Patent application title: SKATING AND BOARDING SYSTEM HAVING A MOUNTING ADAPTER AND INTERCHANGEABLE COMPONENTS
Frank J. Depetri (Tabernash, CO, US)
John A. Depetri (Massillon, OH, US)
Joshua W. Depetri (Massillon, OH, US)
IPC8 Class: AA63C130FI
Class name: Land vehicles skates
Publication date: 2010-09-09
Patent application number: 20100225100
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Patent application title: SKATING AND BOARDING SYSTEM HAVING A MOUNTING ADAPTER AND INTERCHANGEABLE COMPONENTS
Frank J. DePetri
John A. DePetri
Joshua W. DePetri
SAND & SEBOLT
Origin: CANTON, OH US
IPC8 Class: AA63C130FI
Publication date: 09/09/2010
Patent application number: 20100225100
A skating and boarding system includes a mounting adapter and
interchangeable components which may include roller skating wheels, ice
skating blades, and mini-skis. These various components are typically
mounted on the bottom of the boot such as a ski boot although they may
also be mounted on the bottom of a board such as a typical skate boarding
board. In addition to the interchangeability concept, an ice skate is
disclosed which utilizes wheel-shaped blades, as well as several
embodiments of a ski skate and a skiing board with a mini-ski mounted
1. An ice skate comprising:a boot; anda plurality of inline ice blades
mounted on the boot
2. The ice skate of claim 1 wherein the ice blades have respective arcuate ice-contact surfaces.
3. An ice skate comprising:a boot; anda plurality of circular ice blades mounted on the boot.
4. The ice skate of claim 3 wherein the ice blades are rotatably mounted on the boot.
5. An ski skate comprising:a boot; anda first mini-ski mounted on the boot.
6. The ski skate of claim 5 wherein the first mini-ski is rotatably mounted on the boot.
7. The ski skate of claim 5 further comprising a second mini-ski mounted on the boot.
8. The ski skate of claim 7 wherein the first and second mini-skis are rotatably mounted on the boot.
9. The ski skate of claim 7 further comprising a third mini-ski mounted on the boot.
10. The ski skate of claim 9 wherein the first, second and third mini-skis are rotatably mounted on the boot.
11. A mounting adapter comprising:a first adapter plate mounting mounted on one of a boot and a board and adapted for securing thereto one of an ice skating blade, roller skating wheels and a mini-ski.
12. The mounting adapter of claim 11 further comprising a second adapter plate mounted on the boot.
13. The mounting adapter of claim 12 further comprising a third adapter plate mounted on the boot.
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
This application claims priority from U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 61/157,590 filed Mar. 5, 2009; the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Technical Field
The present invention is related generally to sports equipment associated broadly with skating, skiing and boarding. More particularly, the invention is related to ice skates, roller skates, ski skates, ski boards and the like along with a mounting adapter which facilitates the interchangeability of various components of the system.
2. Background Information
The world of extreme sports has developed fairly rapidly in recent times and includes relatively high risk activities which often include moving at fairly high rates of speed with a minimum amount of equipment. This often involves downhill events such as high speed, downhill on-road and off-road roller skating, or downhill events performed on snow and ice, such as snowboarding and the like. Various advances have been made in the types of boots which are utilized in such events as well as in roller skating or ice skating which may involve daredevil tricks and so forth. There is thus a substantial amount of interest in the development of new extreme sports equipment within this field. In addition, sports enthusiasts within this field often are involved in more than one area of the field involving skating, skiing and boarding. Thus, in addition to the interest in the field for new overall concepts, it would be helpful to have a system which provides for the interchangeability of various components which would allow, for instance, a given boot or board to be used for rolling or gliding on pavement, dirt, ice, snow and so forth.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention provides a skating and boarding system having a mounting adapter which allows for the interchangeability of various components of the system to create multiple embodiments of ice skates, roller skates, ski skates and ski boards.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS
A preferred embodiment of the invention, illustrated of the best mode in which Applicant contemplates applying the principles, is set forth in the following description and is shown in the drawings and is particularly and distinctly pointed out and set forth in the appended claims.
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of the ice skate of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a bottom plan view of the ice skate.
FIG. 3 is a bottom plan view similar to FIG. 2 with the ice blade assemblies removed to illustrate the mounting of the rail on the bottom of the boot.
FIG. 4 is an enlarged side elevational view of one of the circular ice blade assemblies.
FIG. 5 is a front elevational view of one of the ice blade assemblies.
FIG. 6 is an enlarged front elevational view of the encircled portion of FIG. 5.
FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken on line 7-7 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 8 is a side elevational view of a first embodiment of the ski skate of the present invention utilizing the first embodiment of the mounting adapter of the present invention.
FIG. 9 is a bottom plan view of the first embodiment of the ski skate.
FIG. 10 is a bottom plan view similar to FIG. 9 with the mini-ski removed.
FIG. 11 is a bottom plan view similar to FIG. 10 showing the rail removed from the mounting plate of the mounting adapter.
FIG. 12 is a side elevational view of the mini-ski shown in FIG. 8.
FIG. 12A is a side elevational view of an alternate mini-ski.
FIG. 13 is a sectional view taken on line 13-13 of FIG. 8.
FIG. 14 is a side elevational view of a second embodiment of the ski skate of the present invention which includes two mini-skis mounted via the first embodiment of the mounting adapter.
FIG. 15 is a side elevational view of a third embodiment of the ski skate of the present invention which utilizes four mini-skis.
FIG. 16 is a bottom plan view of the third embodiment of the ski skate.
FIG. 17 is a front elevational view of the front truck of the third embodiment of the ski skate showing the front pair of mini-skis, and bottom of the boot in section.
FIG. 18 is a side elevational view of a roller skate which utilizes a second embodiment of the mounting adapter of the present invention to mount the trucks and wheels on the bottom of a quick release ski boot binder which is shown securing a ski boot.
FIG. 19 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of the mounting adapter.
FIG. 20 is an exploded perspective view of the second embodiment of the mounting adapter.
FIG. 21 is a top plan view of the rear upper plate of the second embodiment of the mounting adapter.
FIG. 22 is a top plan view of the front upper mounting plate of the second embodiment of the mounting adapter.
FIG. 23 is a bottom plan view of the front upper plate shown in FIG. 22.
FIG. 24 is a sectional view taken on line 24-24 of FIG. 22.
FIG. 25 is a front elevational view of the front wheel assembly of the roller skate of FIG. 18 showing the wheels in section.
FIG. 26 is a fourth embodiment of the ski skate of the present invention in which the four mini-skis thereof are mounted on the trucks in place of the wheels shown in FIG. 18.
FIG. 27 is a side elevational view of the ski board of the present invention.
FIG. 28 is a bottom plan view of the ski board with the two mini-skis shown in phantom so that the mounting rail may be seen.
FIG. 29 is a sectional view taken on line 29-29 of FIG. 28.
FIG. 30 is a sectional view taken on line 30-30 of FIG. 27 showing the rear mini-ski in a front elevational view.
Similar numbers refer to similar parts throughout the drawings.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
The system of the present invention includes an ice skate which is generally referred to at 10 in FIG. 1. The system also includes ski skates, roller skates, a ski board and mounting adapters which allow for the interchangeability of various components of the system. Ice skate 10 is used for skating on ice 8 and includes a boot 12, a blade assembly mounting rail 14 and five inline circular ice skating blade assemblies or ice blade assemblies 16 which are more particularly illustrated at 16A-E from front to back. FIG. 1 illustrates a right ice skate 10 which is worn on the user's right foot. It will be understood that the present invention includes the left ice skate and boot as well which are substantially mirror images of the right ice skate and right boot. Similarly, the various embodiments within the present application which utilize a right boot are also deemed to include the counter part left boot and corresponding overall structure associated therewith.
Boot 12 may be any boot which is suitably configured for mounting rail 14 and blade assembly 16 thereon. In the exemplary embodiment, boot 12 is illustrated as a boot typically used for inline roller skating or a roller skate which in particular is known as a "Downtown III" sold under the trademark Rollerblade®. Boot 12 has a top 18, a bottom 20, a front or toe 22 and a rear or heel 24. Boot 12 includes an outer sole 26 which is made of substantially rigid material such as a substantially rigid plastic or the like. Sole 26 extends from toe 22 to heel 24 and defines the entire bottom 20 of a foot receiving portion 28, from which an ankle receiving portion 30 extends upwardly. In addition to outer sole 26, portion 28 is typically also formed of flexible and tough material 32 in combination with durable breathable material 34 which is also flexible and allows the passage of air therethrough in order to help ventilate the foot. A lace-up section of portion 28 includes a lace 36. Ankle receiving portion 30 typically includes a reinforced ankle cuff 38 made of a substantially rigid plastic material which nonetheless allows for some flexing to allow the user's foot to be inserted and removed therefrom when a strap 40 is loosened via a strap tightening and loosening mechanism 42.
Referring to FIG. 3, front and rear 22 and 24 define therebetween a length L1 and longitudinal direction of boot 12 and ice skate 10. Outer sole 26 has a flat bottom 27 which forms most of bottom 20 of boot 12. Flat bottom 27 has a front end 29 adjacent and rearward of front 22, a rear end 31 adjacent and forward of rear end 24, a left side 33 and a right side 35. Left and right sides 33 and 35 define therebetween a width W1 (FIG. 3) which represents the widest portion of flat bottom 27 and typically the widest portion or nearly the widest portion of boot 12. Front and rear ends 29 and 31 define therebetween a length L2 of flat bottom 27 which is somewhat less than length L1. Although the ratio between lengths L1 and L2 may vary, length L2 is typically in the range of about 70 to 90 percent of length L1 and in the exemplary embodiment is about 80 percent of length L1. However, length L2 may equal length L1 or be somewhat longer than length L1 depending on the specific configuration of boot 12. In general, length L2 is configured to provide the suitable stability to the connection between boot 12 and mounting rail 14 or other mounting structures secured thereto although it is usually no longer than the length of a typical boot of this nature.
Mounting rail 14 has a front 44 and a rear 46 such that front 44 is generally aligned with toe 22 of boot 12 and rear 46 is adjacent and somewhat rearward of heel 24. Rail 14 is generally elongated from front to back and includes a horizontal top wall 48, a vertical left wall 50 and a vertical right wall 52 which are likewise elongated. The top of top wall 48 is rigidly secured to the bottom 26 of boot 12 typically via front and rear threaded fasteners 54 (FIG. 3) such as screws or bolts. Left and right walls 50 and 52 are rigidly secured to and extend vertically downward from the opposite sides of top wall 48 and define therebetween a blade-receiving space 56 in which ice blade assemblies 16 are received when mounted thereon. The top of top wall 48 is received within an upwardly extending groove 58 which is formed in bottom 20 of outer sole 26 of boot 12. Fasteners 54 are threaded into internally threaded holes (not shown) formed in the bottom of boot 12. A pair of holes 60 is formed in top wall 48 adjacent its front end. Likewise, a pair of holes 60 is formed in top wall 48 generally adjacent its rear end. Fasteners 54 extend respectively through one of the front holes 60 and one of the rear holes 60. As shown in FIG. 3, only two of the holes 60 have fasteners extending therethrough. However, these holes may be utilized to receive other fasteners depending on what mounting rail 14 is mounted on.
Each of left and right walls 50 includes four triangular sections 62 which are arranged sequentially from front to back. Each section 62 includes a generally horizontal bottom finger 64, a front finger 56 which is rigidly secured to and angles upwardly and rearwardly from the front of bottom finger 64 and a rear finger 68 which is rigidly secured to and angles upwardly and forward from the rear of bottom finger 64 to form a rigid connection with front finger 66 at the respective tops thereof adjacent top wall 48. Each of triangular sections 62 defines a triangular space within fingers 64, 66 and 68. Each of the adjacent pairs of triangular sections 62 also forms respective triangular spaces therebetween which are inverted relative to the other triangular spaces. More particularly, the inverse spaces are defined between top wall 48 and an adjacent finger 66 and rear finger 68 of an adjacent section 62.
Each of the circular ice blade assemblies 16 is mounted on mounting rail 14 via fasteners 70 which are typically threaded fasteners in the form of a bolt or the like. The shaft of each fastener 70 passes through the respective ice blade assembly and may serve as an axle about which the circular ice blade assemblies are rotatably mounted so that they may rotate like wheels. However, blade assemblies 16 may also be non-rotatably mounted on rail 14. As shown in FIG. 7, each fastener 70 extends through a nonthreaded counterbore hole 72 formed in right sidewall 52 and into an internally threaded hole 74 formed in left sidewall 50 and aligned with the respective hole 72. Fastener 70 thus includes a threaded portion 76 which threadedly engages the threads of holes 74 while the other end of fastener 70 includes an enlarged head which is received in the counterbore section of hole 72. There are thus five sets of aligned holes 72 and 74 for respectively receiving the five fasteners 70 to respectively mount the five ice blade assemblies 16.
Referring now to FIGS. 4-7, ice blade assembly 16 is described in greater detail. Each assembly 16 includes a blade 80 and right and left side walls 82 and 84 which are secured to blade 80 via a plurality of threaded fasteners 86 such as screws which extend through holes 88, 90 and 92 respectively formed in right side wall 82, blade 80 and left side wall 84. Holes 88 and 90 are non-threaded while hole 92 is threaded whereby each threaded fastener threadedly engages the threads of hole 92. The tightening of screws 86 thus causes right and left side walls 82 and 84 to clamp blade 80 therebetween. Central holes 94, 96 and 98 are respectively formed in the centers of right side wall 82, blade 80 and left side wall 84. Said holes are aligned with one another to receive therein one or more bearings 100 if it is desired that blade assembly 16 be rotatably mounted as a wheel. A bushing 102 may also be provided to receive therethrough the shaft of fastener 70 with the one or more bearings 100 engaging and circumscribing the outer circumference of bushing 102. Bushing 102 serves as a spacer with its opposed ends abutting the respective inner surfaces of sidewalls 50 and 52 adjacent the lower ends thereof in order to maintain a consistent spacing between the lower portion of sidewalls 50 and 52.
Spacer 102 thus prevents fasteners 70 when tightened from collapsing the lower portions of sidewalls 50 and 52 toward one another beyond the length of spacer 102. It is noted that although the four fasteners 70 other than the central fastener 70 are not used to secure mini-ski 112 to the bottom of rail 14, these fasteners are nonetheless still suitably tightened onto the spaced sidewalls 50 and 52 with spacers 102 disposed therebetween in order to provide rigidity to rail 14, to prevent the collapse or bending of the lower portions of sidewalls 50 and 52, and to keep fastener 70 and spacers 102 together with rail 14 to prevent their becoming lost. The side walls 82 and 84 illustrated in FIG. 7 are shown as being generally hollow in the areas other than the previously noted holes formed therethrough. However, these portions of side walls 82 and 84 may be formed as solid structures if desired. In any case, side walls 82 and 84 are formed of rigid materials, as is blade 80. Blade 80 is most typically formed of a metal such as a stainless steel or other metal which is relatively resistant to corrosion and is sufficiently hard to form a desirable ice skating blade.
In the exemplary embodiment, blade 80 is a substantially flat plate having an annular configuration. More particularly, blade 80 is a vertically oriented flat plate as shown in FIGS. 5 and 7 with right and left opposed flat vertical sides 104 defining its width. Each blade 80 is aligned along a common vertical plane P (FIGS. 2, 7) so that all five of blades 80 are in line as illustrated in FIG. 2. Thus, the respective left and right sides 104 of each blade are respectively aligned with those of the other blades 80. In the exemplary embodiment, blade 80 has a circular outer perimeter 106 as viewed from the side (FIGS. 1, 4) which extends radially outwardly of the outer perimeters of sidewalls 82 and 84. Outer perimeter of 106 is thus convexly curved as viewed from the side. As viewed from the front, (FIGS. 5-6) outer perimeter 106 is concavely curved and intersects flat sides 104 at respective corners 108. In the exemplary embodiment, perimeter 106 and the corresponding side 104 at corner 108 defines therebetween an acute angle although this may be a right angle if outer perimeter 106 is horizontal as viewed from the front.
In the exemplary embodiment, each of right and left sidewalls 82 and 84 is a generally dome shaped structure such that it has a greater width adjacent its center than at or adjacent its outer perimeter. Sidewalls 82 and 84 provide additional strength to blade 80 and thus serve as reinforcing structures. In addition, sidewalls 82 and 84 add sufficient thickness in order to minimize the wobbling which would otherwise typically occur if only a relatively thin blade such as blade 80 were rotatably mounted on a rail such as rail 14. It will be appreciated that ice blade assemblies 16 may be replaced respectively with wheels to produce an inline roller skate.
The present system also includes a ski-skate shown generally at 110 in FIG. 8. Ski-skate 110 utilizes boot 12 and mounting rail 14 for mounting thereon a mini-ski 112 utilizing a first embodiment of a mounting adapter which includes a primary adapter plate 114. In the exemplary embodiment, mini-ski 112 is formed as an integral one piece member typically formed of a rigid plastic. However, mini-ski 112 may be formed of other suitable rigid materials including wood, metal or the like and may be formed in more than one piece. Ski-skate 110 is configured so that the bottom of mini-ski 112 is suitable for engaging and skiing on snow 113 in either a forward direction or a rearward direction.
With primary reference to FIGS. 8, 9 and 12, mini-ski 112 is described in greater detail. Mini-ski 112 has a front 116, a rear end or back 118, a left side 120, a right side 122, a top 124 and a bottom 126. Mini-ski 112 includes a short ski 128 and a mounting block 130 rigidly mounted on and extending upwardly from the central region of ski 128. Generally, ski 128 is a relatively thin blade or plate having a flat horizontal central segment 132 which is substantially rectangular as viewed from below, a front segment 134 which curves upwardly and forward from the front end of central segment 132 to a terminal end or tip represented at front 116, and a rear segment 136 which curves rearwardly and upwardly from the rear end of central segment 132 to a terminal end or tip represented at back 118. More particularly, central segment 132 includes a front end 138 and a rear end 140 which is represented in FIG. 9 by lines wherein front and rear ends 138 and 140 define the front most and rear most ends of the flat horizontal portion of ski 128 from which front and rear segments 134 and 136 respectively curve upwardly. Front end 138 thus also represents the rear end of front segment 134 while rear end 140 also represents the front end of rear segment 136. Parallel front and rear ends 138 and 140 along with sides or edges 120 and 122 thus define the rectangular shape of central segment 132 as viewed from below. Sides or edges 120 and 122 are parallel to one another and perpendicular to ends 138 and 140. Edges 120 and 122 form part of an outer perimeter of the edge of ski 128 which includes a convexly curved front edge 142 and a convexly curved rear edge 144 as viewed from below. Front edge 142 extends along the forward portion of front segment 134 and curves convexly and rearwardly respectively to the left and right from front end 116. Rear edge 144 extends along the rear portion of rear segment 136 and curves convexly forward respectively to the left and right from back end 118. Edges 120 and 122 define therebetween a normal width W2 which is the width of the widest portion of ski 128 and mini-ski 112.
Central segment 132 has flat horizontal parallel top and bottom surfaces 146 and 148 defining therebetween a substantially constant thickness of central segment 132. Front segment 134 has top and bottom surfaces 150 and 152 which define therebetween a substantially constant thickness of segment 134 which is substantially the same as the thickness of central segment 132. Likewise, rear segment 136 has top and bottom surfaces 154 and 156 which define therebetween a substantially constant thickness of segment 136 which is substantially the same as the thickness of central segment 132 and front segment 134. As viewed from the side, top surface 150 curves concavely upward and forward from the front of top surface 146 to front end 116. As viewed from the side, bottom surface 152 curves convexly upwardly and forward in a parallel fashion to top surface 150 from the front of bottom surface 148 to front end 116. As viewed from the side, top surface 154 curves concavely upwardly and rearward from the rear of top surface 146 to rear end 118. As viewed from the side, bottom surface 156 curves convexly upwardly and rearward in a parallel fashion to top surface 154 from the rear of bottom surface 148 to rear end 118. In the exemplary embodiment, neither front segment 134 nor rear segment 136 is bowed or curved from side to side. Thus, a vertical plane disposed perpendicular to edges 122 and 124 (and thus to the length of the mini-ski, the rail and the boot) and intersecting any portion of front segment 134 would produce a horizontal straight line intersection represented at the dashed line 158A with either of top surface 150 or bottom surface 152. In the exemplary embodiment, any similar vertical plane cutting through any portion of rear segment 136 would likewise produce a horizontal straight line intersection 158B with either of top surface 154 or bottom surface 156.
In the exemplary embodiment, width W2 is illustrated as being less than width W1 although this may vary. Thus, the exemplary embodiment shows at edges 122 and 124 are respectively spaced inwardly of sides 35 and 33 such that no portion of the mini-ski extends outwardly in either direction beyond sides 33 and 35. However, ski 128 may extend as far as or beyond the edges of sides 33 and 35 depending on the specific configuration. Ski 128 typically does not extend more than about an inch beyond either side 33 or 35. Typically width W2 is at least about 2.5 inches and more typically at least 3.0 or 3.5 inches. Width W2 is typically no more than about 7 or 8 inches and is most typically in the range of about 3 to 5 or 6 inches.
Front and back 116 and 118 define therebetween a length L3 (FIG. 9) of ski 128 and mini-ski 112. In the exemplary embodiment, length L3 is somewhat less than length L1 although it may be the same as or somewhat larger than length L1. In the exemplary embodiment, length L3 is on the order of about 85 to 90 percent of length L1. Depending on the size of the boot and user of ski-skate 110, length L3 may vary. Length L3 is typically at least about 5 or 6 inches and more commonly at least 7 or 8 inches. Length L3 is typically in the range of about 8 to 18 inches and more typically about 8 to 15 or 16 inches. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 9, front 116 of ski 128 is spaced rearwardly of front end 22 of boot 12 while rear end 118 of ski 128 is very slightly forward of rear end 24 of boot 12. As noted above, length L3 may be greater than length L1 and thus front end 116 may extend forward of front end 22, and rear end 118 may extend rearwardly of rear end 24. Typically, front and back ends 116 and 118 will not extend more than about 1 to 3 inches respectively forward of and rearward of front and back ends 22 and 24 of boot 12.
In the exemplary embodiment, mini-ski 112 is mounted on rail 14 with one of fasteners 70 passing through the central holes of 72, 74 (FIG. 7) of rail 14. While fastener 70 in the exemplary embodiment is the only fastener used to secure mini-ski 112 on rail 14 and thus mini-ski 112 could potentially rotate about the shaft of fastener 70, mini-ski 112 is nonetheless non-rotatably mounted on rail 14. More particularly, the top of front segment 134 adjacent front end 116 abuts the lower surfaces of left and right sidewalls 50 and 52 of mounting rail 14 adjacent and rearwardly of front end 44 at respective points of contact Pc (FIGS. 8, 9). More particularly, front segment 134 along convexly curved front edge 142 thereof abuts the downwardly facing lower surfaces of the bottom fingers 64 of the front most triangular sections of 62 of sidewalls 50 and 52. This contact between the front portion of ski 128 and the front portion of rail 14 prevents upward rotation of the front of ski 128 about fastener 70. Similarly, the rear portion of ski 128 abuts the rear portion of rail 14 at points of contact Pc (FIGS. 8, 9) to prevent the upward rotation of the rear portion of ski 128 about fastener 70. More particularly, the convexly curved rear edge 144 of rear segment 136 abuts the downward facing lower surface of the respective bottom fingers 64 of the rear most triangular sections 62 of left and right sidewalls 50 and 52 at said points of contact Pc.
Mounting block 130 is now described in greater detail with primary reference to FIGS. 8, 12 and 13. Block 130 includes a central longitudinally extending vertical web 160 which is a substantially flat vertical section parallel to side edges 122 and 124. Web 160 is rigidly connected to and extends upwardly from top surface 146 of central segment 132 a relatively short distance on the order of about 1/2 to 1 inch or so. Block 130 further includes a horizontal top flange 162 rigidly secured to the top of web 160 and extending axially outwardly therefrom to the left and right to form a T-shaped configuration with web 160 as viewed from the front (FIG. 13). A front angled flange 164 is rigidly secured to the front of web 160 and the front of horizontal flange 162 and angles downwardly and forward therefrom to a rigid connection to top surface 146. Similarly, a rear angled flange 166 is rigidly secured to the rear of web 160 and the rear of horizontal flange 162 and angles downwardly and rearwardly therefrom to a rigid connection with top surface 146. A cylinder 168 is rigidly secured to web 160 adjacent its top and center. Horizontal top flange 162 is rigidly connected to and extends forward and rearwardly from cylinder 168. One or more bushings 170 may be disposed within a through opening formed in cylinder 168 whereby bushings 170 define a through hole 172 which is elongated axially. A lower central flange 174 is rigidly connected to and extends axially to the left and right from web 160 and vertically downwardly from a rigid connection with cylinder 168 to a rigid connection with top surface 146. As shown in FIG. 13, the shaft of fastener 70 extends through holes 72 and 74 of mounting rail 14 as well as hole 172 of cylinder 168 in order to secure mini-ski 112 on mounting rail 14. An additional bushing 176 may be received within hole 172 such that the shaft of fastener 70 extends through the through hole of bushing 176 as well. Fastener 70 is tightened so that threaded segments 76 and 74 threadedly engage one another and the enlarged head of fastener 70 is received within the counterbore portion 172.
Referring now to FIGS. 12A and 13, a modified mini-ski 112A is now described. In FIG. 13, the portions of mini-ski 112A which are different from mini-ski 112 are shown in dashed lines only. Mini-ski 112A includes the same mounting block 130 and a somewhat modified ski 128A which is modified primarily along a central segment 132A thereof which varies somewhat from central segment 132 of mini-ski 112. Ski 128A also includes front and rear segments 134A and 136A which are altered to some degree as well. The primary distinction between mini-ski 112A and mini-ski 112 is that mini-ski 112A is configured to mount thereon a pair of parallel longitudinally elongated vertically oriented blades 178 which are axially spaced from one another and secured to the left and right sides 122 and 124 of ski 128A. To effect the mounting of blades 178 on ski 128A, a plurality of longitudinally spaced screw receiving blocks 180 is formed along either side 122 and 124 extending upwardly from the upper surface of blade 128A. Holes 182 are formed respectively in blocks 180 for receiving therein threaded portions of fasteners typically in the form of a screw 184 or bolt (which may be secured by a nut) in order to secure blades 178 on ski 128A. Blades 178 are generally analogous to ice skating blades which extend downwardly a short distance beyond bottom surface 148 to terminal bottom edges 188. Each blade includes a plurality of axially spaced upwardly extending tabs having holes 190 formed therethrough for receiving a portion of the respective screw 184. As shown in FIG. 12A, each of bottom edges 188 is convexly curved as viewed from the side and extends downwardly to a lowest point 192 which is typically substantially directly below of the longitudinal center of ski 128A and which is more or less directly below hole 172 of cylinder 168 as viewed from the side. This convex curve of edges 188 provides a smooth transition to the convex curves 152 and 156 as viewed from the side. Lowest point 192 is typically somewhere on the order of about % to 1 inch downwardly of bottom surface 148 although this may vary somewhat. Blades 178 add to the ability of ski skate 110 to cut into snow and ice during use.
With primary reference to FIGS. 11 and 13, primary adapter plate 114 is described in greater detail. Plate 114 has axially extending front and rear ends 194 and 196 which are respectively substantially coincident with front and rear ends 29 and 31 of flat bottom 27 and thus define therebetween the same length L2 in the exemplary embodiment. Plate 114 has longitudinal left and right sides 198 and 200 defining therebetween a width W3 of plate 114 which in the exemplary embodiment is about the same as width W2 although this may vary. Width W3 is large enough to provide sufficient stability to the mounting of plate 114 on boot 12 while preferably staying to a minimum which is normally less than width W1 (FIGS. 3, 9) of boot 12 in order to minimize the amount of material and weight added to the overall structure. Plate 114 has an upper surface 202 which abuts bottom surface 27 when mounted on boot 12. Plate 114 has a flat and horizontal bottom surface 204 which faces downwardly and abuts the top of top wall 48 of rail 14 when rail 14 is mounted on plate 114. Plate 114 includes a base portion 206 which is substantially rectangular as viewed from below and also substantially rectangular and as viewed from the front. Plate 114 further includes a longitudinal ridge 208 which is rigidly secured to and extends upwardly from base portion 206 generally centered between left and right sides 198 and 200 of base portion 206. More particularly, ridge 208 has a left edge 210 spaced axially inwardly from left edge 198, and a right edge 212 spaced axially inwardly from right edge 200. Left and right edges 210 and 212 define therebetween a width W4 which is substantially less than that of width W3, and in the exemplary embodiment is about half that of width W3 although this may vary. As best seen in FIG. 13, groove 58 in the bottom of outer sole 26 of boot 12 has left and right longitudinal parallel edges 214 and 216 which define therebetween a width which is substantially the same as width W4 although very slightly larger. Thus, ridge 208 typically fits snugly within groove 214 with the top surface of ridge 208 abutting the downwardly facing surface defining the top of groove 58, and with left and right edges 210 and 212 respectively closely adjacent or abutting left and right edges 214 and 216.
Multiple mounting holes are formed through plate 114 which provide the ability to mount multiple components of the invention to a suitable boot, board or the like. With primary reference to FIG. 11, the most forward of these holes are left and right front most threaded through holes 218 and 220 which are adjacent front end 194 of plate 114, axially spaced from one another and longitudinally aligned with one another. In the exemplary embodiment, left hole 218 intersects left edge 210 of longitudinal ridge 208 so that about half of the hole extends upwardly to top surface 202 of base portion 206 where the remainder of the hole extends upwardly to the top of ridge 208. Right hole 220 intersects right edge 212 of ridge 208 in a similar fashion. Left and right holes 218 and 220 are part of a four-hole set which also includes left and right forward threaded through holes 222 and 224 which are in the front portion or half of plate 114 although they are spaced rearwardly from holes 218 and 220. Left and right holes 222 and 224 are axially spaced from one another, longitudinally aligned with one another, and axially aligned respectively with left and right holes 218 and 220 so that left and right holes 222 and 224 also respectively intersect left and right edges 210 and 212 of ridge 208.
Another four-hole set in the rear portion of plate 114 includes left and right rear most threaded through holes 226 and 228 which are adjacent rear end 196, and left and right rearward threaded through holes 230 and 232 which are spaced forward of through holes 226 and 228. These four holes define the corners of a rectangle, as do the four holes 218, 220, 222 and 224 such that the holes of this rear four-hole set are spaced in a pattern identical to the holes in the front four-hole set. Rear most holes 226 and 228 are longitudinally aligned with one another and axially spaced with one another to respectively intersect edges 210 and 212 as previously described with the front four-hole set. Likewise, holes 230 and 232 are longitudinally aligned with one another and axially aligned respectively with holes 226 and 228 to respectively intersect edges 210 and 212. Thus, left holes 218, 222, 226 and 230 are substantially collinear, as are right holes 220, 224, 228 and 232.
A pair of front central threaded through holes 234A and 234B are also formed in the front half of plate 114 with hole 234B spaced rearwardly of hole 234A and axially aligned therewith. Holes 234A and B are in the exemplary embodiment axially centered between left and right edges 198 and 200 of plate 114 and also axially centered between left and right edges 210 and 212 of ridge 208. Thus, each of holes 234 is similarly axially centered between holes 218 and 220 or between left and right holes 222 and 224. In the exemplary embodiment, holes 234 are spaced rearwardly from left and right holes 218 and 220, and forward of left and right holes 222 and 224. Each of holes 234 extends from bottom surface 204 of plate 114 to the top surface of ridge 208.
In the rear half of plate 114, a pair of rear central threaded through holes 236A and B are also formed extending from bottom 204 to the top of ridge 208. Rear central holes 236A and B are analogous to front central holes 234A and B in that they are spaced from one another the same distance, are axially centered between left and right edges 198 and 200, as well as axially centered between left and right edges 210 and 212. Hole 236B is spaced rearwardly of hole 236A. Holes 236A and B are spaced rearwardly of left and right holes 230 and 232, and forward of left and right holes 226 and 228. A non-threaded counterbore hole 238 is formed in the front portion of plate 114 midway and directly between front centered holes 234A and B. Likewise, a non-threaded counterbore hole 240 is formed midway and directly between rear central holes 236A and B.
A front threaded fastener 242 extends through counterbore hole 238 with its enlarged head 246 in the counterbore portion of hole 238 and its threaded shaft in the smaller portion of hole 238. Fastener 242 extends into and is threadedly engaged in the internally threaded hole (not shown) in the bottom of boot 12. Likewise, a rear threaded fastener 244 is disposed in counterbore hole 240 with its enlarged head 246 in the counterbore portion thereof and its threaded shaft in the smaller portion of hole 240 with the threaded shaft also threadedly engaging an internally threaded hole 247 (FIG. 13) formed in the bottom of boot 12. Heads 246 of fasteners 242 and 244 are either flush with bottom surface 204 or recessed in the counterbore holes 238 and 240 respectively. Fasteners 242 and 244 thus removably secure plate 114 to the bottom of boot 12.
Rail 14 is likewise removably secured to the bottom of plate 114 by a pair of front threaded fasteners 248 (FIG. 10) and a pair of rear threaded fasteners 250. Front fasteners 248 extend through a respective pair of axially elongated holes 60 formed in top wall 48 of rail 14 and are respectively threaded into front central threaded holes 234A and B. Likewise, rear threaded fasteners 250 extend respectively through a rear pair of slots or openings 60 in rail 14 and threadedly engage the rear central threaded holes 236A and B. Fasteners 248 and 250 thus removably mount rail 14 on the bottom of plate 114 with the top of top wall 48 of rail 14 abutting the bottom 204 of plate 114. Thus, plate 114 is rigidly secured to the bottom of boot 12, rail 14 is rigidly secured to the bottom of plate 114, and mini-ski 112 is rigidly secured to the bottom of rail 14 so that mini-ski 112 is thus rigidly secured to the bottom of boot 12. Each of the major components of ski-skate 110 are thus removably and rigidly mounted on one another. This rigid mounting provides appropriate stability to the ski-skate while also allowing the removability of components either for replacement when needed or for interchanging with other components as described in greater detail throughout the present application.
In order to utilize boot 12 and rail 14 of ice skate 10 to reconfigure as the ski-skate 110, one of the processes is to unthread fasteners 70 and remove them from the holes and rail 14 so that each of ice blade assemblies 16 may be removed from rail 14. Once ice blade assemblies 16 are removed, fasteners 70 can be reinserted through the holes in rail 14 and through the holes in the respective spacers 102 and tightened on rail 14. Of course the central fastener 70 is also inserted through the hole 172 in mounting block 130 of mini-ski 112 in order to secure mini-ski 112 on bottom of rail 14. It is further noted that although mini-ski 110 uses adapter plate 114 for mounting rail 14 and mini-ski 112 on the bottom of boot 12, adapter plate 114 may be eliminated such that rail 14 is secured directly to the bottom of boot 12. Similarly, ice skate 10 may be configured to use mounting plate 114 such that plate 114 is secured to the bottom of boot 12 and rail 14 is secured to the bottom of plate 114 with ice blade assemblies 16 mounted thereon.
Referring now to FIG. 14, the system of the present invention further includes a ski-skate 252 which includes a pair of in-line mini-skis 112. Ski-skate 252 has a similar configuration to ski-skate 110 inasmuch as it includes boot 12, mounting plate 114, mounting rail 14 and the associated fasteners for mounting these three components to one another, along with two mini-skis 112 instead of a single mini-ski. Like ski-skate 110, ski-skate 252 is configured for engaging and skiing on snow 113 (FIG. 8) in either a forward or rearward direction. FIG. 14 shows that the two in-line mini-skis 112 are mounted on rail 14 respectively at the front most and rear most fasteners 70. The reconfiguration of the system from ski skate 110 in order to form ski skate 252 thus simply would involve the unthreading and removal of the central fastener 70 along with the front most and rear most fasteners 70 along with the corresponding spacers so that the single mini-ski 112 could be removed from its central location and the rail would be ready for the reconfiguration. More particularly, the mini-ski 112 of ski skate 110 could then be moved either to the foremost or rearmost position shown in FIG. 14 while an additional mini-ski 112 would be positioned at the other of the front most and rear most positions and then secured by the appropriate front most and rear most fastener 70 and corresponding spacers 102 while the central fastener 70 and corresponding spacer 102 would be remounted as well to produce the ski skate 250 with two mini-skis.
As can be easily discerned from FIG. 14, each of the mini-skis 112 is rotatably mounted on the respective fastener and spacer to rotate about respective parallel horizontal axes which extend in the axial direction of ski skate 252. The rotational movement of the front and rear mini-skis is shown respectively at arrows A and B with alternate positions shown in dot dash lines. The degree of rotation of each mini-ski 112 is limited in both directions. For example, the upward rotational movement of rear end 118 of the front mini-ski 112 is limited by contact with the bottom of rail 14 at points of contact Pc analogous to those noted with reference to ski skate 110. The bottom of rail 14 at points Pc thus serve as a stop to the upper rotational movement of rear end 118 of the front mini-ski 112. More particularly, convexly curved edge 144 of the front mini-ski 112 contacts the bottom of rail 14 adjacent and forward of the central fastener 70, which serves as the longitudinal center or midpoint of rail 14. Specifically, the rear edge 144 contacts the bottom surfaces of the bottom fingers 64 of the triangular section 62 which is the second triangular section 62 as counted from the front of rail 14. The rear end 118 of the front mini-ski 112 is thus rotatable downwardly and forward from this stop position while front end 116 rotates upwardly and rearwardly from this position. Another stop may be provided on rail 14 to limit the upward rotation of front end 116 of the front mini-ski 112, which is represented by the dot dash lines in FIG. 14. However, even if such a stop is not mounted on rail 14, the upward and rearward rotation of front end 116 of the front mini-ski 112 will be limited by contact with the front end 22 of boot 12 or another structure generally in this area. In the exemplary embodiment, mini-skis 112 rotate freely about their respective axes. However, the front and rear mini-skis may be spring biased to the home position shown in solid lines in FIG. 14 with respective springs which nonetheless allow rotation about the respective axes by sufficient force to overcome the respective spring bias.
The rotational movement of the rear mini-ski 112 is similarly limited in either direction. The upward rotational movement of the front end 116 of the rear mini-ski 112 is limited by contact with the bottom of rail 14 at points of contact Pc which are adjacent and rearward of the central fastener 70 or longitudinal center line of rail 14. In particular, the convexly curved front edge 142 of the rear mini-ski 112 abuts the bottom of the bottom fingers 64 of the triangular section 62 which is the third from the front of rail 14. The front end 116 of the rear mini-ski 112 can thus rotate downwardly and rearwardly from this stop or home position of the rear mini-ski 112. An additional stop may be positioned adjacent the rear of rail 14 in order to limit the upward and forward movement of rear end 118 of the rear mini-ski 112 at the position shown in dot dash lines. Otherwise, the rear mini-ski 112 will be limited in its rotation in this direction by the contact of the rear portion of the rear mini-ski 112 with the rear 24 of mini-ski 112 or a similar structure.
Although the front and rear mini-skis 112 shown in FIG. 14 are pivotally mounted as described above in the exemplary embodiment, either one or both of the mini-skis 112 may be secured in a fixed position relative to boot 12, mounting rail 14 and adapter plate 114. In one preferred embodiment, the rear mini-ski 112 is fixed relative to the boot, mounting rail and adapter plate while the front mini-ski 112 is pivotally mounted as described above.
The system of the present invention further includes a ski skate 254 having four mini-skis mounted in a "quad" configuration with two in-line left mini-skis and two in-line right mini-skis. These four mini-skis are referred to generally at 256 and more particularly include a right front mini-ski 256RF, a right rear mini-ski 256RR, a left front mini-ski 256LF, and a left rear mini-ski 256LR. Like ski-skates 110 and 252, ski-skate 254 is configured so that the bottom of mini-skis 256 are suited to engage and ski upon snow 113 (FIG. 8) in the forward or rearward directions. Left and right front mini-skis 256LF and 256RF are mounted on boot 12 via a front mount or truck 258F, which is secured to the bottom of plate 114 adjacent its front end 194. Likewise, rear left and right mini-skis 256LR and 256RR are mounted on boot 12 via a rear truck 258R which is rigidly secured to the bottom of plate 114 adjacent its rear end 196. Trucks 258F and 258R have the same configuration although they are mounted in reversed orientations from one another. Each of mini-skis 256 have the same configuration, which is similar to mini-skis 112 except that mini-skis 256 are shorter than mini-skis 112. Thus, each mini-ski 256 includes mounting block 130 rigidly secured to and extending upwardly from the top of a short ski 260 which is similar to but shorter than ski 128.
Due to the similarity, the various components, surfaces and so forth of ski 260 are marked with similar numbers as those of ski 128. More particularly, these various analogous components of ski 260 are marked with the same numbers followed by the letter "a". Thus, ski 260 has a front end 116a, a back end 118a, left and right sides 120a and 122a, top and bottom 124a and 126a, a central segment 132a, an upwardly curving front segment 134a, and an upwardly curving rear segment 136a. Central segment 132a has front and rear ends 138a and 140a defining therebetween a length which is shorter than that of segment 132 of ski 128. Ski 260 further includes convexly curved front and rear edges 142a and 144a. Central segment 132a has flat top and bottom surfaces which are horizontal in the home position shown in solid lines in FIG. 15. Front segment 134a has a concavely curving top surface 150a and a convexly curving surface 152a as viewed from the side. Rear segment 136a has a concavely curved top surface 154a and a convexly curved surface 156a.
The overall shapes of segments 132a, 134a and 136a are analogous to those of segments 132, 134 and 136 of ski 128 with a few variations. As noted above, central segment 132a is shorter than its counter part central segment 132. Likewise, front segment 134a and rear segment 136a are shorter than their counter parts 134 and 136, and may curve upwardly at somewhat of a sharper angle. Otherwise, the overall configuration is the same as that of ski 128. Front and rear ends 116a and 118a define therebetween a length L4 which is typically in the range of about 4 to 9 inches and more typically in the range of about 4 or 5 inches to 6, 7 or 8 inches. Left and right sides 120a and 122a define therebetween a width W5 which is typically in the range of about 2 to 4 inches although this may vary somewhat. As shown in FIG. 16, the four skis 256 together form a generally rectangular footprint. Left front and rear mini-ski 256LF and 256LR are aligned in an in-line fashion such that the respective left sides 120a of said mini-skis are aligned with one another and the respective right sides 122a are aligned with one another. This is likewise true of the right front and right rear skis 256RF and 256RR. FIG. 16 also shows that the front ends 116a of the two front skis 256LF and 256RF are longitudinally aligned with one another and thus fall within a common vertical axially extending plane P3 which is perpendicular to the length of boot 12 and the ski skate in general as well as the various parallel sides of the skis and mounting plate. Plane P3 and the associated front ends 116a are adjacent and forward of front end 22 of boot 12. The rear ends 118a of the two front skis 256LF and 256RF are likewise longitudinally aligned and fall within a plane P4 which is parallel to plane P3. The front ends 116a of rear two skis 256LR and 256RR are also longitudinally aligned and fall within a plane P5 which is parallel to planes P3 and P4. The rear ends 118a of the rear skis 256LR and 256RR likewise are longitudinally aligned and fall within a vertical plane P6 which is parallel to planes P3-P5. Planes P4 and P5 are spaced a short distance apart such that the rear ends 118a of the front two mini-skis and the front end 116a of the rear mini-skis have sufficient clearance from one another so that they do not contact one another when they are in their home position or during pivotal movement thereof. Planes P4 and P5 are adjacent the longitudinal center of boot 12.
Each of mini-skis 256 is axially offset from the axial center of boot 12. More particularly, the left mini-skis LF and 256LR are bisected by a vertical plane P7 which extends longitudinally perpendicular to planes P3-P6 and thus parallel to the left and right sides of the skis and the mounting plate. Plane P7 is thus midway between left and right sides 120a and 122a of the respective left mini-ski 256LF and 256LR. Likewise, the right mini-skis 256RF and 256RR are bisected by a vertical longitudinal plane P8 which is parallel to plane P7 and is centered between the left and right sides 120a and 122a of said right skis 256RF and 256RR. In the exemplary embodiment, plane P7 is adjacent left side 33 of boot 12 and spaced axially outwardly to the left thereof. Likewise, P8 is adjacent and spaced axially outward to the right of right side 35 of boot 12. Planes P7 and P8 may vary in their axial positions although they will generally respectively be adjacent left and right sides 33 and 35 and typically axially outwardly thereof. However, planes P7 and P8 may be disposed axially inwardly of left and right sides 33 and 35 respectively depending on the specific configuration of the mini-skis and mounting structure. FIG. 16 also shows that the right sides 122A of the left skis 256LF and 256LR are generally axially aligned with left side 33 although this may vary as well. Similarly, the left sides 120a of right skis 256RF and 256RR are generally adjacent right side 35 and axially inwardly thereof or to the left thereof in the exemplary embodiment.
The front two mini-skis 256LF and 256RF are rotatably mounted about a horizontal axis X6 which extends axially and lies within a vertical plane P9 which is parallel to planes P3-P6. Similarly, the rear mini-skis 256LR and 256RR are rotatably mounted about a horizontal axis X7 which lies within a vertical plane P10 which is parallel to planes P3-P6 and P9. The rotational movement of front skis 256LF and 256RF is indicated at arrow C in FIG. 15, while the corresponding rotation of the rear mini-skis 256LR and 256RR is indicated at arrow D. In the exemplary embodiment, plane P9 is longitudinally midway between planes P3 and P4 while plane P10 is longitudinally midway between planes P5 and P6. The front two mini-skis 256 are bilaterally symmetrical about plane P9 while the rear two mini-skis 256 are bilaterally symmetrical about plane P10 when in the home position. In the exemplary embodiment, the left skis 256 are bilaterally symmetrical about plane P7 and the right skis 256 are bilaterally symmetrical about plane P8.
With continued reference to FIGS. 15-17, trucks 258 are now described in greater detail. Each truck includes an upper block 262 which is rigidly secured to the bottom of plate 114 and extends downwardly therefrom. Each truck further includes an axle carriage 264 pivotally mounted on upper block 262 and carrying left and right axles 266L and 266R which respectively extend outwardly to the left and right from carriage 264. Each axle 266 extends through hole 172 of mounting block 130 of the respective mini-ski 256. The axle may also extend through one or more bushings 268 disposed in hole 172. The mini-ski 256 and bushings are typically secured in place with a nut 270 threadedly engaging a threaded portion of axle 266 and lock washer 272 or the like. Each axle carriage 264 is pivotally mounted on upper block 262 on a pivot 274 which is typically in the form of a threaded fastener which also secures carriage 264 to block 262. As shown in FIG. 15, the axle carriage 264 of the front truck 258F is mounted to pivot about an axis X8 which passes through pivot 274 and angles upwardly and forward therefrom substantially along the axial center line of plate 114 and groove 58. Similarly, the axle carriage 264 of the rear truck 258R is pivotable about an axis X9 which passes through the associated pivot 274 and angles upwardly and rearwardly therefrom also along the axial center line of plate 114 and groove 58. Axes X8 and X9 typically lie within plane P2.
Left and right coil springs 276L and 276R are mounted respectively on the left and right of respective truck 258 in order to resist the pivotal movement about axes X8 and X9 to some degree and provide some shock absorption during such pivotal movement. More particularly, left spring 276L angles downwardly, forward and to the left from an upper connection with upper block 262 to a lower connection with axle carriage 264 spaced to the left of central plane P2. Likewise, spring 276R angles downwardly, forward and outwardly to the right from an upper connection along the right half of corresponding truck 258 to a lower connection with axle carriage 264 which is axially outward to the right of the upper connection. Thus, as shown in FIG. 17, the pivotal movement of carriage 264 to move left axle 266L upward is resisted with some shock absorbency by left spring 276L. Likewise, the pivotal movement of carriage 264 to move right axle 266R upwardly is resisted by spring 276R which also provides some shock absorbent characteristics. Spring 276L and 276R thus bias the respective left and right sides of axle carriage 264 downwardly so that in combination, the two springs bias carriage 264 to a home position illustrated in solid lines in FIG. 17 so that axle 266L and 266R are substantially horizontal, as is axis X6. FIG. 17 also illustrates the pivotal movement of carriage 264 and mini-skis 256 in dot dash lines. FIG. 17 also illustrates that when left axle 266L is pivoted upwardly relative to upper block 262, the corresponding left mini-ski 256 is pivotable about an axis X6a which angles upwardly to the left relative to axis X6. Similarly, when right axle 266R pivots upwardly, the corresponding right mini-ski 256 is pivotable about an axis X6b which angles upwardly and to the right relative to axis X6.
Front truck 258F is rigidly secured to the bottom of plate 114 adjacent its front end 194 by four front screws 278F which extend respectively through holes 279 (FIG. 17) and respectively threadedly engage the four threaded holes 218, 220, 222 and 224 (FIG. 11) formed in plate 114. The rear truck 258R is similarly secured to plate 114 with rear screws 278R. Rear screws 278R likewise respectively threadedly engage threaded holes 226, 228, 230 and 232 which are also shown in FIG. 11. Trucks 258 are thus mounted on the bottom of plate 114, which is mounted to the bottom of boot 12 as previously described with reference to ski skate 110. The configuration of ski skate 254 can thus be arrived at, for example, by reconfiguring one of ski skates 110 and 252 by removing the fasteners securing rail 14 to the bottom of mounting plate 114 and securing trucks 258 at the bottom of mounting plate as described.
The present system also allows for the configuration of a heavy duty roller skate 280 (FIG. 18). More particularly, roller skate 280 includes a ski boot 282, front and rear ski bindings 284 and 286 and a modified mounting adapter 288 which includes mounting plate 114 and is used for securing front and rear trucks 258F and 258R with four wheels 290 rotatably mounted on the respective axles of said trucks in a "quad" configuration. As shown in FIG. 18, ski boot 282 has a top which is not illustrated, a bottom 292, a toe 294 defining the front of the upper of the boot, a heel 296 defining the rear of the upper of the boot, a foot receiving portion 300 extending rearwardly from toe 294 to heel 296 and an ankle receiving portion 302 extending upwardly from portion 300 adjacent and forward of heel 296. A substantial portion of the upper of the boot is formed of a substantially rigid material 304 as known in the art to provide substantial stability to a snow skier's foot. The upper may also include flexible breathable material 306 and typically includes securing straps 308A-C wherein straps 308A and 308B extend over the top of the foot portion and strap 308C extends around the ankle portion 302. Straps 308 have tightening and loosening mechanisms for respectively tightening and loosening the straps. Outer sole 298 defines bottom 292 and includes a front most section 310 which projects forward of toe 294 therebelow, and a rearmost section 312 which projects rearwardly of heel 296 therebelow. A latch-receiving notch 314 is formed in rearmost section 312 spaced upwardly from bottom 292 and opening rearwardly.
Front binding 284 is a rigid structure which defines a rearwardly opening toe notch 316 formed above a base 318, below a top arm 320 and between a right arm 322 and a left arm (not shown). Toe notch 316 receives therein front most section 310 of outer sole 298 when ski boot 282 is mounted on the ski bindings. The bottom 292 of outer sole 298 adjacent front most section 310 is seated on the top surface of base 318, with top arm 320 extending over and engaging the upper surface of front most section 310, right arm 322 extending to the right of and engaging the right side of front most section 310, and the left arm (not shown) similarly extending to the left of and engaging the left side of front most portion 310.
Rear ski binding 286 includes a base 324 including a front portion 326 and a rear portion 328 connected to and extending rearwardly from front portion 326. A handle-mounting portion 330 is secured to and extends upwardly from rear portion 328 for rotatably mounting thereon a quick release handle 322 which is pivotable as indicated at arrow E between a lowered secured position and a raised unsecured position. A latch member 334 is operatively connected to quick release handle 332 and defines a heel-receiving cavity 336 bounded by a top insert or arm 338 which extends over cavity 336, a right arm 340 which extends to the right of cavity 336 and a left arm (not shown) which extends to the left of cavity 336. Top arm 338 is inserted into rear notch 314 of boot 12 and rearmost portion 310 is received in cavity 336 with the left and right arms respectively on the left and right sides thereof and in engagement therewith when in the secured position of handle 332 in order to secure ski boot 282 on front and rear bindings 284 and 286. The pivotable movement of quick release handle 332 upwardly to its unsecured position causes latch member 334 to release its securing engagement with the rear of boot 12 so that boot 12 may be released from bindings 284 and 286.
As previously noted, front and rear bindings 284 and 286 are secured to the top of modified mounting adapter 288, which is now described in greater detail with primary reference to FIGS. 19-24. Adapter 288 includes plate 114, a front upper plate 342 which is removably mounted atop and adjacent the front of plate 114, and a rear upper plate 344 which is removably mounted atop plate 114 adjacent its rear end. Front upper plate 342 has front and rear ends 346 and 348 defining therebetween a length L5 (FIG. 22) which is substantially less than length L2 (FIG. 11) of plate 114. In the exemplary embodiment, length L5 is generally about half that of length L2 although this may vary. Plate 342 has left and right sides 350 and 352 which define therebetween a width W3, which is thus in the exemplary embodiment the same as that of plate 114. Plate 342 has flat horizontal top and bottom surfaces 354 and 356. A longitudinal groove 358 is formed in the bottom of plate 342 extending upwardly from bottom surface 356 centrally between left and right sides 350 and 352. More particularly, groove 358 is bounded by left and right edges 360 and 362 which are axially spaced from one another and extend upwardly from bottom surface 356 to a horizontal ceiling 364. Groove 358 extends the full length of plate 342 from front end 346 to rear end 348. Left and right edges 360 and 362 define therebetween a width W6 (FIG. 23) of groove 358 which is only slightly larger than width W4 (FIG. 20) of ridge 208 of plate 114. Ridge 208 is thus inserted into groove 358 when plate 342 is mounted atop plate 114 such that left and right edges 210 and 212 of ridge 208 are abutting or closely adjacent left and right edges 360 and 362.
A set of six longitudinally spaced and longitudinally aligned central mounting holes 366A-F are formed in plate 342 extending from top surface 354 to ceiling 364. Holes 366 are non-threaded and countersunk in the exemplary embodiment. Holes 366A-F are evenly axially spaced such that each adjacent pair of said holes 366 defines therebetween the same distance. In addition, the spacing between each adjacent pair of holes 366 is substantially the same as that defined between central threaded holes 234A and 234B (FIG. 20) of plate 114 so that an adjacent pair of holes 366 may be aligned respectively with holes 234A and 234B to receive therethrough respective bolts or screws 370 which threadedly engage holes 234A and 234B respectively in order to secure front upper plate 342 atop the front of primary plate 114. FIG. 19 shows two screws respectively received through holes 366E and 366F. However, any adjacent pair of holes 366 may be aligned with holes 234A and 234B to receive therethrough the pair of screws 370 to mount plate 342 on plate 114. It will be evident that this allows the longitudinal position of plate 342 relative to plate 114 to be adjusted depending upon which holes 366 are aligned with 234A and 234B. Plate 342 may thus be positioned in various longitudinally spaced positions relative to plate 114 in order to alter the overall length of adapter 288. Four threaded through holes 368 are also formed in front upper plate 342 with a pair of the holes 368 adjacent front end 346 and another pair of the holes 368 spaced rearwardly thereof such that the four holes 368 define the corners of a square or rectangle as viewed from above. The left pair of holes 368 are longitudinally aligned and intersect left edge 360 of groove 358 such that threaded hole 368 extends downwardly to ceiling 364 with about half of hole 368 continuing on downwardly to bottom surface 356. The right holes 368 are likewise formed to intersect right edge 362 of groove 358.
Rear upper plate 344 is very similar to front upper plate 342. Like plate 342, plate 344 is a flat horizontal plate which is rectangular as viewed from above. Rear plate 344 has front and rear ends 372 and 374 defining therebetween a length L5 (FIG. 21), which is thus the same as that of plate 342. Plate 344 has also left and right sides 376 and 378 defining therebetween a width W3 which is thus also the same as plate 342 and plate 114. However, the length and width of plates 342 and 344 do not necessarily need to be the same. Plate 344 has flat horizontal top and bottom surfaces 380 and 382. A longitudinal groove 384 like groove 364 is formed in the bottom of plate 344 and extends upwardly from bottom surface 382, and extends the full length of plate 344 from the front end 372 to rear end 374. More particularly, left and right edges 386 and 388 extend upwardly from bottom surface 382 to a flat horizontal ceiling 390 such that left and right edges 386 and 388 and ceiling 390 bound groove 384, and left and right edges 386 and 388 define therebetween width W6 (FIG. 20), which is thus the same as that illustrated for groove 358 in FIG. 23. Ridge 208 of plate 114 is thus received within groove 384 in the same manner as it is in groove 358.
Six central mounting holes 392A-F are formed in plate 344 extending from top surface 380 to ceiling 390 midway between left and right sides 376 and 378. Holes 392 are collinear and longitudinally aligned in the same manner as holes 366, and thus are also evenly spaced from one another by the same longitudinal distance such that each adjacent pair of holes 392 may be aligned respectively with threaded holes 236A and 236B (FIG. 20) in plate 114. Thus, another set of screws 370 can be received through an adjacent pair of holes 392 to threadedly engage holes 236A and 236B respectively to secure rear plate 344 atop the rear portion of bottom plate 114. As shown in FIG. 19, the heads of screws 370 are received in the countersunk portions of holes 366E, 366F, 392A and 392B so that the top of the heads of screws 370 is flush with or below top surfaces 354 of plate 342 and 380 of plate 344. Four threaded holes 394 are also formed in plate 344 extending from top surface 380 to ceiling 390. The front pair of holes 394 are axially aligned with one another as are the rear pair of holes 394. The left pair of holes 394 are longitudinally aligned with one another as are the right pair of holes 394. The left and right sets of holes 394 are closer together than are the left and right sets of holes 368 in plate 342, and thus do not intersect edges 386 and 388 like their counterpart holes 368 do. Other than the specific positioning of holes 368 in plate 342 and the specific positioning of holes 394 in plate 344, plates 342 and 344 are substantially identical in the exemplary embodiment.
FIG. 25 illustrates the mounting of adapter 288 on the bottom of the ski bindings 284 and 286. More particularly, holes 396 are formed in the front binding 284 as illustrated in FIG. 25. Holes 396 are also formed in the rear binding although not shown for brevity. Screws 398 are received respectively from above through holes 396 and threadedly engage holes 368 respectively in plate 342 to removably and rigidly secure front binding 284 to front upper plate 342. Additional screws 398 are likewise received through like holes in rear binding 286 and the holes 394 in plate 344 to secure rear binding 286 to rear upper plate 344 in the same manner. Thus, the upper block 262 of front truck 258F is rigidly secured to plate 114, which is rigidly secured to front upper plate 342, which is in turn rigidly secured to front binding 284. This same type of rigid connection exists between the upper block 262 of rear truck 258R, plate 114, rear upper plate 344, and rear binder 286.
FIG. 25 also illustrates the mounting of wheels 290 on trucks 258. Although any suitable type of wheels may be used, the wheels 290 in the exemplary embodiment are generally oversized wheels within the roller skating field and are typically for use on steep outdoor pavement for skating at relatively high rates of speed. Wheels 290 include a rugged rim 400, a rubber, elastomeric or suitable plastic wheel 401 circumscribing and secured to rim 400, and suitable bearings such that each wheel 290 is rotatably mounted via bearings 402 on the respective axle 266 and secured thereon by a respective nut 270 or the like. Roller skate 280 can thus be configured using many of the parts of the system previously discussed such as trucks 258 and plate 114 by mounting plate 114 on upper plates 342 and 344, mounting upper plates 342 and 344 on the front and rear ski bindings, and mounting wheels on trucks 258.
Referring now to FIG. 26, the system of the present invention further includes a ski skate 404 which utilizes ski boot 282, front and rear ski bindings 284 and 286, mounting adapter 288, front and rear trucks 258F and 258R and four mini-skis 256 which are mounted on trucks 258F and 258R in the same manner as discussed with the quad ski skate 254 in FIGS. 15-17. Like the previous embodiments of ski-skates described herein, ski-skate 404 is configured so that the bottoms of mini-skis 256 engage and ski on snow 113 (FIG. 8) in the forward or rearward directions. The system thus allows for the reconfiguration between the roller skate 280 and ski skate 404 simply by removing wheels 290 and replacing them with ski skates 256 or vice versa. Ski skate 404 is not discussed in greater detail inasmuch as all of its components and their operation have been discussed with reference to the previous embodiments.
The system of the present invention also includes a ski board 410 which includes a standard skate board 412 with rail 14 mounted on the bottom of board 412 and extending downwardly therefrom, front and rear mini-skis 112 rotatably mounted respectively about axes X1 and X5 in the same manner as described with reference to ski skate 252 (FIG. 14), and left and right blade assemblies 414 and 416 secured to and extending downwardly from board 412 on opposite sides of rail 14 and mini skis 112. Board 412 is a standard skate board having front and rear ends 418 and 420 defining therebetween a length L6 which is typically 18 to 36 inches and more typically 24 to 30 or 36 inches. Board 412 has left and right sides 422 and 424 defining therebetween a width W7 (FIG. 30) which is substantially wider than width W2 of short ski 128 of mini-ski 112. In the exemplary embodiment, width W7 is about three times that of width W2 although this may vary substantially. Board 412 has top and bottom surfaces 426 and 428 which are generally horizontal along most of the length of board 412. Board 412 includes a substantially flat horizontal central section 430, a front section 432 which curves upwardly from the front of central section 430 to front end 418, and a rear section 434 which curves upwardly from the back of central section 430 to rear end 420, much in the way that the various segments of ski 128 does. A tether ring 436 is secured to board 412 adjacent front end 418 and extends upwardly therefrom and is configured for receiving therethrough a tether, rope or the like (not shown) so that the rider of ski board 410 can hold on to the tether or rope if desired. As viewed from above or below (FIG. 28), board 412 has a convexly curved front end 438 and a convexly curved rear end 440. Several central counterbore holes 442 (FIG. 30) are formed midway between left and right sides 422 and 424 of board 412 extending from top surface 426 to bottom surface 428. Counterbore holes 442 include a set of two front holes adjacent one another and axially offset from one another and the axial center of board 412. Similarly, holes 442 include a rear set of two holes which are likewise offset. Holes 442 align respectively with the four elongated openings 60 (FIG. 28) formed in top wall 48 of rail 14. Four threaded fasteners in the form of bolts 443 extend through respective holes 442 and aligned holes 60 and are threaded engaged by respective nuts 445 to secure rail 14 to the bottom 428 of board 412 so that mini-skis 112 are rotatably secured to board 412 via their pivotal mounting on rail 14. A set of four left holes 444 is also formed in board 412 adjacent left side 422 and extending upwardly from bottom surface 428. Likewise, a set of four right holes 446 are formed in board 412 adjacent right side 424 extending upwardly from bottom surface 428. Left holes 444 are longitudinally aligned and spaced from one another. Right holes 446 are likewise longitudinally aligned and spaced from one another.
Each of left and right blade assemblies 414 and 416 includes a mounting angle 448 comprising a horizontal leg 450 and a vertical leg 452 secured to one edge of leg 450 and extending vertically downwardly therefrom. Each angle 448 is longitudinally elongated and parallel to the other and sides 422 and 424. Four holes 454 are formed in horizontal leg 450 and aligned with the respective holes 444 for the left angle and holes 454 for the right angle. Respective screws 456 are thus received through holes 454 and screwed into holes 444 and 446 in order to removably and rigidly secure respective blade assemblies 414 and 416 on the bottom of board 412. In the exemplary embodiment, each blade assembly includes a pair of vertically oriented and longitudinally elongated blades 458 secured to opposed sides of vertical leg 452 by plurality of fasteners shown here as rivets 460 although other fasteners or fastening mechanisms may be used. Each blade 458 has vertical opposed sides and a bottom edge 462 which is generally horizontal and has a slightly convex curve as viewed from the side whereby edge 462 has a lower most point 464 which is typically aligned below the longitudinal center of board 412. Lower most point 464 is spaced downward a vertical distance D1 from bottom surface 428. Bottom surface 148 of the central segment of mini-ski 112 is spaced downwardly from bottom surface 428 a vertical distance D2 which is substantially greater than distance D1, whereby bottom surface 148 is spaced downwardly from lower most point 464 a vertical distance D3 which in the exemplary embodiment is a little greater than distance D1.
Ski board 410 is thus configured so that the bottom of mini-ski 112 engages and skis along snow 113 (FIG. 8) in either the forward or rearward direction as the user stands on top surface 426 of board 412. As previously noted, the user may attach a tether to ring 436 in order to provide greater stability and/or control of ski board 410. Left and right blade assemblies 414 and 416 tend to cut into snow 113 during use especially when the user of ski board 410 is banking to the left or right while skiing along on mini-ski 112. Depending on the conditions of the snow and/or ice along which the user is traveling, blade assemblies 414 and 416 may be in contact with the snow and/or ice even when the user is not banking to the left or the right such that board 412 is substantially parallel with the upper surface of the snow and/or ice. As the user banks ski board 410 to the left, left blade assemblies 414 engage and tend to dig into the snow and/or ice below its upper surface such that the left blade assembly 414 tends to catch on the snow and/or ice to prevent or limit axial movement of the ski board 410 relative to the snow and/or ice to the right. Similarly, right blade assembly 416 will engage and dig into the snow and/or ice as the user banks the ski board 410 to the right whereby right blade assembly 416 catches on the snow and/or ice and tends to limit the axial movement of ski board 410 axially to the left.
The system of the present invention thus provides for a multiple inter-related embodiments for use on ice, snow, pavement and so forth wherein the various components may be used as a kit such that the components are interchangeable and adapted to mount on various boots and/or boards via the use of rail 14, or the adapters which may include plate 114 and plates 342 and 344. While the primary embodiments have been shown specifically in the drawings and described herein, the system also includes any other embodiments which may be formed by the combination of various components of the system.
In the foregoing description, certain terms have been used for brevity, clearness, and understanding. No unnecessary limitations are to be implied therefrom beyond the requirement of the prior art because such terms are used for descriptive purposes and are intended to be broadly construed.
Moreover, the description and illustration of the invention is an example and the invention is not limited to the exact details shown or described.
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