US 3861698 A
A combination snowshoe and ski comprises a hollow lightweight plastic envelope which is longitudinally corrugated along its upper portion and along its bottom portion exhibits transversely extending wedge-shaped corrugations which allow the snowshoe ski to slide forwardly but resist rearward movement, with the longitudinal and transverse corrugations being connected together to rigidify the snowshoe ski and with a foot binding on the upper portion adapted to retain the ski on a variety of sizes of footwear.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 [111 3,861,698
Greig Jan. 21, 1975 COMBINATION SNOWSHOE AND SKI 3,269,037 8/1966 Massicotte 36/15 AB  Inventor: James W. Greig, 565 Barrington Rd Grosse Pointe Mich 48230 Primary ExammerAllen N. Knowles Attorney, Agent, or FirmBurton & Parker  Filed: July 11, 1973  Appl. No.: 378,077  ABSTRACT A combination snowshoe and ski comprises a hollow 5 1 2 0 11 13 3 /2 5 ABJgO/U'B W lightweight plastic envelope which is longitudinally 2 0 113 S, 2 0 11 13 M corrugated along its upper portion and along its bot- [51 Int. Cl. A63C 5/00 tom Portion exhibits trarlsversely extending wedge- 53 Fi ]d fS h 280/11 13W 1L13S 3 C, shaped corrugations which allow the snowshoe ski to 28071 13" Y 1 3 M 1 5 3 45 25 AB slide forwardly but resist rearward movement, with the longitudinal and transverse corrugations being con- 5 References Cited nected together to rigidify the snowshoe ski and with :1 UNITED STATES PATENTS foot binding on the upper portion adapted to retain the ski on a variety of sizes of footwear. 2,643,888 6/1953 Hargls, Jr. 280/11.35 F 3,118,157 1/1964 Houser 280/1 1.13 M 8 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures EWENTED 5 1 sum 1 or 2 PATENTEDJAHZI 1915 saw 2 or 2 COMBINATION SNOWSI-IOE AND SKI FIELD OF INVENTION This invention relates to sporting equipment, in particular a combination snowshoe and ski adapted to permit the user to traverse snow-covered areas by walking up hill much like one may do with snowshoes and yet slide down forwardly much like one may do with skis.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART Both snowshoes and skis are of course well known in the prior art. In recent years there has been a renewed interest in cross-country skiing and to fill this need ski manufacturers have been offering skis of greater length and somewhat narrower width which will support the user on soft snow. In addition, bindings have been offered which will allow the foot to rise easily during the walking motions. However, such cross-country skis still require the user to exercise considerable skill and dexterity in manipulating the skis, particularly in climbing hills as the skis have a tendency to slide backwards and therefore hills must be climbed either by the so-called traverse method, herringbone, or sidestepping. Snowshoes, while enabling ready ascent of snow-covered surfaces, do not permit the user to slide downhill.
So far as I am aware, little if any attention has been given to the provision of a combination snowshoe and ski which will permit the user to directly ascend a snowcovered slope and slide down when the summit is reached.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Disclosed herein is a combination snowshoe and ski which is of relatively light weight as compared with conventional skis or snowshoes and will provide the user with adequate support and traction similar to a snowshoe and yet is capable of allowing downhill skiing. My combination snowshoe and ski is simple to use and does not require special ski boots but rather normal shoes, galoshes, hunting shoes and the like may be worn with the ski. A novel binding is provided adaptable to large or small shoes and retains the feet securely but flexibly on the combination snowshoe and ski. In addition, the binding may be easily applied and removed. The combination snowshoe and ski is in the form of a hollow envelope-like member made of plastic, such as polyethylene. The underside of the ski is provided with a series of transversely extending corrugations which are of wedge-shape or ripsaw tooth configuration in cross section allowing the ski to move forwardly but tending to grab the snow and prevent rearward motion. The shape and structural design of my combination snowshoe and ski and the construction thereof provides high strength in relation to its weight, is comfortable to wear and simple and easy to use for the intended purpose.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a plan view of my combination snowshoe and ski;
FIG. 2 is a side elevation of the combination snowshoe and ski;
FIG. 3 is a bottom plan view;
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken substantially on the line 4--4 of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken substantially on the line 55 of FIG. 1.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS As shown in the drawings my combination snowshoe and ski comprises a lightweight hollow elongate plastic envelope or member 10 having spaced-apart top and bottom portions 12 and 14 connected together along the periphery l6 and at other points within the envelope as hereinafter explained. The plastic of which the envelope is formed should preferably have a low frictional coefficient with snow so that the combination snowshoe and ski will readily slide thereover as well as shed snow therefrom. l have found that high density polyethylene is quite satisfactory as it is easily molded or shaped, is both light weight and quite slippery on snow, and also possesses sufficient structural strength for the purposes intended. Other plastics having the above noted characteristics may also be used.
One end of the envelope or member 10 is upturned as at 18 to provide a ski tip for riding over and gradually depressing the snow during forward movement. The top portion 12 is generally dish-shaped in cross section as shown in FIG. 5 and is longitudinally ribbed or corrugated as at 20 and 22 in medial areas ahead and behind the foot binding 24. The bottom portion. provides a running surface 25 which extends from the tip end 18 to the rear end of the envelope. Longitudinally extending rib means in the bottom portion, in the form of a pair of longitudinal corrugations or ribs 27, provide directional stability for the combination snowshoe and ski during movement across a snow surface. Recessed within the plane of the running surface 25 and extending transversely between the ribs 27, are a plurality of transverse corrugations 26 of generally wedge-shaped or ripsaw-shaped cross section as shown in FIG. 4. Each such transverse corrugation exhibits a forwardly, gently upwardly sloping face 28 and a rearward steeply sloping or snow-biting face 30. The forward face 28 is adapted to ride or slide over a snow surface and the rearward face will dig into the snow upon any tendency to rearward movement of the combination snowshoe and ski and will thereby resist backward sliding of the ski.
As best shown in FIG. 4, when the snowshoe ski slides forward, that is towards the right, the upwardly turned end 18 will depress the snow and level it to sub stantially the apices of the transverse corrugations so that they may slide easily over the snow. It will be noted, for example, that the running surface in the area 32 directly ahead of the transverse corrugations is at the same height as the apices of the corrugations. The transverse corrugations 26, as shown in FIG. 5, lie within what might be considered a trough between the ribs 27 so that the transverse corrugations lie, as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, slightly above the plane of the running surface 25 and 32. As a consequence the transverse corrugations do not impede forward progress of the wearer sliding across the snow, but upon tendency of the combination snowshoe and ski to slide rearwardly, the corrugations will dig in and their faces 30 will tend to bite into the snow and resist reverse sliding.
It will be noted in FIGS. 4 and 5 that the longitudinal corrugations of the top portion 12 and the transverse corrugations 26 of the bottom portion 14 are juxtaposed at points, lines or areas of intersection 34. At
such intersections the top and bottom portions 12 and 14 are secured together, preferably by fusion or welding of the plastic during manufacture of the combination snowshoe and ski. The result of such connection of the top and bottom portions is to substantially add to the rigidity of the snowshoe ski throughout the central portion extending from a point 35 near the rear end of the point 37 ahead of the binding 24, and beneath the binding.
It will also be noted from FIG. that the top and bottom portions 12 and 14 along opposite sides of the central corrugated area have relatively widely vertically spaced walls 36 and 38 which provide a tubular construction of substantial strength for the periphery of the envelope. This tubular construction extends, as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, substantially completely around the margin of the envelope.
In a preferred embodiment the length of the snowshoe ski may be approximately 39 inches with a width of approximately inches. This provides sufficient area to adequately support users ranging from small children to adults. With a width of approximately 10 inches the wearers feet will not have to be widely separated during use of the combination snowshoe and ski and therefore the walking action will be comfortable. Because of the light weight, the combination snowshoe and ski may be easily maneuvered by the user when attached to the feet.
Shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 4 is the binding. It comprises a toe piece 40 having a peripheral flange 42 and an integral upstanding wall 44 having converging sidewall portions 46 and 48 connected at the front by a transverse wall 50. The toe piece also includes a downwardly sloping wall 52 integral with the sidewalls and transverse wall 50 for overlying the toe of a shoe inserted in the toe piece. The toe piece forms a rearwardly opening shoe toe-receiving pocket. The downwardly converging wall 52 is formed by a plurality of wall segments defined by slots 54 provided in the wall 52. The toe piece is preferably made of polyethylene which is a resilient material. The segments defined by the slots 54 will allow the segments of the wall 52 to flex upwardly under upward pressure of the toe of a shoe to allow the shoe to be released from the toe piece by upward movement. This provides a safety feature so that the combination snowshoe and ski may be released from the wearers foot.
While the toe piece 40 may be secured to the upper portion 12 of the combination snowshoe and ski in any suitable fashion, I have shown it as being secured by a plurality of rivets or the like 56 which extend through the flange 42 and through both the top and bottom portions 12 and 14 to be clinched against the flange and against the underside of the combination snowshoe and ski as indicated in FIG. 3.
Extending rearwardly from the toe piece are a pair of upstanding walls 58 and 60 each of which is provided with a series of through apertures 62 adapted to permit the adjustable connection to the walls of an elastic heel strap 64. The walls may be integral upwardly extending flanges of a channel-shaped member having a bottom wall portion 66 upon which the heel of the wearers shoe may rest and which is secured to the combination snowshoe and ski as by the rivets 56. The elastic heel strap is shown as having a pair of S-hooks 68 at opposite ends for reception through the apertures. In lieu of the S-hooks, the elastic heel strap may be of suitable molded rubber whose ends are adapted to be received in suitably shaped apertures in the walls 58 and 60. The channel member having the sidewalls 58 and and the bottom wall 64 may be formed of polyethylene.
I have found that a foot binding of the character disclosed herein enables the combination snowshoe and ski to be adapted to a wide variety of footwear and of sizes ranging from childrens through adults. The elastic heel strap urges the toe of the shoe into the toe piece 40 and the converging walls 46 and 48 center the toe of the shoe in proper alignment with the combination snowshoe and ski, while the downwardly extending wall 52 maintains the toe of the shoe depressed against the top portion 12. On the other hand, the wearer may raise and lower the heel of the shoe during walking action as the elastic heel strap will stretch and recover and the fit of the wearers toe within the toepiece provides for rocking motion of the shoe therewithin. If the toepiece 40 and the walls 58 and 60 of the channel element are separately fashioned as disclosed in the drawings, the walls may be desirably secured to the toepiece as by rivets or the like 70.
The snowshoe ski may be made inexpensively by blow molding. It may also be manufactured by the method disclosed in US. Pat. No. 3,412,183. The toepiece and elastic heel strap channel may be molded or extruded.
What is claimed is:
1. A combination snowshoe and ski comprising: a lightweight hollow elongate plastic envelope having a rear end and an upturned forward end and formed of plastic having a relatively low friction on snow, said envelope including a longitudinally ribbed top portion and a transversely ribbed bottom portion with the transverse ribs being of ripsaw shape facing toward the rear end of the envelope to resist rearward sliding thereof on snow, the ribs of the top and bottom portions being secured together within the envelope at their crossing points, and a foot-securing binding on the top portion.
2. The invention defined by claim 1 characterized in that the envelope is shaped to provide a hollow marginal edge extending longitudinally. from the forward to rear ends thereof.
3. The invention defined by claim 1 characterized in that said top portion is generally dish-shaped in transverse cross section and said longitudinal ribs extend along the bottom of such dish shape and define in transverse cross-section a corrugated wall, and said transverse ribs are juxtaposed and fused to said longitudinal ribs.
4. A combination snowshoe and ski comprising: a lightweight hollow elongate plastic envelope having a rear end and an upturned forward end and formed of plastic having a relatively low friction on snow, said envelope including a longitudinally ribbed top portion and a longitudinally and transversely ribbed bottom portion with the transverse ribs being of rip-saw shape facing toward the rear end of the envelope to resist rearward sliding thereof on snow, the ribs of the top portion being secured to the transverse ribs of the bottom portion within the envelope at their crossing points, and a foot-securing binding on the top portion.
5. A combination snowshoe and ski comprising: an elongate hollow plastic member having spaced apart top and bottom wall portions-secured together around the periphery of the member, said top portion being longitudinally corrugated and said bottom portion being transversely corrugated with said top and bottom portions being secured together at crossing points of their respective corrugations, one end of said member being upturned to form a ski tip, said bottom corrugations being spaced apart longitudinally and having gently upwardly sloping forward faces to slide over snow during tip-first movement of the member over a snow surface and having snow-biting rearward faces to resist reverse movement of the member over a snow surface, said bottom portion also having longitudinally extending rib means for providing directional stability during movement of the member over a snow surface, and a foot binding on the upper portion including a toeembracing element and an adjustable elastic heel strap.
6. A combination snowshoe and ski comprising: a lightweight hollow elongate plastic envelope having a rear end and an upturned forward end and formed of a plastic having a relatively low friction on snow, said envelope having a bottom portion defining a snowrunning surface, said bottom portion having a plurality of longitudinally spaced-apart transversely extending corrugations having gently sloping forward faces and snow-biting rearward faces, said envelope having a top portion secured to said transversely extending corrugations to rigidify the envelope, and afoot binding on the top portion.
7. The invention defined by claim 6 characterized in that said top portion has a plurality of longitudinally extending corrugations.
8. The invention defined by claim 7 characterized in that the corrugations of the top and bottom portions are fused together at juxtaposed crossing points.
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