Patent application title: ICE SKATE BLADE
Dennis John Finley (Langley, CA)
IPC8 Class: AA63C132FI
Class name: Skates runner type runners
Publication date: 2016-03-03
Patent application number: 20160059107
A skate blade for an ice hockey skate comprising a blade having an upper
portion having a thickness corresponding to a standard skate blade and a
lower portion having a pair of substantially parallel side walls defining
a lower portion thickness of between 4.06 to 6.35 mm, the lower portion
thickness extending from the bottom of the blade a height of 3.175 to
1. An ice skate blade comprising: a top surface for fitting into an ice
skate frame and a bottom edge, a pair of substantially parallel upper
side surfaces defining an upper portion having a thickness of
approximately 3 mm, and a pair of substantially parallel lower side
surfaces defining a lower portion having a thickness of between 4.06 to
2. The ice skate blade of claim 1 wherein said lower portion having a height measured from said bottom edge of between 3.175 mm to 4.45 mm.
3. The ice skate blade of claim 2 wherein said lower portion having a thickness between 4.39 mm to 4.83 mm.
4. An ice skate blade for use with hockey skates comprising an elongated arcuate steel blade having a top surface with a connection system for connecting to a hockey skate and a bottom surface for engaging an ice surface, said blade having a first thickness at said top and a second thickness at said bottom, said second thickness being selected from a range of thicknesses between 4.06 to 6.35 mm.
5. The ice skate blade of claim 4 wherein said second thickness extending from said bottom surface a height of between 3.175 to 4.45 mm forming a lower portion of said skate blade.
6. The ice skate blade of claim 5 wherein said second thickness being between 4.39 and 4.83 mm.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention relates to an improved ice skate blade for an ice hockey skate.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 Hockey is a very competitive sport. As training programs and coaching has improved, so too has the speed and skill of the players. In addition, with advances in technology, hockey equipment has improved over the years--becoming lighter and stronger. Skates have been designed with blades that balance the competing requirements of strength and weight--the blade needs to be thick enough to resist transverse impacts on the blade and yet be as thin as possible to limit their weight. For example, blades have been made of high grade stainless steel and lightweight aluminum fused together by epoxy and rivets.
 Besides, the focus on strength/weight, a number of new skate blade designs have been developed in order provide the user with an advantage over a standard skate blade.
 For example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,314,708 teaches an ice skate blade having an elongated flat blade body defining opposed side walls and a support bottom edge having a slot in at least a forward half portion thereof intermediate the opposed side walls and a solid rear portion. The bottom portion of the blade is wider (up to 150 thousandths of an inch) than the top, which is the typical blade thickness (about 120 thousandths of an inch). According to the patent, this additional thickness is required in order that opposed side walls (shoulder portions 24) on each side of the slot are sufficiently thick to resist transverse impact during a game of hockey.
 According to the patent, the two thin opposed side walls provide better penetration of the ice as each side wall is thinner than a regular skate blade. In addition, the patent teaches that the thin blades in combination with the substantially flat bottom edge provides for better acceleration and stability in sweeping curve motions or in backward skating.
 U.S. Pat. No. 4,907,813 issued to Hall teaches a skate blade having a skating edge having two widths. The front toe portion of the blade has a width equivalent to a standard hockey ice skate, while a gliding portion behind the toe portion has a narrower width corresponding to ice skate racing blades. According to the teachings of Hall, "the provision of the narrower blade portion in this area of the edge allows for an increase in gliding speeds similar to that obtained with racing skates" (see column 2, lines 44-46).
 In addition to designs reducing the width of the blade in order to increase performance, other designs have focussed on the angle of the blade. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,830,251 to Titzmann teaches an ice skate blade having an upper portion with parallel sides (like a normal hockey skate blade), and a lower portion having two faces flared outwardly from the upper portion thereby providing angled cutting edges, the angle being between 4 to 12 degrees from the vertical, preferably 8 degrees. Titzmann teaches that the effectiveness of the blade is dependent on the special relationship between the bottom width, preferably between 4-5 mm, and the preferred angles of the lower faces. As sharpening the blade will affect this, the blade will lose its preferred advantage, becoming less effective with each sharpening. The solution presented by Titzmann is to use material for the blade that is hard enough not to require frequent sharpening.
 U.S. Pat. No. 7,234,709 issued to Lambert also teaches angling the skate blade cutting edge in order to improve performance. Lambert teaches a skate blade having an upper portion having a standard skate blade width, a middle portion wider than the upper portion and a lower portion having angled side walls such that it is wider at the bottom than at the top where it joins with the middle portion. According to Lambert, the preferred angle is between 2 and 8 degrees, and most preferably between 4 and 5 degrees. The middle portion is 4 mm wide and provides added rigidity, with the angled lower portion "providing edges with much improved ice penetration with the result that trajectory changes are greatly facilitated, and better release are retained when skating" (column 5, lines 11-14).
 While the above designs have addressed various shortcomings of prior art skate blades, there remains a need for an improved skate blade.
 Objects of the invention will be apparent from the description that follows.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 The invention consists of a skate blade for use on an ice skate, the skate blade having an upper portion having substantially parallel sides defining a standard hockey blade width (approximately 3 mm) and a lower portion having substantially parallel sides defining a uniform width, preferably between 4.06 mm to 6.35 mm.
 The lower portion is of a uniform thickness (width) having a height measured from the bottom edge of the blade of between 3.175 mm to 4.45 mm.
 The foregoing was intended as a broad summary only and of only some of the aspects of the invention. It was not intended to define the limits or requirements of the invention. Other aspects of the invention will be appreciated by reference to the detailed description of the preferred embodiment and to the claims.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 These and other features of the invention will become more apparent from the following description in which reference is made to the appended drawings and wherein:
 FIG. 1 is a side view of a skate blade according to the present invention.
 FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view of the skate blade shown in FIG. 1, taken along line A-A.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
 The preferred embodiment of a skate blade 2 according to the present invention for use in playing hockey is shown in FIG. 1. The skate blade 2 has a top edge 4, a bottom edge 6 and an upper portion having a pair of side walls 5, 7, and a lower portion having a pair of side walls 9, 11, as shown in FIG. 2. The side walls 5, 7 are substantially parallel and define a blade width 20 corresponding to the standard width of a hockey skate blade (approximately 3 mm). The lower portion 10 side walls 9, 11 are also substantially parallel and define a blade width 16 that is wider than that of the upper portion.
 Preferably, lower portion 10 has a blade width of between 4.06 mm (0.160 inch) to 6.35 mm (0.250 inch) and a height 18 that is between 3.175 mm to 4.45 mm (0.125 to 0.175 inches). The height of the lower portion allows the blade to be ground and reshaped without losing the width at the bottom to maintain the same performance grind after grind when being sharpened. In addition, some skaters like to alter the bottom of the blade, grinding more at the front and back of the skate blade in order to increase the arc of the blade. Having a sufficient height of lower portion 10 allows a blade to be sharpened in this fashion while still maintaining the same bottom edge width throughout the length of the blade. This is not possible with the prior art angled side edge designs. At the same time, limiting the height of the lower portion helps keep the overall weight of the blade down so as not to impact long term performance by a user.
 The most preferred width of the lower portion is between 4.39 mm to 4.83 mm (0.173 to 0.190 inches), with the larger size being more desirable for use with a larger user (100 kg or 220 lbs and above). Once into the larger weight users, the additional width appears helpful in preventing the skate blade from digging too deep into the ice surface.
 The skate blade 2 is equipped with a mounting system for mounting the blade into a blade-holding system for a skate as known in the art. As shown in FIG. 1, the mounting system could be in the form of a pair of connecting elements 12 and 14 elevated above the top edge 4 of blade 2. Of course, the connecting elements of the mounting system can be modified to correspond to a variety of different blade-holding systems in order to accommodate different skate brands.
 As shown in FIG. 2, the bottom surface 22 is concave between opposite bottom edges 6 of sides 5, 7. The concavity can be varied as known in the art and depending on the skater's own preferences.
 When using the blades of the present invention as compared to a standard hockey skate blade, the glide speed is notably faster and requires less effort. The blades may be sharpened (ground) many times without any performance loss as the width of the lower portion will remain constant for many skate sharpenings (essentially until the blade has been reduced to an overall height that a user would consider too small for use and get a new blade). In addition, as discussed above, a given user can re-profile the arc of the blade and maintain the same performance characteristics along the full length of the blade edge.
 It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the preferred and alternative embodiments have been described in some detail but that certain modifications may be practiced without departing from the principles of the invention.
Patent applications in class Runners
Patent applications in all subclasses Runners
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