US 3195889 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 20, 1965 R. L. HALL ROTATING CIRCULAR SKI SLOPE Filed Feb. 5, 1962 50/ 1/, I I IW/I 1 ,%/f4
or may /am M r m United States Patent 3,195,889 ROTATING CERCULAR Raymond L. Hall, Box A, Morris Plains, NJ. Filed Feb. 5, i962, Ser. No. 171,236 11 Qiairns. (Cl. 27256.5)
This invention relates to a dry circular ski slope suitable for snowless skiing and is a continuation in part of my copending application Serial No. 67,279, filed November 4, 1960, now Patent 3,047,291.
In recent years skiing has become a very popular sport even though skiing conditions are dependent upon the weather, and, in general, most skiers must travel great distances to enjoy this sport. Accordingly, it is a primary purpose of this invention to provide an indoor ski surface, which is not subject to weather and which may be constructed at any location to facilitate both the teaching of skiing and the enjoyment of the sport by those who are proficient.
Another purpose is a rotating circular dry ski slope, which closely simulates the conditions of actual skiing, and in which the speed of rotation of the slope, as well as the angle of inclination, may be varied.
Another purpose is a ski practice device of the type described which may alternately be used as a teaching medium for beginners, a practice area for more advanced skiers and as a means for staging professional demonstrations.
Another purpose is a ski assembly of the type described on which contests involving skiing may be played.
Other purposes will appear in the ensuing specification, drawings and claims.
The invention is illustrated diagrammatically in the following drawings wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a top perspective view of the circular slope of this invention,
FIGURE 2 is a side view, in section, of the ski slope of FIGURE 1,
FIGURE 3 is a section through a ski suitable for use on the slope described, and
FIGURE 4 is an enlarged section showing the ski receivin surfacing on the circular slope.
In FIGURES 1 and 2 a rotatable generally circular platform It} may rotate within a stationary platform 12. Both the platforms it) and 12 may have a ski receiving surface which will be described in detail hereinafter. A wall 14 may enclose three sides of the platforms it) and 12 and there may be a suitable run-off ramp or platform 16 to provide a means for entering and leaving the ski area. The ramp 16 will have a ski receiving surfacing similar to that on the platforms lid and 12.
Preferably the platforms Ill) and 12 are tilted or in- A clined so that a skier on the slope can ski both across down the slope.
In other words, without changing the speed of rotation or the pitch or angle of the slope, the skier can simulate a mountain trail which has numerous changes in direction. The rotatable ski surface may be driven at a constant speed or the speed may be varied, and the skier may himself change his speed by varying his distance from the axis of rotation of the platform.
The platforms Ill and 12 may be mounted on a framework indicated generally at 18 consisting of a plurality of steel beams or the like, pivoted on supports 20. The
supports 20 may be at the lower edge of the platform and the upper edge of the platform may be supported by suitable jacks 22. Both the jacks 22 and the supports 2i) may be suitably positioned on a foundation or the like 24. The jacks 22 may have a threaded portion 26 and a handle 28 so that the pitch or angle of the platforms may be easily adjusted.
Patented July 20, 1965 A suitable framework 39 mounted at the bottom of framework 13 by suitable supports 32, may mount a drive motor 34 which drives the rotating platform 10 through a pulley arrangement Small rollers or wheels 38 may be used to support the rotating platform 10. As clearly shown in FIGURE 2, there may be wheels 38 positioned to both radially and axially support the platform iii.
A practice bar 48, mounted on a suitable support 42 may be positioned generally at the center of the rotating platform ft). The practice bar may be arranged such that it freely rotates or it may be arranged to maintain a relatively stationary position with respect to the platform 19. In addition, the practice bar need not be at the center of the platform but may extend from one of the walls 14 inwardly a sufiicient distance to reach over the rotating platform 1%. The practice bar is used by beginners to get the feel of the slope and is very advantageous. The practice bar may have a portion 44 extending down through the support or sleeve 42 and suitably secured to the framework 3i).
FIGURE 4 illustrates, as an example, a pile fabric which may be used to form a ski receiving surfacing for the platforms it and 12 and the ramp 16. Closed loops id of a material such as nylon or a material having the general characteristics of nylon may be woven on a backing Preferably the loops should be closely spaced and should be arranged so that the top of the loop is somewhat wider than the spacing of the loop strands at the bottom. The strands may be crimped, looped or coiled onto a base which may be for example jute. The strands may be anchored to the base by a layer of latex which forms a binder for the pile. In addition, there may, if desired, be some type of cushioning material between the backing and the surface of the rotating platform. A satisfactory backin is one which yields to the pressure of a skier and which slowly returns to its original shape. Such a backing or padding more closely simulates actual snow than a padding which springs back to its original shape immediately.
In addition to the pile surface disclosed, surfaces made of synthetic plastic extruded filaments, such as nylon or the like, also combine the necessary characteristics of resiliency, slipperiness and flexibility. In general, it is important that the slope material have an edging quality so that when the edge of the ski digs into the material, the material is strong enough to support the edge but yet sufficiently soft so that the edge may bite or grip the ski slope. In other words, the surface material must provide for edge control by the skier. In addition to the pile surface, nylon rods and nylon beads, or rods and beads formed of a material similar to nylon and having its general characteristics are satisfactory. In the case of rods, it is preferred that they be slightly larger in cross section at the top than at the base. The advantage in having a somewhat larger or bulkier area at the top of the projections, whether they be from a pile or from a rod, is that When the projections bend over under the weight of the ski, they have greater strength and thereby support the ski and provide a means for it to grab, and in addition they provide a platform for the ski into which it may push and be gripped.
As mentioned above, there are four important qualities for the skiing surface. It must have the edging quality described. it must be slippery so that the ski will easily slide, as a ski does on snow. The surface must be re silient so that it will bounce back in due time after the skis have gone by to present the identical surface for the next skier. The surface must also be flexible. In other words, it must be yielding to some extent so as to more simulate actual skiing.
To further increase the slipperine'ss of the ski slope, it
is at times advantageous to provide a dry lubricant for the surface, for example boric acid powder is satisfactory.
The powder may be applied to the pile ski receiving surthe surfacing;
FTGURE 3 illustrates a ski which is satisfactory for use on the surface described. A conventional ski body. 56 may have lower surfacesSZ and edges 54 of a plastic material. A particularly satisfactory material is one having the general characteristics of Teflon as to its coefficient of friction. The combination of a Teflon bottom onthe skis and the nylon pile fabric precisely simulates snow skiing.
The use, operation and function'of the invention are as follows: u Y I I have provided a dry ski assembly, which may be used indoors, to precisely simulate skiing on snow, The assembly shown may be used as a practice arrangement for those proficient in the sport, asa teaching slope for beginners and as a medium for staging games or other 7 surfacing being resilient, slippery and suificiently flexible to permit a ski edge to sink therein, said surfacing being sufficiently strong to resist edgewise'movement of the ski, to. provide edge control, and means for rotating said ski receiving surfacing, Within the confines of the platform, and at predetermined speeds. I V
2. The structure of claim 1 further characterized in that said platform has a surfacingsubstantially identical contests involving skiing. A rotating platform, which I has a radius substantially larger. than an average ski length so that more't'nan one skier may simultaneousl use it, rotates within a stationary platform.- Preferably the. rotating platform-and thestationaryplatform have the same general profile or are in the same general plane,
which plane is inclined to the horizontal. The surfacing of both the rotating platform and the stationary platform around it, as well as the run-off ramp 16, should be formed as described above so as to provide the edge con trol by'the skier. In normal skiing on snow it is the edges of the skis which control the skiers movementsfl In like manner the present invention provides for controlling the skiers movement through edge control on the ski receiving surfacing. The speed of the rotating platform may be varied by changing the speed of the drive motor 'so that regardless of the load on the platform, the speed In this connection, the drive motor is a static drive remains constant at its setting; in addition to changing thespeed of the platform, the angle of inclination or the .pitch of the slope may be varied through the use of the jacks 22. r
A skier on the surfacing'may ski back and forth and p as he moves from the center of the platform out to the edge, his speed will vary as thejspeed of the platform at that particular radius. 'A skier may perform all of the normal movements that he would use on an outdoor snow slope. a
A practice bar may be used to teach beginners. It is very advantageous for a beginner to get the feel of the slope prior'to actually skiing on it so that he gains confidence.v The practicebar 40 preferably extends outward- 1y, along a radius, from the centerof'the slope. However, a practice bar extending inwardly from any one of the sides is also satisfactory. What is important is to provide a practiee bar which is arranged to support a skier to give him confidence on the slope.
form rotates beneath him. In addition'the practice bar may be arranged to freely move above the slope sothat a skier may move about the slope while holding on to it.
Although the particular combination of Teflon-bottomed skies and a nylon pile ski surfacing is advantageone, the invention should not be limitedthereto. Other types of ski receiving surfaeings and ski bottoms are satisfactory, as described .hereinbefore.
Whereas the preferred form of the inventi shown and described herein, it should be realized that there are many modifications, substitutions'and alterations thereto within the scope of the following claims;
I claim: I
1. A ski slope assembly adapted for snowless skiing in- T he practice bar may be fixed so that a skier merely stands as the platon hasbeen i y with said ski-receiving surfacing. 1
3.'The structure of claim 1 further characterized by and including a practice bar extending over said ski receiving surfacing andat a height suiiicient for supporting a skier thereon.
V 4} The structure'of claim 3 further; characterized in that said'praetice bar is located generally at the center of said ski receiving surfacing. I l
5. A ski slope assembly adapted for snowless skiing including'a rotating skireceiving surfacing having a radius substantially greater'than an average ski length and an axis of rotationinclined to the vertical, said ski receiving surfacing being formed of' a compressible pile material adapted to perinit a ski edge to sink therein, while resisting edgewise movement-of the'ski, to provide edge control, and means for rotating said ski receiving surfacing atpredetermined speeds] l Y 6. The structure of claim 5 further characterized in that said pile'skireceiving surfacing is formed-of a material having the general characteristics of nylon as to its coefficient of friction. r
' 7.'The structure of claims further characterized in that said pile ski receiving surfacing is bulkier at the topthan at the bottom. I I
8. A moving skiand ski slope assembly adapted for snowlessskiing including a rotating ski receiving surfacing having-a radius substantially greater than an average ski length, said ski receiving surfacing being resilient, slippery and sufliciently flexible to permit a skiedge to sink therein, said surfaces being sufficiently strong to resist edgewise movement 'of-the ski, to provide edge control, means for rotating said ski receiving surfacing at'predetermined speeds, and skis for said assembly having lower surfaces of a materialvhaving substantially the coefficient of friction of usual skis on snow relative to said ski receiving surfacing. t
f 9. The combination of claim 8 further characterized in that said ski receiving surfacing isformed of a pile material havingthe generalcharacteristics of nylon as to its coefficient of friction. v
10. The combination of claim 9 further characterized in'thatthe material forming the bottom surfaces of said skis has the'general characteristics of Teflon as toits coefficient of friction.
11. ,The' combination ofclaim v 8' further characterized in that said ski receiving surfacing rotates in a generally inclined plane. u V a 9 References Cited by the Examiner V UNITED STATES PATENTS 910,417 '1/09 Ridgeway Q 27246 992,999 5/11 Tilyou- 27246 1,689,138 10/28 Hir'e 27251 2,225,411 12/40 Feltman 2'7251 X 2,903,506 10/59 9 Runton 280 11.13 RICHAR DCpPINK HAM, Primary Examiner.
DELBERT B. rownnxammer. i