US 2984497 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 16, 1961 G. E. HAGEN 2,984,497
TANDEM SKIS AND METHOD OF USING SAME Filed April 28, 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 //V 6 IV 702. G/enn 6:
y 1961 G. E. HAGEN 2,984,497
TANDEM SKIS AND METHOD OF USING SAME 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed April 28. 1958 nited States This invention relates to skis and more particularly relates to skis for use on snow.
In recent years, skiing has become an extremely popular sport, being enjoyed by persons of both sexes and of all ages. Until the present invention, however, each skier has acted as an individual, whether the individual has been skilled or has been a novice. For example, when beginners are learning to ski, they have necessarily been taught by instructors who demonstrate the art of skiing by their own movements. These instructors then observe the beginner and criticize the movements of the latter when he tries to emulate the instructor. In many instances, the beginner is unable to perform the necessary weight shifting and balancing movements which enable him to make the necessary turns to effect a checking of speed, so that the beginner can easily find himself or herself moving out of control with resultant painful injuries. When both the instructor and the student are equipped with skis, the instructor cannot operate sulficiently close to the student to give him any actual physical assistance in providing the proper balance in Weight or in making the requisite turns.
The present invention, however, enables the instructor to ski on the same pair of skis as the student. In this manner, a competent instructor can force the student very quickly to duplicate his own weight shifting and balancing movements. Furthermore, in the event that the student fails to respond properly, the instructor himself is normally able, by his own weight shifting and balancing, to effect a control of the skis to cause both the instructor and the student to turn and check their speed, thereby saving the student injuries and loss of confidence.
The present invention also enables good skiers to ski together in pairs and to share the identical experiences upon the slopes and trails. This aspect will have considerable appeal to male and female skiers who, prior to the present invention, have always had to operate separately with the result that even where one has followed the other down the slope or trail, there have been inevitable differences in the responses of the skis to the movements of the two separate skiers.
The present invention comprises a pair of skis each of which is preferably longer, thicker and more cambered than exisiting ski designs. Each ski of the pair is preferably equipped with a pair of separate cable safety bindings disposed in tandem with both cables connected to operate the safety release upon the sudden tensioning of either cable, the two sets of bindings being distributed properly with reference to the balance center point of the skis. In this way, a pair of skis may accommodate two skiers, one in front of the other.
The details of the invention are set forth hereafter in this specification with references to the annexed drawings, in which:
Figure 1 is a perspective view showing the manner in which the skis of the invention may be utilized by a pair of skiers;
Figure 2 is a top plan view of a pair of skis conatent O structed in accordance with the present invention and illustrates safety bindings provided for each ski to release both skiers from the ski when either skier is having any difliculty;
Figure 3 is a side elevation of one of the skis of Figure 2 and illustrates the increased thickness and camber provided for the central portion of the ski; and
Figure 4 is an enlarged fragmentary side elevational view of the central poriton of a ski constituting this invention as seen from a position similar to that shown in Figure 3 and particularly illustrates the construction of the safety binding shown in Figure 2 and includes a showing as to a first positioning of one member inthe safety binding in full lines and a showing as to a second positioning of the member in broken lines.
Referring to Figures 2 to 4, inclusive, of the drawings, the skis 10 and 12 of the present invention may be constructed in a conventional external configuration but are longer and heavier than the recommended size of skis for the individual skier. For example, skis now in use may range in length for the average person in the order of 6 feet 3 inches to 7 feet 3 inches whereas the skis of the present invention may have a length in the order of 7 feet 6 inches to 8 feet 6 inches. Furthermore, a thickness of approximately 1 inch is normally found at the midsection of conventional skis. However, the skis of the present invention are preferably at least 1 /2 inches thick at the midsection and may even be up to 2 inches thick at the midsection '14 and may taper proportionately toward the tips of the skis. The skis of the present invention also have an increased camber in the central portions of the skis to lift this central portion an increased distance from the ground. This increased camber is provided because of the tendency of the skis to flatten by the increased weight which results from the disposition of two skiers on the same pair of skis. This camber may be in the order of one and one half inches for skis having the dimensions set forth above.
The bindings are preferably of a cable spring type, with a safety release mechanism which will untension the heel cables upon the sudden application of too much pressure exerted by the foot of the skier.
Coupled with such a mechanism is a pair of pivotable toe plates each of which permits the skiers boot to dislodge from the binding quickly upon the release of the cable tension upon the boot heel and the application of lateral pressure to the boot, as might occur in certain instances of falling.
The use of such safety bindings is particularly recommended for skis of the present invention, since these skis are heavier and longer than the skis now in use, and since the problems of control of the skis may at times be complicated where two people are attempting to operate a single pair of skis. Particularly, Where the skis are used by an instructor who is attempting to teach a beginner, it is desirable that safety bindings be provided to enable both parties to break free of the skis without injury. The freedom of movement is especially important in the event that the instructor is unable to provide the desired control in certain situations which may confront him in the course of teaching his student how to move over various slopes and trails.
Bindings of the character thus suggested may comprise a conventional safety release mechanism such as a lever 16, which is pivotable in a vertical direction about a fulcrurn near its forward end as may be seen by a comparison as to the position of the lever in Figures 2. and 4. The lever 16 may be attached at its fulcrum to one end of a linkage 18, the other end of which may be pivotally attached to the ski at a position toward the front end of the ski.
A pivotable toe plate 20 may be provided on the ski in the usual manner for the boot 22 of the lead skier. The toe plate 20 may be pivotable in the plane of the.
ski to holdt he toe of the lead skiers'boot 22 in proper position. :A spring-heel cable "24 is looped around the rearendof the lead skiers 'boot 22 to hold the boot against the toe plate 20'. Spring cables 26 extend from the heel cable 24 to 'a vertically extending flange 28 on a bracket 30. Clamping-springs 32 are attached at one end to the flange 28 on the bracket 30 and are attached heel cables 38 are connected on each side of the ski by rigid extension wires 40 to a horizontal plate 4-2 which forms a part of the bracket 30.
The disposition of the bindings on the ski is somewhat critical in that every effort should be made to place the center of'gravity of the combined skiers at the same balance point which is usually selected for the disposition of the skiers weight where only single bindings are employed. Since the male partner is usually 30 to 50 pounds heavier than his female partner and he will be located behind her, this factor renders it desirable to locate the two bindings somewhat forward relative to the ski center balance point.
In use, both skiers in the pair slip their boots into the respective pairs of bindings and secure them thereing. Normally, a single pair of poles 46 may be employed by thelead skier. The instructor or control member of the pair places his hand about the waist of his partner and the two proceed down the slope. When both members of the pair of skiers thus mounted are skilled, it is only necessary for one of the two members to indicate orally how the turn is to be taken. Oral directions may not be necessary when both skiers in the pair have practiced together since their movements will be coordinated merely by the shifting of weight of the controlling member of the pair, just as in dancing. If the styles of the two skiers are similar, both will move in substantially the same manner and the result will be a composite weight shifting which will produce the necessary turn or turns. When the lead member of the two skiers is an unskilled beginner, the instructor will not only be forced to issue quick instructions to the lead member, but he may also be forced to accentuate his own body movement and attempt to force his partner into a somewhat similar movement in order to produce the desired turn.
Skiing in this manner will be found to represent a considerable challenge even to good skiers and any such challenge is alway enthusiastically met by persons who follow this sport. Skiing in this manner can be performed without any danger to either of the skiers since any difficulty experienced by either skier causes both skiers to be released from the ski. For example, if excessive pressure is applied by the boot 22 of the leading skier against the heel cable 24, the cable exerts a force through the spring cable 26 against the flange 28 of the bracket 30. The flange 28 transmits this force to the clamping springs 32, which act to pivot the lever 16 from the position shown in full lines in Figure 4 to the position shown in broken lines in Figure 4.
The-pivotal movement of the lever 16 causes the clamping spring 32, the bracket 30 and the spring cable 26 to be released for movement in a rearwardly direction. Because of this movement, the heel cable 24'becomes released from the boot 22 so that the boot can move free of the ski. The movement of the bracket 30 is also transmit't'ed' to the 'ektensio'n wires 40' and" the-heck cable 39 so that the boot 36 can move free of the ski.
In like manner, an excessive pressure by the heel of the boot 36 against the heel cable 39 is transmitted through the extension wires 40 to the horizontal plate 42 of the bracket 30. This force is then transmitted through the clamping spring 32 to pivot the lever 16 from the position shown in full lines in Figure 4 to the position shown in broken lines in Figure 4. This causes the heel cables 24 and 39 to be respectively released from the heels of the boots 22 and 36 so that the boots can move free of the ski.
Although this invention has been disclosed and illustrated with reference to particular applications, the principles involved are susceptible of numerous other applications which will be apparent to persons skilled in the art. The invention is, therefore, to be limited only as indicated by the scope of the appended claims.
1. In a ski arrangement for at least a pair of skiers disposed on the ski in a tandem relationship, a relatively long,'heavy and cambered ski and having a pair of bindings mounted in tandem thereon, and means co-operatively coupled to said bindings for maintaining the skiers in co-operative relationship on said ski.
2. In a tandem ski arrangement for at least a pair of skiers, said arrangement comprising a relatively long, heavy and cambered ski and having a pair of bindings mounted in tandem on the ski, said bindings being disposed on the ski with the forward binding in front of the balance point of the ski and the rear binding in back of the central balance point of the ski, and means disposed on the ski and coupling the bindings together and responsive to the force exerted by each skier on his respective bindings on the ski to release both skiers simultaneously from the bindings on the ski upon the application of a force greater than a particular value by either skier to his respective binding.
3. The ski as set forth in claim 2 in which the forward and rear bindings are disposed on the ski relative to the balance point of the ski to compensate for differences in the weight of the pair of skiers on the ski.
4. The ski as set forth in claim 2 in which the front binding is further away from the balance point of the ski than the rear binding to compensate for a greater weight of the rear skier than that of the forward skier.
5. In a ski arrangement for holding a pair of skiers in tandem relationship and for providing a simultaneous release of the boots of the skier, a relatively long and cambered ski having a broad and flat bottom surface and a top surface substantially parallel to the bottom surface, a pair of safety bindings mounted in tandem on the ski along the length of the ski and at a position near the center balance point of the ski, said bindings being disposed on'oppositesides of the center balance point of the ski in the longitudinal direction with the rear binding being more closely positioned relative to the central balance point than the forward binding to mount the boot of the rear skier closer to the center balance point than the boot of the forward skier, and means including spring members to coupling said safety bindings and constructed to simultaneously release the boots of the forward and rear skiers from the safety bindings upon the exertion of a particular force by either of the boots against the safety bindings.
6. In a ski arrangement for a pair of skiers disposed in tandem arrangement, a ski having a length of at least 7 feet 6 inches to support both skiers in the tandem pair, having a thickness of at least 1 /2 inches at the midsection and having a camber of at least 1 /2 inches at the midsection, a pair of bindings mounted on the ski on opposite sides of the central balance point of the ski in the longitudinal direction, and means mechanically coupling said safety bindings and responsive to forces exerted by either safety binding to release both skiers from the ski.
7. In a ski arrangement for holding a. pair of skiers in a tandem relationship and for providing a simultaneous release of the boots of the skier, means disposed in cooperative relationship with the toe of the forward boot on said ski when a forwardly directed force of a first particular magnitude is applied to said boot and disposed to release the boot upon diminution of said force below the first particular magnitude, first spring cable means disposed in cooperative relationship with the heel of the boot for applying a force of the first particular magnitude in a forward direction against the boot upon the provision of a constraint in said cable; a releasable safety mechanism; said cable means being coupled to said safety mechanism to provide a constraint on said cable and to provide a release of such constraint upon the release of said safety mechanism in accordance with the application to said cable via said boot of a force of a second particular magnitude; and second means disposed in cooperative relationship with the toe of the rear boot on the ski when a forwardly directed force of the first particular magnitude is applied to said boot and disposed to release the boot upon diminution of the force below the first particular magnitude, second spring cable means disposed in co-operative relationship with the heel of the rear boot for applying a force of the first particular magnitude in the forward direction against the boot upon the provision of a constraint in said cable; said second cable means also being coupled to said releasable mechanism to provide a constraint on said cable and to provide a release of the constraint on the first and second cables upon the release of said safety mechanism in accordance with the application to said second cable via the rear boot of the force of second particular magnitude.
8. In a ski arrangement for holding a pair of skiers in a tandem relationship and for providing a simultaneous release of the boots of the skiers, a ski having a relatively great length, a relatively great thickness and a relatively great camber, first and second toe plates on the ski to engage the toe of the boot on a different one of the skiers, means including first and second safetly bindings each disposed on the ski to hold the boot of a different one of the skiers against a corresponding one of the first and second toe plates on the ski in a releasable relationship to the ski and each including a first cable extending around a different one of the boots to hold the boot on the ski and each including a second cable ex# tending from the [first cable to transmit the force exerted by the boot on the associated first cable, coupling means disposed to receive the second cable extending from each of the first bindings and to provide a transmittal of the force exerted by each of the second cables, a releasable safety mechanism having a first position for retaining the boots in the safety bindings and having a second position to provide for a release of the boots from the safety bindings, and a clamping spring coupled at opposite ends to the releasable safety mechanism and to the coupling means to transmit to the releasable safety mechanism the forces exerted by each of the second cables for a disposition of the releasable mechanism in accordance with the force transmitted by the second cables.
9. In a ski arrangement for holding a pair of skiers in a tandem relationship and for providing a simultaneous release of the boots of the skiers, a ski having a relatively great length, thickness and camber, a pair of safety bindings disposed on the ski on opposite sides of the center of balance of the ski, each safety binding including a toe plate and including a first cable extending around a different one of the boots to urge the boot against the toe plate and to hold the boot on the ski and each including a second cable extending from the first cable, a bracket disposed to receive the second cables on the safety bindings and to transmit the forces exerted by each of the cables, a release mechanism normally disposed in a first position and movable to a second position in accordance with the forces transmitted by the bracket, and a clamping spring coupled at opposite ends to the release mechanism and to the bracket to transmit to the release mechanism the forces exerted by the second cables and to transmit to the first and second cables constraints in accordance with the positioning of the release mechanism for a release of the boots from the safety bindings in the second positioning of the release mechanism.
10. Apparatus as set forth in claim 9 in which the bracket has first and second portions disposed in a transverse relationship and in which one of the second cables is coupled to the first portion of the bracket and in which the other of the second cables is coupled to the second portion of the bracket and in which the releasable mechanism is a lever which produces a constraint on the spring clamp in the first position of the lever and which reduces the constraint on the spring clamp in the second position of the lever to free the boots from the safety bindings.
References Cited in the file of this. patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,184,791 Broome Dec. 26, 1939 2,259,701 Legros Oct. 21, 1941 2,425,993 Carroll Aug. 19, 1947 2,747,885 Rehacek May 29, 1956 2,764,418 Shimuzu Sept. 25, 1956 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,108,797 France Sept. 14, 1955 OTHER REFERENCES Kimball Water Skis (8 page pamphlet received in Patent Ofiice January 2, 1957).