US 3088748 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 7, 1963 E. MALMO HARD-PACKED SNOW SKIS 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Feb. 15, 1961 INVENTOR. [fill/76 lY/ll/YO ATTORNEYS May 7, 1963 E. MALMO HARD-PACKED SNOW SKIS 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Feb. 15, 1961 .IN V EN TOR. [fill/Y6 [7/11/70 United States Patent 3,088,748 HARD-PACKED SN 0W SKIS Erling Malmo, 3612 30th Ave. W., Seattle 99, Wash. Filed Feb. 13, 1961, Ser. No. 89,036 2 Claims. (Cl. 280--12) The invention relates to a novel type of ski and skiing equipment and more particularly concerns skis which may be used effectively in snow which is packed so hard that control is difficult with conventional skis. The invention is herein illustratively described by reference to the presently preferred embodiment thereof; however it will be recognized that certain modifications and changes therein with respect to details may be made without departing from the underlying essentials involved.
While the invention is intended primarily for skiing on hard-packed snow or under icing conditions it will be appreciated that its use is not necessarily limited to these extreme conditions. These new skis may be used for executing any of the conventional types of maneuvers including schussing, braking, stem turning, Christiania turning, side-step climb, herring-bone climb, etc., and are primarily characterized by their novel construction which permits the skier to brake and turn on a very hard surface. Furthermore, the invention includes secondary features of construction facilitating turning with the aid of the hands and arms, and also assisting a novice to learn the technique of skiing and particularly the technique of skiing with the new type of ski herein disclosed.
Primarily it is an object of this invention to provide skis incorporating means for steering primarily by use of the feet but if desired with the aid of the hands and arms as well. Furthermore it is an object to provide skis which can be used in more conventional ways, and without use of hand control.
More specific objects include the provision of a new and interesting recreational device in the nature of a ski and ski control means which may be produced at moderate cost and will offer a new and exhilarating winter sport. A related object is such a ski device which may be manufactured in a durable, rugged form by use of readily available manufacturing techniques and equipment.
As herein disclosed the invention preferably employs a ski body which is relatively narrow for its length and preferably comprises a relatively thick metal runner and overlying wood or other light-weight resilient material reinforcing strip, with a foot plate mounted at an intermediate position along the length of the ski and having runner strips or flanges projecting downwardly therefrom spaced outwardly from the sides of the ski. Preferably these foot plates pivot intermediate their ends through a limited range under control of the skier, and afford a means to initiate turns on a hard snow surface. As a further feature these foot plates may be locked in a neutral or straight-ahead position by means associated therewith on the ski, enabling the ski to be used in a more conventional manner.
Additional features reside in the novel hand guidance and stabilizing means comprising a hand held cross bar joined at its ends by rods extending downwardly to the tips of the skis to form a U-shaped yoke or bridle having three rigid elements with pivotal interconnections between the elements and with the ski tips. The pivotal connections between the elements permit relative motion therebetween through a limited range, primarily for the purpose of augmenting the steering control afiorded through use of the pivoted foot plates. However an experienced skier using the new type of ski can achieve sufiicient proficiency for most applications without use of the hand control bridle, which is therefore preferably removable from the skis when it is not needed.
These and other features, objects and advantages of the invention will become more fully evident from the following description thereof by reference to the accompanying drawings illustrating the preferred embodiment.
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the improved skis and hand control bridle mounted thereon.
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged perspective view showing the foot plate and the mounting thereof on a ski, with parts broken away for convenience in illustration.
FIGURE 3 is a perspective view showing a suitable bridle-connecting arrangement with means for holding up the bridle conveniently when the skier is using a tow rope.
FIGURES 4, 5, 6 and 7 are a series of plan views illustrating a typical turning maneuver with the combined use of the pivoted foot plates and the hand control bridle, according to one technique.
Referring to the drawings, the elongated and relatively narrow skis 10, of identical construction, each comprise an elongated metal runner strip 12 and an overlying wood strip 14 joined thereto continuously along the length thereof. Preferably both are of the same, uniform width. Typically these skis are four or five feet long and about one and one-half inches wide. The metal runner strip 12 may be of aluminum alloy or other light-weight metal and the overlying stiffener wooden strip is preferably of oak or other tough and resilient wood capable of stiffening the ski without adding excessively to its weight.
Intermediate the ends of the skis are mounted foot plates 16 of a length sufficient to accommodate conventional or other suitable bindings, and of a width which materially exceeds the width of the individual skis. Typically these foot plates will be of the order of eighteen inches long, more or less, and of a width of approximately five or six inches, more than suflicient to accommodate the width of a boot sole. In the illustration, simple bindings are shown as comprising the heel cups 18 and the toe straps 20; however it will be recognized that safety bindings, cable bindings, or any other suitable bindings may also be used if desired.
These inverted-channel-shaped foot plates are preferably of sheet steel of the order of 0.125" thick, having sufficient stiffness and temper to retain its form and shape, and each such foot plate comprises a flat upper plate section 16a and downwardly projecting side flanges 16b which are of substantially uniform width throughout their length, except for the forward portion thereof which is turned upwardly at 16b as the runner of a sled. These runner flanges have lower edges which lie substantially in the bottom surface plane of the skis 10 or preferably, lie slightly below that plane so as to bite into the snow surface for purposes of control. If desired the plates may be stiffened by suitable reinforcing where the flanges join the plate proper or channel web, so that on side slipping bending or buckling is more stoutly resisted.
According to one of the unique features of the invention these plates are mounted on the skis by means of pivotal connections 22 preferably located approximately centrally of the plates to permit the plates to pivot freely .on a vertical axis. Stop pins 24 project downwardly from the plate section 16a to limit the angle of swing to a value of the order of between 20 and 30, more or less. The angle of swing is limited however at a point which will preclude contact between the side of the ski and the rear upright edge of either runner flange 16b in the extreme positions of tilt, so that space is afforded therebetween for the free passage of snow during forward movement.
Still another feature is the provision of an antipivot locking device 26 which in this case comprises the slide =bolt 2611 having a control knob 26b and guided in the fitting 26c mounted on the top of the ski forwardly of the foot plate 16. The bolt is adapted to enter a loop 26d mounted centrally at the forward edge of the foot plate so as to hold the latter against swinging on its pivot. This it does with the runner flanges 16b disposed parallel to the length of the ski. When the bolt unit 26 is locked in place the foot plates with their runners are efiectively integral with the skis and the equipment is used much in the manner of conventional skis.
The invention further comprises an auxiliary steering control or training apparatus in the form of af'hand-held bar 30, the ends of which are connected by the elongated rigid rods 32 to the tips of the respective skis. The connection between each such rod 32 and the bar, 30 comprises an eye orloop 32a on the rod, and annular stopsor ribs 30a and 30b on the bar. The inside diameter of the eye 32a slightly exceeds the outsidediameter of the cross bar or rod 30, so that limited universal pivoting of each element relativeto the other'is permitted by the joint.
The lower ends of the control rods 32 are coupled to the ski tips by rigidly mounting an anchor eye 34 on each ski tip, with the plane of the eye disposed lengthwise of the ski, and by providing conventional couplings 36 on the lower ends of the control rods as shown. These couplings include C-shaped heads 36a which are normally closed by a spring-returned slide bolt 36b. This .slide bolt can be retracted'by means of the finger knob 360 in order to open the head to detach it from the'eye 34. Thus, by means of these connectors the bars32 may be rotated or swung in any direction relative to 'the skis, through alimited range, and may be easily disconnected therefrom when desired.
An arm strap 38, with a wrist-encircling loop 38a, provides a means to connect the cross bar 30 to the arm of the skier so that the bridle does not drop when the skiers hands are occupied in holding on to a tow rope T.
Under normal use of these skis with the control bridle 30, 32 the bridle will be held in the manner indicated in FIGURE 1 (and FIGURE 4), with the skis normally parallel to each other with no longitudinal ofi'set between them. This will'be the position when skiing in a straight line down a uniform slope. However, the freedoms of relative motion between the individual skis and the control bridle 30, 32 and the freedom of relative motion between the parts of the control bridle, permit the-skis to be moved in relation to each other inany of the varirelative displacement or offset, vertically, longitudinally, or laterally. When it is desired to execute a'simpletu'rn the first step normally is for the skier to swing -his foot plates in the desired direction of turn, as indicated in FIGURE 5. Initially the skis may or may not be-turned appreciably and there will usually be no change in the relative position of a hand-held control bridle. However the runner flanges 16b biting into the snow will commence to have an efiect on the direction of motion. The resulting change-of direction maybe augmented and expedited by twisting the control bridle as shown by the arrows in FIGURE 5, .so asto urge the forward ends of the skis in the same sense of turn and toward alignment more nearly with the new direction of motion. 'Of course turning torque may also be applied to the skis toward the new direction of travel through use of the feet, with the foot plates at their'lirnited positions of swing in relation to the skis. When the turn is nearly executedthe vous possible angular senses as well as-.inthe sense of 1 in the correct direction, swings the foot plates reversely, as shown by the arrows in FIGURE 7, in order to realign them with the skis. In effect, therefore, the foot plates are usually turned initially more than is necessary to effect a correction of the direction of travel and then are restored to the neutral or straight-ahead position when the skis themselves have become aligned with the desired new direction of travel.
Using the skis without the towing bridle involves principally the action described wherein the foot plates are used to initiate the turn and to urge the skis in the new direction of travel, whereupon when that result is accomplished the foot plates are restored to the straightahead position.
It can be appreciated that control and stability dictates limiting the freedom of angular motion of the foot plates relative to the skis. In fact, some skiers prefer to use the skis with the bolt mechanism 26 in the locked position, holding the foot plates stationary. The foot plates are locked stationarily in neutral positionby most all skiers when the skis are being used on a tow or to move uphill or across country.
These and other aspects of the invention will be recognized by those skilled in the art on the basis of the foregoing disclosure of the presently preferred embodiment.
I claim as my invention:
1. Hard-snow ski apparatus comprising a pair of skis individually comprising-an elongated and relatively narrow ski body of substantially uniform width, an elongated foot plate wider than the ski body audof a length representing a small fraction of the length thereof, said foot plate having elongated down-turned flanges on opposite sides thereof with lower edges formed as runners of a thickness representing a small fraction ofthe width of the ski body, said foot plate being mounted on top of the ski body intermediate the ends thereof with the flange runners extending generally parallel thereto spaced outwardly from respectively opposite sides of the ski body, and steering bridle means comprising a pair of upright. elongated rods connected at their lower ends to the ski tips and cross-connected at their upper ends to the ends of a handle bar, respectively.
2. The ski defined in claim 1, whereinthe foot plate is mounted to pivotabout a vertical axis on the ski body at a location intermediate the sides and ends of the foot plate, and the respective connections between the rods and the ski tips and handle bar are pivotal connections permitting limited universal swinging of the rods in relation to the members to which they are connected.
'ReferencesCited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,286,217
OTHER REFERENCES Ser No. 465,641, Sarthou A.P.C.), published June 8, 1943. i