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Publication numberUS20030116931 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/032,019
Publication dateJun 26, 2003
Filing dateDec 17, 2001
Priority dateDec 17, 2001
Also published asWO2003051472A1
Publication number032019, 10032019, US 2003/0116931 A1, US 2003/116931 A1, US 20030116931 A1, US 20030116931A1, US 2003116931 A1, US 2003116931A1, US-A1-20030116931, US-A1-2003116931, US2003/0116931A1, US2003/116931A1, US20030116931 A1, US20030116931A1, US2003116931 A1, US2003116931A1
InventorsJohnny Quattro, Jared Eberhardt, Jason Kanes
Original AssigneeQuattro Johnny S., Jared Eberhardt, Kanes Jason M.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Forum positioning system
US 20030116931 A1
Abstract
A positioning system for a snowboard is provided. The positioning system includes an improved slider system and corresponding numerical positioning system.
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Claims(64)
What is claimed is:
1. A gliding board, comprising:
a rider adjustable fastener comprising a plurality of equally spaced apart interlocking surfaces; and
a plurality of equally spaced apart indicia on the board corresponding to said interlocking surfaces.
2. A gliding board, comprising:
a rider adjustable fastener, comprising a channel having a plurality equally spaced apart surfaces and a fastening element having a plurality of equally spaced apart surfaces engaging with the plurality of surfaces of said channel, wherein said fastening element slides longitudinally in the channel; and
a plurality of equally spaced apart hash marks corresponding so said plurality of equally spaced apart surfaces; and
at least one indicium corresponding to at least one of said hash marks.
3. The board of claim 2, wherein said board comprises a plurality of rider adjustable fasteners.
4. The board of claim 2, wherein said board comprises a first fastener, a second fastener, a third fastener, and a fourth fastener, wherein said first and second fasteners are parallel, said third and fourth fasteners are parallel, said first and third fasteners are collinear, and said second and fourth fasteners are collinear.
5. The board of claim 2, wherein said fastening element comprises at least one retaining element.
6. The board of claim 2, wherein said retaining element receives a fastening element of a snowboard binding.
7. The board of claim 2, further comprising reinforcement over at least a portion of the board.
8. The board of claim 7, wherein said reinforcement comprises a composite material.
9. The board of claim 2, wherein said equally spaced apart surfaces are equally spaced apart at about at least 1 mm increments.
10. The board of claim 2, wherein said hash marks are spaced apart in at least about 1 mm increments.
11. A location system for a gliding board, comprising:
a plurality of indicia, wherein said indicia are equally spaced apart on the board in length increments.
12. The location system of claim 11, wherein said length increments are in units selected from the group consisting of mm, cm, inches, and combinations thereof.
13. The location system of claim 11, further comprises a plurality of hash marks corresponding to said indicia.
14. The location system of claim 11, wherein said indicia are located on the board.
15. The location system of claim 11, wherein said indicia are located on a label.
16. The location system of claim 15, wherein said label is applied to the board.
17. The location system of claim 11, further comprising a reference point.
18. The location system of claim 11, comprising a first plurality of indicia and a second plurality of indicia.
19. The location system of claim 18, wherein said first plurality of indicia comprises a reference point, and said second plurality of indicia comprises a reference point.
20. The location system of claim 19, wherein the distance measured from the reference point of said first plurality of indicia to the reference point of the second plurality of indicia is a measure of stance width.
21. The location system of claim 20, wherein said stance width is adjustable and the indicia allows the rider to measure the adjustment on the board.
22. A gliding board, comprising:
a label comprising a plurality of hash marks and at least an indicium corresponding to said hash marks, wherein said label comprises a reference point;
a rider adjustable clamp, comprising at least one retaining element and a plurality of interlocking surfaces, wherein said clamp comprises a reference point,
wherein said hash marks correspond to said interlocking surfaces.
23. The gliding board of claim 22, wherein said reference point of said label corresponds to said reference point of said clamp.
24. The gliding board of claim 23, wherein the distance from the reference point of said label to the reference point of said clamp is a measure of stance width.
25. The gliding board of claim 24, wherein said indicia are a measurement of said stance width.
26. A rider adjustable fastener, comprising:
a plurality of complementary, interlocking surfaces,
wherein said surfaces are disengagable, and wherein said surfaces are at least about 0.2 mm deep.
27. The rider adjustable fastener of claim 26, wherein the surface comprises a first engaging surface, a second engaging surface, a third engaging surface, and a fourth engaging surface.
28. The rider adjustable fastener of claim 27 wherein said second and fourth surfaces are at an angle of about 60-90 degrees.
29. The rider adjustable fastener of claim 27, wherein said second and fourth surfaces are at an angle of about 65 degrees.
30. The rider adjustable fastener of claim 27, wherein the distance from said first engaging surface to said fourth engaging surface is at least about 1 mm.
31. The rider adjustable fastener of claim 26, wherein said plurality of surfaces forms a plurality of teeth.
32. The rider adjustable fastener of claim 31, wherein said teeth are equally spaced apart.
33. The rider adjustable fastener of claim 32, wherein said teeth are spaced apart at least about 1 mm increments
34. The rider adjustable fastener of claim 26, wherein said surfaces are at least about 0.5 mm deep.
35. A rider adjustable fastener, comprising:
a first fastening element having a plurality of engageable surfaces;
a second element having a plurality of complementary engageable surfaces;
wherein said engageable surfaces interlock with said complementary engageable surfaces and wherein said engageable surfaces and complementary engageable surfaces are at least about 0.2 mm deep.
36. The rider adjustable fastener of claim 35, wherein the engageable surfaces comprise a first engaging surface, a second engaging surface, a third engaging surface, and a fourth engaging surface.
37. The rider adjustable fastener of claim 36, wherein said second and fourth surfaces are at an angle of about 60-90 degrees.
38. The rider adjustable fastener of claim 36, wherein said second and fourth surfaces are at an angle of about 65 degrees.
39. The rider adjustable fastener of claim 36, wherein the distance from said first engaging surface to said fourth engaging surface is at least about 1 mm.
40. The rider adjustable fastener of claim 36, wherein the complementary engageable surfaces comprise a first engaging surface, a second engaging surface, a third engaging surface, and a fourth engaging surface.
41. The rider adjustable fastener of claim 40 wherein said second and fourth surfaces are at an angle of about 60-90 degrees.
42. The rider adjustable fastener of claim 40, wherein said second and fourth surfaces are at an angle of about 65 degrees.
43. The rider adjustable fastener of claim 40, wherein the distance from said first engaging surface to said fourth engaging surface is at least about 1 mm.
44. The rider adjustable fastener of claim 40, wherein said first engaging surface of said engageable surfaces engages with the first engaging surface of said complementary engageable surfaces, said second engaging surface of said engageable surfaces engages with the second engaging surface of said complementary engageable surfaces, said third engaging surface of said engageable surfaces engages with the third engaging surface of said complementary engageable surfaces, and said fourth engaging surface of said engageable surfaces engages with the fourth engaging surface of said complementary engageable surfaces.
45. The rider adjustable fastener of claim 35, wherein said plurality of surfaces forms a plurality of teeth.
46. The rider adjustable fastener of claim 45, wherein said teeth are equally spaced apart.
47. The rider adjustable fastener of claim 46, wherein said teeth are spaced apart at least about 1 mm increments.
48. The rider adjustable fastener of claim 45, wherein said teeth are trapezoidal in shape.
49. The rider adjustable fastener of claim 35, wherein said first fastening element slides with respect to said second element.
50. The rider adjustable fastener of claim 35, wherein said surfaces are at least about 0.5 mm deep.
51. A gliding board comprising:
a rider adjustable fastener comprising a plurality of complementary, interlocking surfaces, wherein said surfaces are at least about 0.2 mm deep.
52. The gliding board of claim 51, wherein the surface comprises a first engaging surface, a second engaging surface, a third engaging surface, and a fourth engaging surface.
53. The gliding board of claim 52 wherein said second and fourth surfaces are at an angle of about 60-90 degrees.
54. The gliding board of claim 52, wherein said second and fourth surfaces are at an angle of about 65 degrees.
55. The gliding board of claim 52, wherein the distance from said first engaging surface to said fourth engaging surface is at least about 1 mm.
56. The gliding board of claim 51, wherein said plurality of surfaces forms a plurality of teeth.
57. The gliding board of claim 56, wherein said teeth are equally spaced apart.
58. The gliding board of claim 57, wherein said teeth are spaced apart at least about 1 mm increments.
59. The gliding board of claim 56, wherein said teeth are trapezoidal in shape.
60. The rider adjustable fastener of claim 51, wherein said surfaces are at least about 0.5 mm deep.
61. A method of adjusting a rider's stance width on a gliding board, comprising:
providing a first plurality of indicia and a second plurality of indicia corresponding to a stance width for a board;
adjusting said stance width by measuring distance with said first plurality of indicia;
adjusting said stance width by measuring distance with said second plurality of indicia.
62. A method of mounting a rider to a gliding board, comprising:
providing a first plurality of indicia and a second plurality of indicia corresponding to a stance width for a board;
clamping a rider to a board;
locating an initial stance width using said indicia;
unclamping said rider;
adjusting said stance width by measuring distance with said first and second pluralities of indicia; and
clamping said rider to the board.
63. A method of mounting a rider to a gliding board, comprising:
clamping a rider to a board by engaging a plurality of interlocking surfaces;
locating an initial stance width;
unclamping said rider by releasing the engagement of said interlocking surfaces;
adjusting said stance width by measuring said stance width with a plurality of indicia located on the board; and
clamping said rider to the board.
64. A method of mounting a rider to a gliding board, comprising:
measuring a stance width using a plurality of equally spaced apart indicia on the board; and
adjusting a stance width of the rider by sliding a rider adjustable fastener.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to snowboards, and in particular, a positioning system for a snowboard.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] Snowboarding is a relatively new sport which can be compared to skateboarding or surfing, on snow. To snowboard, the rider stands on a board with his/her left or right food forward, facing one side of the board. The feet are attached to the board via bindings.

[0005] Snowboarding has gained in popularity only during the last 15 years. It was pioneered in the late 1970's by a small group of individuals with credit typically going to Jake Burton and Tom Sims. The roots, however, started with the “snurfer” which was a sledding toy shaped like a small water ski, with rope tied to the back where the user stood. Burton was involved with snurfer racing and was the first to put a retention device on his boards.

[0006] Snowboarding is now prevalent on virtually all downhill ski slopes worldwide. In 1985 only 7 percent of ski areas allowed snowboards; today more than 90 percent allow snowboards, and over half have specialized snowboard areas referred to as half pipes. A half pipe is a trough cut or built up with snow, with the term originating from skateboarding. Today about 10 percent of the world skier population comprises snowboarders, with the annual growth rate for the sport projected at 20 percent. In the United States, about 80 percent of snowboarders are male with an average age of 20.8 years. The average snowboarder rides 15 days a year, which is 3 times that of the average skier.

[0007] Two types of bindings are commonly used in snowboarding: the high-back and the plate. The high-back is characterized by a vertical plastic back piece which is used to apply pressure to the heel-side of the board. The binding has two straps which go over the foot, with one strap holding down the heel and the other holding down the toe. Some high-backs also have a third strap on the vertical back piece called a shin strap which gives additional support and aids in toe side turns. The plate, or step-in binding, is used with a hard shell boot much like a ski binding, except that it is non-releasable.

[0008] For different events, the desired angle of the binding relative to the longitudinal axis of the board might need to be changed. For instance, during speed runs, such as Giant Slalom (GS) the typical snowboarder would prefer to have his feet oriented more relatively straight ahead. For other events, such as freestyle, the desired angle would be oriented more perpendicular to the longitudinal axis. From Transworld Snowboarding the average stances of pro riders from different disciplines are as follows, with width in inches, angles in degrees, with 0 degrees being perpendicular to the longitudinal axis, center being inches back from the longitudinal of the board center, and board length in cm:

stance
width front angle rear angle center board length
Half-pipe 20.7 17 2 0.5 152.5
Freeride 21.1 22 7 1.7 170
Shalom 17 49.2 47.2 0.4 156.8
GS 17 49.6 47.6 0.44 164.9
Super G 17.16 49.4 47.4 0.45 170.5
Slope Style 21.3 12 0 1 152.9

[0009] Current standard snowboard positioning systems include a rectangular four hole or triangular three hole pattern on the snowboard. With respect to the systems incorporating a hole pattern, the holes on the board allow the snowboarder to adjust the position of their bindings with respect to the board. The holes are formed in the board to secure the binding to the board, using a riding plate. Fasteners typically extend through the binding and riding plate and into the board at the holes. Typically, three or four holes are used to secure the binding to the board. However, in both the three and 4 hole pattern systems, there are a very limited number of positions to which the snowboarder can adjust his bindings. The placement of the holes varies on each board. Each pattern provides only about 4 different positions or settings at most for stance adjustment of each binding. Alternatively, at least some snowboards include a slider positioning system which simply uses friction to prohibit sliding. In these snowboards, a binding system also connects the rider to the board.

[0010] With each securement and hole pattern method, the user must first remove the boot from the binding and then loosen and remove the series of screws, typically with a screwdriver, so the binding can be positioned at the desired location and angle. The screws must be retightened to lock the binding in place and the user can then reinsert the boot into the binding. Such an operation is difficult, time consuming, and inconvenient for the snowboarder. It is impractical to require a snowboarder to perform such a field operation on their snowboard. This is particularly true given the high cost of ski-lift tickets and the overall desire by riders to maximize the number of runs performed during any given day.

[0011] Similarly, when snowboarders desire to adjust their stance, the snowboarder needs to loosen and remove the series of screws, and then numerically measure the distance, typically with a tape measure, before the screws are retightened to lock the binding in place. This process can be cumbersome, requiring the snowboarders to carry screwdrivers and tape measures while snowboarding.

[0012] In addition, Forum snowboards has previously incorporated a slider system into a number of their designs. FIG. 1 shows a cross-sectional view of Forum's previous slider system design. The slider system includes a plurality of interengaging surfaces. Two of the surfaces are formed at an angle, which is generally about a 45-50° angle. The surfaces form a plurality of teeth, which are about 0.5 mm apart and about 0.15 mm deep. In this system, the pressure created by clamping the binding to the slider system and board locks the binding into place. By releasing the retaining elements, the binding is free to be adjusted simply by moving the binding.

[0013] Accordingly, a snowboard having an improved positioning system and position adjustment system is needed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0014] The present invention comprises a gliding board, preferably a snowboard. The board preferably includes a rider adjustable fastener. The fastener comprises a channel having a plurality of equally spaced apart surfaces. A fastening element is also provided, having a plurality of equally spaced apart surfaces. The surfaces of the fastening element engage with the surfaces of the channel, such that the fastening element cannot slide longitudinally in the channel. A plurality of equally spaced apart hash marks, and at least one indicium, corresponding to the surfaces are also provided.

[0015] In a preferred embodiment, a gliding board comprises a rider adjustable fastener comprising a plurality of equally spaced apart interlocking surfaces. A plurality of equally spaced apart indicia is also preferably provided on the board, corresponding to the interlocking surfaces.

[0016] In another preferred embodiment, a rider adjustable fastener is provided. The fastener comprises a first fastening element having a plurality of engageable surfaces and a second element having a plurality of complementary engageable surfaces. The engageable surfaces of the first element interlock with the complementary engageable surfaces of the second element.

[0017] A method of mounting a rider to a gliding board is also provided. The method comprises clamping a rider to a board by engaging a plurality of interlocking surfaces. Preferably, an initial stance width is located. The rider is then unclamped from the board by releasing the engagement of the interlocking surfaces. The rider then adjusts his stance width by measuring the stance width with a plurality of indicia located on the board. The rider is then clamped back to the board.

[0018] In another embodiment, another method of mounting a rider to a gliding board is provided. The method comprises measuring a stance width using a plurality of equally spaced apart indicia on the board. The rider then adjusts his stance width by sliding a rider adjustable fastener.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0019]FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view showing a slider system of the prior art.

[0020]FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing bindings on a snowboard of the present invention.

[0021]FIG. 3 is a top view showing a snowboard of the present invention.

[0022]FIG. 4 is a side view showing the snowboard of FIG. 3.

[0023]FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view showing the construction of the snowboard of FIG. 3 through line 5-5.

[0024]FIG. 6a is an assembly view showing the mounting system of the snowboard of FIG. 3.

[0025]FIG. 6b shows a detailed view of the engagement of the mounting system of FIG. 6a.

[0026]FIG. 7 is a top view showing a channel of the mounting system of FIG. 6.

[0027]FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view showing the channel of FIG. 7 through line 8-8.

[0028]FIG. 9 is a detailed cross-sectional view showing the channel of FIG. 8 at 9.

[0029]FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view showing the channel of FIG. 7 through line 10-10.

[0030]FIG. 11 is a detailed cross-sectional view showing the channel of FIG. 10 at 11.

[0031]FIG. 12 is a top view showing a routing slot of the mounting system of FIG. 6.

[0032]FIG. 13 is a top view showing a channel base of the mounting system of FIG. 6.

[0033]FIG. 14 is a cross-sectional view showing the channel base of FIG. 13 through line 14-14.

[0034]FIG. 15 is a detailed view showing the channel base of FIG. 14 at 15.

[0035]FIG. 16 is a top view showing an insert of the mounting system of FIG. 6.

[0036]FIG. 17 is a side view showing the insert of FIG. 16.

[0037]FIG. 18 is a bottom view showing the insert of FIG. 16.

[0038]FIG. 19 is a cross-sectional view showing the insert of FIG. 16 through line 19-19.

[0039]FIG. 20 is a cross-sectional view showing the insert of FIG. 16 through line 20-20.

[0040]FIG. 21 is a detailed view showing the insert of FIG. 6a at 21.

[0041]FIG. 22 is a detailed view showing the insert of FIG. 17 at 22.

[0042]FIG. 23 is a graph showing the strength of the prior art slider system.

[0043]FIG. 24 is a graph showing the strength of the slider system of the present invention.

[0044]FIG. 25 is a top view of a snowboard having a locating system.

[0045]FIG. 26 is a top detailed view showing the locating system of the snowboard of FIG. 25.

[0046]FIG. 27 shows a detailed view of a combined positioning and numbering system of the present invention.

[0047]FIG. 28 is a detailed cut-away view showing the teeth of the positioning system and the numbering system.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0048] The following detailed description presents various specific embodiments of the present invention. However, the present invention can be embodied in a multitude of different forms as defined and covered by the claims. In this description, reference is made to the drawings wherein like parts are designated with like numerals throughout.

[0049] Snowboard

[0050] With reference to FIGS. 2-5, the present invention comprises a riding apparatus 100, which preferably comprises a snowboard. The riding apparatus may include aquatic devices such as water skis, or wakeboards, or snow riding devices, such as snow skis. Alternatively, the riding apparatus 100 may include a sailboard, wind surfing board, or kite surfing board. In general, the riding apparatus of the present invention may comprise any ridable device which requires one or more of the rider's limbs to be bound to the device while it is being used.

[0051] In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 2-5, the riding apparatus 100 comprises a snowboard. In a preferred embodiment, such a snowboard is an elongate structure, approximately 5 feet in length, having an elongate body 102 with a front end 104 and a rear end 106. The board typically curves up at each end 104, 106.

[0052] The riding apparatus is preferably constructed from a central core 110, as shown in FIG. 5. Surrounding this core is a shell 112, which preferably comprises a sturdy and durable material such as molded polyethylene or fiberglass. This material may also comprise a composite material. The board also comprises a base 114. The board may also include a plastic such as ABS to form the side wall 116 of the board. The board may also include a metal edge 118 around at least a portion of the board. The material forming the base 114 of the riding apparatus allows the board to glide along the surface, which may include snow or water. The materials should also be sufficiently lightweight to allow the board to be manually transportable by the rider to the area of use.

[0053] The riding apparatus 100 preferably is characterized by a flat or slightly concave rider support surface 120, which preferably is of sufficient size to permit a rider to stand on the rider support surface 120 with both feet.

[0054] In order to permit attachment to the riding apparatus 100 of other components of the present invention, the shell 112 preferably is capable of retaining one or more fasteners, to be described hereafter.

[0055] The rider support surface 120 preferably is further characterized by an elongate first channel section 122 and second channel section 124 formed therein, which further extend into the core 110. The channel sections 122, 124 preferably comprise a linear recess which extends parallel to the longitudinal axis of the riding apparatus 100. The upper opening 126 of the channel sections 122, 124 preferably is sized to receive a fastener, to be described hereafter.

[0056] The riding apparatus 100 of the present invention further comprises a first riding plate 132, which preferably comprises a flat disc sufficiently sized to receive a binding. The first riding plate 132 preferably is constructed from a durable and lightweight material such as plastic or aluminum.

[0057] The first riding plate 132 is adapted to receive a binding 133. The binding 133 is sized to receive and retain a single foot of the rider. When the rider's foot is positioned within the binding 133, the binding 133 engages the upper portion and sides of the foot, and holds the foot against the first riding plate 132.

[0058] The first riding plate 132 further comprises a plurality of slots 134, preferably four, slots corresponding with the channel sections 122, 124. At least two and preferably four fasteners 136, such as thumbscrews are supported by the first riding plate 132. Each fastener 136 extends through a corresponding slot 134 formed in the first riding plate 132, and projects within the first or second channel sections 122, 124. Each fastener preferably is releasably engaged within one of the channel sections 122, 124, as will be described hereinafter.

[0059] When each fastener 136 is tightly engaged, the first riding plate 132 is attached to the board. If it is desired to reposition the first riding plate 132 longitudinally on the rider support surface, the fasteners 136 are loosened sufficiently to permit the first riding plate 132 to move with respect to the riding surface 120. The first riding plate 132 then is moved longitudinally above the channel sections 122, 124 to the desired position on the rider support surface 120. As the first riding plate 132 moves above the first channel section, the fasteners 136 move along the same direction while continuing to project within the channel sections 122, 124. Once the first riding plate 132 is repositioned, the fasteners 136 are retightened, thereby immobilizing the first riding plate 132 in its new longitudinal position on the first rider support surface 120.

[0060] If it is desired to angularly reposition the binding 133 with respect to the rider support surface 120, the fasteners are loosened sufficiently to permit angular movement of the binding 133. The binding 133 is then moved angularly, and preferably rotated, with respect to the riding plate 132 to the desired position. Once the binding 133 is repositioned, the fasteners 136 are retightened, thereby immobilizing the binding 133 in its new angular position on the riding plate 132. An exemplary riding plate is described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,967,542 to Williams et al., the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference.

[0061] The present invention preferably further comprises a third and fourth channel section 142, 144, of identical construction to the first and second channel sections 122, 124, formed in the rider support surface 120. The channel sections 142, 144 preferably comprise a linear recess 146 which extends parallel to the channel sections 122, 123. More preferably, the third channel section 142 and the first channel section 122 are collinear, and the fourth channel section 144 and the second channel section 124 are collinear.

[0062] The riding apparatus 100 of the present invention further comprises a second riding plate 152, which is identical in construction to the first riding plate 132. Formed in the periphery of the second riding plate 152 are a plurality of openings, preferably four, each of which preferably comprises an elongate slot 154. The slots 154 are positioned within the second riding plate 152 at the corresponding positions occupied by the slots 134 in the first riding plate 132.

[0063] The riding apparatus 100 of the present invention further comprises a second binding 153 which functions to attach the other one of the rider's limbs to the second riding plate 152. The second binding 153 is identical in construction and function to the first binding 133. The second binding 153 is sized to receive and retain a single foot of the rider, and preferably the foot of the rider which is not received within the first binding supported by the first riding plate 132. The second binding 153 preferably is secured to the second riding plate 152 in the same manner as the first binding 133 is attached to the first riding plate 132. If the first binding 133 is shaped to fit a limb on one side of the binding, such as a left foot, then the second binding 153 should be sized to fit the corresponding limb on the opposite side of the binding, such as a right foot.

[0064] At least two fasteners 156, such as screws are supported by the second riding plate 152 in the same manner as previously discussed with reference to the first riding plate 132. Each fastener 156 is releasably engaged with the channel sections 142, 144. Each fastener 156 is constructed in the manner previously discussed with respect to fasteners 136 associated with the first riding plate 132. The second riding plate 152 is positionable longitudinally and angularly within the third and fourth channel sections 142, 144 and with respect to the rider support surface 120 in the same manner as discussed with reference to the first riding plate 132.

[0065] In preparation for the use of the riding apparatus 100, the longitudinal and angular positions of the first riding plate 132 and the second riding plate 152 are determined and fixed as described above. The rider then inserts one foot into the first binding and the other foot into the second binding. The riding apparatus 100 then is used by the rider in its normal mode of operation. If the rider desires to reposition the first and second bindings, as required to accommodate a different rider or a different stance of the same rider, the rider repositions the first and second bindings, by adjusting the riding plates 132, 152, as described previously.

[0066] From the foregoing, it will be appreciated that the riding apparatus 100 of the present invention offers considerable flexibility in the placement of the bindings, thereby permitting a single riding apparatus 100 to be used by a variety of riders having different limb spans, and further accommodating a wide range of riding distances. Furthermore, the flexibility of placement of the riding plates permits the rider to adjust stance width for different snowboarding activities, as previously discussed. The releasable nature of each riding plate with respect to the riding surface permits replacement of the riding plates when they become lost or damaged, or when a different size or style of plate is required. This feature permits the riding apparatus 100 to be used by a wide range of riders, while extending the useful life of the apparatus.

[0067] I-Lock System

[0068] The mounting system will now be described in more detail. The mounting system comprises a channel positioning system 400 which includes a channel element 402, a channel base 404, and an insert 406. The components are assembled together to form the positioning system 400, as shown in FIG. 6a. With reference back to FIG. 5, the channel positioning system 400 is shown within the board. The core 110 is preferably routed, prior to assembly, to form slots within the core 110. The channels are sized and shaped such that the channel positioning system 400 sits within the channel. The channel element 402 and channel base 404 are assembled together, as shown in FIG. 6a without the insert 406, and then placed into the core 110 prior to final construction of the board. The entire board is then assembled with the channel element 402 and channel base 404 in place. In a preferred embodiment, a resin, or similar adhesive, may surround the channel positioning system 400 prior to placement in the core 110. In an alternative preferred embodiment, a dry fiberglass cloth may surround the channels for improved retention. After the board is assembled and treated, slots are cut through shell 112, reinforcement (if applicable), and channel element 402 to form channels 122, 124, 142, 144 (FIG. 3). The inserts 406 (FIG. 6a) and plugs are preferably added after the board has been assembled.

[0069] With reference to FIGS. 7-12, the channel element 402 will now be described in further detail. The channel element 402 is shown in FIGS. 7-12 prior to assembly. The channel element 402 has a generally elliptical shape as viewed in FIG. 7. The channel element has an outer side 410 which faces the rider support surface when assembled (FIG. 8). The channel element 402 also has an inner side 412 which faces the other components of the positioning system 400, when assembled. The channel element has an elongate section 414 and two semi-circular ends 416, 418 at either end of the elongate section 414. The channel is also shown with a protrusion 420 centrally extending down the length of the elongate section 414 and into the ends 416, 418 on the inner side 412. In an alternative embodiment, protrusion 420 does not extend down the entire length of the elongate section 414, but a portion of the length. After assembly, at least a portion of the protrusion 420 is cut away to permit the insert to slide within the channel created when the protrusion 420 is cut away (See FIG. 6). The protrusion 420 serves as a support which keeps the channel element 402 and channel base 404 parallel during assembly, as will be described hereinafter. In an alternative embodiment, the channel element may be formed without the protrusion 420.

[0070] The channel element 402 also includes a groove 422 around the entire circumference of the inner side 412. The groove is adapted to receive a complementary projection of the channel base, which will be described in further detail hereinafter. The groove 422 is shown having a “P” shape, as shown in FIG. 9. The groove starts out narrow at the inner surface, and has a width of about 1 mm, in a preferred embodiment. The groove then expands to have a width of about 1.5 mm at it's largest dimension, in a preferred embodiment.

[0071] A plurality of teeth 430 are equidistantly formed along the length of the channel 402 in the longitudinal direction on the inner side 412, as shown in FIGS. 10-11. The teeth are located on either side of protrusion 420. It is also envisioned that the channel element could be constructed without the protrusion. In this case, the teeth 430 may extend across the entire width of the inner side 412. The teeth comprise a plurality of surfaces, 432, 434, 436, 438 (FIG. 11). Surfaces 432, 436 are parallel to the rider support surface 120. The surfaces 434, 438 are at an angle of about 60-90 degrees, preferably about 65 degrees with respect to an axis running longitudinally through the rider support surface 120. The teeth are preferably equally spaced apart at increments of at least about 1 mm. The teeth are at least about 0.2 mm deep, preferably greater than about 0.5 mm deep. The tooth depth is a projection of the clamping surfaces in the direction normal to the plane of the board 100. This dimension is shown as “a” in FIG. 6b. In this embodiment, the resistance created by the shape and size of the teeth 430 prevents the insert 406 from sliding with respect to the channel element 402.

[0072] In a particularly preferred embodiment, the channel element 402 is about 10-12 cm in length. The channel may extend anywhere from 5-40 cm in length, depending on the particular board size and rider preferences. However, the channel element 402 may also extend along the entire length of the board as one continuous channel.

[0073]FIG. 12 shows the routing slot 440 which is formed, preferably by machining, after assembly, by cutting out the protrusion 420. The slot 440 should be wide enough such that the retaining elements of the insert 406 can fit through the slot. The slot 440 may be any shape which permits the longitudinal sliding of the insert 406 with respect to the channel element 402. The slot is preferably formed after the board 100 has been assembled including the channel element 402 and channel base 404 assembly.

[0074] With reference to FIGS. 13-15, the channel base 404 is shown. The channel base has the same shape and size as the channel element 402. The channel base 404 has a generally elliptical shape as viewed in FIG. 13. The channel base 404 has an outer side 510 which faces the board base 114 when assembled. The channel base 404 also has an inner side 512 which faces the other components of the positioning system 400, when assembled. The channel base has an elongate section 514 and two semi-circular ends 516, 518 at either end of the elongate section 514.

[0075] The channel base 404 also includes a projection 522 around the entire circumference of the inner side 512, which is adapted to be inserted into the complementary groove 422 in the channel element 402 to lock the channel element 402 and base 404 together. In an alternative embodiment, the complementary groove 422 and projection 522 do not extend along the entire circumference of the channel element 402 and base 404, respectively, but over a portion of the channel element 402 and base 404. Alternatively, the channel element 402 may comprise the projection, and the channel base 404 may comprise the groove. Other means of attachment are also contemplated herein in accordance with the present invention.

[0076] With reference to FIGS. 16-22, the insert 406 is shown. The insert 406 has a generally “I” shape as viewed in FIGS. 16 and 18. The insert 406 has a bottom side 610 which faces the inner side 512 of the channel base 404 when assembled. The insert 406 also has a top side 612 which faces the inner side 412 of the channel element 402, when assembled. The insert has an elongate section 614 and two round elements 616, 618 at either end of the elongate section 614.

[0077] The round elements 616, 618 are mirror images of one another. The round elements may be a circular, oval, or elliptical shape, depending on the particular embodiment. The round elements 616, 618 are designed to slide and engage with the inner side 412 of channel element 402.

[0078] A plurality of teeth 630 are equidistantly formed around the periphery of the elements 616, 618 in the longitudinal direction on the top side 612. The teeth are located on either side of elongate section 614. The teeth 630 are arranged in a parallel manner. It is also envisioned that the insert 406 could be constructed with the teeth 630 extending across the entire width of the inner side 612 of the round elements 616, 618. The teeth comprise a plurality of surfaces, 632, 634, 636, 638. Surfaces 632, 636 are parallel to the rider support surface 120. The surfaces 634, 638 are at an angle of about 60-90 degrees, preferably about 65 degrees with respect to an axis running longitudinally through the rider support surface 120. The teeth are preferably equally spaced apart at increments of at least about 1 mm. The teeth are at least about 0.2 mm deep, preferably greater than about 0.5 mm deep. The tooth depth is a projection of the clamping surfaces in the direction normal to the plane of the board 100. This dimension is shown as “a” in FIG. 6b.

[0079] The teeth 630 are designed to be complementary to teeth 430 of channel element 402. The teeth 430, 630 interlock with one another upon assembly. In this embodiment, the resistance created by the shape and size of the teeth 630 prevents the insert 406 from sliding with respect to the channel element 402. FIG. 6b shows the engagement of the teeth 630, 430. Surface 432 engages with surface 636, and surface 434 engages with surface 634, and so on. At least one tooth 630 is engaged with a tooth 430, but preferably a plurality of teeth 630 are engaged with a plurality of teeth 430. In a preferred embodiment about 30 teeth 630 (15 teeth from element 616, 15 teeth from element 618) are engaged with the teeth 430 of channel element 402. The teeth 430, 630 are shown as being trapezoidal in shape; however, it will be appreciated that other shapes may be used. It will also be appreciated that although the teeth are shown as being spaced apart such that surfaces 432, 436, 632, and 636 are equal in length, surfaces 432 and 632 may be greater in length than surfaces 436 and 636. As such, teeth 430 and 630 are equally spaced apart; however the incremental distance between the teeth is greater than the width of the teeth.

[0080] As such, the angle of the surfaces 436, 438, 636, 638 and the additional surfaces 432, 436, 632, 636 provide additional strength and interengagement between the insert 406 and the channel element 402. This reduces the chances of slipping associated with the slider system of the prior art. As such, the clamping force applied by the fastening of the riding plate 132 to the board via the insert 406, plays a reduced or no role at all in preventing sliding of the insert 406 along the channel element 402.

[0081] The insert 406 also includes at least one, but preferably two retaining elements 660, 662. The retaining elements 660, 662 are formed in the elongate section 614, at the round elements 616, 618. The retaining elements are adapted to receive the fasteners 136, 156 of riding plates 132, 152. The retaining elements are preferably threaded internally to receive the fasteners 136, 156, which generally have complementary external threading.

[0082] As shown in FIG. 22, a V-notch may additionally be provided in elongate section 614 to provide stress relief.

[0083] In a particularly preferred embodiment, the insert 406 is about 5-6 cm in length. The channel may extend anywhere from 1-10 cm in length, depending on the particular board size and rider preferences. The round ends are preferably about 2 cm in length and about 1.5-2 cm wide. In a preferred embodiment, the length from retaining element 660 to retaining element 662 is about 4 cm.

[0084] The channel element 402, channel base 404, and insert 406 are preferably made with a polyamide plastic. Alternatively, other plastics having adequate strength and flexibility may be used. The plastic may also be reinforced with glass fibers or other composite materials. The materials used should provide adequate strength, but also flex with the board to maintain an even flexibility for the rider.

[0085] In a preferred embodiment, the channels 122, 124, 142, 144 are reinforced with a carbon fiber plate and Duren plate. This reduces the risk of the insert pulling out of the channel system by spreading the load over a wider area. It will be appreciated that other materials, such as glasses, hard plastics, composites or Kevlar may be used as reinforcement. Alternatively, the system may be reinforced with aluminum, titanium, or other similar metals or alloys. The reinforcement is preferably located at or near the channel system 400. However, the reinforcement may extend over the entire board.

[0086] As previously described with reference to FIG. 6, channel element 402, channel base 404, and insert 406 are assembled together to form a locking adjusting system 400. It will be appreciated that the locking adjusting system provides a large range of adjustability with respect to the prior art designs involving hole patterns. The system 400 also provides increased strength with respect to the slider systems of the prior art.

[0087] Channel base 404 is aligned with channel element 402, such that projection 522 corresponds with complementary groove 422. The components are press-fit together such that projection 522 seats within groove 422. The channel element 402 and channel base 404 assemblies are arranged and aligned in the core 110, such that channels 122, 142 are parallel to channels 124, 144, respectively, and channels 122, 124 are colinear to channels 142, 144, respectively. Reinforcement, such as a carbon fiber plate and/or Duren plate, or other similar materials, as previously described, is preferably placed over the core 110 prior to the shell 112. The board is then assembled according to general board-making procedures, as known to those of skill in the art.

[0088] After the board has been assembled with the channel base 404 and 402 in place in the board, the protrusion 420 is cut out of the channel element 402 by forming routing slot 440. The insert 406 is then oriented within the channel element 402 and channel base 404 assembly, such that elongate section 414 and elongate section 614 are parallel, and teeth 430 engage teeth 630.

[0089] The insert 406 may be adjusted longitudinally with respect to the channel element 402. The teeth 630 of insert 406 interlock with the teeth 430 of channel element 402, such that in a closed position, the insert 406 cannot slide or be adjusted with respect to channel element 402. However, in an open position, it is possible to adjust the insert 406 incrementally with respect to channel element 402. In a preferred embodiment, the incremental distance that the insert 406 can be adjusted with respect to the channel element 402 is about at least 1 mm. In the preferred embodiment, it the incremental distance is about 1 mm. As such, the teeth are large enough that the system is not weak and slippage is reduced. Furthermore, the teeth are small enough that the rider is able to still adjust the location of the binding to a large number of positions.

[0090] By releasing the engagement state, it is possible to longitudinally move the binding 133, 153 with respect to the rider support surface 120 by adjusting the position of insert 406 in channel sections 122, 124, 142, 144. By tightening the fasteners into retaining elements 660, 662, a downwardly directed force is created on the insert, engaging and locking the insert within the channel at a particular location, which determines the stance width.

[0091] With reference to FIGS. 23-24, the new positioning system was tested against Forum's previous slider system, which was discussed in more detail in the Background. The clamping force, provided by fastening the binding into the board, provided the interengagement between the binding and the slider system, in the previous slider system. However, the present invention uses the teeth to provide the interengagement between the insert 406 and channel 402. It was found with the new interlocking teeth, the strength of the system increases nearly 3-fold. Although there is less adjustability with the new shape and size of the teeth, the grip provided by the improved shape greatly increases the strength of the system.

[0092] Locating System

[0093] With reference to FIGS. 25-28, the locating system 700 of the present invention is shown. The locating system 700 preferably comprises a plurality of indicia 702, as shown in FIG. 26. Indicia 702 are provided on the rider support surface 120 and comprise length increments equally spaced apart. Indicia 702 are evenly spaced on a linear scale so that measurements of units of distance may be taken with reference thereto. The numbers and notches are spaced apart at incremental distances. In a preferred embodiment, the indicia 702 are spaced at about 1 mm increments. Preferably, the indicia 702 are spaced apart an even multiple of the spacing of the teeth 430, 630.

[0094] The locating system 700 also preferably comprises a plurality of evenly spaced apart grooves or notches 704 associated with the indicia 702 to facilitate easy stance width adjustment. Alternatively, the locating system 700 comprises a label which attaches to the board comprising lines corresponding to the notches 704 and indicia 702 corresponding to the lines. In a preferred embodiment, the notches 704 are evenly spaced at about at least 1 mm increments. Preferably, the notches 704 are spaced apart an even multiple of the spacing of the teeth 430, 630.

[0095] The indicia 702 preferably comprise numbers or a symbol, which correspond to notches 704. The numbers or symbols are a measurement representative of stance width.

[0096] The notches 704 may not all include a corresponding indicia 702. For example, every other or, alternatively, every fifth, or similar increments of notches 704, may have an indicia 702 associated therewith. Although, the notches 704 are shown as being spaced apart in units of mm, it will be appreciated that cm or inches, or any other suitable measurement of length may be used in accordance with the present invention. Similarly, the indicia 702 may be in units of mm, cm, inches, or a combination thereof.

[0097] The locating system 700 also preferably comprises a reference point 710. The reference point 710 preferably corresponds to a stance width associated with the particular board in use. The reference point may be indicated by highlighting an indicia 702 associated with the reference point 710. Alternatively, the notch 704 associated with the reference point 710 may be longer, deeper, or highlighted. In a preferred embodiment, the stance width of a rider is measured from a first reference point associated with a first set of channels 122, 124 to a second reference point associated with a second set of channels 142, 144, such that the longitudinal distance from the first reference point 710 to the second reference point 710′ is a measure of stance width. The distance between the reference points 710, 710′ varies from board to board, but the distance is preferably about 18-22 inches (about 46-56 cm)

[0098] Preferably, the indicia 702 and notches 704 are arranged to provide ease of readability for the rider. Accordingly, some of the notches may be longer than others to ease readability. Alternatively, particular notches 704 or indicia 702 may be highlighted. In accordance with an alternative embodiment, different colors or color schemes may be used to increase the ease of use.

[0099] In a preferred embodiment, the locating system 700 is in the form of a label. The label is preferably a material having adhesive on one side. Alternatively, the material is adapted such that an adhesive may be applied to one side of the label or to the board so that the label may be adequately secured to the board. The label may alternatively be a plastic or metallic material, which may be fastened to the board, such as by drilling screws into the board through the label.

[0100] In an alternative embodiment, the indicia 702 and notches 704 are applied to the board by etching the indicia 702 and notches 704 at a depth of about 1 mm.

[0101] In a preferred embodiment, the locating system 700 is provided next to the adjusting system 400, as previously described herein. However, it also envisioned that locating system 700 may be provided on the rider support surface 120 of a board having a hole pattern system of the prior art, as previously described herein in the background of the invention.

[0102] In the embodiment wherein the locating system 700 is associated with the adjusting system 400, the stance width is measured from the center of the first and second channels 122, 124 to the center of the third and fourth channels 142, 144. The stance width can then be adjusted by adding or subtracting the corresponding distances associated with each notch 704 and/or indicia 702 to determine the correct stance width.

[0103] In operation, reference point 710 corresponding to the recommended stance width of the particular board in use is provided on the board. The rider mounts the board initially positions himself at the reference point 710. If the rider desires to adjust the stance width, the rider measures forward or backward from the reference point 710 by using the indicia 702 located on the locating system 700 to find the ideal stance width for the particular conditions and rider using the board.

[0104] Combined System

[0105] In a preferred embodiment, the adjusting system 400 and locating system 700 are combined to form a locking mounting system 800, as shown in FIGS. 27-28. The teeth from the positioning system and the numbers from the numbering system are calibrated together, so that an exact position can be obtained.

[0106] Channel element 402, channel base 404, and insert 406 are assembled together to form a locking adjusting system 400. It will be appreciated that the locking adjusting system provides a large range of adjustability with respect to the prior art designs involving hole patterns. The system 400 also provides increased strength with respect to the slider systems of the prior art.

[0107] The locking adjusting system 400 permits the rider to longitudinally adjust the position of the riding plate 132 with respect to the rider surface 120. The teeth 630 of insert 406 interlock with the teeth 430 of channel element 402, such that in a closed position, the insert 406 cannot slide or be adjusted with respect channel element 402. However, in an open position, it is possible to adjust the insert 406 incrementally with respect to channel element 402. In a preferred embodiment, the incremental distance that the insert 406 can be adjusted with respect to the channel element 402 is about at least 1 mm.

[0108] The locating system 700 preferably comprises a plurality of indicia 702 on the rider support surface 120. The indicia 702 comprise a plurality of length measurements equally spaced apart. The indicia may comprise a plurality of numbers or other symbols, which could be used to represent different stance width measurements. The locating system 700 also preferably comprises a reference point 710 associated with an ideal stance width, associated with each board.

[0109] A central mark, associated with an ideal stance width, is associated with each board. This mark is known to the board manufacturer, and varies for different lengths and styles of board. In the combined system, the central mark associated with the board, and preferably associated with a central point of the channel adjusting system 400, is provided. The locating system 700 can be designed such that a reference point associated with the central mark is also provided. The central mark and the reference point can be aligned such that the location system permits the rider to adjust the channel adjusting system to a desired location. The locating system is preferably provided on the rider support surface 120 between the channel sections 122, 124, and 142, 144.

[0110] The adjusting system 400 is preferably provided with the manufactured board, as previously discussed. The location system 700 is preferably applied to or formed on the board after the adjusting system 400 is in place, by any of the methods previously described.

[0111] The notches 704 preferably correspond with the teeth 430, 630 associated with the adjusting system 400. As such, the teeth 430, 630 and notches 704 are equally spaced apart in at least about 1 mm increments.

[0112] The location system 700 serves as a reference mark so that the rider can find their favorite stance or a specific stance.

[0113] Although the present invention has been described in terms of certain preferred embodiments, other embodiments of the invention including variations in dimensions, configuration and materials will be apparent to those of skill in the art in view of the disclosure herein. In addition, all features discussed in connection with any one embodiment herein can be readily adapted for use in other embodiments herein. The use of different terms or reference numerals for similar features in different embodiments does not imply differences other than those which may be expressly set forth. Accordingly, the present invention is intended to be described solely by reference to the appended claims, and not limited to the preferred embodiments disclosed herein.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7063346 *Mar 24, 2004Jun 20, 2006Goodwell International Ltd.Snowboard binding
US7267346 *Jan 26, 2005Sep 11, 2007Zejdlik Donald ASnowboard accessory
US7300070May 10, 2004Nov 27, 2007Jean-Francois PelchatBinding mounting system for recreational board
US7980583 *May 13, 2010Jul 19, 2011The Burton CorporationFootbed for gliding board binding
US8128117Jun 6, 2008Mar 6, 2012Flow Sports, Inc.Tool-free adjustable binding for sports board
US8182269Oct 24, 2008May 22, 2012Salomon S.A.S.Assembly for practicing a gliding or rolling sport
US8376390Feb 1, 2012Feb 19, 2013Flow Sports, Inc.Tool-free adjustable binding for sports board
US8714579Feb 15, 2013May 6, 2014Flow Sports, Inc.Tool-free adjustable binding for sports board
US20080248261 *Apr 5, 2007Oct 9, 2008Bonnett Robert APrinted article
US20130257017 *Mar 28, 2013Oct 3, 2013Skis RossignolFastening Device for Gliding Board and Board Equipped with Such a Device
WO2007051277A1 *Nov 7, 2005May 10, 2007Jean-Francois PelchatBinding mounting system for recreational board
Classifications
U.S. Classification280/14.21
International ClassificationA63C10/14, A63C10/20
Cooperative ClassificationA63C5/128, A63C10/14, A63C10/20
European ClassificationA63C5/12D, A63C10/14, A63C10/20
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Dec 17, 2001ASAssignment
Owner name: FOUR STAR DISTRIBUTION, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:QUATTRO, JOHNNY S.;EBERHARDT, JARED;KANES, JASON M.;REEL/FRAME:012426/0988
Effective date: 20011210