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United States Patent Application 20020158430
Kind Code A1
Farcot, David ;   et al. October 31, 2002

Gliding apparatus having two boards

Abstract

A gliding apparatus that includes an upper board and a lower board affixed to one another by two linkages. Each of the linkages of the apparatus includes a lower footing affixed to the lower board, an upper footing affixed to the upper board, and a journal that enables a rotation of the lower footing relative to the upper footing along a substantially transverse axis of the apparatus.


Inventors: Farcot, David; (Annecy, FR) ; Rancon, Henri; (Cran-Gevrier, FR)
Correspondence Address:
    GREENBLUM & BERNSTEIN, P.L.C.
    1941 ROLAND CLARKE PLACE
    RESTON
    VA
    20191
    US
Assignee: SALOMON S.A.
Metz-Tessy
FR

Serial No.: 118950
Series Code: 10
Filed: April 10, 2002

Current U.S. Class: 280/14.21
Class at Publication: 280/14.21
International Class: A63C 005/03


Foreign Application Data

DateCodeApplication Number
Apr 26, 2001FR01 05889

Claims



What is claimed is:

1. A gliding apparatus comprising: two boards positioned one on top of the other, said two boards comprising an upper board to support a user's feet, and a lower board having a lower gliding surface, two linkages affixing said two boards to one another such that said two boards are kept spaced apart, said two linkages being longitudinally spaced apart, each of said two linkages includes a lower footing affixed to said lower board, an upper footing affixed to said upper board, and a journal enabling a rotation of said lower footing relative to said upper footing along a substantially transverse axis of the apparatus.

2. A gliding apparatus according to claim 1, wherein one of said two footings has the shape of a half-cylinder, wherein a second of said two footings is a block in which a cylindrical concave groove is arranged, and wherein said journal of said one footing relative to the other includes a cylindrical surface of the half-cylinder, said cylindrical concave groove of said block, a hole of the block, a slit of the half-cylinder-shaped footing, and a screw and a nut.

3. A gliding apparatus according to claim 2, wherein said half-cylinder-shaped footing is affixed to said lower board, and wherein the grooved block is affixed to said upper board.

4. A gliding apparatus according to claim 3, wherein said slit has an upper portion and a lower portion that extends said upper portion downward, the portions being oriented along the longitudinal direction of the apparatus, said lower portion being both longer and wider than said upper portion.

5. A gliding apparatus according to claim 3, wherein said lower footing is affixed to said lower board by means of two screws.

6. A gliding apparatus according to claim 3, wherein said upper footing is affixed to said upper board comprises a screw and a nut, said screw extending through a hole of said upper board.

7. A gliding apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said upper board is wider than said lower board.

8. A gliding apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said upper and lower boards each have substantially an identical length.

9. A gliding apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said linkages are arranged symmetrically relative to a central transverse axis of the apparatus.

10. A gliding apparatus according to claim 1, wherein each of said upper and lower boards have front and rear ends, each of said front and rear ends of said upper and lower boards having shovels.

11. Gliding apparatus according to claim 1, wherein at least one spacer is positioned between one of said two linkages and one of said upper and lower boards.

12. A gliding apparatus according to claim 1, wherein one of said footings is a base, wherein the other of said footings is a lug, and wherein said journal of one of said footings relative to the other of said footings includes a pin.

13. A gliding apparatus according to claim 1, wherein one of said footings is a slit base, wherein the other of said footings is a slit base, and wherein said journal includes a flexible blade inserted into the slits of said bases.
Description



CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application is based upon French Patent Application No. 01 05889, filed Apr. 26, 2001, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference thereto in its entirety, and the priority of which is hereby claimed under 35 U.S.C. .sctn.119.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] The present invention relates to a gliding apparatus, such as a snowboard, that includes two boards. The apparatus is to be operated by the physical activity of a user, with or without the help of gravity.

[0004] 2. Description of Background and Relevant Information

[0005] Apparatuses of the aforementioned type are generally used on slippery surfaces, such as snow or ice, and sometimes on grass or sand.

[0006] In certain cases, the two boards of a gliding apparatus are positioned one on top of the other.

[0007] That is the case for U.S. Pat. No. 3,343,847, for example, where an upper board is provided to support the two feet of a user, and a lower board is provided to glide. The two boards are affixed to one another by two linkages, such that the boards are spaced apart and oriented substantially in the same longitudinal direction. The linkages are spaced apart longitudinally

[0008] This apparatus makes it possible for the rider to travel along a trajectory that is continuous or intersected with patterns. During its use, the apparatus is subjected to various forces, some of which bias the apparatus flexionally along a transverse axis. The bending forces applied over the entire length of the apparatus are transmitted through each linkage, the size of which is reduced in relation to that of the apparatus. As a result, each linkage must absorb substantial forces resulting in particular from torques along transverse axes.

[0009] Such forces accelerate the wear and tear of the linkages and, consequently, cause their degradation.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0010] An object of the invention is to reduce the forces to which each linkage is subjected, in order to prevent, or at least to significantly delay, its deterioration.

[0011] To this end, the invention proposes a gliding apparatus including two boards positioned one on top of the other, an upper board provided to support the user's feet, and a lower board provided to glide, the two boards being affixed to one another by two linkages, such that the boards are kept apart, the linkages being longitudinally spaced apart.

[0012] Each linkage of the gliding apparatus according to the invention includes a lower footing affixed to the lower board, an upper footing affixed to the upper board, as well as journal that enables a rotation of the lower footing relative to the upper footing, along a substantially transverse axis of the apparatus.

[0013] By enabling the relative rotation of the footing, the journal enables the forces to be distributed along each board, in particular in the case where these forces are generated by torques along transverse axes. Thus, each journal transmits weaker forces As a result, the wear and degradation of the linkages are advantageously reduced.

DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0014] Other characteristics and advantages of the invention will be better understood from the description that follows, with reference to the annexed drawings showing, by way of non-limiting examples, how the invention can be embodied, and in which:

[0015] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a gliding apparatus according to a first exemplary embodiment of the invention;

[0016] FIG. 2 is a side view of the apparatus of FIG. 1;

[0017] FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of the apparatus of FIG. 1;

[0018] FIG. 4 is a cross-section along the line 44 of FIG. 1;

[0019] FIG. 5 is a partial side view of a gliding apparatus according to a second exemplary embodiment of the invention;

[0020] FIG. 6 is an exploded perspective view of a linkage of a gliding board according to a third exemplary embodiment of the invention; and

[0021] FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a linkage of a gliding apparatus according to a fourth exemplary embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0022] The first exemplary embodiment of the invention is described hereinafter with reference to FIGS. 1-4.

[0023] In a known manner, as shown in FIG. 1, a gliding apparatus 1 includes two boards positioned one on top of the other, namely, an upper board 2 and a lower board 3.

[0024] The apparatus 1 extends longitudinally from a first limit 4 to a second limit 5, each of the limits 4, 5 being capable of being considered as the rear or the front. The apparatus 1 extends transversely from a first side 6 to a second side 7, each of the sides 6, 7 being capable of being considered as the right side or the left side.

[0025] The perimeter of the upper board 2 includes a first end 10, a first side edge 11, a second end 12, and a second side edge 13.

[0026] A top surface 14 of the upper board is provided to receive the user's feet.

[0027] As shown better in FIG. 2, the upper board 2 has, from the first end 10 to the second end 12, a first shovel 15, a mid-portion 16, and a second shovel 17.

[0028] Each shovel 15, 17 must be understood as being a turned-up end portion of the upper board 2. Each of the shovels 15, 17 is shown in the form of an incurved portion, whose center of curvature is turned upward. However, each of the shovels could have a different structure, such as that of a turned-up straight portion, or of a raised curved portion, but whose center of curvature would be downward.

[0029] The upper board 2 is preferably made of wood, such as wood core plywood or an equivalent. However, other materials could be used. For example, one could provide to stack a reinforcement of composite material, a foam and/or wooden core, and another reinforcement of composite material. The reinforcements can be covered with layers, such as a layer of a plastic material, for protection against external attacks.

[0030] One can also provide to cover the top surface 14 with a shock absorption layer. This layer can be made of rubber, silicone, cork, foam, a plastic material, or any equivalent material.

[0031] As seen better in FIG. 3, the lower board 3 has a perimeter that includes a first end 20, a first side edge 21, a second end 22, and a second side edge 23.

[0032] A bottom surface 24 of the lower board 3 is provided to glide on a support, which can be ice, snow, grass, a synthetic fabric, or the like.

[0033] The lower board 3 has, from the first end 20 to the second end 22, a first shovel 25, a mid-portion 26, and a second shovel 27.

[0034] Once again, each shovel 25, 27 must be understood as a turned-up end portion of the lower board 3.

[0035] Each of the shovels 25, 27 is shown in the form of an incurved portion whose center of curvature is turned upward; this shape is not limiting.

[0036] The lower board 3 is preferably constituted by a ski or a shape that can be considered "ski-shaped." As a result, it is formed by a vertical stacking that can be composed, in the order of bottom to top, of a gliding layer, a lower reinforcement, a core, an upper reinforcement, and a protective layer. This stacking essentially includes composite materials, and possibly wood.

[0037] The edges 21, 23 and/or the ends 20, 22 of the lower board 3 can have running edges.

[0038] It is within the scope of the invention that other materials could be used to make the lower board 3.

[0039] The two boards 2, 3 are affixed to one another by a first linkage 40 and a second linkage 41, such that the boards 2, 3 are vertically kept apart, and substantially oriented in the same longitudinal direction. The linkages are longitudinally spaced apart.

[0040] Given that the linkages 40, 41 are identical or similar, only one of them is described hereinafter.

[0041] According to the invention, the first linkage 40 includes a lower footing 42 affixed to the lower board 3, an upper footing 43 affixed to the upper board 2, as well as a journal that enable a rotation of the lower footing 42 relative to the upper footing 43, along a substantially transverse axis of the apparatus 1.

[0042] The lower footing 42 is shown in the form of a half-cylinder, with a flat surface 44 and a cylindrical surface 45. The flat surface 44 comes in support on top of a top surface 46 of the board 3, and the cylindrical surface 45 is turned upward.

[0043] The axis of rotation W of the cylinder is oriented transversely relative to the lower board 3, and relative to the apparatus 1.

[0044] The lower footing 42 is affixed to the lower board 3 by a means shown in the form of screws 47, 48. Each of the screws 47, 48 is screwed into the board 3, passing through holes 49, 50 through the lower footing. This affixation means enables disassembly, which facilitates the maintenance of the apparatus.

[0045] However, other affixation means, such a riveting, snap engagement, glue, or the like, are suitable.

[0046] The lower footing 42 could also be provided to be unitary with the lower board 3.

[0047] Thus, the affixing of the lower footing 42 to the lower board 3 may or may not be detachable.

[0048] The upper footing 43 is shown in the form of a block that comes in support, by a flat surface 60, on a bottom surface 61 of the upper board 2.

[0049] Opposite the flat surface 60 of the block is arranged a cylindrical concave groove 62 whose axis of rotation is oriented transversely relative to the upper board 2, and relative to the apparatus 1.

[0050] The upper footing 43 is affixed to the upper board 2 by a means shown in the form of a screw 63 and nut 64. The screw 63 extends through a hole 65 of the upper board 2, then a hole 66 of the upper footing 43, so as to be screwed into the nut 64.

[0051] This affixation means also facilitates the maintenance of the board.

[0052] As in the case of the lower footing 42, other affixation means could also be used, and the upper footing could be unitary with the upper board 2.

[0053] As is better understood by means of FIG. 4, the means for the journal of the lower footing 42 relative to the upper footing 43 include the cylindrical surface 45 of the lower footing 42, the cylindrical groove 62 of the upper footing 43, the hole 66 of the upper footing 43, a slit 67 of the lower footing 42, as well as the screw 63 and nut 64 of the means for affixing the upper footing 43 to the upper board 2. The screw 63 also extends through the slit 67 of the lower footing 42 so as to be screwed into the nut 64, thus maintaining the cylindrical surface 45 in the cylindrical groove 62.

[0054] One could have provided that the screw 63 and nut 64 only serve to affix the upper footing 43 to the upper board 2, and that another screw be used for the journal. The use of the single screw 63 makes it possible to reduce the number of parts needed for manufacturing the apparatus 1.

[0055] The slit 67 of the lower footing 42 has an upper portion 68 oriented along the longitudinal direction of the apparatus 1, The upper portion 68 is oblong, for example. The length of the portion 68 is substantially greater than the diameter of the screw 63, and its width is hardly greater than the diameter of the screw 63. This enables a longitudinal clearance of the screw 63, as well as the lateral retention thereof.

[0056] The slit 67 of the lower footing 42 has a lower portion 69 that extends the upper portion 68 downward. This lower portion 69 is also oriented along the longitudinal direction of the apparatus 1. The lower portion 69 is both longer and wider than the upper portion 68. Its length is substantially greater than the diameter of the nut 64, and its width is hardly greater than the diameter of the nut 64. This enables a longitudinal clearance of the nut 64, as well as the rotational immobilization thereof.

[0057] To facilitate a rotation of the upper footing 43 relative to the lower footing 42, along a transverse axis of the apparatus 1, the cylindrical surface 45 of the lower footing 42 and the cylindrical groove 62 of the upper footing 43 have substantially the same radius of curvature. Thus, the axis of rotation of the cylindrical surface 45 of the lower footing 42 is merged with the axis of rotation of the cylindrical concave groove 62 of the upper footing 43.

[0058] During the operation of the apparatus 1, the upper 2 and lower 3 boards become deformed in longitudinal bending, in particular at the level of the shovels. For example, each of the shovels 25, 27 of the lower board 3 frequently comes closer elastically to the upper board 2 until contacting it. Consequently, the footings of the linkages oscillate one with respect to the other along a transverse axis of the apparatus. In the first linkage, this phenomenon translates into a rotation of the cylindrical surface 45 of the lower footing 42 in the cylindrical groove 62 of the upper footing 43.

[0059] The relative rotation of the footings 42, 43 prevents a tearing torque from being exerted in the area of the support surface 44, 60 of the footing 42, 43 on the board 2, 3.

[0060] This enables a distribution of the stresses along each board, and a reduction in the forces that transit by the linkages. As a result, the wear and degradation of the linkages are reduced.

[0061] Moreover, each board bends more freely lengthwise.

[0062] In terms of dimensions, each of the upper 2 and lower 3 boards preferably has substantially the same length, which is comprised between 0.5 and 2.0 meters, or comprised between approximately 0.5 and approximately 2.0 meters.

[0063] However, a length close to 0.8 to 1.0 meters, or approximately 0.8 meters to approximately 1.0 meters, offers a good compromise between weight and operational stability.

[0064] The upper board 2 is preferably wider than the lower board 3. For example, the width of the upper board can be comprised between 150 millimeters and 350 millimeters, or approximately 150 millimeters and approximately 350 millimeters, whereas the width of the lower board can be comprised between 60 and 150 millimeters, or approximately 60 millimeters and approximately 150 millimeters

[0065] Each of the linkages 40, 41 is preferably located at a distance comprised between 100 and 500 millimeters, or between approximately 100 and approximately 500 millimeters, from an end 10, 12, 20, 22 of the upper board 2 or of the lower board 3.

[0066] The linkages 40, 41 can be arranged substantially symmetrically with respect to a central transverse axis of the apparatus.

[0067] The other exemplary embodiment of the invention are presented hereinafter with reference to FIGS. 2-7.

[0068] For reasons of convenience, only the differences with respect to the first example are described in detail.

[0069] The second example is shown in FIG. 5. It relates to a gliding apparatus 80 that includes an upper board 81, a lower board 82, and a linkage 83 between the boards. Another linkage of the apparatus is not visible in FIG. 5. Each of the linkages is similar to those of the first example. The apparatus 80 is provided with a wedge or spacer 84 arranged between the linkage 83 and one of the boards 81, 82. The wedge 84 here is inserted between the linkage 83 and the upper board 81, but it could have been inserted between the linkage 83 and the lower board 82. One could have also provided two wedges on both sides of the same linkage.

[0070] Each wedge can serve to adjust the distance between the boards 81, 82. In this case, it is made, for example, of a relatively rigid material, such as a plastic or metallic material.

[0071] Each wedge can serve to absorb impacts and vibrations. In this case, it is made, for example, of a more flexible material, such as rubber, silicone, agglomerated cork, or the like.

[0072] The third example is shown in FIG. 6. It relates to a gliding apparatus, whose linkage 90 has a different structure than that of the first example. The linkage 90 is a journal that includes a lower, U-shaped footing or base 91, and an upper footing, or lug 92 journaled relative to the base 91 by means of a pin 93. The latter is oriented transversely relative to the apparatus. The base 91 and the lug 92 can be fixed to the upper board or to the lower board by any means, or can be unitary with the board.

[0073] The fourth example is shown in FIG. 7. It relates to a gliding apparatus whose linkage 100 has a different structure than those of the prior examples. The linkage 100 is a journal that includes two footings made in the form of a first 101 and second 102 slit bases, connected to one another by a journal made in the form of a flexible blade 103. The blade is inserted in the slits of the bases 101, 102, and maintained in the slits by any means such as glue, screws, rivets, force-fitting, snap engagement, or the like. The blade 103 is oriented transversely relative to the gliding apparatus.

[0074] In any event, the invention can be constructed from all of the materials used according to all of the techniques known to a person with ordinary skill in the art.

[0075] The invention is not limited to the particular examples described hereinabove, and includes all of the technical equivalents that fall within the scope of the claims that follow.

[0076] In particular, it is possible to provide other structures for each linkage of the upper board to the lower board of the apparatus.

[0077] It is always possible to switch the upper and lower footings to make a linkage.

* * * * *