Snow skis

A ski includes a base plate (2) and a raised, central platform (3). A front supplemental element (6a) is removably attached to a front end of the platform and has a pair of longitudinal arms (60, 61) extending forward along a top surface of the base plate. Similarly, a rear supplemental element (6b) is removably attached to the rear of the platform and has a pair of longitudinal arms (62, 63) which extend slidably along the top surface of the base plate. The supplemental elements are removably attached using a tongue (8a, 8b) and slot (9a, 9b) arrangement and a latch (10, 11, 100). A visual indicator (11, 12; 15, 16) indicates when the supplemental element is properly connected. The supplemental elements include a basic structure (600) with supplemental reinforcing elements (601) removably attached to the undersides of the longitudinal arms. By changing the reinforcing elements (601) and changing among supplemental elements with arms of different length and characteristics, the behavior of a ski can be quickly modified to match a user's taste, the terrain, and skiing conditions.

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Description

BACKGROUND

The present application relates to boards for sliding on snow such as skis, monoskis, snow boards, and the like, herein referred to generically as skis. The application relates, in particular, to a ski that includes a base plate on which at least one supplemental element is mounted.

The sport of skiing is attracting more and more followers, and has evolved significantly over the past several years. As the skill of the skiers improves, there is a demand for higher quality products. This is, for example, the case for skiing sports.

There are many known models of skis whose base plate includes an elongated beam whose front end is curved upward to form the tip and whose undersurface includes a sole or sliding surface bordered by metal edges.

In spite of the efforts by manufacturers to develop constructions to satisfy their customers, there does not exist, to date, a ski which is convenient to use and has satisfactory characteristics for all types of skiing, in all types of snow, in all types of terrain, for whoever is using it.

Attempts have been made to address this need, such as for example, the constructions shown in French Patents FR 2,670,392 and FR 2,675,391. In the applicant's earlier French Patent FR 2,726,193, a ski construction is proposed in which a platform is affixed to an upper surface of the body of the ski.

The applicant also proposes in U.S. Pat. No. 6,848,703 a raised platform to which the bindings are attached that is divided into two spaced parts that are mounted directly on the base of the ski with an interconnecting bridge. This allows the skier, during turns, to exert a different pressure on each side of the ski.

The applicant also proposes in FR Patent Application FR 04 07955 another improvement for skis in which a supplemental element includes two longitudinal parts which extend parallel and are connected with a transverse connecting part. The supplemental element is fixed, at least in the zone of the ski boot, such that its two longitudinal parts are situated laterally and reside in hollows in the body of the ski.

SUMMARY

The present application proposes general purpose skis which include a base plate and at least one supplemental element which cooperates with the base plate in form, dimension, and structure such that together they give the ski the desired characteristics as well as comfort and easy control the skis.

The ski, including a ski, monoski, or snowboard, described in the present application includes a principle part called the body or base plate. A platform which is affixed to the base plate extends in the zone of the boot and is intended to support the bindings for the boot. In addition, it includes an additional supplemental element which extends this platform. This supplemental element is removable attached to the platform by way of a movable interconnection means such that it can be dismounted. The supplemental element includes two longitudinal, lateral arms connected by a transverse connecting part which includes the interconnection means for connecting the supplemental element to the platform. The longitudinal arms include a means of dynamic recall of the base plate.

According to a complementary characteristic, the platform is extended to the fore and/or the aft by a supplemental element. The longitudinal arms of each supplemental element extend laterally compared to a plane of general symmetry to extend forward from the front of the supplemental element or rearwards towards the back of the base plate.

According to other complementary characteristics, the supplemental element extending fore and/or aft has a back end which connects the longitudinal arms by a transverse connection part.

According to another characteristic, the removable interconnection means include a first means integral to the supplemental elements which are intended to cooperate with complementary connecting parts integral with the platform. The interconnection means includes connecting means and means for locking and unlocking the supplemental elements.

Also, it should be noted that visual guide means are provided to simplify connecting the supplemental elements in the correct position and locking them.

Numerous additional advantages and benefits will become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon reading the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention may take form in various components and arrangements of components, and in various steps and arrangements of steps. The drawings are only for purposes of illustrating the preferred embodiments and are not to be construed as limiting the invention.

FIGS. 1-6 represent a first embodiment of a ski.

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of the ski;

FIG. 2 is a side view of the ski;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view illustrating the base plate with a platform before installation of the supplemental elements;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing the base plate with the platform and the supplemental elements connected;

FIG. 5 is an illustration before assembly;

FIG. 6 is an illustration after assembly;

FIGS. 7-8 are top view illustrating another embodiment of a visual guide means;

FIG. 7 is an illustration after assembly;

FIG. 8 is an illustration before assembly;

FIG. 9 is a top view of another embodiment of the means for connecting the supplemental element with the base plate;

FIGS. 10, 11, 12A, 12B, and 12C depict one preferred embodiment;

FIG. 10 is a top plan view;

FIG. 11 is a lateral side view;

FIGS. 12A, 12B, 12C are cross-sections through section A-A, B-B, and C-C of FIG. 10;

FIG. 13 is a top view of another embodiment of a supplemental element;

FIGS. 14a, 14b, and 15 illustrate alternate embodiments of the supplemental element;

FIGS. 14a, and 14b show a first embodiment in which FIG. 14a is an expanded cross-sectional view and FIG. 14b is a bottom view;

FIG. 15 is another embodiment in which each of the arms includes a series of windows.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 represents a ski 1, in particular an alpine ski, with a vertical plane of general symmetry P. It includes a principle part, called a body or base plate 2, and a platform 3 which is affixed to the base plate in a binding or boot zone ZP. The platform is intended to support bindings 4, 5 for the ski boot.

Although described with reference to skis of the alpine type, it is to be appreciated that the present innovation also applies to other types of skis including monoskis, snow boards, cross-country skis, and the like.

The platform 3 is extended towards the front AV and/or towards the rear AR by at least one supplemental element 6a, 6b. These supplemental elements are independent and can be removed from the platform and can be interchanged with other supplemental elements of different construction or characteristics.

The base plate 2 has its own thickness distribution, edges, width, and stiffness and can be of various kinds and constructions. The base plate includes an elongated beam which can be of any known type or design, such as sandwich type, a box type, a hull type, and the like, as well as combinations of these and other types.

The supplemental elements 6a, 6b are functional reinforcing elements which cooperate with the base plate to confer, with the cooperation, functional characteristics, such as rigidity, inflexion, torsion, etc. used in the sport of skiing.

The front supplemental element 6a which extends forward AV from the platform 3 includes two longitudinal arms 60, 61. Likewise, the rear supplemental element 6b includes two longitudinal arms 62, 63 which extend toward the rear AR from the platform 3.

Each longitudinal arm 60, 61; 62, 63 of each supplemental element 6a, 6b is disposed laterally compared to the plane of general symmetry P and extends towards the front end AV for the front supplemental element 6a and towards the rear AR for the rear supplemental element 6b.

Further, the longitudinal arms 60, 61; 62, 63 of each supplemental element 6a, 6b which extend on either side of the plane of symmetry P are connected at one end with a transverse connecting part 70, 71.

Thus, the front supplemental element 6a is such that the back ends of the longitudinal arm 60, 61 are connected by the transverse connecting part 70. Analogously, the ends of each longitudinal arm 62, 63 of the rear supplemental element 6b are connected by the transverse connecting part 71.

It is to be understood that in the illustrated embodiment, each supplemental element has the shape of a “U”, opening towards the front AV for the front supplemental element 6a and opening towards the rear for the rear AR supplemental element 6b. It is also understood that each transverse connecting part 70, 71 includes a connecting part for interconnecting its supplemental element with the platform 3.

As indicated above, the supplemental elements are removably connected with the platform, allowing each supplemental element to be disconnected. That is, the supplemental elements are retained on the platform in a removable way. Thus, the ski and more particularly the platform and the supplemental elements include interconnecting means also called removable connection assembly for allowing the supplemental elements to be connected and disconnected with the platform.

Thus, the removable connecting assembly includes a first means on the supplemental elements which is configured to cooperate with a second, complementary connecting means mounted on the corresponding end of the platform.

In addition, the removable connecting assembly includes an inter-engaging means and a locking and unlocking means.

One will also note that the ski includes a visual indicator for indicating a proper interconnection and locking between the supplemental elements and the platform. This avoids any risk of inopportune decoupling or breakage.

As previously indicated, the front supplemental element 6a extends forward of the platform and includes two longitudinal arms 60, 61 extending toward the front AV. These arms are connected at their back end by the transverse connection part 70. The transverse connecting part includes, in one example, two extending engaging arms or tongues 8a, 8b which are configured to be received in and cooperate with two corresponding receiving slots or channels 9a, 9b in the platform.

Further, the connecting part includes a latch element 10 which is resiliently biased to extend upward by an elastic system, such as its own elasticity, a spring, or the like. The latch includes a projection 11 which cooperates after complete engagement with an aperture 12 defined in the platform 3.

Analogously, the rear supplemental element 6b which extends from the rear of the platform with its two longitudinal arms 62, 63 extending towards the back AR connected by the transverse connecting part 71. The transverse connecting part also includes two extending tongues 8a, 8b which cooperatively engage corresponding slots 9a, 9b in the rear of the platform.

In addition, the connecting part 71 includes a resiliently biased latch element 10 with a projection 11 that cooperates, after complete inter-engagement, with an opening 12 defined in the platform.

Such a connection allows quick and easy mounting and demounting of the supplemental element. In this manner, the supplemental element can be easily changed and replaced with a different supplemental element having different characteristics or another geometry. This makes it possible to obtain a ski having different behavior and functional characteristics.

In accordance with a complementary characteristic, this provides a visualization means or indicator which indicates that the supplemental element has been properly assembly with the platform. In the illustrated embodiment of FIGS. 1-6, the latch projection 11 snaps up into the aperture 12 to provide a visual indication that it is properly connected. When the user notes that the projection 11 is disposed in the housing and raised, the user is assured that the parts are properly connected.

FIGS. 7 and 8 are top views illustrating another possible embodiment of the visual indicator for indicating proper assembly. According to this embodiment, the platform 3 includes an aperture 15 while one of the tongues 8b includes a marking 16 which aligns with the aperture when the two have been properly connected, as illustrated in FIG. 7.

According to the embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 2, the supplemental elements are such that their longitudinally extending arms are of the same length. Thus, the front longitudinal arms 60, 61 have the same length and the rear longitudinal arms 62, 63 have the same length. Of course, having the same length is not required. The front longitudinal arms 60, 61 can be of different lengths and the rear longitudinal arms can also be of different lengths.

Further, in the embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 2, the rear supplemental element 6b has the same length as the arms of the front supplemental element 6a. Of course, this is not required. Rather, the lengths of the front and the rear longitudinal arms can be different. As illustrated in FIGS. 10, 11, and 12, the front supplemental element 6a can be longer than the rear supplemental element 6b.

With reference to FIGS. 12A-12C, the free ends of each longitudinal arm 60, 61; 62, 63 is supported on the base for free, sliding translation relative to the base plate. In one embodiment, each longitudinal arm includes a transverse “U”-shaped groove which receives one of complementary raised ribs extending along corresponding lateral sides of the top surface of the base plate 2. It will be noted that the longitudinal arms 60, 61; 62, 63 of the supplemental elements 6a, 6b have a variable cross-section which grows progressively wider toward the platform. The thickness of the supplemental elements can advantageously decrease towards their ends, the thickness of the front supplemental element decreasing towards the front and the thickness of the rear supplemental element decreasing towards the rear.

In addition, the width of the longitudinal arms can decrease towards the ends. Thus, the front longitudinal arms 60, 61 can decrease in width towards the front and the width of the rear longitudinal arms 62, 63 can decrease towards the rear. Also, the platform 3 can be affixed to the base plate 2 in various ways, such as with screws or the like. The supplement elements 6a, 6b compress with inflexion of the ski during use, but return to their original shape and position with a dynamic recall of the base plate 2.

The longitudinal arms of the supplemental elements allow an increased pressure to be applied by the user directly in a support free zone and increase the bite of the edges. This facilitates biting of the edges at the start of a turn. Further, the arms provide a simple and effective means for adjusting the dynamic recall of the base plate towards its home position.

Of course, the invention is not limited to the embodiments described and illustrated in these examples, but can include all technical equivalents and their combinations.

It will be understood that the platform 3 which, in the illustrated embodiment, extends over a length sufficient to receive the bindings for the ski boot could also include two related parts such as a forward part and a rear part.

FIG. 9 is top view of an alternate embodiment of the connecting assembly for connecting the supplemental elements with the base plate. According to this embodiment, the two tongues 8a, 8b each include a lateral latch 100 which is configured to engage in a corresponding slot in the platform. In addition, the ends of the longitudinal arms can be connected by a branch 700 as illustrated in FIG. 13.

It will be added that the longitudinal arms of the supplemental elements can include a basic structure 600 which is supplemented by a reinforcing element 601. The reinforcing element is configured to be received in each arm to alter its functional characteristics, particularly its inflexion. The reinforcement element 601 could be mounted in a recess in the lower part of each corresponding arm as illustrated in FIGS. 14a, 14b.

The reinforcement elements 601, for example, are disposed under the arms of the supplemental elements and are retained in a movable way such that the reinforcement elements can be replaced and reassembled using reinforcement elements with different characteristics. In this way, changing the reinforcement elements can be used to modify the characteristics of the arms 61, 62; 63, 64 of the supplemental elements 6a, 6b and thus modify the behavior of the ski.

The skis can be sold with a family of reinforcement elements with different characteristics. The elements with different characteristics can, for example, be color-coded to represent the various characteristics. The reinforcement elements 601, in one example, are flat plates or profiles made of metal or plastic. The characteristics, such as the inflexion, should remain relatively stable with use and over time.

FIG. 15 is a top plan view of a supplemental element in which each arm includes successive sight holes 602 through which can see the reinforcement element. When the reinforcement element is marked, such as by color, to indicate its characteristics, the user can see through these holes and tell which types of reinforcement element is in place.

The invention has been described with reference to the preferred embodiment. Modifications and alterations may occur to others upon reading and understanding the preceding detailed description. It is intended that the invention be construed as including all such modifications and alterations insofar as they come within the scope of the appended claims or the equivalents thereof.

Claims

1. A skiing device comprising:

a base plate;
a platform affixed to the base plate in a zone for receiving the ski boot and adapted to support bindings for the ski boot;
at least one supplemental element extending from the platform, the supplemental element including a pair of longitudinally extending arms which are connected by a transverse part, the longitudinal arms providing a dynamic bias to the base plate;
a removable connecting assembly which removably connects the supplemental element to the platform, the connecting assembly including an interconnection portion connected with the transverse part of the supplemental element.

2. The skiing device according to claim 1, wherein the at least one supplemental element includes a front supplemental element which is removably attached to the front of the platform and a rear supplemental element which is removably attached to the rear of the platform, such that the supplemental elements extend the platform.

3. The skiing device according to claim 1, wherein the longitudinal arms of each supplemental element are disposed symmetrically about a plane of central symmetry extending between front and rear ends of the base plate.

4. The skiing device according to claim 2, wherein the longitudinal arms of the front supplemental element are interconnected by a cross piece.

5. The skiing device according to claim 4, wherein the longitudinal arms of the rear supplemental element are connected by a cross piece.

6. The skiing device according to claim 1, wherein the connecting assembly can connect the at least one supplemental element with either the front or the rear of the platform.

7. The skiing device according to claim 6, wherein the connecting assembly includes a slot in one of the supplemental element and the platform and a tongue in the other, which tongue is slidably received in the slot and a latching assembly for releasably retaining the tongue received in the slot.

8. The skiing device according to claim 7, wherein the connecting assembly further include a visual indicator which provides a visual indication when the supplemental element is properly connected to the platform.

9. The skiing device according to claim 1, wherein the transverse part which connects the longitudinal arms of the supplemental element extends across a back end of the longitudinal arms, the transverse part being part of the connecting assembly.

10. The skiing device according to claim 9, wherein the connecting assembly includes a pair of tongues extending from the transverse part in a direction opposite to the longitudinal arms and a resiliently biased latch member with a projection, the tongues and latch member being configured to be received in corresponding slots defined in the platform.

11. The skiing device according to claim 1, wherein the supplemental element is removably attached to a front end of the platform and extends forward therefrom.

12. The skiing device according to claim 1, wherein the supplemental element is removably attached to a rear end of the platform and extends rearward therefrom

13. The skiing device according to claim 1, wherein the longitudinal arms of the supplemental element are of the same length.

14. The skiing device according to claim 1, wherein the longitudinal arms of the supplemental element are of different lengths.

15. The skiing device according to claim 2, wherein the longitudinal arms of the front supplemental element are the same length as the longitudinal arms of the rear supplemental element.

16. The skiing device according to claim 2, wherein the front supplemental element is longer than the rear supplemental element.

17. The skiing device according to claim 1, wherein free ends of the longitudinal arms of the supplemental element are supported on the base plate for sliding translation therealong.

18. The skiing device according to claim 17, wherein the free ends of the longitudinal arms have a longitudinal groove configured to receive a longitudinal projection along an upper surface of the base plate.

19. The skiing device according to claim 1, wherein the longitudinal arms of the supplemental element have a tapering cross section.

20. The skiing device according to claim 1, wherein the longitudinal arms of the supplemental element are configured to receive a supplemental reinforcement element for modifying functional characteristics of each longitudinal arm, particularly inflexion characteristics.

21. The skiing device according to claim 20, wherein the supplemental reinforcing elements are removably retained to an underside of the arms, the supplemental reinforcement elements being replaceable to modify the characteristics of the longitudinal arms.

22. A supplemental element for interconnection with the skiing device according to claim 1.

Patent History

Publication number: 20080029998
Type: Application
Filed: Jan 9, 2007
Publication Date: Feb 7, 2008
Inventors: Philippe Largueze (Grenoble), Eric Restani (La Murette), Jerome Noviant (Voiron), Jean Pierre Ract (Grenoble), Jean-Marc Pascal (Voreppe), Vincent Bregeon (Voirons)
Application Number: 11/651,388

Classifications

Current U.S. Class: 280/607.000
International Classification: A63C 9/00 (20060101);