US 3365208 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 23, 1968 D. E. BLANCHARD 3,365,208
ROLLER SKIS Filed Feb. 2, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR.
v DUANE E BLANCH/4P0 WWw/fl A T TOPNE Y5 w 1963 D. E. BLANCHARD 3,365,208
' ROLLER sxis Filed Feb. 2, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 I /0 2,520 f z /4 [.3 1 5 INVENTOR.
DUANE E. BLANCH/4P0 FIG. 4 d
ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,365,208 ROLLER SKIS Duane E. Blanchard, 6620 Naomi Drive, Edina, Minn. 55424 Filed Feb. 2, 1966, Ser. No. 524,643 6 Claims. (Cl. 28011.23)
ABSTRACT OF THE DTSCLOSURE A pair of frames each having two wheels mounted thereon in tandem adapted for skiing on turf covered slopes and having specific dimensions and weight, dictated by the size of the user, to provide the skis with a high degree of maneuverability similar to skis utilized on snow.
This invention pertains to highly maneuverable apparatus for skiing on slopes covered with turf and the like and more particularly to a pair of skis having tandem wheels thereon which are particularly suited to performing on turf all of the maneuvers performed on snow skis and in a similar manner.
Until the present time the sport of skiing has been confined to slopes covered with snow or some similar material, such as light sand or the like. A large number of tandem roller skates and the like have been constructed but all of these devices are designed for simply coasting down small slopes and, in general, these devices are all limited to hard packed surfaces, such as concrete or the like. None of these devices can be utilized to perform the intricate maneuvers now considered part of the sport of skiing on snow. In one device, which might be considered prior art, snow skis are provided with openings therein for mounting wheels at the rear end and in the midsection so the ski might be used in the summer time on dry and hard smooth surfaces. However, this device is again designed so that it is impossible to perform the many skiing maneuvers now accomplished in the snow skiing sport.
In the present invention a pair of elongated base members or frames are provided having a front and rear wheel rotatably attached thereto in tandem. A platform is fixedly attached to each of the frames and a boot clamping device, such as the modern snow ski safety binding, is mounted on each of the platforms for clamping a skiers foot thereto. It was discovered after much experimentation and effort that apparatus constructed according to the above description and with certain other characteristics, to be described presently, can be used by skiers on slopes covered with turf or the like. The apparatus of the present invention can be utilized to perform substantially all of the maneuvers of snow skiing and might be utilized on the same slopes in the summer time.
It is an object of the present invention to provide new and improved apparatus for skiing on slopes covered with turf or the like.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide apparatus which is highly manuverable and may be utilized on slopes covered with turf or the like in a manner similar to snow skis.
These and other objects of this invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon consideration 3,365,298 Patented Jan. 23, 1968 of the accompanying specification, claims and drawings.
Referring to the drawings, wherein like characters indicate like parts throughout the figures:
FIG. 1 is a view in perspective of the present apparatus fixedly attached to a skiers feet;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged side view of a single ski, some parts thereof broken away and some parts shown in section;
FIG. 3 is a top view of the ski illustrated in FIG. 2, parts thereof removed;
FIG. 4 is a sectional view as seen from the line 4-4 in FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view as seen from the line 55 in FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is a top view of a single ski illustrating the approximate relationship of all the parts; and
FIG. 7 is a side view of the ski illustrated in FIG. 6.
In the figures the numeral 10 generally designates a pair of skis, which although not coming within the normal definition of skis will be referred to as such because they are used in a substantially similar manner, although in a different environment. Each ski 10 has an elongated base member, which includes a pair of parallel spaced apart braces 11. Each brace 11 of the base member has a hole formed adjacent either end and the two braces 11 are joined together by a front axle 12 and a rear axle 13. In this embodiment the axles 12 and 13 are fixedly engaged in the holes of the braces 11 by means of set screws 14, which are threadedly engaged in the braces 11 and butt against the axles 12 and 13 to maintain them immovable. The axles 12 and 13 are parallel and spaced apart a distance dependent upon the size of the foot of the skier. The distance between the axles 12 and 13 is very important and should be as short as possible for any given size of foot since too long a ski 10 greatly hampers the maneuverability thereof. It has been determined that the distance between the axes of the axles 12 and 13 must be in the range of one to three feet, with the smaller skis being utilized by children.
The axles 12 and 13 have a front wheel 15 and a rear wheeel 16 rotatably mounted thereon for operation in tandem. The front wheel 15 has a bearing 21 therein and the back wheel 16 has a bearing 22 therein for rotatably mounting the wheels 15 and 16 on the axles 12 and 13, respectively. Each of the axles 12 and 13 have a washer 23 concentrically mounted on each side of the wheels 15 and 16 to substantially prevent transverse movement and rubbing on the braces 11. The washers 23 are constructed of plastic so they are practically quiet during operation. Each of the wheels 15 and 16 has a solid rubber tire 17 and 18, respectively, thereon. It should be understood that the tires 17 and 18 need not be constructed of rubber and, in some instances, the wheels and tires may be an integral unit constructed of plastic or the like. The tires 17 and 18 have a relatively wide, flat turf contacting or running surface 19 and 20 respectively. A wide, fiat surface is required so that the tires 17 and 18 do not sink into the relatively soft surface of the slopes and to aid in the skiing maneuvers. The width of the turf contacting surfaces 19 and 20 must lie within the range of approximately one to two inches to obtain the desired maneuverability and speeds. Also, the overall diameter of the front and rear wheels 15 and 1-6 must lie in the range of approximately four to eight inches with the smaller diameters being utilized for childrens skis.
An elongated platform 25 is fixedly attached to each of the braces 11 of each of the skis by some means such as screws or the like. The platform 25 is set within a groove in the upper edge of each of the braces 11 so that the upper surface thereof is approximately flush with the remaining upper edge of the braces 11. To obtain the desired maneuverability in the skis 1d the upper surface of the platform 25 must lie in a plane parallel with a plane containing the axes of the axles 12 and 13 but slightly thereabove. The distance between the plane through the upper surface of the platform 25 and the plane through the axes of the axles 12 and 13 lies within the range between approximately zero to one and one half inches. The width of the platform 25 should be sufficient to accommodate a human foot thereon without being so wide as to hinder turning movements and the like. A width in the range of from two to four inches is considered optimum.
The platform 25 has fixedly attached thereto means for clamping a boot, such as a snow ski boot or the like, in releasable engagement with the upper surface of the platform 25. In the present embodiment a snow ski safety binding generally designated 26 is utilized. The safety binding 26 consists of a toe holding mechanism 27 and a heel holding mechanism 28. The toe holding mechanism 27 is the type which fixedly engages the toe of a boot and holds it firmly in position until such time as a torque, such as that caused by a fallen skier, turns the mechanism about an axis perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the ski. This turning operation disengages the toe of the boot and allows the ski to fall free from the boot. The heel clamping mechanism 28 is the standard cam acting latching mechanizm 29 having a spring 30 attached thereto. When the boot is in place in the safety binding 26 the cam acting member 29 is moved to the position illustrated in FIG. 6 and the boot is held fixedly in position. The ski 10 is then disengaged from the boot when the toe is moved in either direction causing the toe holding mechanism 27 to rotate or when the cam acting member 29 is disengaged. The snow ski safety binding 26 is utilized on the skis it) because of the speeds attained and the various maneuvers performed during operation thereof. In general any clamping mechanism or bindings may be utilized which firmly clamp the boots to the skis 16 but the device utilized should be one which requires, or operates in, the minimum possible length. That is, as previously described, the length of the ski 10 between the axes of the axles 12 and 13 must be maintained at a minimum for proper maneuverability and, therefore, the length of the binding 26 over and above the boot must maintained at a minimum.
In the present embodiment, for a skier wearing approximately size 10 boots, the skis 10 were constructed with the following dimensions. The distance between the axes of the axles l2 and 13 is one foot 11 inches. The diameter of the wheels 15 and 16 is six inches with the turf contacting surfaces 19 and 20 being one and one half inches wide. The width of the platform is two and seven-eighths inches and the distance between the plane through the upper surface of the platform 25 and the plane through the axes of the afles 12 and 13 is threefourths inches. Also, the total weight of each ski without the bindings 26 is approximately four pounds and two ounces. These skis are constructed of wood with metal wheels having rubber tires thereon and the Weight is at approximately the upper maximum allowable weight, Which is approximately four and one-half pounds. However, a durable plastic ski, including plastic wheels, can be constructed and it is expected the weight will approach two pounds per ski. It should be noted that the weight of the ski has been found to be relatively critical to correct operation and too heavy a ski cannot be manipulated to perform the various maneuvers desired.
In the operation of the present skis 10 the skier may utilize ordinary snow ski boots and the bindings 2-6 illustrated in the figures. The skis 10 are generally utilized in the position illustrated in FIG. 1 and a good working knowledge of the operation of snow skis will aid the operator of the present skis 10. As the skier glides down the turf covered slope various turning maneuvers and the like can be performed in a fashion similar to parallel snow skiing, wherein the skier unweights the skis and turns them by picking them slightly off the ground and moving them to a new position. In a similar fashion the present skis 10 can be stopped whenever desired by increasing the sharpness or degree of the turn. The dimensions set forth above for the skis 10 are critical to the correct operation as described and dimensions substantially outside of the approximate ranges specified will cause the skis 10 to be unduly cumbersome and not highly maneuverable as specified.
Thus, highly maneuverable apparatus for skiing on slopes covered with turf and the like have been disclosed which operate in a fashion similar to snow skis. An operator utilizing the present apparatus has the capabilities of performing substantially all of the maneuvers performed on snow skis including turns, stops, etc. In addition the present skis 10 are capable of extremely high speeds and have been clocked in excess of 30' mph.
This invention has been thoroughly tested and found completely satisfactory for the accomplishment of the above objects. While I have shown and described a specific embodiment of this invention, further modifications and improvements will occur to those skilled in the art. I desire it to be understood, therefore, that this invention is not limited to the partciular form shown and I intend in the appended claims to cover all modifications which do not depart from the spirit and scope of this invention.
What is claimed is:
1. Highly maneuverable apparatus for skiing on slopes covered with turf and the like comprising:
(a) a pair of elongated base members;
(b) each of said base members having a front and a rear wheel rotatably attached thereto in tandem, said wheels being further characterized by having a relatively large diameter and a wide turf contacting surface;
(c) each of said base members including a platform fixedly attached thereto, said platforms each having an upper surface lying in a plane above and substantially parallel with a plane through the axes of the associated front and rear Wheels and at a height less than the diameter of said wheels;
(d) binding means associated with each of said platforms for receiving a shoe therein and maintaining said shoe fixed relative to said platform during normal operation; and
(e) each of said base members having a length between said front and rear wheels greater than the length of said shoe in said binding and less than three times the length of said shoe for providing the skis with a high degree of maneuverability.
2. A highly maneuverable apparatus for skiing on slopes covered with turf and the like substantially as set forth in claim 1 wherein the diameter of the front and rear wheels lies within the range of approximately four to eight inches and the width of the turf contacting surface lies within the range of approximately one to two inches.
3. A highly maneuverable apparatus for skiing on slopes covered with turf and the like substantially as set forth in claim 1 wherein the plane of the upper surfaces is above the plane through the axes of the associated front and rear wheels a distance within the range of approximately zero to one and one half inches.
4. A highly maneuverable apparatus for skiing on slopes covered with turf and the like substantially as set forth in claim 1 wherein the length of the base members References Cited between the axes of the front and rear wheels is within UNITED STATES PATENTS the range of approximately one to three feet depending upon the size of shoe engaged in the binding means. 2868554 1/1959 Ring 280-1123 X 5, A highl maneuverable apparatus for skiing on 5 3153543 10/1964 Magyar 280 7'13 slopes covered with turf and the like substantially as set FOREIGN PATENTS forth in claim 1 wherein the Weight of the apparatus is below approximately nine pounds for a pair of skis.
6. A highly maneuverable apparatus for skiing on slopes covered with turf and the like substantially as set 3372 1896 Great Bntam' forth in claim 1 having in addition safety release bindings BENJAMIN HERSH Primary Examiner attached to the upper surfaces for fixedly engaging human feet thereon in a releasable position. MILTON SMITH, Exammer- 247,346 10/1963 Australia. 622,635 12/1935 Germany.