Title:
Adapter for Mounting Snowboard Bindings to Alpine Snow Skis
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An adapter 14 connects snowboard bindings 12 to snow skis 16 to allow the sportsperson to use light weight and smaller snowboard boots 10 to ski in. The adapter platform 30 mounts at its ends in the bindings 18, 20 of the ski and is rigidly fastened to the snowboard bindings by fasteners extending through the standard hole pattern used in fastening snowboard bindings to snowboards.



Inventors:
Holbird Jr., Thomas (Woodstock, GA, US)
Application Number:
13/049541
Publication Date:
09/22/2011
Filing Date:
03/16/2011
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63C9/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20040150189Mountable and storable ball mount systemAugust, 2004Deanda
20080258412Roll Regulation ActuatorOctober, 2008Kesselgruber
20060091663Wheelchair with telescopic anti-tip wheelMay, 2006Jackson et al.
20080258432Trailer CouplingOctober, 2008Haslam
20020163143Shoes convertible to roller skatesNovember, 2002Hoag
20120193889Method of Operating a Trailer Braking SystemAugust, 2012Harrison
20040217568Stabilizer bar with variable torsional stiffnessNovember, 2004Gradu
20130001906MASONS' CARTJanuary, 2013Richards
20100301573Steerable Sledge Comprising Two RunnersDecember, 2010Mierswa
20040124602Devices and equipment for biking uprightJuly, 2004Raikin
20100133773Axle SupportJune, 2010Buschjohann et al.



Primary Examiner:
PHAN, HAU VAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THOMAS | HORSTEMEYER, LLP (ATLANTA, GA, US)
Claims:
1. A snowboard adapter platform for attaching a snowboard bindings to a snow ski, said adapter platform comprising: a platform sized and shaped to fit beneath a snowboard binding and to fit into the bindings of a snow ski, said platform including a bottom surface for engaging a the top surface of a snow ski, a top surface for engaging the bottom surface of snowboard bindings, a front portion shaped to accept the front bindings of a snow ski, a rear portion shaped to accept the rear bindings of a snow ski, and a mid-portion between said front portion and said rear portion, a platform connector positioned at said mid-portion of said platform for alignment with a snowboard connector of the snowboard bindings, such that said platform can be mounted with its top surface engaging the snowboard bindings with the platform connector engaged with the snowboard to attach the platform to said snowboard bindings and the snowboard bindings can be mounted the snowboard boot, and the platform can be mounted to a snow ski.

2. The snowboard adapter of claim 1, wherein said platform connector comprises a pattern of receiver holes extending through said mid-portion of said platform for alignment with connector holes of the snowboard bindings with connectors extending-through said connector openings of the snowboard bindings into the receiver holes of said platform.

3. The snowboard adapter of claim 1, wherein said platform connector comprises a pattern of receiver holes that matches the pattern of connector holes of the snowboard bindings.

4. The snowboard adapter of claim 1, wherein said platform includes a connector flange at said front portion and a connector flange at said rear portion for being engaged by the bindings of the snow skis.

5. The snowboard adapter of claim 1, wherein said top surface of said platform is sloped downwardly from said rear portion toward said front portion.

6. A snow board adapter for attaching a snowboard boot and snowboard bindings to a snow ski, said snowboard adapter comprising: a platform sized and shaped to fit beneath a snowboard binding and to fit into the bindings of a snow ski; said platform including a front portion shaped to accept the front binding of a snow ski, a rear portion shaped to accept the rear binding of a snow ski, and a mid portion between said front portion and said rear portion; a fastener positioned at said mid portion of said platform for connecting said platform to the bindings of the snowboard binding; such that the platform mounts in engagement with the snowboard bindings with said fastener attaching the platform to said snowboard bindings.

7. The snowboard adapter of claim 6, wherein said fastener comprises a pattern of four receiver holes extending through said mid portion of said platform for alignment with four connector holes of snowboard bindings.

8. A snowboard adapter platform for attaching snowboard bindings to a snow ski, said snowboard bindings including a standard design of holes for attaching the snowboard bindings to a snowboard, said snowboard adapter platform including: front and rear portions shaped to accept the front bindings and rear bindings of a snow ski and becoming bound to the snow ski, and a mid-portion between said front and rear portions, a platform connector positioned at said mid-portion of said snowboard adapter platform for alignment with a snowboard connector of the snowboard bindings, said platform connector including four holes extending therein that are in a square pattern sized and oriented to align with the snowboard connector, such that said snowboard adapter platform can be rigidly mounted into engagement with the snowboard bindings with the platform connector engaged with the snowboard bindings to attach the platform to said snowboard bindings and the snowboard bindings can be mounted a snowboard boot, and the platform can be mounted to a snow ski.

9. An adapter platform for mounting snowboard bindings to snow skis to allow the sportsperson to use light weight and smaller snowboard boots to ski in, the snowboard bindings including a base and a hole connector in a pattern of predetermined design extending through the base for connection to a snowboard, said adapter platform including end portions sized and shaped to mount in the bindings of a snow ski, said adapter including a hole connector intermediate said end portions that align with the hole connector pattern of the snowboard binding for rigidly fastening to the snowboard binding by fasteners extending through the standard hole pattern of the snowboard binding and into said four hole pattern of said adapter platform.

10. An adapter platform for mounting snowboard bindings to snow skis as described in claim 9, wherein said hole connector comprises four holes that align with a four hole connector pattern of the snowboard binding.

11. An adapter platform for mounting snowboard bindings to snow skis as described in claim 9, wherein said hole connector comprises three holes that align with a three hole connector pattern of the snowboard binding.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/314,717, filed in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Mar. 17, 2010.

FIELD OF TECHNOLOGY

This disclosure concerns the use of snowboard boots and bindings in connection with snow skis, and particularly concerns an adapter for mounting snowboard bindings to snow skis.

BACKGROUND OF THE DISCLOSURE

When a skier uses snow skis for recreational pleasure, a ski is fitted to each foot and the foot and its ski function independently of the other foot and ski. This results in occasional loss of control of one or both skis and in some instances one of the skis tends to turn and twist the foot of the skier, causing injury to the ankle, lower leg, knee and other parts of the human body.

The above noted hazard is partially solved by making ski boots that are very stiff and extend high on the leg, being cinched to the calf of the leg. The skis have bindings that attach the skis to the sole of the boot so that the twisting forces from the skis is applied directly to the stiff boots, generally not to the foot of the skier. This structure and arrangement tends to minimize the twisting forces applied by the errant ski to the ankle and lower leg portion of the skier, transmitting the twisting force up to the stronger part of the leg that is more able to resist the turning of the ski.

In recent years the emphasis on using long skis has diminished with many of the skiers using wider and shorter skis. The use of shorter skis tends to reduce the likelihood of injurious twisting of the legs of the skier legs in case of an accident. Accordingly, some skiers would prefer to use the shorter, more comfortable snowboard boot when skiing.

While skiers still use the heavy stiff ski boots and releasable bindings for safer snow skiing, the ski boots are not necessary for snowboarding since both feet are planted on the snowboard and are not as likely to separate and twist independently from the adjacent foot. The bindings on snowboards include a metal base that is screwed directly to the snowboard so that it rarely separates from the snowboard. Straps extend from the base of the bindings and surround the upper portion of the foot portion of a short boot. This has allowed the snowboard boot to be less stiff, shorter, lighter, and much more comfortable and easier to walk in than the typical ski boot.

There are some people that both ski and snowboard and, when switching from one sport to the other, must have the boots that fit the ski or snowboard and must change their boots to change from snowboarding to skis and vice versa.

When a skier changes from snowboard to skis, it would be desirable for the skier to use the same pair of snowboard boots on the skis. However, since ski boots are attached to skis by bindings that engage the protruding front and rear flanges of the ski boots, snowboard bindings use straps that wrap around the foot portion of the snowboard boot, skis and snowboards are not interchangeable when the snowboarder desires to use his/her snowboard boots on skis.

Therefore, it can be seen that it would be desirable to have an adapter that allows the snowboarder to use his snowboard boots and bindings on snow skis, thereby avoiding the inconvenience of changing boots to ski and also enabling the skier to use the lightweight and more comfortable snowboard boots while skiing. It is to this improvement that this disclosure concerns.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

Briefly, an adapter for mounting snowboard bindings to Alpine snow skis is described that enables the sportsman to use the lightweight, shorter and more comfortable snowboard boots on skis, such as on Alpine skis.

Snowboard bindings typically are screwed to the snowboard, so the snowboard bindings may be removed from the snowboard with a screwdriver or other conventional tool. Typical prior art snowboard bindings 2 are illustrated in FIG. 8 of the attached drawings. The screw pattern for attachment of the bindings 2 to the snowboard 3 are in a standard pattern of four holes 4 arranged in a square at predetermined distances from one another. The fasteners, such as screws 5 with helical threads extend through the holes 4 of the binding plate 6 and extend into the holes 7 of the snowboard 3. When removing the snowboard bindings from the snowboard 3, the screws 5 are removed to separate the bindings from the snowboard. Some snowboards and snowboard bindings made by other manufacturers use other fastener patterns such as three hole patterns.

In accordance with this invention, an adapter platform is provided that is to enable the snowboard bindings to be mounted on skis. The adapter platform is to be rigidly attached to the bottom surface of snowboard bindings that may have been removed from a snowboard. The adapter platform includes the necessary front and rear attachment flanges that are connectable to the bindings of a ski, such as the bindings of an Alpine ski, so that no reconfiguration of the ski bindings or of the snowboard bindings is required, except for the attachment of the adapter platform to the bottom of the snowboard bindings.

Generally, the adapter is provided for attaching a snowboard binding to a snow ski, with the adapter including an adapter platform sized and shaped to fit beneath a snowboard binding and to fit into the bindings of the snow ski. The platform may include a bottom surface for engaging the top surface of a snow ski, a top surface for engaging the bottom surface of snowboard bindings, a front portion shaped to accept the front bindings of a snow ski, and a rear portion shaped to accept the rear bindings of a snow ski. A platform fastener is positioned at a mid-portion of the platform for alignment with the connector of the snowboard bindings.

The platform fastener may include four holes at the mid-portion of the adapter platform, with the four holes arranged in the standard four holes array of the typical snowboard bindings, so that the four holes of the adapter platform will align with the four holes of the snowboard bindings. Fasteners, such as threaded screws, extend through the aligned holes to mount the adapter platform to the snowboard bindings. This rigidly and accurately connects the adapter to the snowboard bindings. The same principle may apply to three hole patterns or other numbers and arrays of holes in hole patterns of different spacing.

The top surface of the adapter platform may be sloped upwardly from the front portion toward the rear portion, thereby tending to tilt the foot forwardly on the ski.

The adapter platform may have a central portion that is of reduced thickness in comparison with the ends of the adapter, thereby allowing the bindings to be positioned close to the snow ski to present a low profile support for the snowboard binder. This tends to avoid adding too much height between the ski and the snowboard bindings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of the central portion of a ski, showing the ski bindings, an adapter platform mounted to the ski and its bindings, snowboard bindings mounted to the adapter, and a snowboard boot strapped to the snowboard bindings.

FIG. 2 is a top view of the snowboard adapter platform.

FIG. 3 is a side view of the snowboard adapter platform of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a bottom view of the snowboard adapter platform of FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 is a side view of a sloped snowboard adapter platform.

FIGS. 6 and 7 are schematic illustrations of portions of the snowboard adapter and the dimensions of the portions.

FIG. 8 illustrates a prior art binding shown elevated from a snowboard to reveal the four hole pattern to which the bindings are attached. This figure is described above.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring now in more detail to the drawings, in which like numerals indicate like parts throughout the views, FIG. 1 illustrates the combination of a snowboard boot 10 mounted to snowboard binding 12, with the snowboard binding mounted to adapter 14, with the adapter, in turn, mounted to the central portion of a snow ski 16. Snow ski 16 includes conventional snow ski bindings which are front binding 18 and rear binding 20.

Snowboard boots, snowboard bindings, and snow skis with their bindings are conventional in the art. Snowboard binding 12 includes snowboard base 22 that has upwardly extending straps 24, 26 that receive and firmly hold the toe and arch of the snowboard boots, and a heel sling 28 extending about the heel portion of the snowboard boots 10, also firmly holding the heel of the snowboard boots.

As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, adapter 14 includes an adapter platform 30 that includes a top surface 32 for engaging the bottom surface of a snowboard binding, a bottom surface 34 for engaging the top surface of a snow ski, a front portion 36 shaped to accept the front bindings of a snow ski, a rear portion 38 shaped to accept the rear bindings of a snow ski, and a mid portion 40.

It will be noted that the top surface 32 of the adapter platform 30 may be sloped with respect to its bottom surface 34, with the top surface sloping downwardly toward front portion 36. The effect of the slope is to assure that the snowboard boot 10 will be tilted forwardly on the ski so that the skier will apply most of his/her weight on the balls of their feet where they have more control over the snow skis. The angle of the slope may be between 2 and 3 degrees, but other angles may be formed as may be desirable.

A platform connector 42 is located at mid portion 40, and includes a screw pattern 44 for attachment of the bindings 12 and fasteners such as the threaded screws 5 removed from the snowboard. In the embodiments shown in FIGS. 2-5, the screw pattern 44 includes four openings 44A, 44B, 44C, and 44D that are arranged in a square at predetermined distances from one another. This is the pattern used for substantially all snowboard bases 22 of snowboard binding 12, and will be described in more detail hereinafter. However, there may be other fastener patterns that would be compatible with the invention described herein.

As shown in more detail in FIGS. 6 and 7, rear portion 38 of the adapter platform 30 is accurately sized and shaped with the dimensions disclosed therein that are a standard in the snow ski industry.

FIG. 4 illustrates the bottom surface 34 in more detail. It will be noted that the diagonal ribs 46 form several cavities 48 that surround the mid portion 40. The screw pattern 44A-44D is illustrated in dash lines in FIG. 5, indicating that the openings 44A-44D are bores that do not extend completely through the adapter platform. However, as shown in FIG. 3, the screw openings that form the screw pattern 44 may extend entirely through the adapter platform, as may be desired.

FIG. 5 shows a modified adapter platform 50 that includes top surface 52, bottom surface 54, front portion 56, rear portion 58, and mid portion 60. The four hole screw pattern 44A-44D is also formed in the top surface 52, as previously described.

The intermediate portion of the modified adapter platform 50 of FIG. 5 is reduced in thickness in comparison to the adapter platform 30 of FIG. 3. The purpose of reducing the platform thickness is to avoid raising the height of the snowboard binding when the adapter is mounted between the snow ski and the snowboard binding.

In FIGS. 3 and 5 the lower surfaces of the front and rear portions 36, 38 and 56, 58, respectively, are beveled at 37, 39, and at 57 and 59, respectively. When the skier removes the skis from the adapter 14 (FIG. 1), the skier will be able to walk on the adapter 14 and have the option to walk and tilt his/her feet so that the steps taken will engage the bevels 37, 39 and 57, 59 on the ground, floor, etc., making it easier to walk without having to remove the adapter 14 from the snowboard binding 12.

The bottom surface of the adapter platform may be designed to resemble the bottom of a downhill ski boot. The height and width of each end of the platform will be made so that any standard downhill ski's binding will accept the platform. The platform may vary in length due to the various different snowboard boot sizes. The center of the platform will be wide enough to accept the area where the snowboard binding will be affixed. The area where the snowboard binding will be affixed may have exactly the same screw patterns found on all snowboard bindings around the world. The platform will be made of any material such as, but not limited to, plastics or high strength composites. The platform may be made of reinforced aluminum of other metals to insure the screws are attached to the snowboard binding and the platform in a safe and secure manner that will hold up under the most extreme conditions found in downhill skiing. The screw openings 44A-44D used to accept the screws 5 will resemble those used or found embedded in snowboards currently in use around the world. The screws 5 and their fastener openings 44A-44D in the adapter platform will be of sufficient length and height to properly attach the snowboard binding to the platform. The width of each screw will be the same as are used in snowboard bindings. In the event that the various binding manufacturers change or use different screw patterns or screw sizes, the platform may be adjusted to accept different patterns or sizes.

The elements of the adapter platform include its durable plastic or high strength composites and metal reinforcement inside its base that mimics the snow ski boots connection points to the ski's bindings. The durability of these elements allows for the ability to repeatedly connect snowboard bindings to the platform through the specific screw patterns found on snowboard bindings.

The platform may be enhanced through the use of non-stick plastics and/or composites to keep snow from sticking to the bottom of the platform. The platform also may be made of lightweight high-strength materials such as Kevlar or other similar material. Whichever material is used in the production of the platform must be able to maintain the attachment's integrity between the snowboard binding and the adapter platform.

The adapter's platform's relationship to the snowboard binding and current downhill ski boots is to create the same relationship found between the downhill ski boot and the downhill ski's bindings or its attachment to the downhill ski itself. The platform's design and use is to enable the snow skier to use his snowboard boots and binding in the same manner as the skier would use his downhill ski boots. The connection between the platform and snow ski will be the same as the snow ski boot and the snow ski, creating the same functionality between the two.

Once the snowboard binding of the type shown in FIG. 8 is attached or screwed to the adapter platform 30, the skier will insert his snowboard boot 10 into the snowboard binding and adjust it for comfort and performance. It is at this point that the snowboard boot, binding, and platform act and perform as a downhill ski boot. After the connection as described above, the skier simply steps into the snow ski's binding 18, 20 as he/she would have done with a normal ski boot. Today's snowboard boots are very comfortable and easy to walk in.

It is expected that today's snowboard boots and bindings when using the platform will offer approximately the same performance as found in current snow ski boots.

The platform may be made using traditional plastic molding or modes designed for layering fiberglass, Kevlar, or other composite materials. Inserted in the center of the mode aluminum or other metals may be used for reinforcement. Inserted in each form would be the female screw receptors set in place by a screw pattern form prior to curing. The screw pattern will be set in the center of the platform to correctly mimic the way in which ski boots sit inside the ski's bindings.

The platform's base can be changed to meet different ski binding requirements in the event that standard boot connection point sizing changes. The platform's screw pattern attachment points can also be changed to meet any industry changes that may be made to snowboard bindings.

The user of this platform will be able to take his/her snowboard boots and bindings and use them as downhill ski boots on downhill skis. Currently, there is no known use of snowboarding boots and bindings in this type of application for downhill skiing.

Although a preferred embodiment of the invention has been disclosed in detail herein, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that variations and modifications of the disclosed embodiment may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the following claims.





 
Previous Patent: Hitch

Next Patent: AIRBAG HOUSING