– I had to skate with a slipper to prove the stability of this system, Kjell Sandnes tells Teknisk Ukeblad.
The inventor developed what can be called “extra binding”, which in his opinion gives almost total lateral torsional stiffness even in soft skis and mountain ski boots.
– It works very well. You will notice this especially if you are going to be driving on a steep slope. Nothing gives up. I almost think it’s more stable sideways than the randone gear. He says you have a very good edge grip.
Sandnes patented the hobby project and submitted a number of prototypes for the solution. (See more photos below.)
telescopic support arm
His invention consisted of a movable support arm attached to the sled behind the casing. The support arm has a telescopic tube that tracks the skate’s up and down movements. The arm is then secured into a mantle, which in turn is secured around the ski boot, leg, and ankle.
The support arm has a flexible counter force that can be adjusted. This way you can go up almost without resistance to the bend, and drive down with more resistance to the bend, to get more pressure on the front skate.
The inventor made several versions of the system, both versions where the support is integrated into the ski boot and the version with a separate removable sleeve for fixing around the leg. He also made models for figure skating and snowboarding.
It started in the childhood of Telemark
Sundance lives about halfway between Gottenheim and Rondan in Lalm in Fago. He has a background as an auto mechanic and has previously patented a skate ladder. He was also an active sports player.
The inventor began skiing in Telemark’s childhood in the 1990s, on mountain skis and leather boots. Twisted ski boots and ski edges that slipped were a known problem.
Even then, in middle school, I started thinking about the problem of fixing skate shoes to the ties, he says.
For the past ten years, he has been working with the solution as a hobby.
“I got a system that I thought worked so well that it was worth trying to patent it,” he says.
He filed a patent application in 2016, and the following year he obtained the patent, i.e. approved, from the Norwegian Patent Office. Since then, he has developed the system.
3D printer in the hobby room
Prototypes were created in the hobby room at home. Here he has a 3D printer, tools and equipment. Almost all parts of his system are 3D printed.
It was a revolution for me when the 3D printer came along. Then I can do exactly what I want to do, he says.
In one setting, he fitted the brace to a pair of light Randon skis along with the front of his Rotefella BC mountain ski and a 3D-printed heel lift.
In another setup, he modified the Alpina skate shoe, so that the attachment to the support arm fits into the shoe’s ankle brace. He then installed the support arm and forward onto a snowboard linkage on a pair of ultra-light randone skates developed for competitions (Dynafit PDG).
-The basic idea was to make the lightest randoni/mountain ski system that worked, says the inventor.
– With the traps, it was complete under one kilogram per foot, he says.
Plastic shoes will fall off
Since Sandnes began developing the device, there has been a revolution in equipment. Ultra-light randoni ties (technical ties) and plastic shoes have become common property. Plastic shoes are also dominant among the few who still lead the telemark.
Do you see any advantages in your setup that Randoni gear or plastic Telemark boots don’t provide?
The driver should avoid walking with heavy, hard plastic shoes. It’s very comfortable to wear leather shoes, says Sandnes, adding that he also has Randoni gear.
He also points out that leather shoes are much better to go on ski trips where you have to put your skis on and off. On short trips, you can drive with your ski boots.
It is very convenient to be able to walk calmly and easily. If it’s hard to break through, I miss the forward and backward support on the randone gear. He says you can fall fast forward and backward.
The inventor believes that the equipment cannot be compared with randoni equipment, but it is very similar to a cross between traditional mountain ski equipment and randoni gear. He also installed the system on traditional mountain skis.
One of those things was Rottefella’s idea when they recently launched a tie-down called Xplore, which will fill the gap between mountain-ski ties and heavy equipment. TU discussed their plans to hook up a new mountain ski while it was still on the drawing board.
Sundance also cites the cost of modern ski equipment as a driver.
– For my part, the price was great. He says the ability to make your own equipment, without having to buy anything, has been a driving force.
Play and hobby
The inventor himself has no plans to put the device on the market, despite having received a patent.
– He says doing this has been a practice and a hobby.
Prototypes are currently being produced for additional binding only for family and friends. If anyone else is interested, they will be happy to help.
“I think it would have been incredibly fun if someone had brought it to market,” he says.