Title:
TIBIA SUPPORT DEVICE FOR SKIER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A retaining strap encircles the leg of the skier and keeps the tibia in contact with a support surface in the form of a padded cast, which is fixed to a deformable component in the form of a leaf spring. The latter bears on the top of the boot, constituting a flexible connection to the front and a rigid connection to the sides. A cord allows the spring to be pretensioned towards the front. Straps tightened by securing buckles allow the deformable component to be kept fixed to the boot. By means of the invention, the cross-country skier is able to use walking boots ideal for climbing, while at the same time being able to ski downhill supported by the tibias.



Inventors:
Calmet, Alain (Sauzet, FR)
Application Number:
12/311888
Publication Date:
02/10/2011
Filing Date:
10/16/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D13/05; A63C9/00; A63C9/08
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Primary Examiner:
HARRIS, RAYMOND EUGENE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STEPTOE & JOHNSON LLP/DC (WASHINGTON, DC, US)
Claims:
1. 1.-7. (canceled)

8. A removable tibia support device for a skier, able to be fitted on the skier's boot and comprising a retaining strap encircling the skier's leg and keeping the tibia in contact with a support surface in the form of a padded cast, wherein the cast is fixed on a deformable part of small thickness shaped as a leaf of a leaf spring pressing on the top of the boot, said leaf being laterally rigid and flexible towards the front with a spring effect.

9. The removable tibia support device according to claim 8, wherein the deformable part comprises an insert joined by a cord enabling said deformable part to be pre-tensioned towards the front.

10. The removable tibia support device according to claim 8, wherein rubber strips are stuck under the deformable part to protect it from wear against the rings of the boot and to prevent it from slipping.

11. The removable tibia support device according to claim 8, wherein the deformable part is held on the top of the upper of the boot by at least one strap secured around the boot by a fast-on attachment.

12. The removable tibia support device according to claim 8, wherein the end of the deformable part is articulated around a pin integrated in the boot.

13. The removable tibia support device according to claim 8, wherein the deformable part is composed of elements that are able to slide and to be secured by screws to enable length adjustment to suit the height and boot size of the skier.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to a removable tibia support device for a skier, able to be fitted on the skier's boot and comprising a retaining strap encircling the skier's leg and keeping the tibia in contact with a support surface in the form of a padded cast. Such a device is mainly designed for off-track ski walking, but can also be used for alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, telemarking, snowboarding and for any situation requiring a support on the tibia.

STATE OF THE ART

Known cross-country ski boots are a trade-off between contradictory qualities: rigidity for downhill runs and flexibility and lightness for uphill progression. The tibia support described in the document FR 2870464 enables the skier to ski with walking boots, and comprises a ski binding associated with a rigid connection between the skier's leg and the attachment system fixed to the ski enabling the inclination of the tibia to be adjusted. The presence of this rigid connection hampers satisfactory operation of the frontal triggering and gives too rigid a support to the tibia without any flexible spring effect.

The document CH 191261 refers to an apparatus for a beginner skier comprising a connecting system with a spring inserted between a garter attachment surrounding the skier's leg, and an attachment element securedly fixed to the ski in front of the binding. The aim sought for is to keep the skier's knee in the flexed state, but it does not enable the user to ski by pressing on his or her tibia.

The document DE 2157724 makes mention of a ski binding associated with a support device of the skier's leg, formed by a securing cord connecting the skier's leg to an attachment point at the front of the ski. Such a device does not enable the user to ski by pressing on his or her tibia.

OBJECT OF THE INVENTION

The object of the invention is to provide a removable tibia support device that can be fitted to a low boot, and that provides improved holding of the skier's leg during downhill skiing.

The device according to the invention is characterized in that the cast is fixed on a deformable part of small thickness pressing on the top of the boot to form a laterally rigid connection, while at the same time being flexible towards the front with a spring effect.

The skier can therefore use hiking boots able to accommodate crampons, which are inexpensive, light and ideally supple for uphill walking. The deformable part operates as a leaf of a leaf spring. The stiffness is particularly suitable for downhill skiing.

According to an alternative embodiment, the deformable part is formed by a tab fitting snugly on the top of the boot and extending as a continuation of the tibia:

Preferably, the deformable part is held on the top of the upper of the boot by at least one strap secured around the boot by a fast-on attachment.

Other technical features can be used either alone or in combination:

    • the deformable part is attached to a cord enabling the spring to be pre-tensioned towards the front;
    • rubber strips can be stuck under the mobile part to protect the latter from wear against the rings of the boot and to prevent it from slipping;
    • the end of the deformable part is articulated around a pin integrated in the boot;
    • the deformable part can be composed of elements that are able to slide and to be secured by screws to enable length adjustment to suit the height and boot size of the skier.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Other advantages and features will become more clearly apparent from the following description of particular embodiments of the invention given for non-restrictive example purposes only and represented in the appended drawings in which:

FIG. 1 represents a schematic view of the tibia support device according to the invention with a leaf spring fitted on the top of the boot;

FIG. 2 is a partial cross-sectional view of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an identical view to FIG. 1 representing an alternative embodiment in the form of a tab;

FIG. 4 shows an alternative embodiment of FIG. 1, with a pre-tensioned spring integrated in a ski boot;

FIG. 5 is a partial cross-sectional view of FIG. 4.

DESCRIPTION OF PARTICULAR EMBODIMENTS

In FIGS. 1 and 2, a low-cut hiking boot 8 is wedged at the front in a toe piece AV and at the rear in a heel-piece AR of a ski binding. Boot 8 is associated with a deformable part 5 of small thickness in the form of a leaf spring which presses on the top of boot 8 forming a flexible link towards the front, while at the same time being laterally rigid.

The top end of the flexible part 5 is attached to a self-adhesive strap encircling the skier's leg and keeping the tibia in contact with a support surface in the form of a foam-padded cast 1. The bottom end of part 5 is provided with two pairs of wings 20 secured to the top of the boot by at least one strap secured around the boot by a fast-on attachment 6.

The leaf spring forming the flexible part 5 presents a preset stiffness suitable for skiing.

Flexible part 5 is kept pressing on the top of boot 8 by tightening the buckles 6. Rubber strips can be stuck under flexible part 5 to prevent any slipping effect and to prevent premature wearing in contact with the buckles of the boot.

A cord 4 is stretched between a drilled insert 3 and a hole 9 of part 5. Cord 4 presents a smaller length than that of part 5 and forms an arc with the latter.

In the alternative embodiment of FIG. 3, the end of cord 4 is fixed by a snaphook to an attachment 10 arranged on the ski at the front of the toe-piece AV. The presence of this cord 4 pre-tenses the leaf spring to the front of the ski imposing an inclination and a minimum force to be exerted at the beginning of flexion, while at the same time reducing the movement of the tibia to the rear.

In FIGS. 4 and 5, flexible tibia support part 5 can also be integrated in ski boot 14. The front of the support device comprises an attachment point 13 for cord 4 and a swivel-pin 12, for example made of titanium, integrated in boot 14 for spring leaf 5. A fast-on attachment or buckle 6 enables spring leaf 5 to be kept to the rear.

Deformable part 5 can advantageously be made from composite materials, in particular by moulding carbon fibre in an epoxy resin matrix, with enlargements at the level of the tibia and support points on the boot. The enlargements can also be made from thermoplastic material integrating the fast-on attachments and the strap pass-through loops.

According to another alternative embodiment, deformable part 5 can be composed of elements able to slide and to be secured by screws to enable length adjustment to suit the skier's height and boot size.

In off-track ski walking, the pair of mobile parts 5 or 15 is only used when skiing downhill. When proceeding uphill, it is removed and placed in the rucksack.