WiSys: T170041US01

  • Patent applied for.

Low Maintenance Snowmobile Ski Design that Increases Traction, Maneuverability and Safety on Paved Surfaces


Alec Wery, Dalton Bellamy, Miles Demlow, Ozzie Goodman, Ryan Ashmore, Alex Biege

WiSys is currently seeking a strategic partner interested in further developing and manufacturing this technology, ultimately providing a route to market for its commercialization.
OVERVIEWMost modern snowmobiles have skis which use steel carbide runners as a means of gaining traction for steering on snow and ice. However, this ski design provides limited traction and maneuverability when crossing roads, going to gas stations and traveling on pavement, gravel and other hard surfaces. Exposure to these types of surfaces causes the runners to rapidly degrade and requires frequent and costly replacement. Conversely, direct contact with ski runners can cause damage to roads, driveways, sidewalks and other surfaces that are not intended for snowmobiles. There are also safety and convenience issues with the current design. Lack of traction and turning ability on hard surfaces often forces riders to dismount the snowmobile and manually guide the front end of the machine. Moreover, degradation of runners can result in loss of control on all types of surfaces, potentially causing injury or damage.
THE INVENTIONStudents from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay in partnership with UW-Platteville Senior Design have developed a snowmobile ski that offers improved steering and traction on pavement and other hard surfaces. The design incorporates a fixed wheel and runner system, which provides steering control when rolling on pavement and concrete yet allows the skis to function properly when driving on snow and ice surfaces. The design has been refined through multiple prototype iterations and has passed testing for mobility on hard surfaces, traction on ice, and functionality on snow. The present design increases maneuverability on pavement and requires less maintenance when compared with snowmobiles that are currently on the market.
APPLICATIONSAn integrated ski runner and wheel system that provides snowmobiles and other ski-based vehicles with improved maneuverability when traveling over paved surfaces.
  • Increased traction and turning ability on pavement and other hard surfaces; Better handling on rough terrain;
  • Improved rider safety and convenience;
  • Reduced wear and tear on the ski system;
  • Lower maintenance costs; Less frequent ski replacement and lower costs for wheel replacement;
  • Reduced damage to roads, driveway, sidewalks and other paved surfaces.
STAGE OF DEVELOPMENTA fully functional prototype has been developed. The design has been refined through multiple development iterations and has passed testing for mobility on hard surfaces, traction on ice, and functionality on snow. Further refinement may be needed prior to manufacturing.
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Jennifer Cook at or (608) 316-4131.
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WiSys Technology Foundation serves the University of Wisconsin System comprehensive campuses by patenting and licensing discoveries to leading companies in Wisconsin, the United States and worldwide. Established in 2000 by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) and the UW System, WiSys is building the next generation of patent and licensing opportunities by fostering collaborations among campuses, private research organizations and industry, facilitating high-tech research with grant programs, and promoting student training for employment in a knowledge-based economy. WiSys's income is distributed to the UW campuses, the inventors and their departments to grow future discoveries and educational opportunities.