Title:
SKI BENDER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A ski bender is configured to cause additional deflection on a rear portion of a ski. The ski bender uses a rigid or semi-rigid member affixed to the rear portion of the ski. The member is configured to create additional radius and bend on the rear portion of the ski.



Inventors:
Bush, William C. (ELK GROVE, CA, US)
Kidder, Denny (ELLENSBURG, WA, US)
Application Number:
14/174659
Publication Date:
08/14/2014
Filing Date:
02/06/2014
Assignee:
BUSH WILLIAM C.
KIDDER DENNY
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
441/65
International Classes:
B63B35/85
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
VENNE, DANIEL V
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Plager Schack LLP (HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A ski bender configured to cause deflection on a rear portion of a ski, the ski bender comprising: a rigid or semi-rigid member affixed to the rear portion of the ski; wherein the rigid or semi-rigid member is configured to create a constant radius or variable radius bend on the rear portion of the ski.

2. The ski bender of claim 1, further comprising: wherein the rigid or semi-rigid member is a fin mount; wherein the fin mount further comprises a bottom side having a fixed radius curved mounting surface; wherein the fixed radius curved mounting surface is configured to bend the rear portion of the ski.

3. The ski bender of claim 1, further comprising wherein the rigid or semi-rigid member is an adjustable fin mount; adjustment screws attached to the adjustable fin mount; a tension plate mechanically coupled to the adjustable fin mount with the adjustment screws; a retention bracket mechanically coupled to the adjustable fin mount; wherein the adjustable fin mount is configured such that pressure from the adjustment screws on the tension plate create the deflection on the ski. The retention bracket is then secured to ensure the deflection is maintained.

4. The ski bender of claim 1, further comprising wherein the rigid or semi-rigid member is a rocker shim; a fin mount mechanically coupled to the rocker shim; wherein the rocker shim comprises either a fixed constant radius curve or a variable radius curve causing the deflection on the ski.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority to provisional patent application U.S. Ser. No. 61/763,373 filed on Feb. 11, 2013, the entire contents of which is herein incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND

The embodiments herein relate generally to skis and more particularly to water skis.

Prior to embodiments of the disclosed invention, fin mounts and fin block mounts did not permit any adjustment or change from the natural rocker of a ski. These flat mount surfaces, when attached to the back of the ski, would either retain the initial design rocker of the ski or they would cause a flattening of the natural rocker when securely tightened to the ski. This is problematic because the turning radius of a ski is negatively impacted as the rocker flattens when these flat mount surfaces are attached to a ski. Embodiments of the disclosed invention solve this problem.

SUMMARY

A ski bender is configured to cause deflection on a rear portion of a ski. The ski bender uses a rigid or semi-rigid member affixed to the rear portion of the ski. The member is configured to create either a constant radius or variable radius bend on the rear portion of the ski.

In some embodiments, the member is a fin mount. The fin mount further comprises a bottom side having a fixed radius curved mounting surface. The fixed radius curved mounting surface is configured to bend the rear portion of the ski.

In some embodiments, the rigid member is a fin mount that allows the user to make adjustments to the radius or rocker of the mounting surface. Allen screws apply pressure to the tension plate which causes deflection in the ski. A retention bracket is used to ensure the deflection is locked and maintained.

In some embodiments, the rigid or semi-rigid member is a rocker shim. The rocker shim is placed between the fin mount and the ski, all of which is affixed to the ski with mounting screws. The rocker shim comprises a fixed radius curve causing the deflection on the ski.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

The detailed description of some embodiments of the invention is made below with reference to the accompanying figures, wherein like numerals represent corresponding parts of the figures.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the invention shown in use.

FIG. 2 is a side view of an embodiment of the invention shown in use.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 4 is a side view of an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 5 is a top view of an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 6 is a front view of an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the invention shown in use.

FIG. 8 is a side view of an embodiment of the invention shown in use shown in initial configuration.

FIG. 9 is a side view of an embodiment of the invention shown in use shown in secondary configuration.

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 11 is a side view of an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 12 is a side view of an embodiment of the invention shown in use.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF CERTAIN EMBODIMENTS

By way of example, and referring to FIG. 1, FIG. 2, FIG. 3, FIG. 4, FIG. 5 and FIG. 6 one embodiment of the ski bender comprises fin mount 10 which is mechanically coupled to a rear portion of ski S. As used in this application “rear portion” means 35% by distance from the end of ski S proximate fin F and preferably 25% by distance from the end of ski S proximate fin F. Fin F is mechanically coupled to fin mount 10 with top portion T extending toward the top of fin mount 10.

Fin mount 10 comprises fixed radius curved mounting surface 12 on a bottom side. When fin mount 10 is mechanically coupled to ski S, the rear portion of ski S will bend to accommodate fixed radius curved mounting surface 12. As used in this application, a “fixed radius” means that the radius of the fin mounting surface 12 cannot be adjusted by the user; the shape or radius of the mounting surface is set during the manufacturing process. A fixed radius curve can either be a constant radius or variable radius and can be modeled, in substantial part, with a parabolic function. The fixed radius fin mounts will be manufactured separately each with a different radius shape allowing the user to change the ski's turning characteristics simply by changing a fin mount.

Turning to FIG. 7, FIG. 8 and FIG. 9, one embodiment of the ski bender comprises fin mount 110 which is mechanically coupled to tension block 112 on a rear portion of ski S with fin clamp mounting screws 114. The retention bracket 116 is mechanically coupled to the central portion of fin mount 110 and is used to ensure changes to radius/rocker are locked and maintained.

When fin mount 110 is mechanically coupled to ski S, the rear portion of ski S will bend to accommodate a deflection force made by the allen adjustment screws 118 on tension plate 112. This deflection force can be modified by tightening or loosening rocker adjustment set screws 118. The retention bracket 116 will ensure that adjustments are maintained. Regardless of setting, tension plate 112 will provide a fixed radius curved mounting surface immediately adjacent to ski S. Fin F is mechanically coupled to fin mount 110 with the top portion T extending toward the top of fin mount 110. The “adjustable” fin mount 110 gives the user the ability to make finer adjustments to the ski shape and rocker than the “fixed” radius fin mount options.

Turning to FIG. 10, FIG. 11 and FIG. 12, one embodiment of the ski bender comprises rocker shim 210. Rocker shim 210 is mechanically coupled to ski S with fin mount 212. Rocker shim 210 has a bottom surface that can be configured with either a fixed constant radius curve or a variable radius curve perforated with a plurality of holes that accommodate screws through fin mount 212 into ski S. Rocker shim 210 when coupled with fin mount 10 and fin mount 110, delivers the most aggressive turn available. It creates additional rocker shape that builds maximum angle through the wakes especially for skiers whose biggest challenge in a slalom course is getting early and creating space before the next turn and buoy. Tests on entry level slalom course skiers have shown additional rocker can help when learning to complete turns and achieve optimal angle through the wakes.

While a rigid member such as fixed radius fin mount 10 with curved mounting surface 12; adjustable fin mount 110, with tension plate 112 and retention bracket 116; and rocker shim 210, can be used to deflect a rear portion of ski S, it is noteworthy that the amount of deflection produced can vary significantly to meet user's needs. For instance, any amount of deflection, short of causing failure of ski S could be used depending on personal preference.

Each of these embodiments provide a method to add rocker/radius in the back potion of a ski where today's flat fin mounts do not. This allows ski designers to build skis flatter in the center of the ski with lower rise over distance from the middle of ski S to the tail and put more rocker in the back of the ski. This results in a very stable feeling ride and a more predictable turn. Each of these embodiments produces a tighter turning radius than today's current flat mount fin blocks on the same ski. Skiers who struggle with completing turns on a ski will find this can make turn completion much more effective. As a case in point, the fixed radius fin block mounted to an existing ski design produced a new Open Men's Slalom world record this last year, which has been approved by the International Waterski and Wakeboard Federation, the governing body of the sport as recognized by the International Olympic Committee.

Persons of ordinary skill in the art may appreciate that numerous design configurations may be possible to enjoy the functional benefits of the inventive systems. Thus, given the wide variety of configurations and arrangements of embodiments of the present invention the scope of the invention is reflected by the breadth of the claims below rather than narrowed by the embodiments described above.