US 3436090 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
R. B. LANGE ET AL April 1, 1969 SKI POLE Filed Aug. 16, 1966 Sheet INVENTORS ROBE/P7 B. LANGE DAV/D JACOBS ATTORNEYS April 1969 R. B. LANGE ET AL 3,436,090
SKI POLE Filed Aug. 16, 1966 Sheet 4? INVENTORS ROBERT B. LANGE DAV/D JACOBS RODERICK HEBRON ATTORNEYS United States Patent Ofice US. Cl. 280-11.37 10 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A ski pole having a molded plastic elongated handle with upper and lower supporting projections to provide support to the upper and lower surfaces of the skiers hand and a strap connected at one end to the upper supporting projection and at the other end to the lower supporting projection so that the strap together with the handle circumscribe the skiers hand.
This invention pertains generally to a ski pole and, more particularly, relates to a high-strength ski pole having a grip and strap which combine to reduce or substantially eliminate the loss of the pole by a high-speed skier.
A troublesome problem that even an accomplished skier has is that of losing his grip on his ski pole during moments of unbalance caused by high speed, gymnastictype turns or bouncing caused by uneven terrain. On conventional ski poles, the hand strap is merely a loop With both ends connected to the top of the ski pole. The skiers hand fits through the loop to embrace the grip with the strap providing support at the wrist. Once the fingers relax and the grip is lost, it is very diflicult to pull the pole back into the palm of the hand while maintaining his forward motion.
Another problem presented by the present conventional ski pole is that of pole failure due to either breakage or kinking caused by transverse contact with a sharp edge.
A principal objective of this invention is to provide means for manually supporting a ski pole with a minimum of physical or mental exertion on the part of the skier.
Another objective of this invention is to provide a ski pole which has a shaft which is extremely resistant to breakage or kinking.
A further objective of this invention is to provide a ski pole which has an adjustable hand strap with one end secured to the top and the other end secured to the bottom of the grip.
A still further objective of this invention is to provide a ski pole which has a grip which closely conforms to the shape of the inside of the closed hand and which has wide base and top support flanges.
A yet further objective of this invention is to provide an extremely light but rigid ski pole which includes a hollow shaft filled with plastic foam.
These and other objects of the invention will become more apparent to those skilled in the art by reference to the following detailed description when Viewed in light of the accompanying drawings, wherein like elements throughout the figures thereof are indicated by like numerals and wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the ski pole;
FIGURE 2 is a side view partially in section of the upper portion of the ski pole;
FIGURE 3 is a top view of the ski pole handle;
FIGURE 4 is a side view of the ski pole handle;
FIGURE 5 is a rear view of the ski pole handle;
FIGURE 6 is a top view of a modification of the ski pole handle; and
3,436,090 Patented Apr. 1, 1969 FIGURE 7 is a cross sectional view taken along the line 77 in FIGURE 6.
Referring now to the drawings, the numeral 10 indicates a ski pole comprised of a handle or grip portion 12, a strap 14, an elongated shaft 16 and a snow engaging member 18. A sharpened snow penetrating point 20 is formed on that end of the shaft 16 below the member 18.
The grip 12 is an elongated body having an enlarged upper end 22 and an enlarged lower end 24. A cylindrical projection 26 depends substantially centrally and downwardly from the lower end 24. The projection serves as a juncture by which the shaft 16 is attached. The grip 12 is of a unitary mass of molded plastic which has a variety of contoured finger depressions to provide the maximum amount of support for the users hand.
These contoured surfaces can generally be divided into a palm engaging or exterior side 28, a front side 30, a rear side 32 and an interior side 34 nearest the skiers hip. Extending substantially horizontally from the vicinity of the back side 32, around the interior side 34 to the front side 30, are three ridges 36, 38 and 40. The upper and lower flanges 22 and 24 of the grip 12 are formed with projections 42 and 44 respectively. There are thus formed four valleys between the successive projections within which the four fingers of the hand will lie. When the ski pole 10 engages the snow as for instance during a turn, downward support surfaces 46, 48, 50 and 52 will provide individual support to each of the four fingers. Conversely when jerking or otherwise lifting the. ski pole 10 upwardly, the upward support surfaces 54, 56, 58 and 60 will provide individual support for each of the four fingers. The projection 36 is more prominent than projections 38 and 40. The reason for this is because the strongest grip of the fingers is obtained between the index and middle fingers. When engaging projection 36, the aforesaid fingers can exercise positive control of the pole even without the use of the other fingers. No ski pole on the present market has this feature.
The thumb is also provided with individual support in either direction as it rests in the valley between support surfaces 62 and 64 immediately below the flange 22. The projections and valleys of the grip 12 closely conform to the contours of the inside of the closed hand. Although a grip made for the average sized hand will comfortably and effectively fit a wide range of hand sizes, different sized grips may be made to cover a selectively narrow range of hand sizes.
The palm of the hand engages the sides 28 and 32. A convex projection 66 conforming to the contours of the hollow of the palm is located along the palm side 28. The main support to the palm and hand however, comes from the flange projections 42 and 44. The upper flange projection 42 is elongated on the back side 32 of the grip 12 in order to provide an enlarged support area above the V of the thumb and forefinger for maximum effectiveness during ski pole lifting. Similarly, the lower flange 44 is formed to underlie the bottom edge of the palm and thus provide the primary support thereto when pushing downwardly with the ski pole.
The strap 14 comprises an upper strap portion 68 and a lower strap portion 70, which may be of leather, plastic or other material which remains resilient through a wide range of temperatures. A conventional slide buckle 72 is attached to the lower strap 70 and slidably receives the upper strap 68. The ends of the upper strap 68 and the lower strap 70 are rigidly connected to the back side of the flanges 42 and 44 at 74 and 76 respectively. The connections 74 and 76 are made by integrating the strap ends into the flanges during the molding thereof.
The shaft 16 is comprised of a hollow tube 78 of resinous plastic or of light metal such as aluminum. The inside of tube 78 is filled with a foam 80 such as polyurethane or other material light in weight but with highcompression characteristics which when combined with a high tensile skin give a high degree of resistance to both bending and breakage. The addition of polyurethane foam gives the shaft 16 a tremendous amount of strength both axially and transversely and allows a wall thickness of reduced size, over conventional ski poles. The shaft can thus be lightened and still have a strength that is superior to poles of present manufacture. The top of the shaft 16 is recieved on the downward projection 26 of the grip 12 and is secured threadably, by a press fitting, or other conventional means. The shaft is formed with a forward bend at 82 relative to the grip 12 in order to allow easy forward reaching with the ski pole by the skier with a minimum of effort. Of course, it is readily understood that the same purpose may be accomplished by leaving the shaft 16 straight and molding the depending projection 26 at a forward angle relative to the main portion of the grip 12.
A modification of the connections 74 and 76 is provided in FIGURES 6 and 7 wherein the upper end of the strap is looped over a pin 84. The. pin 84 is received in a slot 86 in the grip 12 so as to restrain downward movement of the strap portion 68. Of course, the lower end of the strap is similarly looped over a similar pin so as to restrain upward movement of the lower strap portion 70. Obviously, the strap 14 need not be in two pieces as shown, but may instead be formed of a single piece of resilient material. By providing a strap which extends across the back of the hand from top to bottom and which is adjustable or resilient so as to snugly force the palm against the conforming grip 12, it is possible to utilize the ski pole with a relatively relaxed hand and fingers. Losing a ski pole during even the most violent movements of high speed skiing is well near impossible.
Although the preferred embodiment has shown the grip 12 and the shaft 16 as separate components, it is contemplated that they may be molded as an integral unit.
What is new and therefore desired to be protected by Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. A ski pole comprising:
an elongated shaft a flattened snow-engaging member adjacent the lower end of said shaft,
a molded plastic elongated handle at the upper end of said shaft and firmly aflixed thereto, and having front, rear and side faces,
said handle having supporting projections at the upper and lower ends thereof providing support to the upper and lower surfaces of the hand of a user grasping the intermediate section thereof, the lower supporting projection extending outwardly beyond the 4 front face and one side face of the handle a distance sufficient to underlie fully the palm of the. hand of the user of the ski pole, the upper projection extending outwardly from the faces of the handle a distance sufficient to overlie both the thumb and forefinger of the hand of the user of the ski pole,
a retention strap,
means for connecting a first end of said strap to the upper supporting projection and a second end of said strap to the lower supporting projection whereby, when the hand of a user grasps said handle, the strap together with said handle can circumscribe the hand of the user.
2. The ski pole as described in claim 1 wherein means are provided to adjust the length of said strap.
3. The ski pole as described in claim 1 wherein said shaft and said handle are an integral plastic unit.
4. The ski pole as described in claim 1 wherein said shaft is hollow and filled with plastic foam.
5. The ski pole as described in claim 4 wherein said shaft is a plastic tube.
6. The ski pole described in claim 5 wherein said means further includes an opening formed in at least one of said projections, a pin spanning said opening and a loop at one end of said strap secured about said pin.
7. The ski pole as described in claim 1 wherein said shaft is angled relative to sand handle.
8. The ski pole as described in claim 1 wherein said handle has a plurality of finger and palm supporting formations intermediate said enlarged projections.
9. The ski pole described in claim 8 wherein said menas for connecting said strap are in said upper and lower projections.
10. The ski pole as described in claim 1 wherein said lower supporting projection is an annular enlargement of the handle.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,085,814 4/1963 Scott 280-4137 3,179,435 4/1965 Miller 28011.37 3,265,401 8/1966 Spier 280l1.37 3,290,049 12/1966 McDonald 28O-1l.37
FOREIGN PATENTS 178,317 4/ 1954 Austria.
919,589 2/1963 Great Britain.
195,361 4/1938 Switzerland.
LEO FRIAGLIA, Primary Examiner.
MILTON L. SMITH, Assistant Examiner.