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Publication numberUS3918732 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 11, 1975
Filing dateMar 18, 1974
Priority dateMar 18, 1974
Also published asCA1012180A1, DE2511571A1
Publication numberUS 3918732 A, US 3918732A, US-A-3918732, US3918732 A, US3918732A
InventorsElmer B Wulf
Original AssigneeElmer B Wulf
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Safety binding for skis
US 3918732 A
Abstract
A binding including a boot support member, a pivot member secured to the underside of the boot support member, and a receiver which releasably holds the pivot member. The pivot member is generally under the arch of the boot and it includes two sockets which are in a fore-and-aft relationship, preferably tandem, along a line which parallels the center line of the ski. A pair of spring loaded plungers in the receiver engage the sockets to hold the boot support member securely, but permit the boot support member to separate from the receiver when the skier's leg would otherwise be subjected to a dangerous torque. A pair of grips attached to the support member secure the boot to the boot support member. The front grip includes a handle which is movable between locking and unlocking positions. In the locking position, a cable is drawn taught over the toe of the boot. Alternate embodiments of my binding include: (1) a pivot member attached to a ski and a receiver connected to the boot support member, (2) a boot which includes a pair of spaced sole portions each having a spring loaded plunger adapted to releasably connect to a pivot member secured to a ski, and (3) a boot which includes spaced sole portions each having a socket adapted to releasably connect to a pivot member secured to a ski and including a pair of spring loaded plungers.
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United States Patent Wulf Nov. 11, 1975 SAFETY BINDING FOR SKIS [76] Inventor: Elmer 13. Wulf, 17767 Baker, [57] ABSTRACT Country Club Hills. 11]. 60477 A binding including a boot support member. a pivot a member secured to the underside of the boot support [*1 Flled' 1&1974 member. and a receiver which releasably holds the PP 451,972 pivot member. The pivot member is generally under the arch of the boot and it includes two sockets which 2SA06/ are in a forcflqdflft relationship prefeFabl-v tandem. [58] Field fsearch H 25 K along a line \vhlch parallels the center lme of the ski. H35 A, 280/1135 E l1'35 5 A pan of spring loaded plungers 1n the rece1ver enl i gage the sockets to hold the boot support member sccurely. but permit the boot support member to sepa- [56] References Cited rate from theb receicxl'er whgn the skiers leg wguld oth% erwise be su jecte to a angerous torque. pair 0 UNITED STATES PATENTS grips attached to the support member secure the boot 3.061.325 /1962 GlZlSS 280/1 [.35 D to the boot upport member The front includes 1 3.489l24 H1970 Gertsch fit Zll 1 280 K handle hich i movable between locking and unlock- 3 ing positions. In the locking position, a cable is drawn 3175865 11/1973 Smolka et 51 Z g D taught over the toe of the boot. Alternate embodi- 1785:6618 1/1974 Marker .T. 580/1 11 R mems of my bmding include: (1) Pi)t member 3.834 723 9/1974 Erlebach 280/1135 1) tached Ski and receifl Connected to the boot 3838.866 10/1974 D'Alessio et al 280/1135 K Support member, a boot which includes 11 P Of FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS spaced sole portions each having a spring loaded plunger adapted to releasably connect to a pivot mem- 2 ber secured to a ski, and (3) a boot which includes Primary E.\'mni11erRobert R. Song Assistant E.\'a171i11e1'Milt0n L. Smith Attorney, Agent, or FirmLee & Smith spaced sole portions each having a socket adapted to releasably connect to a pivot member secured to a ski and including a pair of spring loaded plungers.

37 Claims, 21 Drawing Figures l; aller- U.S. Patent N0v.11, 1975 Sheetl0f6 3,918,732

us Patent NOV.11,1975 Sheet2of6 3,918,732

/ I MIIIWH US. Patent Nov. 11, 1975 Sheet 4 of6 3,918,732

P/VW" POM 7 Z X U.S. Patent Nov. 11,1975 Sheet50f6 3,918,732

US. Patent Nov. 11, 1975 Sheet60f6 3,918,732

SAFETY BINDING FOR SKIS BACKGROUND Leg injuries are the bane of skiers. To mininize or avoid leg injuries a safety binding is used to releasably connect the ski boot to the ski. When the torque acting on a skiers leg exceeds a certain maximum, the binding automatically releases the connection between the ski boot and ski and the ski and boot separate. There are a wide variety of bindings available, but knowledgeable skiers are aware of their shortcomings. If a skier distributes his weight improperly, or if the skiers leg is subjected to a momentary shock which would not injure or break his leg, many conventional bindings inadvertently release. On the other hand, the release mechanisms of conventional bindings often function improperly or inadequately, so that bindings fail to release when necessary and the skiers leg is injured or broken.

Depending on conditions, torques having different directions act on a skiers leg. A twisting torque tends to twist the leg laterally to the right or the left. A forward torque tends to push the skier forward. A backward torque tends to push the skier backward. The tibia bone of the skiers leg can ordinarily withstand a forward or backward torque more readily than a twisting torque. Consequently, when a twisting torque is exerted on the skiers leg, the binding must release more readily than when a forward or backward torque is acting on the skiers leg. Therefore, the ideal binding should have different release characteristics depending on the direction of the torque exerted on the leg.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The safety binding of this invention provides reliable, repeatable release, but has different release characteristics in accordance with the direction of torque acting on the skiers leg.

Briefly, this binding has first connection means secured to the boot, second connection means secured to the ski, and means for releasably coupling the first and second connection means together so that under predetermined load conditions, the coupling releases the connection between the connecting means in the forward, backward, lateral, or combined directions. A pair of socket means are disposed in a zone directly below the arch of the boot. These socket means are in a foreand-aft relationship, preferably in tandem, generally along the length of the ski, and each socket is in one of the connecting means. Plunger means in the other connecting means engage at least one of the socket means. The plunger means are spring loaded so that they normally are urged into engagement with the socket means. However, under predetermined load conditions, the holding force of the spring loaded plunger means is overcome and the plunger means disengage from the socket means to uncouple the connecting means. During release in the lateral direction, only one of the socket means serves as a fulcrum about which the boot may pivot.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of the binding of the present invention showing a ski boot releasably connected to a ski.

FIG. 2 is a plan view, with sections broken away, of the boot support member and receiver for the boot support member in a side by side relationship.

FIG. 3 is a plan view of the boot support member being inserted into the receiver to connect the boot support member and receiver.

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 44 of FIG. 2 showing one of the receivers connectors.

FIG. 5 is a lateral detailed section of a pivot member of the binding of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a plan view, with sections broken away, showing the boot support member pivoting about the forward socket of the pivot member attached to the boot support member.

FIG. 8 is a plan view, with sections broken away, showing the boot support member pivoting about the rearward socket in the pivot member.

FIG. 9 is a side elevational view, with sections broken away, showing the binding releasing in the forward direction.

FIG. 10 is a side elevational view, with sections broken away, showing the binding releasing in the backward direction.

FIG. 11 is an enlarged detailed view of one of the sockets in the pivot member.

FIG. 12 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 12--12 of FIG. 11.

FIG. 13 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 1313 of FIG. 11.

FIG. 14a is a diagram illustrating a relatively long lever arm employed in prior art safety bindings; and FIG. 14b is a diagram showing the relatively short lever arm employed in the binding of the present invention.

FIG. 15 is a sideelevational view, with sections broken away, of an alternate embodiment of the binding of the present invention.

FIG. 16 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 15-15 of FIG. 15.

FIG. 16a is an enlarged fragmentary view showing the nose of a plunger illustrated in FIG. 16.

FIG. 17 is a side elevational view of a ski boot with an alternate embodiment of the binding of the present invention built into the sole of the boot.

FIG. 18 is a side elevational view of another boot having still another alternate form of the binding of the present invention built into the sole of the boot.

FIG. 19 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 19-19 of FIG. 18.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION PREFERRED EMBODIMENT As shown in FIGS. 1 through 6, the binding 10 of the present invention releasably attaching a ski boot 14 to a ski 12 has three principal components, namely, a ski boot support member 16, a pivot member 18 secured to the support member, and a pivot member receiver 20 secured to the ski. This binding 10 firmly holds the ski boot 14 to the ski 512 under normal conditions, but whenever a dangerously high torque exerts itself on a skiers leg, the binding 10 releases the connection between the pivot member and receiver 20, and the boot 14 with attached support member 16 separates from the ski l2 and attached receiver.

To illustrate, if there is an excess twisting torqueexerted on a skiers leg, the binding releases in a lateral direction, either to the right or left depending on the direction of the torque. If an excess forward torque is exerted on the skiers leg, the binding 10 releases in the forward direction. If an excess backward torque is exreleases in the forward direction, the backward direc- I tion, the lateral direction to the right or the left, or a combination, for example, forward and laterally to the right, forward and laterally to the left, backward and laterally to the right, or backward and laterally to the left.

The boot support member 16 includes a rectangular sole plate 22 which is substantially coextensive with the sole 140 of the ski boot 14. As conventional, the ski boot 14 has offset ledges 24 and 26, respectively at its toe 14b and heel 14a, which coact with suitable rear and front grips 30 and 28. The rear and front grips 30 and 28 are similar, and identical components will be given the same numbers except the components of the rear grip 30 will also be given a prime superscript. Each grip 28 and 30 includes a pair of angle rods 32, 32' having threaded ends 34, 34' and 36, 36. The ends 34 and 34' are, respectively, threaded into aligned holes 38 and 40 in opposite sides 42 and 43 of the edge of the threaded into pairs of receptacles 44, 44 Flexible steel wire cables 48, 48 extend between the pairs of receptacles 44, 44, with the opposed ends of these cables passing through openings 50, 50' in the ends of the receptacles. Each of the cables 48, 48' is retained in the receptacles 44, 44, for example, by means of small, solid cylinders (not shown) soldered to the opposed ends of the cables. The cylinders, received within the receptacles 44, 44', have a diameter larger than the openings 50, 50' in the receptacles, and consequently, the cylinders prevent the ends of the cable from slipping out of the receptacles. Coils 52, 52 are wound respectively about the cables 48, 48 and serve to protect the cables and prevent the cables from scratching the boot or otherwise causing damage.

There are extra holes 54 in the edges of the sole plate 22, permitting the rods 32, 32' to be removed from one pair of holes and screwed into an adjacent pair of holes. This, plus the fact that the receptacles 44, 44' can be unscrewed slightly, allows the grips 28 and 30 to accommodate a wide range of different sized boots.

In accordance with one feature of my invention, the grip 28 at the toe 14b of the boot 14 is manually releasable by means of a handle 56. This handle 56 has a curvature generally conforming to the toe 14b and instep 14d of the boot 14, and is connected to the cable 48. Specifically, between the extreme tips 58 and 60 of the handle 56 there is an aperture 62 through which passes the cable 48 and its encasing wire coil 52. The handle 56 is movable between a locking position as shown in lines in FIG. 1 and an unlocking position as shown in dotted lines in FIG. 1. All conventional closing handles of which the applicant is aware are located at the heel of the soleplate due primarily to the more standard heel configuration in boots. The closing handle 56 is designed to accommodate a wide range of boot toe configurations and is much more convenient for the skier to operate upon entry.

As best shown in FIGS. and 6, the pivot member 18 is a generally cylindrical piece secured by screws 72 to the underside 22b of the sole plate 22. The height of the receiver is slightly greater than that of the pivot member 18. Thus the bottom of the pivot member 18 is displaced slightly above the surface 12a of the ski 12. This avoids friction during release. Four sockets 74, 75,

4 76 and 77, disposed 90 relative to each other, are in the arcuate sidewall 18a of the pivot member 18. These sockets 74 through 77 are essentially hemispherical indentations in the sidewall 18a, and each socket includes an internal socket wall 74a, 75a, 76a, respectively, and rounded edges 74b, 75b, 76b, and 77b respectively, formed where the pivot member sidewall 18a meets the respective socket walls. As will be explained below in connection with FIGS. 11 through 13,

sockets. However, by removing the screws 72, then eigher inverting the pivot member 18, or simply rotating the pivot member 90, or both, and reinserting the screws, sockets having different release characteristics are positioned to coact with the receiver 20. As shown,

a shim 19 is between the boot support member 22 and" pivot member 18. When the pivot member 18 is in-. verted, the shim is removed. Thus the operative sockets remain properly aligned with the receiver 20 and the surface of the pivot member 18 remains displaced above the ski surface 12a.

I have discovered that the reliable, repeatable operation of my ski binding 10 requires that the operative pair of complementary sockets, in this instance sockets 76 and 77, be located in a fore-and-aft relationship, preferably in tandem, generally along the length of the ski 12, in a zone directly below the arch A of the ski boot 14. This zone corresponds to the space below the arch A between the underside 22b of the sole plate 22 and the top surface 12a of the ski 12. Specifically, each socket 76 and 77 is displaced inwardly from the endof the boot 14 to which it is proximate a distance equal to at least /3 the total length of the boot 14. This ensures Preferably, the distance between one socket 77 and the boot heel 14a about equals the distance between the other socket 76 and the boot toe 14b. That is, the;

sockets 76 and 77 are about equidistant from the ends of the boot to which they are proximate. Normally, the

individual sockets of any pair of sockets are displaced from each other a distance in the range of from 1.5 to.

3 inches, most preferably about 2 inches. The operative sockets 76 and 77 are opposed to each other along a common line B which is directly above and parallel to the longitudinal center line C of the ski 12. This line B is displaced a distance of from A to 1 inch above the top surface 12a of the ski l2. Optionally, the socket may be made from or coated with an anti-friction material to insure reliable release.

The receiver 20 comprises a pair of generally flat,

spaced connectors 80 and 82 secured to the ski 12 by screws 84. The gap 86 between the connectors 80 and 82 has a width slightly greater than the width of the pivot member and has open sides 86a and 86b adapted to receive the pivot member 18 by way of a side entry as illustrated in FIG. 3. The height of the connectors 80 I and 82 is slightly greater than the height of the pivot member 18 so that, with the pivot member in the gap 86 between the connectors 80 and 82 and aligned so that the longitudinal axis of the sole plate 22 is parallel to the line B, the underside 22b of the sole plate 22 rests on the tops 80a and 82a of the connectors. The points of contact are at various points depending upon the direction of flex of the ski. Preferably, the underside 22b of the sole plate 22 or the tops 80a and 82a of the connectors 80 and 82, or both, are coated with an anti-friction material resistant to icing such as a mixture of a fluorocarbon polymer and ceramic. Hence, these surfaces will slide past each other with minimum friction during the release of the binding under varying load conditions on the binding.

One connector 82 is shown in detail in FIG. 4. The connector 82 has an internal cylindrical chamber 88 which is aligned so that the longitudinal axis of the chamber is co-extensive with the line B. One end of the chamber has a slightly enlarged threaded opening 96 and the other end of the chamber has a slightly enlarged annular opening 97 which holds an annular seal 94. Adjacent to the seal 94, in a groove in the internal wall of the chamber 88, is a snap ring 92. Within the chamber 88 is a hollow cylindrical bushing 117 which surrounds a generally cylindrical plunger 98 aligned to engage the socket 76. The plunger 98 has a rounded head 102 which passes through the central opening in the annular seal 94 and mates with the socket 76, fitting snug against the side wall 76a. At the shank end of the plunger 98 there is a snap ring 99, retaining a washer 101 on the end of the plunger. A boss 103, extending outwardly from the back of the plunger 98, retains a compression spring 106 that normally urges the plunger head 102 into engagement with its socket 76. A lug 108 threaded into the opening 96 serves to control the tension of the spring 106. By adjusting the position of the lug 108 in the threaded opening 96, the tension in the spring 106 is either increased ordecreased. The snap ring 92, coacting with the bushing 1 17 and washer 101, retains the plunger 98 within the chamber 88. When the pivot member 18 turns, the plunger 98 is depressed and the spring 106 is compressed. When the plunger head 102 disengages from the socket 76, the binding 10 releases and the spring 106 urges the plunger 98 outward, with the ring 92 limiting the outward movement of the plunger.

The connector 80 is identical in construction to the connector 82, except its plunger 100 is aligned to mate with the socket 77, and its compression spring 110 (FIG. 2) holds the plunger firmly in the socket 77. Spring tension is adjusted by a lug 113 (FIG. 2) secured within a chamber 117 in connector 80.

When the boot support member 16 is coupled to the receiver 20, the plungers 98 and 100 are depressed slightly to compress the springs 106 and 110. Thus the springs 106 and 110, forcing the plungers 98 and 100 into engagement with their respective sockets 76 and 77, constrain the movement of the pivot member 18. Moreover, the pivot member 18 may shift its position slightly fore and aft whenever the ski receives a shock, with the spring loaded plungers 98 and 100 serving to act as shock absorbers.

OPERATION With the boot support member 16 coupled to the receiver 20 as shown in FIG. 1, a skier secures his boot support member as follows: First, he places his boot 14 on the sole plate 22 and positions the heel 14a so that the cable 48 and encasing wire coil 52 of the rear grip 30 overlap the heel ledge 26 of the boot. Means may be provided for holding the rear cable 48' in position for receiving the heel ledge 26. For example, a plastic tab 64, having a looped upper end 66 receiving the coil 52 and cable 48 and a lower end 68 attached to the end 70 of the sole plate 22, biases the coil and cable 48 so that the heel ledge 26 fits easily thereunder. With the heel 14a in position and the sole 140 of the boot 14 resting square and flush with the top 22a of the sole plate 22, the skier sets the tip 60 of the handle 56 on the toe ledge 24, with the handle pointing generally away from the instep 14d of the boot 14. With the tip 60 serving as a fulcrum about which the handle 56 pivots, the skier then pulls the handle towards the boot instep 14d into the locking position, drawing the cable 48 and encasing coil 52 taut about the ledge 24 of the boot 14.

To release the boot 14 from the grips 28 and 30, the skier simply moves the handle 56 away from the instep 14d to the unlocking position. This removes the tension on the cable 48 which now becomes slack. The skier then moves the handle and cable 48 away from the toe 14b of the boot 14 and steps off the sole plate 22.

Assume the skier skies down a slope spotted with moguls (solid mounds of snow and ice). Accidentally, the edge of the ski 12 is ensnared on a mogul and twisting torque is exerted on the skiers leg. The leg strains and rotates, twisting about the booted foot of the skier. If

the torque is not excessively high, there is insufficient torque to overcome the holding force of the springs 106 and 1 10 in the connectors and 82. If the torque is dangerously high, the twisting of the skiers booted foot turns the support member 16 laterally and the binding 10 releases.

In accordance with one feature of the present invention, the binding 10 is selective in that either operative socket 76 or 77 can act'as a fulcrum about which the pivot member 18 turns. For example, assume the skier is leaning forward with his weight on the balls of his feet when the edge of one of his skies strikes a mogul. The high torque acting on the skiers leg forces the boot support member 16 to turn. As shown in FIG. 7, the socket 76 will serve as a fulcrum for the pivot member 18, which turns clockwise when the twisting torque on the leg is twisting the leg clockwise. The plunger 100, following the turning of the pivot member 18, is depressed and rides up the socket wall 77a to the rounded edge 77b. As soon as the rounded edge 77b moves to the left of the center line C of the ski 12, the plunger releases its hold on the pivot member 18 and slides along the arcuate sidewall 18a of the pivot member. The outer plunger 98 stays in the socket 76 until the plunger 100 releases its hold on the pivot member 18. When this release occurs, the plunger 98, responding to the pressure exerted on it by the spring 106, pushes the pivot member 18 away from the connector 82 and out of the gap 86. Thus, the boot support member 16 disengages from the receiver 20.

If the skier is resting back on his heels and an excessively high twisting is exerted on his leg, the socket 77 will serve as the fulcrum about which the pivot member 18 rotates. This is illustrated in FIG. 8. Under these conditions, as soon as the socket 76 moves past the center line C of the ski 12, the boot support member 16 will be disengaged from the receiver 20.

In addition to twisting torque on the leg which causes any binding to release in the lateral direction to the right or left, forward or backward torque may be exerted on the skiers leg to cause the binding to release in either the forward or the backward direction as illustrated in FIGS. 9 and 10, respectively. In many instances, the torque exerted on the skiers leg will cause a release in a direction which is a combination lateralforward release or a lateral-backward release. However, the binding 10 always selects and releases on the lower lateral setting. In other words, as soon as the lateral torque component exceeds the predetermined lateral torque limit, the binding 10 releases in the lateral direction. This is a unique feature of the present invention.

To illustrate, assume the front end of the ski is entrapped causing the skier to fall forward. Under these conditions, a forward torque is exerted on the skiers leg, and the underside 22b of the sole plate 22 would pivot on the front edge 82b of the connector 82 as shown in FIG. 9. The pivot member 18 would be lifted away from the top surface 12a of the ski 12, causing the plungers 98 and 100 to ride down the respective sidewalls 76a and 77a of the sockets 76 and 77. When the round edge 77b of the socket sidewall 77a passes the center line B of the plunger 100, these plungers 98 and 100 release their hold on the pivot member 18 and the boot support member 16 disengages from the receiver 20, permitting the skier to fall forward rather than injuring his leg. If a lateral torque was simultaneously acting on the skiers leg, release in the lateral direction would occur as soon as the lateral torque was in danger of injuring the skiers leg.

Assume the skier makes a jump and lands on the back tips of his skis. This could generate a high backward torque which might injure the skiers leg unless his binding releases in the backward direction. FIG. 10 illustrates the binding 10 releasing in the backward direction. In this instance, the underside 22b of the sole plate 22 pivots at the rear end 80b of the connector 80 and the plunger 98 rides down the sidewall 76a of the socket 76. When the edge 76b of the socket 76 passes the center line B of the plunger 98, the plungers 98 and 100 release their hold on the pivot member 18. Thus, the boot support member 16 separates from the receiver in the backward direction. Again, a concurrent dangerous lateral torque would cause instantaneous release in the lateral direction.

The release of the binding 10 is controlled by (l) the magnitude of the forces exerted on the pivot member 18 by the spring-loaded plungers 98 and 100, and (2) the contours of the socket walls 74a, 75a, 76a, 77a. Adjusting the lugs 108 and 113 to control spring tension sets the holding force of the plungers 98 and 100. A rounded contour at the edge of a socket wall permits a plunger to ride smoothly up and over this rounded edge. If the edge is highly rounded, a relatively small torque on the leg will cause the binding 10 to release. If the edge is sharply defined, i.e., is not rounded or rounded only slightly, only a relatively large torque on the leg will cause the binding 10 to release. In the case of an average weight, 20 to 40 year old male skier of average ability, the tension of the springs 106 and 110 and the contours of the sockets 76 through 77 are controlled so that in the forward or rearward directions, the binding 10 releases when the leg is subjected to about 1,200 inch-pounds of forward or backward torque, and, in the lateral directions, the binding 10 releases when the leg is subjected to a twisting torque of about 360 inch-pounds.

ties 76g and 76h as shown in FIG. 12. The edge extremi ity 76g is slightly more rounded than edge extremity 7611. With the pivot member 18 attached to thesole plate 22 in the position illustrated in FIG. 6, the sharply defined edge extremity 76h tenaciously holds the plunger head 102 in the socket 76 as the binding 10 attempts to release in the backward direction (see FIG. 10). Assume the pivot member 18 is reconnected to the sole plate 22 in an inverted position from FIG. 11, so

that the relative position of edge extremities 76g and 76h are reversed. The edge extremity 76g, being more rounded than extremity 7611, would hold the head 102 less tenaciously than extremity 76h. Consequently, the

binding 10 would release in the backward direction more easily.

Now consider the edge extremities 76i and 76j as shown in FIG. 13. Both of these extremities 76i and 76j have been rounded to the same degree so their release characteristics are the same. If a dangerously high clockwise twisting torque as viewed in FIG. Sis exerted on a skiers leg, the plunger 98 rides over edge extremity 76 If a high counterclockwise twisting torque acts. on the leg, the plunger 98 rides over edge extremity 76i. High twisting torques of equal magnitude but opposite direction will cause release of the binding .10 in the lateral directions. For such lateral release generally it would not be recommended to have the extremities 76i and 76j rounded differently, because then the binding 10 would release in one lateral direction more readily than the other lateral direction.

The holding power of the binding 10 when ski edges dig into the surface of the snow is governed by the edge extremities 76g and 76h, i.e., the forward and backward release contours. In other words, the edge holding power of the binding 10 is not related to the edge extremities 76and 76j which govern lateral release. Consequently, in sharp turns the binding 10 will not had vertently release.

Since each socket 74 through 77 is designed to have different release characteristics, the skier has great latitude in selecting what will be the release conditions of the binding 10. When four sockets are provided, there are eight different release settings as controlled by the position of the sockets 74 through 77 with respect to the plungers 98 and 100. By repositioning the pivot member 18relative to the sole plate 22, the skier can select the conditions under which the binding 10 will release to match his skill and style of skiing. Skiers who tend to set back on their heels require the forward plunger 98 to hold more firmly than the rear plunger. Consequently, the socket 76 will be located opposite the forward plunger 98 as shown. Conversely, a skier who places his weight on the balls of his feet and leans forward will want the rear plunger 100 to hold more firmly than the forward plunger 98. This is accomplished by matching the appropriate socket with the rear plunger 100. The conditions under which the binding 10 will release in the lateral directions can also be controlled by the selection of the proper socket design. Once the proper sockets are matched with the plungers 98 and 100, the compression of the springs 106 and 110 governing plunger force is adjusted to suit the individual skier.

The criticality of socket location is appreciated by considering the nature of the level arm acting during release and the advantages which this lever arm provides. The binding 10 actually has two lever arms, a simple lever arm and a compound lever arm. The simple lever arm has a length equal to the distance between sockets 76 and 77, i.e., l.53 inches. The compound lever arm comprises a lever arm having a length equal to the distance between the end of the connector at which the boot support member pivots and the socket 76, and a lever arm having a length equal to the distance between the end of the connector at which the boot support member pivots and the other socket 77. The lengths of these two lever arms will be about 6 and about 4 inches, i.e., the compound lever arm has an effective length of about 5 inches. During most releases, either the simple lever arm or the compound lever arm will dominate and control the release of the binding 10. In a forward or backward fall the compound lever arm dominates; in the twisting fall the shorter, simple lever arm dominates. The longer the lever arm, the more torque the leg will be subjected to before release occurs. Consequently, the binding inherently releases more readily in the lateral direction than in the forward and backward directions. This is highly desirable because the tibia can withstand higher backward or forward torque than twisting torque. Thus, since the binding 10 employs a relatively short lever arm which is operable when a twisting fall occurs, it is inherently safe. Current test results indicate that the binding 10 has ample holding power with release settings more than 50% lower than conventional bindings.

In addition to inherent saftey, three other important advantages are realized because of the short lever arm employed in the binding 10: (1) the boot support member 16 and the receiver 20 can be connected by a side entryway technique, (2) the binding inherently has excellent recovery from shocks, and (3) the binding provides reliable release under icing or other adverse conditions.

The side entry connection between the boot support member 16 and the receiver 20 is highly desirable. For example, if the ski boot 14 with boot support member 16 separates from the receiver 20 as described above, the skier, after recovering from his fall, is faced with the problem of reconnecting the boot support member 16 and receiver 20. With the binding 10, the skier reconnects the support member 16 and receiver 20 by a side entry technique. He first positions his leg and booted foot with attached boot support member 16 in the receiver 20 so that the plunger 100 mates with the socket 77 such as shown in FIG. 3. In the alternative he may mate the socket 76 with the front plunger 98. Next the skier rotates or twists his leg and booted foot sideways, moving the pivot member 18 sideways through the open side 86a of the gap 86. Since the lever arm is relatively short (about 2 inches) and the slope of the arcuate sidewall 18a is very gradual, the skiers leg muscle power is sufficient to overcome the force of the springs 110 and 106. Thus, the plunger head 102 rides over the arcuate sidewall 18a of the pivot member 18, readily depressing the springs 110 and 106. When the plunger head 102 reaches the rounded edge 76b, an ad- 10 ditional turn aligns the plunger with the socket 76 and the head 102 snaps into mating engagement with the socket 76. This operation cleans any snow from the pivot area and from between the boot support member 16 and the receiver 20 mounted on the ski.

In contrast, most conventional boot support members cannot be readily reconnected to their receivers by way of a side entry technique, because the lever arm is relatively long. With this type of conventional binding, the skier first brings the toe plunger into mating engagement with the toe end of the boot support member and then steps down into the receiver so that the heel plunger snaps into mating relationship with the heel end of the boot support member. Because the springs must be strong enough to hold the boot support member secure during skiing, and because of the relatively long lever arm, most skiers will not have adequate leg muscle power to overcome the force of the springs by a twisting action of the leg. Consequently, they are forced to step down into the receiver to effect a connection between the support member and the receiver. In powder snow where there is little support for the ski, it will be very difficult to reconnect the boot support member to the receiver.

The good recovery of the binding 10 is best illustrated by the following example. Assume a ski glances against the side of a mogul, and the skiers leg sustains a momentary blow which causes the boot support member 16 to turn to the position shown in FIG. 7. If

the blow only moves the support member 16 to this position and no further, it is still connected to the receiver 20. This position of the boot support member 16 and receiver 20 is the threshold position. Any further clockwise rotation of the support member 16 will result in the release of the pivot member 18 from the grip of the plungers 98 and 100. Once the force of the blow has terminated, the spring 110 which normally urges the plunger 100 towards the pivot member 18 automatically reinserts the plunger into the socket 77 if the plunger 100 isnt too close to the edge 77b, or the skier may provide an assist by simply turning his foot counterclockwise as viewed in FIG. 7. It should be noted that the more ellipsoid the edge 77b the greater the degree of recovery.

The short lever arm allows the binding 10 to have greater lateral recovery than conventional bindings which have long lever arms. This is illustrated in FIGS. 14a and 14b. FIG. 14a diagrammatically shows a lever arm X equal to approximately the distance between the toe and heel of a ski boot. If the binding is designed to permit the boot support member to pivot at Z so that v the toe end can move l/ 8 of an inch to either side of the center line C of the ski 12 prior to release of the binding, an l/8 of an inch is the maximum lateral recovery. FIG. 14b diagrammatically illustrates the 2 inch lever arm employed in the binding 10. Assume the socket 77 serves as the fulcrum for the lever arm, and the sidewall 76a of the socket 76 is contoured such that the pivot member 18 can pivot l/ 8 of an inch to either side of the center line C of the ski 12 without releasing the binding 10. Under these conditions, the toe end of the boot support member 16 will move approximately /2 inch to either side of the center line C without releasing the binding 10. In other words, with a short lever arm, the boot support member 16 can rotate through a greater are without releasing the binding 10, and consequently, lateral recovery is greater than with bindings employing long lever arms. A high degree of lateral recovery is de- '1 1 sirable to avoid inadvertent release.

Reliable, repeatable release is inherently in the binding because of the short lever arm. Consider the problems associated with a binding having its release mechanisms at the toe and heel of the ski boot. Such a binding will have a lever arm equal in length to the distance between the toe and heel of the boot. The release mechanisms must be set to hold the toe and heel firm enough so that the binding will not release when the ski is only subjected to a harmless momentary shock load. At the same time, the release mechanism must be set so that during a slow twisting fall where excessively high and sustained twisting torque is exerted on a skiers leg, the binding will release. With the release mechanism at the toe or heel of the boot, it is, at the least, difficult to properly set the mechanism to hold under shock loads and release during a twisting fall.

For example, with the release mechanism at the toe and with the skiers foot pivoting at the heel, the skiers leg must overcome the holding force at the toe to accomplish release of the binding. If the release mechanism at the toe is set to hold the toe too strongly, the skiers leg will be injured before release is achieved. This could be done intentionally by the skier setting the release mechansim to hold the toe very firmly so that shock loads wont cause an unwanted release, or ice could accumulate at the toe to exert additional holding force at the toe. The shorter the lever arm the easier it will be for the skier to achieve release under such conditions.

To illustrate, assume a binding must release if the skiers leg is subjected to 360 inch-pounds of twisting torque. With a lever arm 12 inches long, the holding force at the toe preferably should not exceed 30 pounds. Assume the skier inadvertently sets the release mechanism at the toe for 35 pounds, 5 pounds in excess of the preferred limit. Under such conditions, the skiers leg will be subjected to 420 inch-pounds before the binding releases. That is, every one pound excess force at the toe subjects the skiers leg to 12 inch-pounds of additional torque. This is a highly dangerous condition. Contrast this with the binding 10. When the leg is subjected to a twisting torque, the 2 inch simple lever arm dominates the release of the binding 10. The force required to prevent lateral movement of the pivot member 18 in the receiver 20 is 180 pounds. This force is controlled by the spring tension and contour of the sockets 74 through 77. If the skier inadvertently sets the adjustment screws 113 and 108 so that the force is 185 pounds, the skier only subjects his leg to an additional 1O inch-pounds increase in torque. In other words, every pound of excess force exerted by the one plunger only subjects the skiers leg to an additional 2 inch-pounds of torque. This relatively small increase in torque can ordinarily be withstood without any danger of injury to the leg.

Assume a binding must release if the skiers leg is subjected to 1200 inch-pounds of forward or backward torque. With a lever arm 12 inches long, the holding force, for example, at the toe preferably should not exceed 100 pounds. If the holding force is 5 pounds in excess of the desired force, the leg is subjected to 60 pounds of additional torque before release occurs. In my binding 10, when the leg is subjected to a backward or forward torque, the compound lever having an effective 5 inch length dominates. The force required to prevent vertical movement of the pivot member 18 in the receiver 20 is about 240 pounds. Again spring tension and the contour of the sockets 74 through 77 control this force. If the skier inadvertently sets adjustment:

screws 112 and 113 so the force is 245 pounds, the skier only subjects his legs to an additional 25 inchpounds of increased torque. The tibia will be able .to withstand this additional 25 inch-pounds of force acting on the leg in the forward or backward directions.

Although it is possible that the skier might incorrectly adjust the release mechanism of a conventional 7 binding, it is more likely that icing, rust or grit will interfere with the release mechanism so that the actual force exerted by the release mechanism is much higher than the apparent setting. My binding 10 is designed so that ice, rust and dirt do not interfere with its release plungers 98 and 100 will push this ice or snowout of a the socket when the boot support member 16 is reconnected with the receiver 20. Second, becausethe'moving parts of the connectors 80 and 82, and particularly because the springs 106 and 110 are housed in the sealed chambers 88 and 117, they do not rust nor does dirt interfere with their operation. In the unlikely event that, some dirt did make its way into the chamber 88 the additional holding force exerted on the pivot mem- 1 her 18 due to this dirt could easily be overcome ;be-

cause of the short lever arm of the binding 10.

ALTERNATE EMBODIMENTS The pivot member and connectors could have alternate configurations, but in accordance with the present invention, the operative sockets of these alternate configurations would still be under the arch A of the boot 14. For example, the socket and the plunger heads, instead of being hemispherical, may be conical, parabolic, or other configurations such as shown in FIGS. 15, 16 and 16a The binding 121 illustrated in FIGS. 15, 16, and 16a includes a pivot member generally having an hourglass-like configuration with an aligned pair of sockets 122 and 124. The sockets 122 and 124 are open at their:

tops, have chamfered bottoms 122C and 124C, respectively, and angulated edges 122a, 122b, and 124a and 124b, respectively, in sockets 122 and 124. Screws 126 secure the pivot member 120 to the underside of the sole plate 22, directly under the arch A of the boot 14. Consequently, the sockets 122 and 124 are in the proper position beneath the arch A. Under normal load,

conditions, a pair of spaced connectors 128 and 130 firmly hold the pivot member 120. These connectors 128 and 130 are secured to the ski 12 by screws. There is a gap 134 between these connectors 128 and 130 having open sides 134a and l34b adapted to receive the pivot member 120 by Way of side entry. The underside of the sole plate 22 rests on the top of the connectors 128 and 130 when the pivot member 120 is coupled to the connectors 128 and 130. A pair of plungers 136 and 138, respectively, in the connectors 128 and I 130, hold the pivot member 120, but will release the pivot member if a dangerously high torque is exerted on the skiers leg.

13 The connectors 128 and 130 are identical and only one connector is shown in detail. This connector 130 has an internal T-shaped chamber 140 which receives the T-shaped plunger 138. The plunger 138 has at its base a pyramid-like nose 142 (FIG. 16a) adapted to engage the socket 124, and, as shown in FIGS. 15 and 16a, the nose 142 has a chamfered underside 144 which mates with the chamfered bottom 1240 of the socket 124. There is a generally rectangular chamber 146 in the body of the plunger 138 which receives a flattened, coiled spring 148. One end of the spring 148 rests against the chamber terminal 152 and the other end engages a stop 154. A screw 158 which has a ball end which fits into a recess 160 in the stop 154 passes through a rear wall 162 of the connector 130. This screw 158 adjusts the tension of the spring 148. Because of the general T shapes of the plunger 138 and the chamber 140, there are mating shoulders 164 and 166 which limit the movement of the plunger 138 in the direction towards the pivot member 120. The spring 148 normally urges the plunger 138 into mating engagement with the socket 124, and when the load conditions are such that the pivot member 120 turns in any direction, the plunger 138 is depressed and the nose 142 glides over the chamfered edges 124a and 124b, releasing the pivot member 120 so that the ski boot can separate from the ski 12. By controlling the angle at which the edges 124a and 124b adjoin, and the angle of the chamfered bottom 1240, the socket 124 will have a characteristic edge or surface contour adapted to disconnect the pivot member 120 and connector 130 under predetermined load conditions. As an alternative to the plunger configurations of the embodiments previously described, the plunger ends or noses may be of a conical configuration with complementary receiving sockets also of conical configuration. Applicant has tested such an alternative configuration embodying cone angles of approximately 90 and has found that the operation is fully satisfactory. Such a conical arrangement has certain advantages of simplicity in that release characteristics can be readily changed by changing the depths of the sockets and/or the conical angles of the plunger noses and the mating sockets.

As will be appreciated by those skilled in the art, the pivot members 18 or 120 could be secured to the ski 12 and the pairs of connectors 8082 or 128-130 could be secured to the sole plate 22 or 22. This alternate arrangement would be fully equivalent to the structures shown in FIGS. 1 through 9 and FIGS. 15 and 16, provided the spatial relationships between the pivot members 18, 120 and their respective connectors 80, 82 and 128, 130 remains the same.

Another alternate embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIG. 17. In this embodiment, the sole plate is eliminated and a boot 200 is designed to coact with pivot member 18' secured to the ski 12. The pivot member 18' is identical in construction with that shown in FIGS. 1 through 6 except it is secured to ski 12 rather than to a sole plate. The boot 200 has a recess portion 201 defined by two spaced apart sole portions 202 and 204. Secured within these sole portions 202 and 204 are connectors 80 and 82, respectively. Thus the pivot member receiver is integral with the boot 200 rather than being secured to the ski 12. It is critical that the recess 201 be directly beneath the arch A of the boot 200. This recess is adapted to receive the pivot member 18' in the same manner as the gap 86 (FIG. 2) receives the pivot member 18. When the boot 200 is LII connected to the pivot member 18, the plungers 98 and engage respectively the sockets 76 and 77 of the pivot member 18. The plungers 98 and 100, coacting with the pivot member 18', hold the boot 200 secure to the ski 12 under normal load conditions. When the load conditions are dangerously high, the boot 200 pivots about the pivot member 18, depressing the plungers 98 and 100 so that these plungers pop from the sockets 76' and 77' and release the connection between the boot 200 and the ski 12. The boot 200 is adapted to release in the forward, backward, lateral, or combined directions as described above.

A second embodiment of a ski boot equipped with a binding of the present invention is shown in FIGS. 18 and 19. In this embodiment, a ski boot 249 includes a recess portion 250 defined by two spaced sole portions 252 and 254. The recess 250 is directly beneath the arch A of the boot 249. Preferably the sole 251 of the boot 249 has a surface made of an anti-friction material such as a fluorocarbon polymer dispersed in a ceramic. Thus, during release, the sole 251 of the boot 249 slides smoothly over thesurface of the ski 12.

In accordance with the principal features of this embodiment, a specially designed pivot member 256 is secured by screws 258 to the ski 12. This pivot member 256 has an enlarged central opening 271 with two bores 260 and 262 generally at right angles to the opening 271 and aligned with each other. A pair of plungers 264 and 266 extend, respectively, through the bores 260 and 262. The plungers 264 and 266 are similar to each other and similar to plungers shown in FIG. 4.

Plunger 264 includes an internal chamber 265 which receives one end of a coiled spring 268. A snap ring 270 fits into a groove in the side wall of the bore 260 and a seal 272 adjacent this snap ring prevents grit and moisture from entering the central opening 271. A bushing 273 surrounds the plunger 264, and a snap ring 276 in a groove in the side wall of the plunger 264 pushes against the bushing as the spring 268 urges the plunger 264 outwardly through the bore 260. However, the snap ring 270 prevents the plunger 264 from popping out of the bore 260. The main difference between the plungers 264 and 266 is that the plunger 266 has a removable head 280 including a hexagonal nut 282 formed in the wall of the head and a rounded tip 284. The head 280 is adapted to be screwed into a threaded end of a chamber 286 in the plunger 266. The other end of the spring 268 fits into this chamber 286 and abuts a number of compression rings 288 disposed in the chamber. To insert the spring 268 or add or remove compression rings 288, the head 280 is simply removed. The compression rings 288 control the tension of the spring 268. As' more compression rings 288 are included in the chamber 286, the tension in the spring 268 increases, and vice versa.

Like the plunger 264, the plunger 266 is adapted to move within the bore 262. A snap ring 290 in a groove in the side wall of the bore 262 coacts with a bushing 292 surrounding the plunger 266 and a snap ring 294 fitted into a groove in the side wall of the plunger to prevent the plunger 266 from popping out of the bore 262. There is a seal 293 adjacent to snap ring 290 to seal the bore 262.

A pair of sockets 300 and 302 coact with the plungers 264 and 266, respectively, to releasably hold the ski boot 249 to the ski 12. These sockets 300 and 302 are in opposed internal edges of the sole portions 252 and 254, respectively, and are disposed beneath the arch A of the boot 249. The recess portion 250 has open sides so the ski boot 249 can be attached to the pivot member 256 by way of side entry.

During release of the ski boot 249, either the plunger 264 or 266 or both are depressed when the boot 249 begins to turn laterally or pivots forward or backward off the toe or heel. Assuming the plunger 264 is depressed, this plunger moves toward the central opening 271, depressing the spring 268. As soon as the plunger 264 clears the socket 300, the spring 268 will force the plunger to return to the position shown in FIG. 19, where the bushing 273 abuts the snap ring 270, and the snap ring 276 abuts the bushing. The plunger 266 coacts with the socket 302 in a similar manner to disconnect the plunger 266 in socket 302 when the torque on the skiers leg is dangerously high.

As appreciated by those skilled in the art, other modifications may be made in the bindingsof the present invention without departing from the principles embodied therein. For example, it is not absolutely required that a spring loaded plunger be both fore and aft of the pivot member. Spring-loaded plunger means could coact with one socket means and another socket means could coact with a stationary pivot member. In accordance with the critical feature of my invention, any such arrangement would have at least two sockets in a fore and aft relationship located below the arch of the ski boot anc coacting with plunger means for releasing the pivot member in the forward, backward, lateral or combined directions.

Modifications and variations may be effected without departing from the novel concepts of the present invention.

I claim:

1. In an improved binding for releasably attaching a ski boot to a ski, said'binding having first connecting means secured to the boot, second connecting means secured to the ski, and means for releasably coupling said first and second connecting means together so that under predetermined load conditions the coupling means releases the connection between said connecting means in the forward, backward, lateral, or combination of directions,

the improvement wherein said coupling means includes a. a pair of socket means disposed in a zone directly below the arch of the boot, with said socket means being in a fore-and-aft releationship generally along the length of the ski, each of said socket means being in fine of the connecting means and displaced inwardly from the end of the boot to which it is proximate a distance equal to at least one-third the total length of the boot, and one of said socket means serving as a fulcrum about which the leg may pivot in the lateral direction,

b. plunger means in the other connecting means adapted toengage at least one of the socket means, and

c. means normally urging said plunger means into engagement with the socket means, thereby coupling said connecting means, and under said predetermined load conditions, disengaging the plunger means from the socket means, thereby uncoupling said connecting means.

2. The improved binding of claim 1 wherein said socket means are in tandem.

3. The improved binding of claim 2 where the socket means are displaced from each other a distance in the range of from 1 /2 to 3 inches.

4. The improved binding of claim 2 where the distance between one socket means and the end of the boot to which said one socket member is proximate about equals the distance between the other socket means and the other end of the boot to which said other socket means is proximate.

5. The improved binding of claim 1 where the socket means and plunger means are aligned along a line which is directly above and parallel to the longitudinal center line of the ski.

6. The improved binding of claim 5 where said line parallel to the center line of the ski is displaced a distance of from 1/4 to 1 inch above the upper surface of the ski.

7. The improved binding of claim 1 including at least two different and interchangeable pairs of socket means, one pair of socket means having characteristic surface contours adapted to uncouple the connecting means under a first set of predetermined load conditions, and the other pair of socket means having characteristic surface contours adapted to uncouple the connecting means under a second set of predetermined load conditions different from said first set. i r

8. A binding for releasably attaching a ski boot to a ski, comprising:

first connecting means secured to the boot,

second connecting means secured to the ski, and.

means for releasably coupling said first and second connecting means together so that under predetermined load conditions the coupling means releases the connection between said connecting means, said coupling means being adapted to release in the forward, backward, lateral, or combination of directions and including first and second spaced and opposed socket means in one of the connecting means and disposed in a zone directly below the arch of the boot, each of said socket means being displaced inwardly from the end of the boot to which it is proximate a distance equal to at least one-third the total length of the boot, with the distancebetween said socket means being in the range of from 1 /2 to 3 inches, and

b. first and second spaced and opposed plunger means in the other connecting means, said first and second plunger means being respectively aligned with the first and second socket means,

0. a gap in said connecting means to accept therein said first connecting means, said gap spanning the width of said second connecting means andallow ing direct lateral separation of said first connecting means from said second connecting means, and

(1. spring means normally urging the plunger means into engagement with the socket means, said spring 1 means being compressed under said predetermined load conditions to disengage the plunger means from the socket means, thereby uncouplingthe connecting means,

c. said socket means, plunger means, and spring means being aligned along a line which is directly. above and parallel to the longitudinal center of the ski. 9. The binding of claim 8 where the distance between one socket means and the end of the boot to which said one socket member is proximate about equals the dis- 17 tance between the other socket means and the other end of the boot to which said other socket means is proximate.

10. The binding of claim 8 where the line parallel to the center line of the ski is displaced a distance of from A to 1 inch above the upper surface of the ski.

11. The binding of claim 8 including at least two different and interchangeable pairs of socket means, one pair of socket means having characteristic surface contours adapted to uncouple the connecting means under a first set of predetermined load conditions, and the other pair of socket means having characteristic surface contours adapted to uncouple the connecting means under a second set of predetermined load conditions different from said first set.

12. A binding for releasably attaching a ski boot to a ski, comprising:

a ski boot support member, manually releasable means for securely holding the ski boot to the support member so that the sole of the ski boot abuts one side of the support member.

first connecting means secured to the side of the support member opposite the boot, and said first connecting means being generally under the arch of the boot,

second connecting means secured to the ski for holding the first connecting means in forward, backward, lateral or combined directions in accordance with load conditions, so that said ski boot with attached boot support member separates from the ski and attaching holding means, and

a gap in said second connecting means to accept therein said first connecting means, said gap spanning the width of said second connecting means and allowing direct lateral separation of said first connecting means from said second connecting means under predetermined load conditions, each portion of said second connecting means adjacent said gap including fulcrum means about which said first connecting means may pivot in the lateral direction.

13. The binding of claim 12 where the ski boot member is substantially coextensive with the sole of the ski boot.

14. The binding of claim 13 where at least one of the underside of the support member and the tops of the second connecting means is coated with an anti-friction material.

15. The binding of claim 12 where the releasable means holding the ski boot to the support member includes first and second flexible cable means respectively at the opposed ends of the support member, said first and second cable means respectively gripping the toe and heel of the boot.

16. The binding of claim 15 where the first cable means has a handle means connected thereto which is movable between locking and unlocking positions, said handle means in the locking position being adjacent the instep of the boot and drawing the first cable means taut about the toe of the boot, and in the unlocking position removing the tension on the first cable means so that the cable means becomes slack and its grip on the boot is released.

17. The binding of claim 12 where the first connecting means includes socket means disposed in a zone directly below the arch of the boot, and said second connecting means includes plunger means aligned With the socket means with spring means normally urging said 18 plunger means into engagement with the socket means, said spring means being compressed under said predetermined load conditions to disengage the plunger means from the socket means.

18. The binding of claim 17 including a pair of socket means each of which is disposed inwardly from the end of the boot to which it is proximate a distance equal to at least one-third the total length of the boot.

19. The binding of claim 18 where the socket means are disposed relative to each other a distance in the range of from 1 /2 to 3 inches.

20. The binding of claim 18 where the distance between one socket means and the end of the boot to which said one socket member is proximate about equals the distance between the other socket means and the other end of the boot to which said other socket means is proximate.

21. The binding of claim 17 where the socket means, plunger means, and spring means are aligned along a line which is directly above and parallel to the longitu dinal center line of the ski.

22. The binding of claim 21 where said line parallel to the center line of the ski is from A. to 1 inch above the upper surface of the ski.

23. The binding of claim 17 including at least two different and interchangeable pairs of socket means, one pair of socket means having characteristic surface contours adapted to uncouple the connecting means under a first set of predetermined load conditions, and the other pair of socket means having characteristic surface contours adapted to uncouple the connecting means under a second set of predetermined load conditions different from said first set.

24. In combination a ski,

a generally flat ski boot support member substantially coextensive with the sole of the ski boot and having at opposed ends means adapted to grip the toe and heel of a ski boot,

a pivot member having a pair of sockets therein and a width about equal to the length of the arch of the boot, said pivot member being secured to the boot support member in an underside position opposite the arch of the ski boot so that both of said socket means are in a zone directly beneath said arch,

receiving means for the pivot member secured to the ski, said receiving means including a pair of generally flat spaced connecting members which define between them a gap having a width slightly greater than the width of the pivot member and open sides adapted tofreceive the pivot member by way of a side entry, said connecting members having a height at least as great as the height of the pivot member so that with the pivot member in the recess of the underside of the support members rests on the top surfaces of said connecting members, and

disposed within each of said connecting members, spring means and plunger means adapted to engage the socket means, said spring means normally urging the plunger means into engagement with their respective socket means to connect the pivot member and the receiving means, and under predetermined load conditions, being depressed by the action of the pivot member turning due to said load conditions to disconnect the pivot member from the receiving means.

25. The combination of claim 24 where at least one of the underside of the boot support member and the top surface of the connecting means is coated with an anti-friction material.

26. The combination of claim 24 where the means gripping the toe of the boot includes a flexible cable and a handle means connected thereto which is movable between locking and unlocking positions, said handle means in the locking position being adjacent the instep of the boot and drawing the cable taut about the toe of the boot, and in the unlocking position removing the tension on the cable so that the cable becomes slackand its grip on the boot is released.

27. The combination of claim 24 where each socket means is disposed inwardly from the end of the boot to which it is proximate a distance equal to at least onethird the total length of the boot.

28. The combination of claim 27 where the socket means are disposed relative to each other a distance in the range of from 1 /2 to 3 inches.

29. The combination of claim 27 where the distance betweenone socket means and the end of the boot to which said one socket member is proximate about equals the distance between the other socket means and the other end of the boot to which said other socket means is proximate.

30. The combination of claim 24 where the socket means, plunger means and spring means are aligned along a line which is directly above and parallel to the longitudinal center line of the ski.

31. The combination of claim 30 where said line parallel to the center line of the ski is from A to 1 inch above the upper surface of the ski. I

32. The combination of claim 24 including at least two different and interchangeable pairs of socket means, one pair of socket means having characteristic surface contours adapted to uncouple the connecting means under a first set of predetermined load conditions, and the other pair of socket means having characteristic surface contours adapted to uncouple the connecting means under a second set of predetermined load conditions different from said first set.

33. A binding for releasably attaching a ski boot to a ski, comprising:

a ski boot support member,

manually releasable means for securely holding the ski boot to the support member so that the sole of the ski boot abuts one side of the support member, first connecting means secured to the ski,

second connecting means secured to the side of the support member opposite the boot for holding the first connecting means in forward, backward, lateral or combined directions in accordance with load conditions, so that said ski boot with attached boot support member separates from the ski and attached holding means, and

a gap in said second connecting means to accept therein first connecting means, said gap spanning the width of second connecting means and allowing direct lateral separation of said first connecting means from said second connecting means under predetermined load conditions, each portion of said second connecting means adjacent said gap 2% including fulcrum means about which said first connecting means may pivot in the lateral direction.

34. In combination,

a ski,

a generally flat ski boot support membersubstantiall coextensive with the sole of the ski boot and having an opposite ends means adapted to grip the toe and heel of a ski boot,

a pivot member having a pair of sockets therein and.

a width about equal to the length of the arch of the boot, said pivot member being secured to the ski, receiving means for the pivot member secured to the boot support member in an underside position to hold the pivot member opposite the arch of the ski boot so that both of the socket means are in a zone directly beneath the arch, said receiving means including a pair of generally flat spaced connecting members which define between them a gap having a width slightly greater than the width of the pivot member and open sides adpated to receive the pivot member by way of a side entry, said connecte ing members having a height'at least as great asthe height of the pivot member so that with the pivot member in the recess each of the connecting members rests on the top of the ski surface, and

disposed within each of said connecting members,

spring means and plunger means adapted to engage the socket means, said spring means normally urging the plunger means into engagement with their respective socket means to connectthe pivot member and the receiving means, and under predetermined load conditions, being depressed by the action of the pivot member turning due to said load conditions to disconnect the pivot member from the receiving means. I 35. A device for securely holding a ski boot comprising first and second means for gripping respectively: the

toe and heel of the boot to secure said boot, said first 1 means gripping the toe of the boot including a flexible. cable and elongated handle means, said handle means connected to said cable at a position near a first end of the handle means and which is movable between locking and unlocking positions, said handle means in the the tension on the cable so that the cable becomes slack and its grip on the boot is released.

36. The device of claim 35 where the first and second means are attached to a sole plate memberwhich abuts and is substantially coextensive with the sole of the boot, said sole plate member being adapted to be releasably attached to a ski.

37. The device of claim 35 where at least one of the first and second means is adjustable to accommodate different sized ski boots.

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Referenced by
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US4157191 *Nov 25, 1977Jun 5, 1979Ramer Paul CSki binding
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Classifications
U.S. Classification280/618, 280/613
International ClassificationA63C9/086, A63C9/081
Cooperative ClassificationA63C9/08564, A63C9/08535, A63C9/0841, A63C9/0846, A63C9/0847, A63C9/086, A63C9/003
European ClassificationA63C9/00D, A63C9/085C1, A63C9/084M, A63C9/084H, A63C9/084A, A63C9/085B, A63C9/086