US 3900204 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 11 1 Weber 1 Aug. 19, 1975 1 1 MONO-SKI Robert C. Weber, 3908 Calverton Dr., Hyattsville, Md. 20782 221 Filed: June 25, 1973 211 App1.No.:373,575
280/11.13 R.11.13 5.11.13 W. 12 H. 280/1135 R19/31O A. 310 AA. 310 E  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,485,756 10/1949 Meehan 280/1 1.13 R 3,134,992 6/1964 Tyll 280/1 1.13 5 3,154,312 10/1964 Marchand 280/1 1.13 W
3,404,900 10/1968 Rippetoe 280/1 1.13 W 3,593,356 3/1969 Schmalfeldt 9/31() E 3,608,919 9/1971 Lollmann et a1 280/1135 R 3,647,234 3/1972 Gertseh et a1 280/1135 C 3,675,938 7/1972 Sigl ..280/11.13 W 3,758,127 9/1973 Doyle et a1. 280/1 1.13 S 3,779,570 12/1973 Betschart 280/1 1.35 R
FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 64,864 12/1938 Norway 280/1135 C 228,962 9/1943 Switzerland BSD/11.35 C
OTHER PUBLlCATlONS Surfer, Vol. 7, No. 1, March 1966, pp. 31 and 35.
Primary Examiner-Trygve M. Blix Assislan! ExaminerEclward R. Kazenske Arrorney, Agent, or Firm-Browne, Beveridge, DeGrandi & Kline 1 1 ABSTRACT A mono-ski for use on snow, the ski having releasable boot bindings arranged thereon to secure the user's boots in fore and aft relationship on the ski at an angle to the longitudinal axis of the ski. Preferably, the ski has a width equal to or slightly greater than the length of the user's boots and the length of the ski is approxi mately equal to the height of the user. The front of the ski is upturned approximately 45 and the ski is further constructed such that it is sufficiently flexible to bend over irregularities, obstacles, etc. in the surface of the snow during use.
14 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures PATENTED AUG] 9I975 SHIT 1 BF 2 MONO-SKI BACKGROUND AND OBJECTS OF INVENTION Snow skiing on a single ski termed a mono-ski is a relatively recent development, the state of which prior to the present invention, is believed to be exemplified in the disclosures of US. Pat. Nos. 3,154,312 and 3,378,274, the inventors in these patents being named as ,I. Marchand and S. R. Poppen, respectively. The ski of Marchand 7.5. Pat. No. 3,l54,3l2 suffers from the drawback that the boot bindings are mounted on the ski in side-by-side parallel relationship so as to hold the skiers boots together in close parallel relationship. This limits the skier's balance and his maneuverability of the ski.
While the skiers balance when using the ski of Poppen US. Pat. No. 3,378,274 may be enhanced since the Poppen ski does not contain any bindings and the skiers feet are free to move on the ski, maneuverability of the Poppen ski is indeed limited. This is because the skiers boots are not rigidly fastened to the ski to allow them to transmit the body weight and distribution to the ski which is required in order to achieve sufficient edge control and other ski maneuverability,
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a novel and improved mono-ski capable of providing the user with sufficient balance control while at the same time improving the maneuverability of the ski with the ultimate object of enhancing amusement and safety to the skier as well as adaptability to various snow conditions, ski courses and slopes.
A further object of the present invention is to provide such a mono-ski which will achieve the above objects and yet may be manufactured with conventional or other ski board constructions readily available including various types of commercially available boot bindings including the Spademan binding.
SUMMARY OF INVENTION The above and other objects are achieved according to one embodiment of the present invention, in a ski which has a width equal to or slightly greater than the length of the users boot and a length approximately equal to the height of the user, and with the forward portion of the ski being upturned approximately 45.
In accordance with the present invention, a pair of boot bindings, clamps or other suitable mechanical fastening mechanisms are attached to the ski in positions spaced fore and aft of the ski so as to hold the skiers boots in fore-aft spaced relationship with the longitudinal axis of the boots extending at an angle to the longitudinal axis of the ski. Additionally, it is important that the forwardly positioned boot binding be located such that the center of the boot generally coincides with the center of gravity of the ski.
In one embodiment, it is preferred that the rearwardly positioned binding be located such as to hold the rear boot to extend generally at right angles to the longitudinal axis of the ski while the forwardly positioned binding is positioned to hold the forward boot at an angle of less than 90 preferably 45 to the longitudinal axis of the ski. Any suitable boot bindings, clamping or fastening mechanisms may be employed to releasably hold the boots in the aforesaid position. However, it is preferred that the bindings clamp or engage the boot on opposite sides thereof such as efi'ected by the commercially available Spademan binding, otherwise known as the Spademan Release System which is marketed in the United States by Phase IV Ltd.
According to another embodiment of the present invention, the boot bindings are placed fore and aft of the ski but closer and generally parallel to each other so that the skiers boots are held in the same relative position but with the forward boot at a slightly lesser angle to the longitudinal axis of the ski than the rearwardly positioned boot. For example, in the present embodiment, the bindings would be positioned on the ski so that the forwardly positioned boot extends at an angle of approximately 25 to the longitudinal axis of the ski while the rearwardly positioned boot would extend at a slightly larger angle. Additionally, with this embodiment, it is preferred that a wedge piece be employed below the rearwardly positioned boot to aid the skier in properly positioning his right leg so as to avoid interference between his knees. The wedge angle may vary depending on the desirability or leg characteristics of the skier, however, the maximum wedge angle is preferably 20.
DRAWINGS Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following more detailed description taken in conjunction with the attached drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view ofa mono-ski embodying the present invention and also illustrating a person in the normal use of the mono-ski;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the mono-ski of FIG. I also illustrating the skiers boots secured to the ski by boot bindings fixed to the ski;
FIG. 3 is a front elevational view of the ski of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a view generally similar to FIG. 1 but illustrating another embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 5 is a plan view of the ski of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a front elevational view of the ski of FIG. 5; and
FIGS. 7, 8 and 9 are perspective views illustrating various postures which may be achieved by a skier in controlling and maneuvering the mono-ski of the present invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring now to the drawings in detail and initially to FIG. 1, there is shown for illustrative purposes only a mono-ski l0 embodying the present invention and a skier 12 mounted on the ski and assuming a posture representative of that while using the ski. Ski 10 may have any suitable flexible construction such as may be conventional or otherwise, with a width dimension equal to or slightly greater than the length of the skiers boots, for example 10 to 12 inches, and a length dimension preferably approximately equal to the height of the skier who will use the mono-ski. The toe 14 of the mono-ski is upturned preferably at an angle of approxi mately 45 from the major plane of the ski while in the specific embodiment shown, the upper central portion of the ski at 16 has a generally flat surface with the thickness of the ski narrowing gradually away from the central area 16 towards the opposite ends of the ski. Additionally, as shown in FIG. 2, the specific mono-ski is gradually and slightly recessed concavely in its outline at the central portions thereof while the rear corners of the ski are rounded.
In accordance with the present invention, ski is provided with bindings, clamping or other suitable mechanical fasteners for releasably securing the skicr's boots and 26 in a predetermined improved arrangement spaced fore-aft of the ski as clearly shown in the drawings. The arrangement of the boot bindings is such that the forwardly positioned boot 20 will extend at an angle A less than 90 and preferably about 45 relative to the longitudinal axis 22 of the ski; 24 indicating the longitudinal axis of the forwardly positioned boot 20. Additionally, the rearwardly or aft positioned boot binding is located such that it will secure the rearwardly positioned boot 26 to extend at an angle of approximately 90 relative to the longitudinal axis 22 of the ski as shown in FIG. 2. The relative spacing between the forward and rearward boots 20 and 26 is proportionately shown in FIG. 2, it being noted that both boots are located on the central flat portion [6 of the ski. It is important, that the forwardly positioned boot 20 be located such that its center generally coincides with the center of gravity 28 of the ski as indicated in FIG. 2.
Any suitable mechanical bindings, clamps or fasteners may be employed to position the boots at a predetermined arrangement described above although it is preferable that such fastener elements be of the releasable type for safety purposes. In the preferred embodiment, the bindings include two pairs of clamping elements 30 and 32 adapted to engage the opposite sides of the associated boot generally at the midportions thereof as illustrated in FIG. 2. Such clamping elements preferably employed are those utilized in the commercially available Spademan Release System wherein the clamping elements 30 and 32 are mounted on the ski to move between outer positions for receiving the boots and inner positions biased by springs 34 and 36 for releasably clamping the boots relative to the ski. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 to 3, it is preferred that the spring mechanisms 34 and 36 which actuate clamp elements 30 and 32 be positioned to extend laterally of the boots as indicated in FIG. 2. Perhaps it should be noted that the typical Spademan binding utilizes a plate fixed to the bottom of the skiers boot for gripping by clamp elements 30 or 32; and the clamp actuating spring mechanisms 34 or 36 are positioned to extend rearwardly of the heel of the boots for use on conventional skis. In order to adopt the Spademan binding to the mono-ski of the present invention, the plates on the skiers boots merely have to be oriented 90 from the normal position used for skiing on two skis. It should be understood that any other type of clamping or binding mechanisms may be employed in addition to the Spademan system in carrying out the present invention.
If desired, a cable 39 may be attached to the ski at the binding thereof which cable may be also attached to the boot or the leg of the skier so that in the event the skier is released from the ski during use, the ski I0 will not run away but will remain tied to the skiers leg through the cable 39.
Referring now to FIGS. 4 through 6. there is illustrated a modified form of the invention wherein the bindings 30. 32 are positioned on the ski so as to hold the boots in a generally parallel fore-aft relationship but with the forward boot 20 positioned at a slightly lesser angle B, say degrees relative to the longitudinal axis 22 of the ski than the rearwardly positioned boot 26. Also in this embodiment. it will be noted from FIG. 5, that the bindings and 32 are placed closer together so that the boots 20 and 26 are positioned closer together than in the above-described embodiment. In view of the closer positioning of the boots 20 and 26 in the embodiment of FIGS. 4 to 6, it is preferred that a wedge member 40 be employed below the rearwardly positioned boot to ensure that the knees of the skier will not interfere with each other. Wedge 40 may be incorporated as a separate piece or as part of the sole of the boot 26. While the angle W shown in FIG. 6 of the wedge may vary depending on the physical characteristics of the skier or his prcfcrcncc, the angle should not exceed 20.
In view of the closer positioning of the boots 20 and 26 in the embodiment of FIGS. 4 through 6. it is pre ferred that the spring actuating mechanism 34 associated with the forward binding 30 be positioned rear wardly or beyond the heel of the boot 2" which, as noted above, is the conventional position for a Spademan binding. This avoids intcrfcrencc with the rearwardly positioned boot 26 and the associated clamp elements 32.
It will thus be seen that with the present invention, the skier may shift his weight transversely as well as longitudinally of the ski to provide the desired maneuverability and balance as illustrated in FIGS. 7, 8 and 9. In this regard the skier may shift his weight to place pressure on either edge of the ski while relieving pressure on the opposite edge. Additionally, the skier may shift his weight between the forward and rearwardly positioned legs to control speed. It is furthermore noted that the present invention requires no accessories for effective skiing, however, ski poles such as used in conventional skiing may be used with the mono-ski of the present invention at the discretion of the skier. Additionally, the construction of the mono-ski of the present invention may be varied to suit the user such that flex, camber, torsional rigidity, dampening effect, sidecut and weight may be produced in a combination of characteristics as desired by the user to most effectively utilize the user's size, weight and athletic ability.
Furthermore, while certain preferred positions of the bindings and the ski boots have been disclosed above, it should be emphasized that these positions may be varied within the limits described to suit a particular user.
What is claimed is:
I. A mono-ski for skiing on snow having a width of about 10 to 12 inches and at least equal to the length of a users boots, said ski having an intermediate portion with concavely formed opposite sides and said ski further having boot binding means mounted thereon for securing both of the users boots in a fore-aft relationship with respect to each other on the ski with both of said boots extending at a substantial angle to the longitudinal axis of the ski, said binding means being disposed to position a rearwardly positioned boot at a greater angle than the forwardly positioned boot with respect to the longitudinal axis of the ski.
2. The mono-ski defined in claim I wherein said boot binding means is positioned on the ski to secure the users forwardly positioned boot generally at the center of gravity of the ski.
3. The mono-ski defined in claim 2 wherein said binding means includes two pairs of individual binding elements fixed to the ski in fore and aft relationship on the ski for respectively individually securing the users boots.
4. The mono-ski defined in claim 3 wherein the elements of each pair included in said binding means engage the opposite sides of the boot.
5. The mono-ski defined in claim 3 wherein the front of the ski is turned upwardly and wherein the ski has an intermediate portion with a flat upper surface on which the binding elements are mounted.
6. The mono-ski defined in claim 5 wherein the thickness of the mono-ski gradually diminishes from said intermediate portion towards the opposite ends thereof.
7. The mono-ski defined in claim 6 wherein said front portion of the ski is turned upwardly from the level of the ski at an angle of approximately 45.
8. The mono-ski defined in claim 1 wherein said binding means is positioned such that the rearwardly positioned users boot is held at approximately 90 to the longitudinal axis of the ski and wherein the forwardly positioned users boot is held at an angle less than 90 relative to the longitudinal axis of the ski.
9. The mono-ski defined in claim 8 wherein said binding means is positioned such that the forwardly positioned users boot is held at an angle of approximately 45 relative to the longitudinal axis of the ski.
10. The mono-ski defined in claim 1 wherein the binding means is positioned on the ski such that both of the users boots are held on the ski at an angle less than relative to the longitudinal axis of the ski.
11. The mono-ski defined in claim 10 wherein said binding means is positioned on the ski such that the forwardly positioned users boot is located generally at the center of gravity of the ski.
12. The mono-ski defined in claim 10 wherein the binding means is positioned on the ski such that the users boots are held generally but not quite parallel to each other.
13. The mono-ski defined in claim 12 wherein the binding means is positioned on the ski such that the forwardly positioned user's boot will extend approximately 25 relative to the longitudinal axis of the ski.
14. The mono-ski defined in claim 12 further including a wedge means to be positioned between the ski and the rearwardly positioned users boot.