CAMBER ADJUSTMENT SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR SNOW-RIDING DEVICES
The system comprises a first elongate blade and a second elongate blade. The second elongate blade is substantially in superposition with reference to the first blade. The first and the second blades are affixed together at one end. The system includes a user-actuated mechanism is connected at least to the second blade. The mechanism is selectively operable by a user of the snow-riding device to longitudinally reposition at least a portion of the second blade with reference to the first blade. This longitudinal repositioning modifies the efficient length ratio between the two blades and thereby the camber of the system. The system is self-contained and once integrated to the snow-riding device, the system permits a selective camber adjustment of at least a portion of the snow-riding device upon modifying the camber of the system.
The technical field relates generally to systems and methods for adjusting the camber of snow-riding devices.
Snow-riding devices, such as skis, snowboards and others, are available in a wide range of brands and models. Users generally select their snow-riding devices based on a plurality of factors, including for instance their riding ability, their weight and their budget. The camber and the stiffness of the snow-riding devices may also be part of the decision factors. For instance, on soft or powder snow, users generally prefer snow-riding devices having a convex undersurface profile (or “reverse camber”) so as to increase uplift and stability. However, a convex undersurface profile is often less desirable for use on hard or packed snow due to the restricted contact of the snow-riding devices with the snow-covered surface and the lack of pressure at the front and rear edges during turns.
Many snow-riding devices intended for the general public are designed with a concave undersurface profile. This profile is more widely used since it generally provides good performances on hard or packed snow surfaces, such as those found most of the time in ski resorts. The concave camber helps redistributing the gravitational and centripetal forces exerted by the user throughout a major portion of the length of the snow-riding device. When the user is turning, the pressure exerted on the snow-covered surface is more evenly distributed, therefore increasing grip and stability.
Although snow-riding devices with a concave undersurface profile can offer a good compromise for most users under various snow conditions, they can be difficult to use on soft or powder snow since the rearward uplift caused by the rear of the concave undersurface profile can amplify the tipping of the front of the snow-riding device. The user can then be constantly thrown forward and may have to lean backwards to counteract the effect. This unnatural position can decrease the front-rear stability and create physical discomfort or premature physical fatigue after only a few minutes.
Some arrangements have been suggested over the years in an attempt to adjust the camber of a snow-riding device. For instance, U.S. Pat. Pub. No. U.S. 2008/0042400 to Smith discloses an arrangement in which a user can vary the tension of a cable and thereby change the camber of a ski. This arrangement, however, can be quite cumbersome. It can also create internal stresses in the ski structure and may change the overall ski flexibility in an undesirable way when the device is engaged.
Other arrangements including a tensioning member located underneath the neutral axis of the ski have been suggested. However, these designs often induce a very large compressive stress inside the ski structure since they are very close to the neutral axis.
Clearly, room for improvement still exists in the area.
In one aspect, there is provided a camber adjustment system as defined in claim 1.
In another aspect, there is provided a method for adjusting a camber of a snow-riding device as defined in claim 17.
Further details on these aspects as well as other aspects of the proposed concept will be apparent from the following detailed description and the appended figures.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES
The system 10 illustrated in
The system 10 also comprises a second elongate blade 16 extending along a second longitudinal axis 18. The second blade 16 is substantially in superposition with reference to the first blade 12, as shown in
The second end portion 16b of the second blade 16 is affixed to the second end portion 12b of the first blade 12. This connection can be made using different arrangements and can also depend on the materials used for the blades 12, 16. For instance, the second end portions 12b, 16b can be affixed using a welding joint made around the bottom periphery of a plug hole 20 that is provided across the width of the first blade 12. Another possibility is to use a butt weld joint or a mechanical fastener, for instance a bolt or a rivet. It can also be glued and provided with an intermediate layer of elastic material to redistribute the shear stresses. This last type of connection can also mitigate the tangential pressure exerted on the structure of the snow-riding device towards its base. Still, the first and second blades 12, 16 can be formed from a bended monolithic piece. Many other variants are also possible.
The system 10 comprises a user actuated mechanism 30. In the example illustrated in
The mechanism 30 of
As shown in
The exact length of each system 10 can vary from one specific design to another. It can depend on a plurality of factors, such as the kind of snow-riding device, the length of the snow-riding device, the location of the system 10 therein, the number of systems 10 inside the snow-riding device and the desired range of camber variation. Other factors can also be taken into account. The width of the system 10 can vary from a few millimeters to almost the full width of the snow-riding device, depending on the material used as well as the aforementioned specific requirements.
With reference to the center of gravity of the ski 100, one of the systems 10 shown in
As shown in
Prior to the positioning of the systems 10 into the ski structure, the outer surfaces of the systems 10, the various gaps therein and the movable parts can be hermetically sealed inside a flexible container, for instance a nylon bag, to prevent the bonding agent from directly adhering to them. Air is removed from the bag so as to obtain a very tight fit between the bag and the system 10. The interior of the ski structure is finalized once the systems 10 are in position. The cavity inside which each system 10 is embedded can partially project inside the ski core, which ski core can be made for instance of wood. A longitudinal groove can be machined in the ski core 132 to receive a portion of the thickness of each system 10. This way, the systems 10 will be very close to the neutral axis of the ski 100.
The access port 106 can be created, once the ski 100 is fully assembled and properly cured, by machining the top sheet 134, the top face of the box 110 and any layer between them. If desired, the access port 106 can be closed by a removable protective cover to prevent ice, snow and debris from accumulating therein. The removable protective cover can be for instance a Velcro band.
In use, a skier can change the settings of one or both systems 10 by inserting a handheld tool through the access port 106. The access port 106 is configured and disposed so that the screw heads 44 can be independently rotated using the handheld tool.
Depending on the design, the structure of the ski 100 can be preformed with a reverse (convex) camber and adjusted by one or more systems 10 to achieve a flat profile or a concave camber.
Alternately, the structure of the ski 100 can be preformed with a relatively flat profile or a slightly concave camber and adjusted by one or more systems 10 to increase its concave camber. In both cases, the systems 10 can also be configured upside-down and used indeed to increase the convex camber. For instance,
The system 10 illustrated in
The second end portions 12b, 16b are affixed together using two spaced-apart rivets 160 and the second end portions 12b, 16b are also glued together in this example, as explained later in the text.
The user-actuated mechanism 30 of the system 10 shown in
As can be seen, the mechanism 30 is operated through a knob 200. The system 10 can be integrated to a snow-riding device in such a way that the knob 200 can transmit torque to a movable part inside the mechanism 30, thereby providing the user with a very convenient way of adjusting the camber of the snow-riding device without using a tool. Nevertheless, one can also operate the system 10 shown in
An enlarged base plate 220 is located underneath the second blade 16 and extends to both internal longitudinal walls of the sealing unit 170. A threaded shaft 230 extends inside the mechanism 30. The threaded shaft 230 passes through circular holes provided across the first blade 12 and the rigid curved member 210, and also through a registered hole provided across the second blade 16. Depending on the exact configuration, the threaded shaft 230 can be pre-assembled with the rest of the mechanism 30 prior to the molding of the snow-riding device or added at a later stage. In the illustrated example, the bottom end of the threaded shaft 230 engages a threaded hole 232 provided through the base plate 220. The threaded shaft 230 also includes a radially-projecting shoulder 234 positioned between the top side of the rigid curved member 210 and the bottom side of a captivation plate 240. This way, the threaded shaft 230 can only rotate on itself when the user rotates the knob 200.
It should be noted that alternative configurations are possible. For instance, the enlarged base plate 220 can be rigidly connected to the bottom end of the threaded shaft 230. In that case, the underside of the knob 200 can be provided with threaded hole to receive the top portion of the threaded shaft 230. A vertically-extending keyway 242 is provided on each vertical internal longitudinal side wall of the sealing unit 170 in order to prevent the base plate 20 from rotating.
In use, rotating the knob 200 in one direction pulls the first end portion 16a of the second blade 16 towards the reinforcing plate 210. The traction pulls the second blade 16 to the left in the figures with reference to the first blade 12, thereby changing the camber of the system 10. The oblong shape of the hole in the second blade 16 yields space for this translation.
The system 10 includes a top annular bushing 260 and a bottom annular bushing 262. Both are made of a resilient material. The bushings 260, 262 are coaxially disposed with reference to the threaded shaft 230. They are positioned on the opposite sides of the shoulder 234. Different kinds of bottom bushings can be used so as to vary the dynamic response of the system 10. The bottom bushing 262 can also be useful in case of a sudden overload. For instance, such overload can occur if the snow-riding device is stopped abruptly into a deep hole in the snow. The bottom bushing 262 can mitigate the risks of stressing the blades 12, 16 beyond their elastic limit. The top bushing 260 is useful to prevent the upper part of the shoulder 234 from impacting on the captivation plate 240 as compression is released from the bottom bushing 262. Nevertheless, if desired, the bushings 260, 262 can also be omitted or used separately. The captivation plate 240 is provided atop of the snow-riding device to prevent the knob 200 from being removed accidentally. The knob 200 may be connected to the threaded shaft 230 using of a set screw (not shown). Other arrangements are also possible.
As aforesaid, it is also possible to use the system 10 with a snow-riding device within the system 10 being embedded within its structure.
Overall, the proposed concept provided a very efficient way of adjusting the camber of a snow-riding device while minimizing the longitudinal stresses in a snow-riding device.
The present detailed description and the appended figures are meant to be exemplary only, and a skilled person will recognize that variants can be made in light of a review of the present disclosure without departing from the proposed concept.
1. A camber adjustment system for use with a snow-riding device, the system comprising:
- a first elongate blade extending along a first longitudinal axis, the first blade having opposite first and second end portions;
- a second elongate blade extending along a second longitudinal axis and being substantially in superposition with reference to the first blade, the second blade having opposite first and second end portions, the second end portion of the second blade being affixed to the second end portion of the first blade; and
- a user-actuated mechanism connected to the first and second blades, the mechanism being selectively operable by a user of the snow-riding device to longitudinally reposition at least a portion of the second blade with reference to the first blade, thereby modifying the camber of the system;
- whereby the system is self-contained and once integrated to the snow-riding device, the system permits a selective camber adjustment of at least a portion of the snow-riding device upon modifying the camber of the system.
3. The system as defined in claim 1, wherein the user-actuated mechanism comprises a screw having one end engaged to a threaded sleeve connected to the first end portion of the second blade, the screw extending substantially parallel to at least a portion of the second longitudinal axis and being coupled to an end member engagable against the first end portion of the first blade.
4. The system as defined in claim 3, wherein the first end portion of the second blade includes an end face spaced apart from the end member when the system is in a neutral state, the end face of the first end portion of the second blade engaging the end member when the system has a maximum camber.
6. The system as defined in claim 1, wherein the user-actuated mechanism comprises a pulling member movable along a direction that is substantially perpendicular to the second longitudinal axis, the pulling member engaging the first end portion of the second blade.
7. The system as defined in claim 6, wherein the pulling member is threadably engaged to a threaded shaft extending through the first and the second blade.
8. The system as defined in claim 7, wherein the first blade includes a hole across which the threaded shaft extends, the threaded shaft having a free end projecting above a top side of the first blade and to which is connected a knob, the knob being in a torque-transmitting engagement with the threaded shaft.
9. The system as defined in claim 8, wherein the threaded shaft includes a radially-projecting shoulder located under a captivation plate, the captivation plate including a hole through which project a top portion of the threaded shaft.
10. The system as defined in claim 9, further comprising a resilient annular bushing positioned under a radially-projecting shoulder, the bushing being coaxial with the threaded shaft.
11. The system as defined in claim 6, wherein the mechanism further comprises a rigid curved member positioned between the first end portion of the first blade and the first end portion of the second blade, the curved member creating a space between the first and second blades when the system is in a neutral state.
12. The system as defined in claim 1, wherein the first blade and the second blade have a tapered configuration with reference to the first and second longitudinal axes.
13. The system as defined in claim 1, further comprising an elongate spacer provided between at least a portion of the first and second blades.
16. The system as defined in claim 1, wherein the snow-riding device is selected from a group consisting of alpine skis, cross-country skis, snowboards, telemark skis and skate ski blades.
17. A method for adjusting a camber of at least one portion of a snow-riding device, the method comprising:
- integrating a self-contained camber adjusting system to the snow-riding device, the camber adjusting system including a first and a second elongate blade facing each other and connected at a common end;
- selectively repositioning at least a portion of the first blade with reference to the second blade to change a camber of the system; and
- during the repositioning, transmitting the change in the camber of the system to the at least one portion of the snow-riding device, thereby adjusting its camber.
18. The method as defined in claim 17, wherein the step of selectively repositioning at least a portion of the first blade with reference to the second blade includes having a user engaging the system with a handheld tool and pivoting the tool to change the camber of the system.
19. The method as defined in claim 18, wherein the handheld tool is inserted in an access port made through the top surface of the snow-riding device.
20. The method as defined in claim 19, wherein the step of selectively repositioning at least a portion of the first blade with reference to the second blade includes removing a protective cover from the access port prior to inserted the handheld tool therein.
21. The method as defined in claim 17, wherein the step of selectively repositioning at least a portion of the first blade with reference to the second blade includes having a user pivoting a knob positioned adjacent to a top surface of the snow-riding device to change the camber of the system.
22. The method as defined in claim 17, wherein the step of integrating the system to the snow-riding device includes permanently embedding the system inside a cavity created within the structure when manufacturing the snow-riding device.
23. The method as defined in claim 22, wherein embedding the system includes preventing the system from directly adhering to the structure.
25. The method as defined in claim 22, wherein after embedding the system, a top surface of the snow-riding device is machined to create an access port.
Filed: Nov 27, 2009
Publication Date: Sep 29, 2011
Inventor: Michel-Olivier Huard (Saint-Ferreol-les-Neiges)
Application Number: 13/131,273
International Classification: A63C 5/044 (20060101);