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Publication numberUS3406617 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 22, 1968
Filing dateJul 5, 1966
Priority dateJul 5, 1966
Publication numberUS 3406617 A, US 3406617A, US-A-3406617, US3406617 A, US3406617A
InventorsRandazzo Marion G
Original AssigneeKaren Supply Co Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Artificial ski surface
US 3406617 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 22, 1968 M. e. RANDAZZO ARTIFICIAL SKI SURFACE 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 F'iled July 5, 1966 FIGS oo@@o@ Cw FIG.4

FIG. 3

Oct. 22, 1968 G. RANDAZZO 3,406,617

ARTIFICIAL SKI SURFACE Fzled July 5, 1966 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTOR FIG. :0 MARION e. amopzzo ATT United States Patent 3,406,617 ARTIFICIAL SKI SURFACE Marion G. Randazzo, Inglewood, Calif., assignor to Karen Supply Co., Inc., Chino, Calif a corporation of California Filed July 5, 1966, Ser. No. 562,894 4 Claims. (Cl. 94-13) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An improved artificial ski surface is disclosed which is composed of a plurality of individual structural members, each of which is provided with a plurality of elongated plastic pins extending from one side thereof and each of which has at one edge a pair of male flanged tabs and on the opposite edge a pair of mating female sockets. The individual structural elements are interlocked to form an artificial ski surface.

This invention relates to an artificial ski slope structure and more particularly is concerned with an injection moldable plastic structural member capable of being overlappingly interlocked to provide a unitary surface closely approaching that of normal snow in its ski response.

Many structures and means have been proposed as substitutes for a ski surface, including machine made ice, straw or nonwoven flocking, sand, and individual plastic pads containing a plurality of individual flexible projections. The latter, which may have the general cross-sectional configuration shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, and do not form a part of my invention, are extremely difiicult to employ for a ski surface structure. These plastic pads have been in use in an extremely limited manner for several years. Even though the surface provided by this structure responds to skis in a manner similar to that of snow, it is not a practical, commercial structure since it is not one which can be applied in an efiicient manner to a sloped surface of any significant size. In those few instances where it has been used, it has been applied by securing each individual structure to the base surface by nai.ing each piece, adjacent to another piece, to such surface.

In a 7-acre ski slope, utilizing sections 6" square, approximately 1,250,000 individual sections are required to cover the surface. It will be apparent that nailing each of such segments to the base wood surface at each of the four corners is such a. time consuming job that the labor requirements for constructing a ski slope are sufficiently great to make the resulting ski slope a commercial impracticality. Especially is this true where the adjacent elongate protruberant plastic pins are as close as they need be to provide a relatively uniform ski surface. In this case, and in view of the length of pins required, the task of nailing the elements to the base requires a degree of dexterity and care that further increases the amount of labor necessary to apply them.

The use of nails to tie the sections to the base surface is disadvantageous for still another serious reason. Impact loads on individual sections or groups of sections resulting from falls tends to cause the nails to be pulled out, leaving them partially extended or lying loose on the surface. The hazard to subsequent skiers is apparent. Serious injuries can be so caused.

It is therefore an object of my invention to provide an improved, artificial plastic ski surface composed of a plurality of overlappingly interlocked, plastic segments, each of which has a ski support surface comprised of a large plurality of elongated plastic pins.

It is a further object of my invention to provide an artificial ski slope structural member having a plurality of elongated plastic pins extending from one side thereof and having at one edge a pair of male flanged tabs and "ice on an opposite edge thereof a pair of mating female sockets. i

It is another object of my invention to provide an improved artificial ski surface comprised of a plurality of plastic structural members having a large plurality of elongate plastic resilient pin elements protruding from one side thereof and opposed pairs of mating male and female flange tabs and sockets interlockingly secured to each other and adhesively secured to a smooth permanent surface constructed of concrete, wood or other material.

I further desire to provide a rapid, economic method of constructing an artificial ski surface.

These, as well as further objects of my invention will become apparent from a consideration of the following disclosures as related to the drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a portion of a ski surface illustrating a plurality of the structural surface members of my invention in interlocking, overlapping engagement;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary top plan view of one of the structural plastic members illustrating the female socket member;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary top plan view of a segment of one of the structural plastic members illustrating the male, flanged tab locking elements;

FIGS. 4 and 5 are cross-sections taken on the lines 4-4 and 5-5 of FIG.-.2;

FIGS. 6, 7, 8 and 9 are cross-sections taken on the lines 6-6, 7--7, 88, and 99 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view taken through a pair of mating interlocking lug members during the process of locking one structural element to its adjacent element; and

FIG. 11 is an enlarged fragmentary top plan view of three adjacent, overlapping, interlocked, structural elements of my invention.

Referring to FIG. 1, it will be seen that the artificial ski surface is composed of a plurality of identical members, identified for ease of reference by the numerals 1 through 7. As shown, the elements are generally square in plan view. However, they can take any suitable rectangular shape. Each of the elements 1-7 has a substantially flat base 8 from which the elongate pins 9 and 10 project. The pins are integral with the base member and are generally of conical shape; the base portion being of greater diameter than the end portions. As will be apparent from FIGS. 4 and 5, the pins 9 and 10 of the structure shown are of different lengths. This is for the purpose of providing two different ski support surface levels; one defined by the tops of the pins 10 and the other defined by the tops of the pins 9. The result of use of a plurality of different surface levels is to provide for increased response of the surface to the skis when they are turned and banked with respect to the upper surface. Nevertheless, the provision of a plurality of different surface levels for the ski base is not critical, is not part of my invention and all of the pins could be of substantially the same height without departing from my invention.

The elongate pins 9 and 10, being made of a plastic, resilient material provide a surface which not only has minimal frictional sliding resistance but which is sufficiently resilient to give to at least a certain degree, when a skier falls accidentally.

As illustrated, each of the ski surface elements 1-7 is provided with a peripheral edge 11 which is generally free of the pin projections 9 and 10 and which essentially constitutes an extension of the base 8 of such element. It will nevertheless be seen that the peripheral edge 11 is a discontinuous one; being composed of a plan view, L segment 12, whose upper face is substan tially on the same plane as the upper face of base 8, but which is substantially half the thickness of the base 8 in order to provide a step recess 13. The peripheral edge 11 is also composed of a similar plan view, L segment 14 which, however, has its lower surface substantially in the plane of the lower surface of base 8, and which is similarly substantially one half the thickness of the base 8 in order to provide a step recess 15. As seen in FIG. 9, when two of the elements 17 are placed in adjacency, the L segment peripheral edge 12 overlays the peripheral edge L segment 14 and presents a relatively smooth upper and lower surface. As will be seen in FIGS. 1 and 11, eliminating the corner segments 16 and 17 at opposite diagonal corners permits three adjacent members to overlap without having an excess thickness of the sheet of which base 8 is composed at the corners.

The foregoing described elements are substantially similar to the elements which have previously been used to construct a ski slope in Japan, except that the edges of such elements have been provided with a plurality of holes through which nails could be driven in order to secure such element to a wood base surface.

However, as above disclosed, the employment of nails to secure such elements to a wood surface not only presents an unacceptable hazard to skiers in the event of partial extraction of the nail, but also requires excessive labor to accomplish installation of the number of units generally required for construction of a ski slope.

In accordance with my invention, a pair of tabs 19 are formed integrally with and extend laterally from the outer peripheral edge of the element. These tabs are provided with substantially perpendicularly, upwardly extending flange 20.

Directly oppositely disposed from the tabs 19 on the opposite edge of elements 1-7, is a pair of sockets 21. These sockets may, in their simpliest form, comprise rectangular openings 22, which extend partly along the edge of the elements 1-7, and partly inwardly thereof. A flange 23 extending perpendicularly from the surface of the base 8 provides a restraining flange for the flange 20 on the tabs 19. The flange 23 forms one leg of an inverted cross sectionally, U-shaped housing 24. The other flange-leg 25 of this housing is integral with the base 8 and forms, with the segment 26 and end segments 27 and 28, a housing that is completely closed except for its base side.

It will be noted that the upper segment 26 of housing 24 itself forms a base from which the elongate pins 29, 30 and 31 extend. The socket 21 is thus constructed in such a manner as to not only retain and secure the tabs 19 against escape but to permit the surface formed by the pins to be continuous in the area of the housing. In addition, the housing substantially eliminates the presence of openings through the base material and thereby reduces water seepage or flow from the top surface of the base 8 through to the base material of the slope.

The manner of securement of adjacent elements 7 is illustrated in sequence in FIGS. 6 and 7, and 8. A single row of elements, such as those indicated as elements 1 and 2 in FIG. 1, is secured with adjacent edges overlapping in the manner illustrated in FIG. 9 by applying a suitable adhesive to the under surface of base 8 and placing the elements on the concrete or wood base material at the very top of the slope. Assuming that element 2 is the end of a row in the top leftmost section of the hill, adhesive is applied to the undersurface of element 3 and it is then tilted upwardly as shown in FIG. 10 and the opening between flange 23 and end segment 18 is placed in a position to receive the flange of tab 19. Element 3 is then tilted down until it contacts the concrete or wood base surface. Adhesive is similarly applied to the element 4 and this member is then positioned in such manner as to have its sockets 21(a) and 21(b) receive and retain the flange tabs of adjacent elements 1 and 2. The same procedure is followed with respect to elements 5 and all the adjacent elements and then with the third row of elements beginning with element 7, as will be evident. Suflicient adhesive may be placed on the under surface of each of the elements in the area of the sockets 21 to form an extremely tight lock between adjacent ski surface structural elements 1-7.

The provision of pairs of mutually interlocking means on the opposite edges permits the distribution of stresses, resulitng from a skier falling in one area, amongst a great number of adjacent elements and thus reduces the possibility of such element being pulled from the surface.

I prefer to install my ski surface structural elements as above disclosed. Placing the flanged tab 19 in a direction facing down the slope permits the elements to be installed in such a manner that the peripheral edge 11 of the uppermost element overlaps the element immediately below it. This reduces the amount of water that can pass through to the concrete or Wood base surface and increases the over-all stability of the structure.

A further aspect of my invention resides in constructing the male tabs 19 smaller in both directions in a horizontal plane than the corresponding female sockets 21. This size relationship permits adjacent interlocking elements to be skewed with respect to one another thus permitting the elements in a long row which follows a compound hill curvature to be interlocked with the elements in the next adjacent row. Without the loose-fit provided by such size diflferences, the misalignment of adjacent rows of elements caused by variations in slope contour would cause progressive difiiculty in interlocking such rows; to the ultimate extent that certain of the tabs would be impossible to mate with their corresponding sockets.

It will also be seen that utilizing opposed pairs of mating interlocking means on opposite edges of each of the elements permits construction of a substantially integral ski slope surface since each member is interlocked to each other member through these means. Although I have described my invention with reference to a particular interlocking means along opposite edges of the ski surface elements, it will be evident that other interlocking elements can be provided that will serve the desired function.

Iclaim:

1. An artificial ski surface comprising -a structural, substantially smooth base and a plurality of plastic rectangular elements adhesively secured to said base, said elements having protruding from one face thereof a plurality of elongate resilient pins, the ends of said pins defining a relatively low friction ski surface, each of said elements having a plurality of male interlocking means integral with an edge thereof and having a plurality of female socket means integral with the opposite edge thereof corresponding to the location of said male interlocking means and lockingly mating therewith, said male interlocking means on each of said elements engaging the female socket means on two adjacent elements whereby substantially all of said plurality of plastic elements are interlockingly engaged with one another through said male and female means, said male interlocking means comprising a tab and an integral flange projecting therefrom in the direction of said pins and said socket means comprising a rectangular opening in said element spaced from the edge thereof and a cross sectionally rectangular housing integral with said element and projecting in the direction of said pins and covering a rectangular portion of said opening whereby said tab extends through said opening and said flange interlocks within said housing, wherein the edge of said element in which said opening is provided is of less thickness than the remainder of said element and wherein the edge of said element to which said tab is secured is of less thickness than the remainder of said element and is upwardly stepped to provide a recess to overlap the edge of adjacent elements.

2. The ski surface of claim 1 wherein said male interlocking means is smaller than the opening defined by said socket means to provide a loose fit therebetween whereby adjacent rows of said elements may be interlocked when said rows are placed on a surface with a compound curvaturc.

3. In an artificial plastic ski surface element having a rectangular base sheet and a plurality of elongate resilient pins integrally formed therewith and protruding from one surface thereof, the ends of said pins defining a relatively low-friction ski surface, the improvement comprising a plurality of male interlocking means integral with an edge of said element and a plurality of female socket means integral with said element along the opposite edge thereof and corresponding to the location of said male interlocking means, wherein said male interlocking means comprises a tab and an integral flange projecting therefrom in the direction of said pins and wherein said socket means comprises a rectangular opening in said element spaced from the edge thereof and a cross-sectionally rectangular housing integral with said element and projecting in the direction of said pins and covering a rectangular portion of said opening whereby said element can be interlockingly engaged to a similar element, and wherein the edge of said element in which said opening is provided is of less thickness than the remainder of said element and wherein the edge of said element which said 20 tab is secured is of less thickness than the remainder of said element and is upwardly stepped to provide a recess to overlap the edge of adjacent similar elements.

4. The improvement in the ski surface structural element of claim 3 wherein said male interlocking means is smaller than the opening defined by said socket means to provide a loose-fit therebetween.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 850,273 4/1907 Staples.

872,003 11/ 1907 Morgan. 2,005,380 6/ 1935 Marsh et a1. 52392 2,174,716 10/1939 Bethell. 2,310,426 2/ 1943 Greulich 94-13 2,454,307 11/ 1948 Cooley 52-594 2,693,102 11/1954 Luster et al 52-392 2,924,455 2/ 1960 Brunel.

FOREIGN PATENTS 1,089,249 9/1954 France.

JACOB L. NACKENOFF, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US850273 *Mar 24, 1905Apr 16, 1907George B StaplesTile or stair-tread.
US872003 *Sep 17, 1906Nov 26, 1907Charles C CarterImitation brick facing.
US2005380 *Sep 26, 1932Jun 18, 1935Porcelain Tile CorpTile
US2174716 *May 26, 1938Oct 3, 1939Hugh F BethellAmusement device
US2310426 *Jul 12, 1940Feb 9, 1943Carnegie Illinois Steel CorpPortable deck
US2454307 *Nov 7, 1946Nov 23, 1948Burnell CooleyInterlocking mosaic
US2693102 *Apr 21, 1950Nov 2, 1954Pittsburgh Plastic Products InInterlocking wall tile
US2924455 *Dec 7, 1956Feb 9, 1960Brunel Jacques AArtificial sking mat
FR1089249A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3577895 *Feb 10, 1969May 11, 1971Carlin Eunice ASlide construction
US3581630 *Aug 9, 1968Jun 1, 1971Piano Francis F DelPlastic ski track
US3746458 *Oct 13, 1971Jul 17, 1973Allocca NPaving blocks
US3961751 *Mar 27, 1975Jun 8, 1976Societe Kessler S.A.Artificial cross-country skiing path
US4339122 *May 12, 1980Jul 13, 1982Croul Richard DSurfing slide
US4431166 *Nov 9, 1981Feb 14, 1984Marshall Richard WGarbage can mat
US5066000 *Oct 19, 1990Nov 19, 1991Dolan Francis PPortable multi-surface track
US5540622 *Sep 26, 1994Jul 30, 1996The Walt Disney CompanyWater slide
US6042480 *Feb 5, 1999Mar 28, 2000Labelson; RossAmusement ramp and method for constructing same
US6623367Jul 19, 1999Sep 23, 2003Ross LabelsonAmusement ramp and method for constructing same
US7195562 *Jun 21, 2002Mar 27, 2007Mark S SoderbergKnockdown skateboard park system
US7481712 *Jul 18, 2006Jan 27, 2009Mcbrien Kent DSki mat and tile member for forming the ski mat
US20030027644 *Jun 21, 2002Feb 6, 2003Soderberg Mark S.Knockdown skateboard park system
US20080020852 *Jul 18, 2006Jan 24, 2008Mcbrien Kent DSki Mat and Tile Member for Forming the Ski Mat
US20110214338 *Mar 8, 2010Sep 8, 2011Crimson Prime Enterprise, Inc.Pest deterrent system
WO1983004375A1 *Jun 8, 1982Dec 22, 1983Croul Richard DSurfing hill
WO2008011399A2 *Jul 17, 2007Jan 24, 2008Mcbrien Kent DSki mat and tile member for forming the ski mat
Classifications
U.S. Classification472/90, 52/392
International ClassificationE01C13/12, E01C13/00
Cooperative ClassificationE01C13/12
European ClassificationE01C13/12