US 3873108 A
A ski brake for slowing down and stopping the movement of a ski on a slope when the ski boot slips out of the ski binding. The ski brake preferably comprises a U-shaped member having a transverse portion located, during use of the ski, between the top face of the ski and the front end of the sole of the ski boot and a pair of legs extending closely adjacent to opposite side faces of the ski forwardly of the transverse portion, and a leaf spring attached at opposite ends to the transverse portion and the top face of the ski and biased to tilt the U-shaped member, when the boot slips out of the ski binding, to a position in which the U-shaped member includes an angle with said top face and the legs will dig into the snow beneath the bottom face of the ski.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Lacarrau et al.
[ Mar. 25, 1975 1 SKI BRAKE  Filed: Nov. 21, 1973  Appl. N0.: 418,096
 Foreign Application Priority Data Nov. 27, 1972 France 72.42953 Dec. 4, 1972 France 72.43672  US. Cl 280/11.13 B  Int. Cl. A63c 7/10  1 ie1dof SearchuH. 280/1 1.13 B, 11.13 C, -280/11.13 D, 11.35 K
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 2,129,391 12/1971 Germany 280/1 1.35 C
836,452 195-2 Germany 280/1 l.l3 B 69,568 1945 Norway 280/1 1.13 B
Primary ExaminerDavid Schonberg Assistant ExaminerDavid M. Mitchell Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Michael S. Striker [5 7] ABSTRACT A ski brake for slowing down and stopping the movement of a ski on a slope when the ski boot slips out of the ski binding. The ski brake preferably comprises a U-shaped member having a transverse portion located, during use of the ski, between the top face of the ski and the front end of the sole of the ski boot and a pair of legs extending closely adjacent to opposite side faces of the ski forwardly of the transverse portion, and a leaf spring attached at opposite ends to the transverse portion and the top face of the ski and biased to tilt the U-shaped member, when the boot slips out of the ski binding, to a position in which the U shaped member includes an angle with said top face and the legs will dig into the snow beneath the bottom face of the ski.
8 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures PATENTEDHARZBIHYS 3,873,108 I I 4y'///////// ///7/& A
SKI BRAKE BACKGROUND OF THE'INVENTION The present inventionrelates to a ski brakefor slow- 1. ing down and stopping the movement of aski on aslope when the skiboot slips out of the ski binding.
The sportof skiing has increased considerably in the last few years, andso have the accidents occurring during skiing. One of the reasons for such accidentsare runaway skis which become disengaged fromthe skier when one'orbothof the boots ofthe skier slip out from the respective ski binding and the ski or 'skiscontinue their fastxpath downthe slope so that therrunaway ski may strike another skieror a person standingonthe ski slope and causes injury to such personsrTorecapture such runaway skis is also difficult and sometimes impossible so that the user may be left stranded on a. mountain from which the descentwithout skismay. bedifficult and dangerous.
Attempts have already been made to correct such situations by bindingthe skis to the skier by means of straps, for example attached to the ankles of the skier. In this way, the skis cannot run away from the skier during a fall of the latter andthe skier can theneasily reattach the skis to the skiboots. One disadvantage of fastening the skis in the aforementionedmannerto the ankles of a skier is that, especially during a fall of the skier, the skis willbeheld closely adjacent to the body of the fallingskier which may cause injury to theuser.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is an object of the present invention to overcome the above-mentioned disadvantages and to provide-a ski brake for slowing down and stoppingmovement ofa ski on a slope when the ski boot of the skier slips out of the ski binding.
It is a furtherobject of the present invention to provide a ski brake which can be easily mounted in a convenient manner on any type of ski.
. It is an additional object of the presentinventionto provide a ski brake which consists of few and simple parts so that the ski brake may be manufactured at reasonable cost and will stand up properly under extended use. With these and others objects in view, which will become apparent as the description proceeds, the ski brake according to the present invention forslowing down and stopping the movement of a ski on a. slope when, during skiing, the boot of the skier slips out of the ski binding, mainly comprising a mobilecmember having a portion extending transverse to the top face of the ski and at least one elongated prongintegral at one end with said transverse portion and located laterally of a side face ofthe ski, in which the mobile member is located, when the boot of the skier is held by the ski bind-. ing against the top face of the ski, in an inactive position in which the transverse portion is held between. the sole of the ski boot and. the top face of the-skiwhile the I elongated prongextends substantially parallel to a side face and adjacent to the top face of the ski, and in which biasing means connected to the ski andsthe mobile member bias the latter from the inactiveto an active position assumed by the mobile membenunder the influence of the biasingmeanswhen theboot-slips out der.
Preferably,'the skibrake includes two prongs which project forwardly'from the transverse portion of the mobile memb'en and which are located closely adjacent sand'parallel tothe side faces of the ski.
'Withsuclr aski-br'ake attachedto the ski, the biasing vmeans which a're" held in substantially flat tensioned conditiOnby'theski'boot, when'the latter abuts against the transverse' portion of themobilemember, will asi sumea curved substantially untensioned restposition,
when the skirboot slipsout of the ski binding and'releases' thetransverseportion'ofthe mobile member, to
ithereby tiltithelmobilemmberwith respect to the top .lface of fthe skiso that the free ends ofthe prongswill dig intothe snowbeneath thebottomface of the ski which will:rapidlybrake and finally stop further movementof the ski to which the brakeisconnected. The dangerthat theloose ski will cause injuryto the user or to otherpersonson the ski slope which maybe struck by the-runaway skiis thusavoide'd.
Thenovel features which are consideredas characteristic for the invention areset forthinparticular in theappended claims. The invention itself, however, both as to .its constructionandjitsmethod of operation, together with additional objects and advantages thereof,=will bebest understood from the following de- 30-scription of specific embodiments when read in cona ski with. the ski brake shownin FIG. 7 1 attached thereto and showing the brake inran' inactive position in which it is held by the front end ofa ski boot when the latter is connected to the 'ski by the ski binding; and
FIGJ3isa partial cross section similarto FIG. 2, but showing the-ski brake in an active position it will assume'when theski boot has slipped out ofthe ski bindmg.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIM ENT FIG. 1 illustrates aski brakewaccordingto the present inventionibeforeitisattached: to a'ski. The ski brake preferably comprises a substantially U-shaped member having a transverse portion 3 *an d a pairof prongs or legs 4'projecting forwardly from. the transverse portion. The. brake includes furtherbiasing means, which are 5 5 preferably in form of a leaf springl' formed from spring steelt-whichis' located with a major portion thereof between; the 'legsf4 ofttheU-shaped member and which is attached atoneend by rivets2 or the like'to the trans verse portion 3.'of the U-shaped-member; whereas the leaf spring .1 is: provided. in the region: ofits opposite end with a pair' ofdelongatedvslots 6 extending transverse to: the-elongatiomof the. leaf springifo'r fastening the latter by means of screwsor the like to thetop face of; a sldpiln the.unstressed-positionishownacin FIG. I t the 65 1 leaf spring "'1 is curved. alongpart 'ofr-a cylindrical surface. lTheU-shaped member is preferablyiformed from plastic material, such as-polycarbonate or polyami'de,
whi'chhas at low temperatures a high resistance against bending. The legs or prongs 4 have preferably substan-,
tially triangular cross section profiled at the outer faces thereof by longitudinally extending grooves 5 formed in the outer faces of the prongs.
The transverse portion 3 of the U-shaped member is preferably covered on its upper surface thereof by a thin plate 7 formed from a material having a low coefficient of friction, for instance polytetrafluoroethylene, available on the market under the tradename of Teflon.
As shown in FIG. 2, the ski brake is attached to the ski 8, shown in part in crosssection, by means of screws 13 extending through the slots 6 in such a manner that the vertical plane of symmetry of the brake corresponds to that of the ski. The ski brake is attached to the upper surface of the ski in such a position so that during normal use of the ski the transverse portion 3 of the brake is located between a front portion of the sole of a ski boot 9 and the upper surface of the ski, which will tension the leaf spring 1 by flattening the same until it assumes a planar position parallel to and abutting against the top face of the ski.
The ski boot 9 is during use fixedly held between the front unit 10 and the rear unit 11 ofa safety ski binding known in the art and not forming part of the present invention which is constructed to release, during a fall of the skier, the ski boot from the ski. In the position of the ski boot 9 as shown in FIG. 1, the front portion of the sole of the ski will rest on the thin plate 7, whereas the legs 4 will be positioned laterally and closely adjacent and substantially parallel to opposite side face of the ski and substantially at the level of the top face of the ski.
In this inactive position the ski brake will not hinder in any way the movement of the skis on the snow 12 even if the skis assume, when the skier makes a sharp turn, a position transversely inclined to the surface of the snow since in this position the grooves 5 formed at the outer faces of the prongs 4 will prevent any braking contact of these prongs with the snow.
If, for some reason whatsoever, the ski boot 9 slips out of the ski binding, the elastic biasing means 1 will curve upwardly at the rear end thereof which is attached to the transverse portion 3, the moment the tension applied thereto by the sole of the ski boot is released, which will result in tilting of the U shaped memberto the position shown in FIG. 3 so that the prongs 4 will project downwardly and forwardly relative to the bottom-face of the ski 8. In this position, the prongs will dig into the snow 12 and the movement of the ski in the direction of the arrow f is instantaneously braked and finally stopped due to the reaction imparted by the prongs in the direction indicated by the arrow f onto the snow. The displacement of the ski boot 9 relative to the ski is not at all hampered by the ski brake since the portion of the boot sole engaging the transverse portion of the U-shaped member can easily slide laterally thereon due to the plate 7 mounted on the transverse member and having a low coefficient of friction.
The ski brake according to the presentinvention will assure that the ski at such occasion in which the ski boot slips out of the ski binding will n'otrun away on a slope and can be easily recovered while accidents which could be produced by a runaway. ski are positively avoided.
It will be understood that each of the elements de scribed above, or two or more together, may also'find a useful application in other types of ski brakes differing from the types described above.
While the invention has been illustrated and described as ernbodied-in a ski brake for slowing down and stopping movement ofa ski when during skiing the boot of the skierslips out of the ski binding, it is not intended to be limited to the details shown, since various modifications and structural changes may be made without departing in any way from the spirit of the present invention.
Without further analysis, the foregoing will so fully reveal the gist of the present invention that others can by applying current knowledge readily adapt it for various applications without omitting features that, from the standpoint of prior art, fairly constitute essential characteristics of the generic or specific aspects of this invention and, therefore, such adaptations should and are intended to be comprehended within the meaning and range of equivalence of the following claims.
What is claimed as new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent is set forth in the appended claims.
1. In combination with a ski having a top face, a bottom face and a pair of longitudinal side faces, and a ski binding having a front and a rear unitfor releasably holding a ski boot on the top face of a ski, a ski brake for slowing down and stopping the movement of the ski when, during skiing, the boot slips out of the ski binding, said ski brake comprising a mobile member ofplastic material having at low temperatures a high resistance against bending, said member being substantially U-shaped and havng aportion extending transverse to the longitudinal direction of the ski and two elongated prongs each integral at one end with and projecting from said transverse portion towards the front end of the ski and located laterally and closely adjacent to the respective side face of the ski, said mobile member being, when the boot of the skier is held by the ski binding against the top face of the ski, in an inactive position in which said transverse portion is located between a front portion of the sole of the ski boot and the top face of the ski while said elongated prongs extend substantially parallel to and adjacent to the respective side faces of the ski in the region of the top face of the latter, said mobile member being movable, when the boot slips out of the binding, from said inactive to an active position in which said transverse member and said prongs are tilted with respect to said top face so that the free end portions of said prongs will project beneath the bottom face of the ski to dig into the snow beneath the latter; and biasing means for biasing said mobile member from said inactive to said active position and comprising a leaf spring fixedly attached at one end to said transverse portion and at the other end to the top face of the ski in the region of the front unit of the ski binding.
2. A ski brake as defined in claim 1, wherein said plastic material is taken from the group consisting of polyamides and polycarbonates.
3. A ski brake as defined in claim 1, and including a thin plate of a material having a low coefficient of friction connected to the upper surface of said transverse portion.
4. A ski brake as defined in claim 3, wherein said plate is formed from polytetrafluoroethylene.
,5. A ski brake as defined in claim 1, wherein said prongs have a substantially triangular cross section.
8. A ski brake as defined in claim 7, wherein said leaf spring is fixedly attached at one end to said transverse portion of said mobile member and provided in the region of its other end, with elongated slots extending transverse to the elongation of the ski for attaching the leaf spring to the top face of the ski by means of screws.