US 3869136 A
A ski release binding in which a socket receptacle is provided in the boot sole or in a lift structure that is selectively joined to the boot. A protective enclosure of a binding mechanism is matingly received in said socket receptacle and a plurality of latch elements within said enclosure extend therefrom to engage latch sockets or catches provided on surfaces of said boot receptacle. An adjustable preload is exerted by resilient elements within the enclosure with adjusting means extending from said enclosure to positions of convenient access. Ball latch elements are provided for holding engagement in spherical catch sockets or latches and socket latches of other form are used in combinations that will provide directionally varied release characteristics. The binding mechanism and the latch elements thereof may be centered with respect to a turn axis of the user's leg or at equimoment positions with respect thereto. A thin sole boot may be used with a lift structure that will provide the required socket receptacle.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Pate- Jackson I [5 SKI RELEASE BINDING  Inventor: Richard S. Jackson, 2897 S. Wolff St., Denver, Colo. 80236  Filed: Nov. 28, 1972  Appl. No.: 310,047
 US. Cl.. 280/11.35 D, 280/11.35 K, 36/25 AL  Int. Cl. A63c 9/08  Field of Search280/l 1.35 K, 11.35 D, 11.35 R,
280/1l.35 E, 11.35 A, 11.35 T, 11.35 H,
11.35 Y, 11.35 C, 11.35 B; 36/25 AL Primary E.ranzinerDavid Schonberg Assistant E.raminerMilton L. Smith Attorney, Agent, or FirmC. B. Messenger [5 7] ABSTRACT A ski release binding in which a socket receptacle is provided in the boot sole or in a lift structure that is selectively joined to the boot. A protective enclosure of a binding mechanism is matingly receivedin said socket receptacle and a plurality of latch elements within said enclosure extend therefrom to engage latch sockets or catches provided on surfaces of said boot receptacle. An adjustable preload is exerted by resilient elements within the enclosure with adjusting means extending from said enclosure to positions of convenient access. Ball latch elements are provided for holding engagement in spherical catch sockets or latches and socket latches of other form are used in combinations that will provide directionally varied release characteristics. The binding mechanism and the latch elements thereof may be centered with respect to a turn axis of the users leg or at equimoment positions with respect thereto. A thin sole boot may be used with a lift structure that will provide the required socket receptacle.
16 Claims, 14 Drawing Figures PATENTED 41975 sum 1 9 5 I'Iil" PATENTED RAR 4 I975 FIQDIDQ a a PATENTEU 41975 sum 3 or 5 FIG.
PATENTED H975 3,869,136
saw u [If 5 PATENTEDHAR SHEEP 5 UF 5 FIG. I4
SKI RELEASE BINDING BACKGROUND OF THEINVENTION The increasing popularity of skiingactivities has demonstrated a substantial needfor improved ski releasebindings. Many different binding systems have been devised and used, and presently sold bindings are undoubtedly .a substantial improvement over bindings that have previously been used. However, injuries still result from the use of bindings of improper design or adjustmenhandsome injuries still involve serious damage to the bone structure of skiers legs. Analysis of leg injuries indicates that the direction of force application can be as important as the magnitude of forces applied against a skiers leg. Many detrimental force and direction, combinations that cause serious injury are aggravated by the geometry of the skiers foot and the associated (and necessary) boot configurations. Where the release bindings are applied at toe and heel locations, some of these detrimental combinations are increased, and the problemspresented by binding release design and operational characteristics are correspondingly magnified. The present binding system avoids some of the problems of earlier bindings by placing the release mechanism at a position that is closer to the operational axis for the skiers ankle and leg structures.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides a ski release binding system in which all of the operative latches and catches are disposed at circumferentially disposed positions that are equidistant from the operative axis of the skidated to 'provide release characteristics of widely var ied and adjustable magnitude. Installations may be adjusted to provide the.different torsional and lift release characteristics required in racing and normal usage or by lightweight skiers and/or women and children. Specific and additional advantages and characteristics are set forth in connection with the appended description and drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE- DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side elevation in partial section showing features of a first embodiment of the invention,
FIG. 2 is a top plan view in partial section showing further features of the embodiment of FIG. I,
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional elevation taken along the line 33 of FIG. 2,
FIG. 4 is a top view in partial section illustrating a second embodiment of the invention,
FIG. 5 is a central cross-section through the embodiment of FIG. 4,
FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional plan view showing a modified spring arrangement for the embodiments of FIGS. l-3,
FIG. 7 is a perspective view showing modified types of catch receptacles.
FIG. 8 is a top view in partial section of the FIG. 7 apparatus,
FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional elevation taken along the line 9-9 of FIG. 8,
ers leg and ankle. Adjustments from such centrally disposed position may be made to provide latch and catch combinations wherein the applied forces necessary for release are balanced or of equal moment with respect to any expected operative axis for the skiers total leg structure or of equal moment with respect to the weaker stress locations of the leg. Such desirable result is accomplished through provision of a socket receptacle in the bottom surface of the boot sole of size and shape adapted to receive the latch related components of the binding mechanism. Latch socket receptacles or catches are provided in the boot receptacle for engagement with latch elements extending from the latch mechanism. The latch and catch combinations are of cooperative size and shape to provide release characteristics that may be varied with respect to the directions of expected force application. With such arrangement the boot and binding may be separated by forces applied in rotational or lifting directions or combina tions thereof. A shaped element is provided on the upper surface of the binding mechanism enclosure to provide a turn center for release operations and further to control frictional forces that might otherwise be operational at the interface between the boot and binding mechanism. With reduced frictional forces and with tapered and curved end walls having rounded corners at intersecting surfaces, a closely controlled release actionis possible. Expected release forces are balanced by an adjustable preload applied against the latch components by resilient elements, and adjusting elements are provided to vary the preload. The binding is disposed within the boot providing a visually'appealing and uncluttered appearance. Essentially the streamlined overall appearance presents no visual evidence of a binding system. The binding system can be accommo- DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS FIGS. 1-3 illustrate a preferred embodiment of the invention. In FIG. 1 a ski boot I1 is shown wherein the top or upper 12 of the boot is joined in normal manner to a sole construction 13 which increases thickness.
from the toe 14 to the heel 16. Instead of utilizing conventional ski binding components which engage the toe and heel ofthe boot, the boot itself is modified to provide a socket receptacle I7 formed inwardly of the bottom surface 18 of the sole of the boot. The receptacle [7 is preferably of increasing height toward the rear of the boot. For this embodiment ofthe invention the sole of the boot becomes a part of the ski binding system. When skiing activities are to be undertaken, the skier will place the boot in position above the ski 21 with the receptacle 17 disposed for mating engagement with a binding latch mechanism 22 that is of shape and size corresponding to the shape and size of receptacle 17. This binding component 22 will have previously been joined to the skis 21 by screws 23 or other fasteners or adhesives. Desirably such fasteners will be applied to a bottom support 24 or the latch component 22. The
latch mechanism 22 is further provided with end walls 26 and 27 of curved contour and sidewalls 28 and 29. Extension side plates 31 and 32 interconnect the sidewalls. See FIGS. 2 and 3. A top enclosing surface is made up ofthe rear segment 33, a front segment 34 and an extension cover plate 36 extending therebetween. Preferably the side plates 31-32 and the cover plate 36 are held in place by threaded fasteners, such as the top machine screws 37 and the side fasteners 38.
For latch mechanisms of shortest length the bottom 24 can be continuous as shown in FIG. 1. The latch mechanisms of this shortest length would be used in conjunction with womens or childrens boots or for skiers of lesser weight. For men or competition skiers, it will be desirable to place the latches at a greater distance away from a central operative leg axis. In order to. adapt a standard size latch mechanism for uses where the latch points are desirably more widely spaced, the forwardly and rearwardly disposed portions of the latch mechanism may be separated as indicated in FIGS. 2 and 3. With this construction a forward component 41 is spaced apart from the rear component 42. When the separate components are to be spaced apart, the cover plate 36 and the side plates 31-32 will be of different length as necessary to define and enclose an increased spacing between the forward and rear components. For all installations a raised dome 43 will be provided at a position coresponding with a central or operative axis for the particular latch mechanism 22. The dome element 43 should desirably be positioned at or near the axis for the bone structure of the skiers leg. A main function of the dome shape 43, however, is not directly concerned with providing a turn axis, but it is rather intended to provide a localized support operative between the latch mechanism 22 and the boot sole 13. With this small dimpled raise, forces of adhesion and friction that might otherwise interact between the latch structure and the boot sole are minimized. With elimination of such forces that can be of widely varying value depending upon the conditions of usage, better regulation can be provided for the binding release functions of the boot-to-latch combination. Such binding release forces are. dependent upon mechanisms enclosed within the latch assembly 22.
Major features of representative force application and adjusting members are best shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. With this unit and in all embodiments of the invention, a majorobjective is to provide a latch and catch type ofassembly in which the coactive members are disposed in equidistant or equal moment positions with respect to an expected turn axis for the skiers foot and leg. With the latching components disposed in balanced positions, the torque forces necessary to cause release of the binding can be more closely regulated. Further, where latch and catch components are disposed in opposed positions with respect to a central operative axis, many of the detrimental imposed force and direction conditions that arise in connection with use of other bindings can be avoided. For bindings made in accord with the present concepts and principles, all latches and catches are disposed about a central operative axis, and the latch elements move outwardly from such central axis to engage cooperating catches. With this arrangement and with the use of tapered and curved end walls and rounded corners at intersecting surfaces, jamming of the binding system when the skiers boot is moved forwardly or rearwardly with respect to the latch-catch combinations is avoided. This configuration disposed about a central operative axis provides additional advantages in connection with forward or backward falls and especially in forward and backward rotating falls where serious binder jamming conditions may occur.
In FIGS. 1-3 it will be noted that a plurality ofdetent type balls are used as latches in the latch assembly 22. The forward latches 45 and 47 and the rear latches 46 and 48 extend outwardly from their respective front and rear surfaces 27 and 26. A socket is actually formed in the structure of the end surfaces in order to keep the balls from being expelled from the latch assembly housing. The full extended position for the forward latches is shown in FIG. 3 and is further indicated by the dash line representations in FIG. 2. The .latch balls are normally held in this full extended position by action of the plungers 49, 51, 50 and 52. The coil springs 53 at the front assemblies 41'are positioned to act between a rear shoulder 54 of the plun gers and a plunger guide and spring retaining plate 55. The stems 56 and 57 for the plungers 49 and 51 extend through the fixed plates 55, and the ends of the stems are engaged by a leaf spring 58. Desirably the leaf spring is stronger than the coil springs 53 and it may be of laminated construction, as shown. in order to obtain the required spring rate. The separate springs 53 are of balanced design so the total forces operative on the latch balls 45 and 47 are balanced. An adjusting screw 59 is provided so the spring force acting on the front latch balls can be adjusted. A non-turning nut 61 is engaged by the threads 63 of the adjusting screw so that turning movements of the screw 59 will change the output spring force exerted by the laminated leaf spring 58. Since this spring 58 may pivot with respect to the adjusting screw 59, the forces exerted on the plunger stems 56 and 57 should at all times be balanced. Similar construction is used at the rear assembly, where the ad justing screw may be turned to change the spring force exerted by the rear leaf spring. 68. At this rear assembly 42 the latch balls 46 and 48, the socket catches therefor, the plungers 50 and 52 and the coil springs 63 are all of a larger size than the same components used in the front assembly 41. The larger sizing for the rearwardly disposed components makes it possible to provide an increased spring force which will tend to hold the rear latch balls 46 and 48 more securely engaged with the cooperative rear catches. The increased latch force at the rear is provided to compensate for the increased forces that are exerted at the rear of a skiers leg when a forward fall is experienced.
In FIG. 2 a portion ofthe boot sole 13 is shown adjacent the front latch assembly 41. The inner receptacle 17 is formed at its front and rear limits to provide sockets (such as the catches 65 and 67) for mating engagement with the latches. Similar catches of larger size are provided for the rear latches 45 and 47 for the reception of latches 46 and 48. With all the latches snuggly received in the catch sockets and held in such position of engagement by the spring pressures exerted on the latches, the ski boot l1 will be securely held on the ski 21 until some disruptive external force is exerted that would tend to separate the boot and ski. All such disruptive forces are resisted by the latch and catch combinations.
Since the boot is rather securely fixed to the ski 21.
lever 69' will raise the boot heel 16 away from ski121 thereby releasing the rear latches 46 and 48 from their shown in FIG. 6 wher'ein identical components of a front assembly 71 arenumb-ered the same as the components showninFIGS. l-3. Here the pressure exerted on the latch balls 45 and 47 is derived from Belleville spring elements 73. The forces exerted by the stacked Belleville washer is controlled by a bridge assembly 78 contacting end plungers 77 and 79. Turning movementsof adjusting screw 59 will cause the nut 61 and the bridge assembly 78 to be moved thereby changing the force operative against the Bell eville springs, and, accordingly, the force transmitted to the latches 45. and 47. Since the latch to catch retention force required to resist the release forces that may be exerted between a boot and ski are relatively high, the depicted Belleville spring assemblies can be beneficially used either with the bridge system shown or with a laminated leaf spring, such as the leaf springs 58 and 68 previously described. For all of the separate embodiments described the heads of the adjusting screws 59 and 60 are accessible when the boot is released so that a screw driver or other tool may be used to change the holding forces of the latching system.
A further embodiment of the invention is shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. Here the forward latches 85 and 87 and the rearwardlydisposed latches 86 and 88 are all radially positioned with respect to the center of disk shaped latch assembly 82. Coil springs 83 are used to hold the latch balls in extended position. The pressure exerted by the rearwardly disposed springs 83 is adjusted when the rear adjustment screw 90 is turned. Turning movement of the adjustment screw 90 moves a threaded cross head 95 to displace plungers 92 thereby increasing the preload of the springs 83. The preload on the forward latches 85 and 87 is similarly adjusted when thefront adjusting screw 89 is rotated.
The confining size and shape for the latch assembly 82 is necessarily smaller than that previously described. Accordingly, the forces operative on the latches may be decreased. With a reduced latch force at a lesser operative radius, this latch assembly 82 is best adapted for use with children or women ofless weight. This attachment can be used in circumstances where a quick and easy release is desirable. It is attached to a ski 91 by fasteners 93 extending through an exposed base plate 94.
The sockets 65-67 previously described are ofa regular and angular shape conforming closely to the latch balls 45 and 47. Similar sockets are provided for the latches 46 and 48. Sockets of this type or of spherical shape closely conforming to the latch balls can with proper design be adequate for skier usage. It has from a technical basis, however, been further recognized that the desired release characteristics in different directions and in different operational planes might be, and in some cases should be, different. In order to pro vide a diminished release force for loadings placed on the skiers boot in the flat rotary mode as distinguished from vertically oriented forces, the present invention suggests the preferable use of catch receptacles that incorporate latch receiving surfaces of varied angularity or of varying curvature. Changes in the shape of the catch receptacles are proposed so release can be effected with the application of lesser forces under conditions where the bones or muscle structure of the skiers leg is subjected to greater risks of breakage or injury. Since the skiers leg is most susceptible to torsion forces that tend to twist the foot thereby injuringthe ankle or leg bone structure. it is desirable that the releaseforce needed to separate the boot and ski should be less when such torsion forces are exerted. FIGS. 7
- through 13 present in basic detail a recognition of such problem and provide characteristic solutions therefor. In FIGS. 7, 8 and 9 the socket receptacles 65' and 67 are not of the same shape as the sockets 65 and 67 pre viously shown and described. In order to obtain easier release under conditions where the leg and foot would be twisted, the faces defining the receptacles are disposed at different angular positions. When related to the position of the ball latches and the actual operative axis thereof, the face 101 is disposed at a lesser angle than the face 102. Corresponding outboard and inboard faces for the socket catch 67 are similarly placed. The top and bottom faces 103 and 104 can likewise be disposed at varied angular positions with respect to the operative axis for the latch balls. For any particular latch ball received in the socket catch thus defined, it will be obvious that movement of the hall along the surface 101 would require less torsional effort than the same movement along the surface 102.
An analysis of the forces required to accomplish a binding release is presented in connection with FIG.
' 10. The release force F illustrated in this FIG. is equal to the product of the spring force F times the tangent of the angle Theta (F,, F Tan 6). From this formula it is obvious that the required release force will be diminished at any time that the angularity ofthe cam type contact surface is reduced. In order to obtain an overall reduced release force in the flat rotary mode, the angularity for the surface 101 may be reduced, or the angle for the surfaces .10] and 102 may both be reduced. Where detent ball type of latches are used the angularity forthe ball contacting surfaces may be progressively changed to provide a cam surface having curved faces in substitution for any of such surfaces 101-104. An ellipsoid or an oblated type of ellipsoidal surface could be used for a socket catch to provide a variable release characteristic. For any such irregular surface the angle 6 would become equal to the angle of tangency for the curved contact surface at the point of contact.
From the foregoing analysis it is apparent that changes in the shape of the catch receptacle can substantially change the release characteristics of the binding system. Similar changes may be made in the shaping of the latch component or in the combined shaping for the latch and catch components to provide'a different type of cam operation. FIGS. 11 and 12 show a modified latch and catch combination that will provide substantially different release characteristics in the flat rotary mode and in vertically oriented direction. In this FIG. the catch 45' has a nose structure 106 that is of circular definition in the horizontal plane and of angular definition in a vertical plane. This latch is received in a notch or catch 107 having inclined planes left and right and angular surfaces top and bottom. The release characteristics for this latch and catch combination will include a relatively easier release in a flat rotary plan with a substantial release force being required in the upward vertical direction. This type of latch can be substituted in any of the assemblies of FIGS. 2 through 6.
FIG. 13 presents a further modification providing variable geometry for the catch receptacles. ln this installation the catch receptacle 167 is provided on movable catch element 160 which pivots about a foot piece 162. Pivoting movementof the catch element 160 is resisted and controlled by a spring 163 acting against plunger 164. The spring and plunger are introduced through a passage 166 provided in the boot sole 13. With this arrangement the catch element 160 is free to move against the pressure-exerted by the spring 163. Any pivoting movement of the catch element 160 will necessarily change the angularity of the latch receiving surfaces to thereby modify the force required to release the binding system. Springs of different rate may be provided for the spring system 163, or the retention element for such spring can be adjusted to change the spring force exerted against the plunger 164. Through use of this embodiment on-site changes may be made in the required release characteristics to compensate for the varied requirements of different skiing operations. The change can be made Without removing the boot from the ski.
- A modified embodiment of the invention is shown in FIG. 14. For this embodiment the entire release bind ing components inclusive of latches and catches are included in structures that are separate from or that may be separated from the boot itself. Here the boot 1]] is provided with a conventional top or upper structure,
' but the sole 124 is relatively thin. For purposes of the invention the sole will still be a stiffened type of memher, but its thin configuration will make walking activities easier. This thinner boot sole is selectively joined to a separable lift structure 113 when the'user is to participate in skiing activities. The front of the boot sole 124 isengagedin a cooperatively formed receiving clip at the front of the lift 113, and a buckle 127 is applied adjacent the heel to hold the boot rigidly engaged to the sole 124. The lift component 113 then provides a socket receptacle 117 comparable to the socket receptacle 17 for- FIGS. 1 through 3. A release binding latch mechanism and its housing 122 may be of structure identical with those shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 3 or 6. The same latch and catch combinations are used to selectively'hold the skiers boot in desired position with respect to theski 121.
This modified embodiment will have special application where the boot is to be used in walking as well as in skiing activities. With this arrangement the socket receptacle 117 is not subject to a buildup of snow or dirt when the skier is walking about. In the embodiments previously described the cleanliness of the socket may be preserved by use of a lightweight plug of shape conforming to the socket receptacle where there is to be substantial exposure to dirt, gravel and the like. For normal walking operations in snow the snow plug that builds up in the socket will adequately preserve the cleanliness thereof. Since the socket receptacle is of a generally smooth and tapered contour, any snow plug build up can be easily removed whenever skiing activities are resumed. Desirably the latch mechanism and its housing and the structure providing the socket receptacle could be made of materials which will lessen the adherence of snow and ice. Suitable coatings can also be provided to avoid an undesirable buildup of snow in the socket receptacle or on elements of the latch mechanism itself.
It should be noted that for all embodiments of the invention a turn center is established for the binding system that can be disposed in a position ofalignment with respect to an operative axis for the skiers leg or at least in alignment with the axis of maximum torsional strength for the leg. All binding retention forces operate in circumferential positions with respect to such established axis. The particular release forces for any and all of the latch and catch combinations can likewise be balanced to provide an equal moment release characteristic for operations in a flat rotary plane. This feature can be established notwithstanding a desirable imbalance with respect to the spring forces exerted by the forwardly disposed latches when compared with the spring force of the rearwardly disposed latches. An increased spring force on the rearwardly disposed latches can be beneficial in resisting release of the binding when a lifting force is exerted at the boot heel as experienced in a forward fall. Compensation to preserve an equal moment release can be provided with respect to the increased spring pressure at the rear by changing the angularity for the latch contacting surfaces of the rear combination. When an equidistant and equal moment balance is provided, the rotary release characteristics can be closely adjusted to avoid some of the more serious bone and leg structure injuries now observed. Functionally, all embodiments of the present invention can operate to place all the release mechanisms in a position of alignment with respect to the leg stress points that are to be protected. Actually the muscular structure of the leg and the structure of the bones themselves provide a capability to withstand lateral forces directed at the forward part of the foot better than forces that might be directed at back portions of the foot. Accordingly. the axis of maximum torsional strength of the leg will usually be disposed at a position ahead of the ankle. The location of such axis will also be disposed at a position rearwardly of the ball of the foot. For activities in which the leg is disposed in' a forwardly inclined angular position with respect tothe ski. a desirable central turn axis would be located at ap proximately one-half the distance from the ball of the foot and the point of intersection on the ski with a line drawn perpendicularly from the ski and passing through the center of the ankle bones. The release mechanisms shown in the accompanying Figures are desirably placed in position near such defined location, but it should be understood that fore and aft adjustments with respect thereto can be made to adapt the binding system for use under varied conditions dependent upon factors such as the length and strength of a skiers foot structure and the particular type of skiing to bedone. When properly positioned, the binding system will be positioned to operate about an operative turn center with the forwardly and rearwardly disposed latches and catches and adjacent surfaces being disposed in circumferential positions with respect to such turn center. With this arrangement release of the binding due to torque forces can be closely adjusted in accordance with the strength of the users leg structure. All of the embodiments of the invention are adapted for the incorporation of indexing elements so that a visible indication can be provided that is related to the adjustments that have been made. Users can, accordingly, know the strength of present settings so that subsequent adjustments can be made with respect thereto.
1 A release binding for holding a ski in operative position during skiing activities 'andfor release of the ski when forcesactive between the skiers boot andthe ski exceed desired levels c'omprisingalat-ch mechanism mounted on the ski in position beneath the skiers foot, a housing for said mechanismhaving end walls at the front and rear thereof, movable latchelements extending outwardly of'sa-idhousing at arcuately disposed positions, structural means intermediate the skiers foot and ski, said structuralmeans providing a socket receptacle of shape corresponding to the shape of said housing and having downwardly expanding tapered end walls in position corresponding with the end walls of said housing for mating engagement about said housing whereby clearances between said housing and receptacle will be increased as they are moved one away from the other, catch recesses in said socket receptacle disposed for engagement by said latches, said latch mechanism being positioned adjacent the axis of maximum torsional strength for a skiers leg, with said catch recesses, latch elements and tapered end walls being arranged to provide for multi-directional and rotating separation of said ski,
and a raised surface on said housing for contact with a surface of the socket receptacle provided by said structural means for limiting frictional interference between said housing and socket receptacle.
2. Structure as set forth in claim 1 and further comprising a movable catch element whereby the angularity of the latch engaging surfaces of said catch recess are variable in a rotative and laterally moving direction 3. Structure as set forth in claim 2 wherein said movable catch is pivotally mounted and further comprising adjusting means for varying the angularity of the latch engaging surfaces of the catch recess.
4. A release binding as set forth in claim 2 and further comprising spring means operative on said movable catch element for holding said catch element in operative position.
5. A release binding as set forth in claim 1 wherein the raised surface is disposed centrally with respect to latch elements placed at the front and rear of said housmg.
6. A release binding as set forth in claim 5 wherein the latch elements provided at the front and rear of said housing are spaced apart adistance greater than the width of said ski.
7. A release binding as set forth in claim 1 wherein latch elements are provided at the front and at the rear of said latch mechanism, separate resilient members within the housing for said mechanism and separately operable to extend the latches at the front and at the rear of said latch mechanism wherein the resilient means for the rear latches is of greater size and strength than the corresponding resilient members for the forward latch.
8. A release binding as set forth in claim 7 wherein the housing for said latch mechanism tapers from the rear to the front thereof for accommodating and enclosing the larger resilient members at said rear latches.
9. A release binding for holding a ski in operative position during skiing activities and for release of the ski when forces active between the skiers boot and the ski exceed desired levels comprising a latch mechanism mounted on the ski in position beneath the skiers foot, 21 housing for said mechanism having end walls at the front and rear thereof, movable latch elements extending outwardly of said housing at arcuately disposed positions and having operative ski retaining surfaces of changed slope and configuration in a flat turning plane aligned with the horizontal plane of the ski and in planes disposed angularly therefrom, structural means intermediate the skiers foot and ski, said structural means providing a socket receptacle of shape corresponding to the shape of said housing and having downwardly expanding tapered end walls in position corresponding with the end walls of said housing for mating engagement about said housing whereby clearances between said housing and receptacle will be increased as they are moved one away from the other, and catch recesses in said socket receptacle disposed for engagement by said latches, said latch mechanism being posi-- tioned adjacent the axis of maximum torsional strength for a skiers leg, with said catch recesses, latch elements and tapered end walls being arranged to provide for multi-directional and rotating separation of said ski with the changed slope configuration of said latch elements providing release patterns for said binding that are varied with respect to horizontal and vertical directions of movement with respect to the plane of the ski.
10. A release binding as set forth in claim 9 wherein the catch recesses for the latches of changed configuration have latch engaging surfaces of varied angle whereby release patterns for said binding are further directionally varied.
11. A release binding for holding a ski in operative position during skiing activities and for release of the ski when forces active between the skiers boot and the ski exceed desired levels comprising a latch mechanism mounted on the ski in position beneath the skiers foot, a housing for said mechanism having end walls at the front and rear thereof, movable latch elements in paired cooperative arrangement extending outwardly of said housing at arcuately disposed positions. a bal ance bridge component interconnecting said paired latch elements whereby the forces exerted on said latch elements are equalized, structural means intermediate the skiers foot and ski, said structural means providing a socket receptacle of shape corresponding to the shape of said housing and having downwardly expanding tapered end walls in position corresponding with the end walls of said housing for mating engagement about said housing whereby clearances between said housing and receptacle will be increased as they are moved one away from the other, and catch recesses in said socket receptacle disposed for engagement by said latches, said latch mechanism being positioned adjacent the axis of maximum torsional strength for a skiers leg, with said catch recesses, latch elements and tapered end walls being arranged to provide for multidirectional and rotating separation of said ski.
12. A release binding as set forth in claim 11 and further comprising a resilient member within said housing active with said paired latch elements for biasing said latches toward an outwardly extended position.
13. Structure as set forth in claim 11 and further comprising a coil spring as an additional resilient member acting against said latches.
14. Structure as set forth in claim 12 wherein a plurality of said paired latch elements are provided together with a plurality of said resilient members for the biasing thereof.
15. A release binding as set forth in claim 11 wherein said balance bridge component is a laminar spring with said laminar spring being pivotally mounted whereby the forces exerted against the contacted latch elements is balanced. V
16. Structure as set forth in claim 15 and further preload on said resilient members. l l