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United States Patent Application 20090061706
Kind Code A1
Myerscough; Richard K. ;   et al. March 5, 2009

Method of Uprighting and Locating a Water Sports Board in the Water and a Directional Float Therefor

Abstract

This invention relates to a novel method and a novel inflatable device for the method which are used in association with kite boards, surfboards and the like, for the purpose of uprighting the kite board or surfboard and encouraging a kite board or surfboard to be moved by the wind in the direction of the kite boarder or surfer when the kite boarder or surfer becomes separated from the kite board or surfboard. A method of uprighting and identifying an overturned kite board or surfboard which comprises detachably securing to the kite board or surfboard a mechanism that has sufficient buoyancy to upright an overturned kite board or surfboard and sufficient profile that it extends above the water surface and encourages entrapment by the wind to induce the uprighted kite board or surfboard downwind. An inflatable kite board uprighting and directional float comprising: (a) a hollow inflatable body; (b) a kite board engaging foot plate removably connected to the inflatable body (a); and (c) a closable air valve for enabling the inflatable body (a) to be inflated.


Inventors: Myerscough; Richard K.; (Victoria, CA) ; Harrington; Ross; (Victoria, CA)
Correspondence Address:
    OYEN, WIGGS, GREEN & MUTALA LLP;480 - THE STATION
    601 WEST CORDOVA STREET
    VANCOUVER
    BC
    V6B 1G1
    CA
Assignee: OCEAN RODEO SPORTS INC.
Saanichton
CA

Serial No.: 845592
Series Code: 11
Filed: August 27, 2007

Current U.S. Class: 441/65
Class at Publication: 441/65
International Class: B63B 35/85 20060101 B63B035/85; B63B 35/79 20060101 B63B035/79


Claims



1. A method of uprighting and identifying an overturned water sports board which comprises detachably securing to the water sports board a mechanism that has sufficient buoyancy to upright the overturned water sports board and sufficient vertical profile that it protrudes above the water surface and encourages entrapment by the wind to induce the uprighted water sports board to move downwind.

2. A method as claimed in claim 1 wherein the water sports board is a kite board or a surfboard.

3. A method as claimed in claim 2 wherein the mechanism is constructed of plastic foam.

4. A method as claimed in claim 2 wherein the mechanism is an inflated float.

5. A method as claimed in claim 4 wherein the float is hollow and is constructed of a flexible air-impermeable material.

6. A water sports board uprighting and directional apparatus comprising:(a) a buoyant body; and(b) a water sports board engaging foot plate removably connected to the body (a).

7. An apparatus as claimed in claim 6 wherein the water sports board is a kite board or a surfboard.

8. An apparatus as claimed in claim 7 wherein the buoyant body is formed from plastic foam or a hollow inflatable air containing device.

9. An apparatus as claimed in claim 7 wherein the buoyant body is a flexible, inflatable, air-impermeable fabric or plastic, and includes a closable air valve for inflating the fabric or plastic.

10. An apparatus as claimed in claim 9 wherein the foot plate has two ends which are connected to the hollow inflatable body by a pair of holding socks attached to the inflatable body.

11. An apparatus as claimed in claim 10 wherein the inflatable body is shaped like an inverted "U".

12. An apparatus as claimed in claim 11 wherein the sides of the inverted "U" are indented.

13. An apparatus as claimed in claim 12 wherein the float is formed of air impermeable flexible nylon fabric.

14. An apparatus as claimed in claim 13 wherein the flexible fabric is woven rubberized nylon filaments.

15. An apparatus as claimed in claim 14 wherein the foot plate is formed of semi-rigid rubber.

16. An apparatus as claimed in claim 10 wherein the pair of holding socks are connected to the base of the inflatable body by flexible mesh.

17. An apparatus as claimed in claim 9 wherein the inflatable buoyant body has a carrying strap attached to the body.

18. An apparatus as claimed in claim 10 wherein holes are formed in the body of the foot plate.
Description



FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001]This invention relates to a novel method and apparatus for uprighting and locating a water sports board such as a kite board, surfboard, or the like, in the water after the kite board or surfboard becomes disengaged from the rider. The method and apparatus also induce the kite board or surfboard to move downwind.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002]Surface water sports have many forms, such as, for example, surfboarding where the surfer rides a surfboard on waves on water, or kite boarding where a kite boarder stands on a kite board and uses a kite to pull him or her over and above the water.

[0003]Specifically, the sport of kite boarding requires a kite boarder to balance on a kite board while he or she is pulled rapidly over the surface of the water by a harness and lines which are attached to a kite. Sometimes, the kite boarder, for reasons such as hitting unexpected waves, or encountering gusts of wind, falls into the water and becomes separated from the kite board. When this occurs, the kite board tends to stop, while the kite boarder is pulled along for a certain distance by the force of wind caught by the kite. Also, not infrequently, the kite board inverts in the water after the rider is separated from the kite board. Often the kite board and the kite boarder are separated a good distance from each other. It is difficult for the kite boarder, who is submerged in the water along with the kite, particularly in sunny or choppy conditions, to locate the kite board, particularly if it is inverted. In addition to locating the kite board, the kite boarder must deal with the kite while he or she is still flying while being pulled along by the kite. In some cases, the kite will also be crashed on the surface of the water. However, the wind can still pull the kite boarder along, separating the kite boarder from the board.

[0004]There is a strong need for a method of uprighting the kite board, assisting the separated kite boarder in identifying the location of the kite board, and inducing the uprighted kite board to move downwind. There is also a need for a device which carries out the method.

[0005]The foregoing examples of the related art and limitations related thereto are intended to be illustrative and not exclusive. Other limitations of the related art will become apparent to those of skill in the art upon a reading of the specification and a study of the drawings.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006]The following embodiments and aspects thereof are described and illustrated in conjunction with systems, tools and methods which are meant to be exemplary and illustrative, not limiting in scope. In various embodiments, one or more of the above-described problems have been reduced or eliminated, while other embodiments are directed to other improvements. The invention includes methods and apparatus obvious to a person skilled in the art related to all water sports involving a board such as a kite board or a surfboard.

[0007]The invention pertains to a novel method and a novel inflatable float for the method which are used in association with kite boards, surfboards, and the like, for the purpose of uprighting the kite board, surfboard, or the like, and encouraging the kite board, surfboard, or the like, to be moved by the wind in the direction of the rider when the rider becomes separated from the kite board, surfboard, or the like.

[0008]In one aspect, the invention is directed to a method of uprighting and identifying an overturned water sports board which comprises detachably securing to the water sports board a mechanism that has sufficient buoyancy to upright the overturned water sports board and sufficient vertical profile that it protrudes above the water surface and encourages impingement by the wind to induce the uprighted water sports board to move downwind. The water sports board can be a kite board or a surfboard.

[0009]The mechanism can be constructed of buoyant plastic foam or can be an inflated float. The float can be hollow and constructed of a flexible air-impermeable material.

[0010]The invention in another aspect is directed to a water sports board uprighting and directional apparatus comprising: (a) a buoyant body; and (b) a water sports board engaging foot plate removably connected to the body (a).

[0011]The buoyant body can be formed from buoyant plastic foam or a hollow inflatable air containing device. The buoyant air containing body can be constructed of a flexible, inflatable, air-impermeable fabric or plastic, and can include a closable air valve for inflating the fabric or plastic.

[0012]The foot plate can have two ends which can be connected to the hollow inflatable body by a pair of holding socks attached to the inflatable body. The inflatable body can be shaped like an inverted "U". The sides of the inverted "U" can be indented.

[0013]The float can be formed of air impermeable flexible nylon fabric. The flexible fabric can be woven rubberized nylon filaments. The foot plate can be formed of semi-rigid rubber.

[0014]The pair of holding socks can be connected to the base of the inflatable body by flexible mesh. The inflatable buoyant body can have a carrying strap attached to the body. Holes can be formed in the body of the foot plate.

[0015]In addition to the exemplary aspects and embodiments described above, further aspects and embodiments will become apparent by reference to the drawings and by study of the following detailed descriptions.

DRAWINGS

[0016]Exemplary embodiments are illustrated in referenced figures of the drawings. It is intended that the embodiments and figures disclosed herein are to be considered illustrative rather than restrictive. The drawings illustrate one physical means for performing the method according to the invention.

[0017]FIG. 1 illustrates an isometric view of the inflatable kite board directional float.

[0018]FIG. 2 illustrates a front view of the inflatable kite board directional float.

[0019]FIG. 3 illustrates a bottom view of the inflatable kite board directional float.

[0020]FIG. 4 illustrates an isometric view of the float fitted on the top surface of a kite board.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0021]Throughout the following description specific details are set forth regarding the method and apparatus of the invention in order to provide a more thorough understanding to persons skilled in the art. However, well known elements may not have been shown or described in detail to avoid unnecessarily obscuring the disclosure. Accordingly, the description and drawings are to be regarded in an illustrative, rather than a restrictive sense of the overall scope of the invention.

[0022]The method and apparatus according to the invention involve rolling the board over when it is inverted so that it is right side up (after it has been disengaged from the rider). The method and apparatus also include making the board more visible to the disengaged rider, who is partially submerged in the water some distance from the board. The method also includes providing a mechanism which provides resistance to the wind so that it moves the board downwind. To perform these methods, a number of devices are feasible. One device can be a floatation device constructed of buoyant rigid foam, or a flexible device which is air inflated, either before or during use with a pump, or automatically with a compressed air cartridge when needed. The device can be permanently attached to the board, or be removably connected to the board, or spring loaded, or take some other feasible form. One criteria for the invention is that the floatation device must have sufficient floatation volume so that it uprights an upside down board and/or has enough wind resistance (positioned ahead or behind the center of resistance of the board) to move the board downwind. Such a device can be used for other water sport activities such as surfboarding, wakeboarding or tow surfing, where the board can be lost because the rider cannot see the board in the water because of waves or sun glare or other interferences. The method and apparatus according to the invention have the advantages that the board is uprighted, if inverted, and is more visible so that it can be readily retrieved by the rider or by a boat, jetski, or some other power means.

[0023]It is a requirement that the method and apparatus according to the invention utilize a detachable floatation device that has sufficient buoyancy that it will upright an overturned kite board or surfboard. It is also important that the method and device be readily visible, lightweight, relatively inexpensive. It is also important that the method and the device have sufficient vertical elevation to catch the wind so that the kite board or surfboard is encouraged to move downwind.

[0024]As will be recognized by persons skilled in the art, there are many physical ways to carry out the method according to the invention. It is therefore understood that the following description for purposes of illustrating the feasibility of the invention refers only to one physical way to perform the method and its objectives. Other ways to carry out the invention are included within the overall scope of the invention.

[0025]As seen in the drawings, FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of an inflatable kit board directional float 10. The float 10 is preferably constructed of an inflatable, hollow, inverted "U" shaped body 12, which is formed of a flexible air impermeable material such as rubberized nylon fabric. The body 12 is removably connected to a flexible T-shaped foot plate 14. This foot plate 14 can be formed of semi-stiff rubber or plastic, such as polybutadiene or flexible vinyl. An air valve 16 is located in the body 12 and enables the float body 12 to be inflated. The float 10 is removably connected to the foot plate 14 by a pair of holding socks 18 which fit respectively over opposite ends of the top cross bar of the T-shaped foot plate 14. The pair of holding socks 18 are hingedly connected to the bottom exterior edges of the body of the float 12 by a respective pair of connecting mesh 22. A carrying strap 20 is connected to the inflatable body 12. The strap 20 provides a convenient way to carry the float 10. A pair of connecting straps 26 extend between the free ends of the pair of holding socks 18 and connect the two holding socks 18 together. A series of water transmission holes 24 are formed in the foot plate 14.

[0026]FIG. 2 illustrates a front view of the inflatable kite board directional float. The sides of the float 12 are indented. The indented sides provide water deflection surfaces when the float 12 is mounted on the kite board (see FIG. 4).

[0027]FIG. 3 illustrates a bottom view of the inflatable kite board directional float. The staff of the T-shaped foot plate 14 adjoining the cross-bar of the plate is oriented at an angle to the upper cross bar of the foot plate 14. This feature enables the float 10 to be oriented on the kite board (not shown) at an angle, which is advantageous for the rider of the board.

[0028]FIG. 4 illustrates an isometric view of the inflatable float 10 oriented on a kite board 28. The staff of the T-shaped foot plate 14 extends through a holder 30 on the top of the kite board 28. The float 10 fits between the legs 32 of the kite board rider. By being offset to the longitudinal line of the kite board 28, the float 10 catches the wind and tends to point the board forward and in the direction of the kite boarder when the kite boarder falls off the kite board.

[0029]A commercial embodiment of the invention is available under the trademark GO JOE.TM. from Ocean Rodeo Sports, Victoria, BC V8M IZ9, Canada.

[0030]While a number of exemplary aspects and embodiments have been discussed above, those of skill in the art will recognize certain modifications, permutations, additions and sub-combinations thereof. It is therefore intended that the following appended claims and claims hereafter introduced are interpreted to include all such modifications, permutations, additions and sub-combinations as are within their true spirit and scope.

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