for example. Aside from the improvement in the esthetic aspects, these two alternative solutions, which may be combined, provide a potential solution to the technical problem of protecting the connecting means, particularly against being struck with the edges of the skis as such knocks are liable to damage them.

Furthermore, according to an essential solution of the invention, the actuator 10 is of the lever type and occupies the same low-profile lying-down position irrespective of the tension exerted on the cable 7. The use of the lever, which is defined as a rigid body capable of moving about a fixed point so as to multiply the force applied to a resistance, allows the user to have enough strength in his hand to act upon the nose. Its optimized position on the ski reduces the amount of space it occupies.

In addition, the adjusting device 5 may be located at any point on the front part of the surface of the ski. It may be close to the front point of contact 3 of the ski, or even removed as far as the front binding 4 where it can advantageously be built into the stop piece of the device to improve the esthetic appearance and reduce the space occupied. In any event, the connecting means 7 therefore extends over a relatively short length but does not go beyond the point referenced as the middle of the boot on the ski.

FIGS. 2 to 5 more specifically illustrate a coupling mechanism for an adjusting device 5 according to a first embodiment. Front and rear of the device will be used to denote the direction defined in relation to the longitudinal direction of a gliding board on which it can be positioned.

According to this first embodiment, the device comprises a lever 20 mounted such that it can rotate about a pin 16 fixed to the mount which for clarity has not been depicted. This lever 20 acts on a moving connecting element 18 comprising an opening 19 in its front part to accept the attachment of a connecting means 7, not depicted, and comprising a longitudinal central recess 21 in its rear part, designed to accept a cam 22 mounted such that it can rotate about the pivot pin 16. The lever additionally comprises a rod 17 mounted in a slot on the lever and subjected to the action of a spring acting on the cam 22 as the lever rotates, this cam 22 cooperating with a rod 23 belonging to the moving connecting element 18.

The way in which the device works is as follows: FIG. 3 illustrates the moving connecting element 18 in its rearmost first position. The rod 23 is in abutment against an end 24 of a lobe 25 of the cam 22 thus keeping the moving connecting element 18 in a stable position acting on a connecting means 7, not depicted, leading for example to tension in a cable 7 and traction on the nose of a ski so as to turn up its front part and increase its overall surface area.

From this first position, actuating the lever 20 will cause the cam 22 to rotate as a result of the rod 17 collaborating with another lobe 25 of the cam 22. This rotating of the cam 22 frees the rod 23 of the connecting means 18 which begins to move in an forward longitudinal translational movement under the effect of the pulling force exerted by the cable. This movement is halted when the rod 23 comes back into abutment with another part 24′ of the cam 22, which corresponds to the up position of the lever 20 illustrated in FIG. 4. This lever then returns to its original horizontal position under the effect of a return spring that has not been depicted. During this return movement of the lever, the rod 17 travels along the rounded part of the cam path defined by the next lobe 25 of the cam 22 until it rounds its next crest 24, while sliding in its slot formed in the lever 20.

A further actuation of the lever 20 will once again cause action on the cam 22 to return the device to the first position described previously with reference to FIG. 3.

Thus, the adjusting device is characterized in that the moving connecting element 18 can occupy two different positions, and in that it moves from one position to the other each time the lever 20 is actuated, which lever always effects the same approximately quarter-turn movement in order always to come back to the same horizontal rest position. This device was then produced using a cam 22 having three identical curved lobes 25 and a rod 23 of the moving connecting element 18 traveling along part of the exterior surface of the cam 22 until a complete tour of the cam 22 has been made through six successive actuations of the lever 20 making it possible to obtain three successive series of translational round trips of the moving connecting element 18. FIG. 5 schematically illustrates the path of the rod 23 from the first crest 24 of a first lobe 25 to a second crest 24 of a second lobe 25 obtained during two actuations of the lever 20, passing via the intermediate position 24′ that corresponds to the forward position of the moving connecting element 18.

Other cam geometries that make it possible to obtain identical or similar results are also possible. According to an alternative form that has not been depicted, the three lobes 25 of the cam 22 may have different geometries in order to make it possible to obtain up to six different positions of the moving connecting element 18, these six positions being obtained by six successive actuations of the lever 20.

According to an alternative form depicted in FIG. 6, the cam 22, is in the form of an element the cross section of which is a rectangle with rounded corners, one surface of which always rests against the surface 23′ at the end of the moving connecting element 18′. This cam 22′ is able to rotate under the effect of an actuator, not depicted, which acts on a ratchet wheel 21′ connected to the cam by the end of a link rod articulated to the actuator, so as to effect a quarter of a turn each time the lever is actuated. Thus, when this moving element 18′ comes into contact with the surface corresponding to the long side of the rectangular cross section, as depicted in FIG. 6, it occupies a retreated first position. Following actuation of the lever, the moving means comes to bear against the short side of the rectangular cross section of the cam 22′, which is accompanied by its forward translational movement. This solution therefore makes it possible to obtain a result identical to the embodiment described previously, each successive actuation of the actuator making it possible in succession to obtain two positions of the moving connecting element. In this alternative form, the cam 22′ effects one complete turn per four actuations of the lever. This cam 22′ could have different geometries in order to obtain equivalent results, such as the shape of an ellipsoid or, more generally, of an ovoid, or any shape with a long side and a short side. The four sides could have different dimensions so as to allow four different positions of the moving connecting element, these being obtained by four successive actuations of the lever actuator. In addition, this cam 22′ could have more than four sides.

Thus, there are numerous possible geometries for the cam of the coupling mechanism that couples the lever and the moving connecting element, in order to obtain a similar result, that is to say a longitudinal movement of the connecting element through actuation of the lever that always rotates the same before returning to its initial position.

The next figures illustrate, for example, a second embodiment in which the cam is obtained directly on the interior surface of an opening made in the moving connecting element, a rod connected to the lever traveling over the entire periphery of this cam.

This device relies on a lever 30 mounted such that it can rotate about a pin 26, acting on a moving means 28 via a link rod 36 comprising a finger 27 at its end acting on a cam surface 32 that consists of the interior surface of an opening 31 formed within the moving connecting element 28.

FIG. 7 more simply illustrates the position of the link rod 36 relative to the cam 32. The latter more specifically delimits two positions 33, 34 for the finger 27 of the link rod, these corresponding respectively to two positions of the moving connecting element 28: in the first position 33 of the finger 27, illustrated in FIG. 8, the moving connecting element 28 is in a rear position, whereas in the second position 34, this moving connecting element 28 is in a more forward position.

The way in which this device works will now be explained. Starting out from the first position explained hereinabove and illustrated in FIG. 8, the lever 30 is actuated, driving the finger 27 backward toward a rearmost extreme position 35 in the cam 32, this being illustrated in FIG. 9. In this movement, the finger 27 of the link rod 36 is held on the lower part of the cam surface 32 by a leaf spring 39. When the lever is in the up position, the rear part 37 of the link rod 36 presses against a latch lever 38 mounted such that it can rotate about the pin 26, and therefore enmesh with a pin 29 positioned to the rear of the moving connecting element 28. This contact, depicted in particular with FIGS. 9 and 10, allows the latch 38 to rotate thus releasing the pin 29 from its grasp. This release leads to a small forward translational movement of the moving connecting element 28 under the effect of the pulling of the cable, not depicted, until the end part 35 of the cam 32 butts against the finger 27 of the link rod. In this position, the pin 29 of the connecting element has definitively escaped from the latch 38. The continued movement of the device illustrated in FIG. 11 consists in the lowering of the lever 30, thus causing the finger 27 of the link rod 36 to move upward along the ascending surface of the cam 32. This movement is made possible by the fact that the finger 27, which tends to rise under the effect of a spring acting on the link rod 36, then escapes from the leaf spring 39 which was hitherto guiding it along the lower surface of the cam 32, by virtue of an outwardly curved end 40 of this leaf 39. At the end of the movement of the lever 30, which returns to its original horizontal position directed forward, the finger 27 of the link rod will be positioned in the up second position 34 of the cam 32. In this position, illustrated in FIGS. 12 and 13, the moving connecting element 28 occupies a more forward position.

A further actuation of the lever allows a return to the first position. Specifically, an actuation such as this allows the link rod 36 to drive the moving element 28 rearward, until its rear pin 29 once again collaborates with the latch 38, as illustrated in FIG. 14. The lowering of the lever will cause the finger 27 to move forward along the top anterior surface of the cam 32 until it returns to its initial first position 33 illustrated in FIG. 8, the moving connecting element 28 remaining held in its rear position by the lever latch 38.

In this embodiment, two consecutive movements of the lever 30 therefore allow the connecting element 28 to occupy two distinct positions, as in the embodiments already described.

During these two consecutive movements, the finger 27 of the link rod 36 connected to the lever 30 makes practically an entire tour of the cam surface 32. This path is depicted schematically in FIG. 15.

As an alternative, the cam surface may be such that the connecting element can occupy more than two distinct positions, these various positions being reached through successive actuations of the lever. That might also make it possible to offer more than two adjustment options for the nose of a gliding board.

The previous two embodiments have the essential feature in common that a connecting element is moved by way of a lever which always returns to its initial position after each actuation. This feature is obtained through a mechanical coupling provided between the lever and the moving connecting element which relies on a cam, which defines a closed path that an element of the coupling travels in successive portions upon the various actuations of the lever. The invention is naturally not restricted to the embodiments described hereinabove and any cam surface along which a mechanical coupling element travels as the result of actuation of a lever actuator may make it possible to achieve a result such as this.

FIGS. 16 to 18 illustrate a third embodiment of the invention in which a moving connecting element 48 is moved by a lever 50 which always returns to its substantially horizontal initial position directed forward after each actuation, via a mechanical coupling of a different kind, which does not essentially consist of a cam.

FIG. 16 in fact illustrates a moving element 48 in a forward first position and connected to a cable 57 attached to a point on the nose of a ski and guided by a guide element 49 positioned in the bottom part at the front of the adjusting device. This moving connecting element 48 is mounted on an element 52 capable of rotating about a pin 54 of the mount of the device. The lever 50 is likewise mounted such that it can rotate about this same pin 54.

When the lever 50 is actuated from the previous position, a drive surface 47 of the lever causes the moving connecting element 48 to rotate in the same direction as the lever as far as a down and retreated position illustrated in FIG. 17 corresponding to the highest position of the lever 50. In this second position, the moving connecting element 48 is retreated and exerts a stronger pull on the cable 57. In this second position, the pivot pin 54 lies overall in the upper part of the element 52 and the tensile force exerted by the cable 57, guided under the front guide element 49, exerts a turning moment on the element 52 about this pin 54 that tends to keep it stable in this second position. This then is a stable position through a connection the effect of which is similar to that of a latchlock lever. The lever 50 can thus return to its initial position under the effect of a return spring while the moving connecting element 48 maintains this second position.

The return of the device to the first position is illustrated by FIG. 18 in which the lever is actuated downward, in a direction of rotation about the pin 54 that is the opposite to the previous actuating movement. This movement allows a second drive element 51 of the lever to come to bear against a front cam surface 53 of the element 52 so as to exert a moment that tends to make it turn in the same direction as the lever 50, until the moving connecting element 48 has been made to rise just enough for the cable 57 to pass back over the pivot pin 54 and cause this connecting element 48 to rise up again automatically to its maximum extent under the effect of the tension in the cable 57 until the position of abutment on the first drive surface 47 of the lever 50 illustrated in FIG. 16 is regained following release of the lever 50.

In the above solutions, a cable or the equivalent has been used to exert a tensile force on the front part of a ski. Conversely, a rigid bar could be used in order, contrastingly, to exert a compressive force on the nose of the ski, via a connection provided at a point 6 positioned further forward, between 25 and 40 centimeters from the front point of contact 3, at a maximum height of 4 centimeters.

In addition, the lever has been illustrated as having a rotational movement but any other movement that allows it to perform a force demultiplying function may suit.

The above solutions have been illustrated for adjusting the geometry of the nose of a ski. A similar and symmetric solution could, however, be adopted for adjusting the surface of the rear nose of a gliding board, in the case of gliding boards that allow gliding in both directions, for performing tricks, for example, by configuring the device symmetrically in the rear part of the gliding board, near the rear point of contact of the gliding board and through having a point of connection of the connecting means on the rear nose. According to an alternative form of embodiment, one and the same gliding board could combine the front and rear adjusting means using one and the same adjusting device that act simultaneously on both front and rear connecting means.

In the exemplary embodiments described hereinabove, the device has been described with its mount fixed directly to the surface of the gliding board. However, this mounting on the gliding board could be achieved via a plate. Indeed a plate can be fixed to the gliding board by just one of its ends and run longitudinally along the board, the adjusting device being mounted toward the free second end of the plate, that is elastically mobile relative to the gliding board. This solution in particular is of benefit when the gliding board is relatively short because it may make it possible to extend the surface of adjustment of the gliding board beyond the adjusting device itself. For example, adjusting the geometry of the nose of a snowboard could rely on a solution such as this, a plate being attached in the region of the front binding and extending longitudinally forward, the adjusting device being attached to the front end of this plate. Because this front end of the plate is not attached to the snowboard, actuating the device makes it possible to alter the geometry of the snowboard over a greater length potentially approaching the region of attachment of the plate to the snowboard by giving rise to elastic deformation of the free end of the plate, thus extending beyond the adjusting device itself.

In addition, a device such as this could also act over a greater length of the gliding board, extending from the rear forward, so as to alter the curvature of the gliding board. In such a case, the points of connection of the cable or bar or equivalent with the gliding board will not necessarily have to be positioned on the nose, unlike in the implementations described above.

In addition, according to another alternative form of embodiment, there is a particular arrangement to allow the connecting means to be connected removably to the gliding board. Connected removably is to be understood to mean a connection designed such that the connecting means can be completely removed from the gliding board when its presence is not required, that is to say chiefly under conditions in which there is no need to alter the natural performance of the gliding board and when the gliding board is not being used. In the prior art, these adjusting means are fixed firmly and permanently to the structure of the ski, by screws or bonding: such solutions do not constitute removable because removing them would lead to significant wear and damage to the gliding board, and an operation such as this could not be repeated many times. In addition, an operation such as this would require the use of tools such as screwdrivers and would require the associated skills. By contrast, the removable connection according to the invention allows any skier to perform it manually with no need for any tools or special skills, making it suited for use for example on the ski slopes by any skier.

One way of achieving a removable connection may be to provide an attachment member at the end of the connecting means capable of collaborating with a complementary attachment member connected to the moving connecting element. These two attachment members could be in the form of complementing hook shapes, or one of them could be in the form of a tooth collaborating with a complementary rod.

According to an alternative form of this embodiment, one of the attachment members could have several possible attachment positions, such as several rack teeth for example. An embodiment such as this would have the advantage of offering various possibilities of adjustment of the cable making it possible to obtain various nose geometries following actuation of the lever actuator. These various adjustments, combined with the possibility of having several adjustments using a lever actuator like the one described hereinabove collaborating via suitable cam surfaces with a moving element, would make it possible to have a greater number of possible adjustments.

According to another alternative form of this embodiment, the entire device could be fixed removably to the gliding board, also allowing the mount that supports the lever actuator and the associated mechanism to be removed.

Finally, this arrangement with the removable connection therefore has the advantage of allowing manual, convenient and very repeated removal of the connecting means from the gliding board.

Finally, the solution according to the invention is capable of meeting the objectives of the invention and of displaying the following advantages:

    • the use of a lever makes it possible to have the strength necessary to alter the geometry of the gliding board while at the same time keeping control over the substantial forces introduced through the natural elasticity of the ski. The lever also allows convenient manual actuation without the need for tools;
    • the use of a special purpose mechanical coupling capable of ensuring that the lever always occupies the same position between two actuations irrespective of the adjustment made, limits the size of the device and optimizes its esthetic effect;
    • in the special case in which the geometry of the nose is adjusted, the device occupies only a forward or rear part of the surface of the gliding board not extending beyond the point referenced as the middle of the ski boot in the case of a ski or the middle of the gliding board in the case of a snowboard, this not having too great an effect on the esthetic appearance of the gliding board and limiting the amount of space occupied by the solution.





 
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