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Publication numberUS20020121765 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/108,937
Publication dateSep 5, 2002
Filing dateMar 27, 2002
Priority dateMar 1, 2001
Publication number10108937, 108937, US 2002/0121765 A1, US 2002/121765 A1, US 20020121765 A1, US 20020121765A1, US 2002121765 A1, US 2002121765A1, US-A1-20020121765, US-A1-2002121765, US2002/0121765A1, US2002/121765A1, US20020121765 A1, US20020121765A1, US2002121765 A1, US2002121765A1
InventorsAndrew Wolf
Original AssigneeAndy Wolf, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Snow-gliding apparatus
US 20020121765 A1
Abstract
A gliding apparatus for use in snow is provided. The apparatus typically includes an elongate member including an intermediate portion positioned between a pair of longitudinally opposed upturned end portions. The elongate member includes a bottom surface configured to glide over snow and a laterally upwardly curved surface. The apparatus further includes a traction layer positioned above the elongate member. The traction layer is typically a pliant foam layer. The apparatus may also include a translucent layer through which indicia is viewable, beveled edges, stringers, and/or an elongate member with layers of varying stiffness. The elongate member may also include a top surface with a rim and depression configured to retain at least a portion of the pliant foam traction layer, and a plurality of channels including a central channel that is wider than the remaining channels and is configured to facilitate sliding along a rail.
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Claims(29)
I claim:
1. A gliding apparatus for use in snow, comprising:
an elongate member including an intermediate portion between a pair of substantially symmetric upturned end portions, the elongate member including a bottom surface with a substantially planar bottom region configured to slide over snow;
a pliant traction member covering substantially all of an upper surface of the elongate member; and
a channel extending lengthwise at least partially along the bottom surface of the elongate member, the channel being configured to guide the elongate member over the snow;
wherein the apparatus does not include bindings to secure the feet of a rider.
2. The snow-gliding apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a depression in an upper surface of the elongate member, wherein the pliant traction member is mounted at least partially within the depression.
3. The snow-gliding apparatus of claim 2, wherein the elongate member includes a rim adjacent the depression.
4. The snow-gliding apparatus of claim 3, wherein the rim extends upward, above a top surface of the traction member.
5. The snow-gliding apparatus of claim 3, wherein the rim does not extend above a top surface of the traction member.
6. The snow-gliding apparatus of claim 3, wherein the rim extends along each side of the depression, within the intermediate portion of the elongate member.
7. The snow-gliding apparatus of claim 3, wherein the rim extends around a perimeter of the depression.
8. The snow-gliding apparatus of claim 2, wherein the entire footprint of the traction member is mounted within the depression.
9. The snow-gliding apparatus of claim 1, wherein the elongate member includes a pair of opposed side edges, each of which tapers to a point at an angle of between about 30- and 60-degrees.
10. The snow-gliding apparatus of claim 1, wherein the channel is one of a plurality of substantially parallel channels extending lengthwise along the bottom surface of the elongate member, adjacent channels being separated by rounded ridges extending therebetween.
11. The snow-gliding apparatus of claim 10, wherein a cross-section of the channels and ridges has a substantially sinusoidal shape.
12. The snow-gliding apparatus of claim 1, a stringer embedded in and extending lengthwise along the elongate member.
13. The snow-gliding apparatus of claim 1, further comprising, a translucent layer positioned adjacent the elongate member such that indicia imprinted on a surface of the elongate member are visible through the translucent layer.
14. The snow-gliding apparatus of claim 13, wherein the indicia are imprinted on a bottom surface of the elongate member, and the translucent layer is positioned adjacent the bottom surface of the elongate member such that the indicia are visible through the translucent layer.
15. The snow-gliding apparatus of claim 14, wherein the channel is carved into the translucent layer.
16. The snow-gliding apparatus of claim 1, where the elongate member is made at least partially of wood.
17. The snow-gliding apparatus of claim 1, wherein the traction layer includes a plurality of upwardly extending protrusions.
18. The snow-gliding apparatus of claim 1, wherein the elongate member includes a plurality of channels formed lengthwise in the bottom surface of the elongate member, one of the plurality of channels being a center channel that is sized to facilitate sliding along an elongate hard object.
19. The snow-gliding apparatus of claim 18, wherein the center channel is wider horizontally than the remaining channels.
20. The snow-gliding apparatus of claim 18, wherein the center channel is polygonal in cross-section.
21. The snow-gliding apparatus of claim 18, wherein the center channel is configured to slide along a rail.
22. The snow-gliding apparatus of claim 1, wherein the elongate member is formed of a first layer and a second layer of material, the first layer being stiffer than the second layer.
23. The snow-gliding apparatus of claim 22, wherein the first and second layers are co-extruded.
24. The snow-gliding apparatus of claim 22, wherein the first and second layers are high-density polyethylene.
25. The snow-gliding apparatus of claim 22, wherein the first layer includes a stiffener.
26. The snow-gliding apparatus of claim 25, wherein the stiffener is talcum.
27. The snow-gliding apparatus of claim 22, wherein the first layer is positioned below the second layer.
28. The snow-gliding apparatus of claim 22, further comprising a third layer positioned adjacent the first and second layers, the third layer having a different stiffness from the first and second layers.
29. A gliding apparatus for use on snow, the apparatus comprising:
an elongate member including an intermediate portion positioned between a pair of longitudinally opposed upturned end portions, the elongate member including indicia on a bottom surface, the elongate member being made at least partially of wood;
a channel extending lengthwise along a bottom surface of the elongate member, the channel being configured to guide the apparatus over snow;
a translucent layer positioned adjacent the bottom surface of the elongate member such that the indicia is visible through the translucent layer; and
a pliant traction layer covering substantially all of an upper surface of the elongate member;
wherein the apparatus does not include bindings to secure the feet of a rider.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/798,502, filed Mar. 1, 2001, which in turn claims priority to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/518,231, filed Mar. 2, 2000, now issued as U.S. Pat. No. 6,290,249. The entire disclosures of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/798,502 and U.S. Pat. No. 6,290,249 are herein incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The sports of skateboarding and snowboarding have reached new heights of popularity in recent years. A skateboard includes a board with wheels attached to the underside, and is designed for riding on a sidewalk or in a specially designed skate park. A snowboard includes a board with a waxed underside and bindings for securing the feet of a rider to the snowboard, and is designed primarily for riding on a snow-covered slope or in a specially designed snow park.

[0003] Riding a skateboard is similar to riding a snowboard in that the rider assumes a sideways stance on both types of boards. However, one primary difference is that, in skateboard riding, the rider's feet are free to leave the surface of the skateboard, whereas in snowboarding, the rider's feet remain securely attached to the snowboard. Skateboard riding has evolved to include a host of well known tricks such as ollies, kickflips, shovits, etc., which take advantage of the ability to remove the rider's feet temporarily from the skateboard during performance of the trick. These tricks are not able to be performed on current snowboards because the bindings prevent the rider's feet from leaving the snowboard.

[0004] One problem with current skateboards is that they are unable to be ridden successfully on snow, because the wheels of the skateboards dig into the snow and cause the skateboards to stop suddenly. Attempts to ride skateboards on snow generally result in crashes. For riders who reside in cold-weather climates, this renders skateboards unusable outdoors during the snowy season, which may last for many months.

[0005] It would be desirable to provide an apparatus that is capable of being ridden in the snow, and that is configured to allow temporary removal of a rider's feet from the apparatus, to enable a rider to perform a wide variety of maneuvers.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] A gliding apparatus for use in snow is provided. The apparatus typically includes an elongate member including an intermediate portion positioned between a pair of longitudinally opposed upturned end portions. The elongate member includes a bottom surface configured to glide over snow and a laterally upwardly curved surface. The apparatus further includes a traction layer positioned above the elongate member. The traction layer is typically a pliant foam layer.

[0007] According to another aspect of the invention, a gliding apparatus is provided that includes an elongate member having an intermediate portion positioned between a pair of longitudinally opposed upturned end portions. The elongate member includes a bottom surface configured to glide over snow. The apparatus further typically includes a stringer imbedded in and extending lengthwise along the elongate member. The stringer may be made of laminated wood, or other suitable material. The apparatus may also include a traction layer positioned above the elongate member and stringer. The traction layer is typically pliant foam.

[0008] According to another aspect of the invention, the gliding apparatus may include an elongate member having an intermediate portion positioned between a pair of longitudinally opposed upturned end portions and a bottom surface configured to glide over snow, where the elongate member is formed of a first and a second layer of material, the first layer being stiffer than the second layer. The apparatus typically also includes a traction layer positioned above the elongate member. The first and second layers may be co-extruded and/or high-density polyethylene. The first layer may include a stiffener, such as talcum. The apparatus may further include a channel extending lengthwise along the bottom surface of the elongate member, the channel being configured to guide the elongate member over snow.

[0009] According to another aspect of the invention, the gliding apparatus includes an elongate member having an intermediate portion positioned between a pair of longitudinally opposed upturned end portions, the elongate member including indicia on a surface. The apparatus further typically includes a translucent layer positioned adjacent the surface such that the indicia is visible through the translucent layer. The apparatus may also include a channel extending lengthwise along a bottom surface of the elongate member, the channel being configured to guide the apparatus over snow. The indicia may be on a top surface of the elongate member and the translucent layer may be a traction layer positioned above the elongate member. Alternatively, the indicia may be on a bottom surface of the elongate member and the translucent layer may be positioned below the elongate member.

[0010] According to another aspect of the invention, the gliding apparatus may include an elongate member including an intermediate portion positioned between a pair of upturned end portions, the elongate member including a bottom surface. The apparatus may further include a plurality of substantially parallel channels extending lengthwise along the bottom surface of the elongate member, adjacent channels being separated by rounded ridges extending therebetween.

[0011] According to another aspect of the invention, the gliding apparatus includes an elongate member including an intermediate portion between a pair of upturned end portions, the elongate member including a bottom surface configured to glide over snow and a pair of opposed side edges, each of which tapers to a point at an angle of between about 30- and 60-degrees. In one embodiment of the invention, the angle may be formed between about 40- and 50-degrees, and in a particularly preferred embodiment, 45 degrees. The apparatus further typically includes a traction layer positioned above the elongate member.

[0012] According to another aspect of the invention the gliding apparatus includes an elongate member including a top surface with a rim and depression configured to retain a traction member, and one or more channels, where one of the channels is a central channel that is wider than the remaining channels and is configured to facilitate sliding along a rail.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0013]FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a snow-gliding apparatus according to one exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

[0014]FIG. 2 is a side view of the embodiment of FIG. 1.

[0015]FIG. 3 is a bottom view of the embodiment of FIG. 1.

[0016]FIG. 4 is a bottom view of a snow-gliding apparatus according to another embodiment of the invention.

[0017]FIG. 5 is a front end view of the embodiment of FIG. 1.

[0018]FIG. 6 is a front end view of the embodiment of FIG. 4.

[0019]FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of the embodiment of FIG. 1, taken along line 7-7 of FIG. 3.

[0020]FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of the embodiment of FIG. 4, taken along line 8-8.

[0021]FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of a snow-gliding apparatus according to another embodiment of the invention including two channel groups and a traction member with a concave top surface.

[0022]FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view of a snow-gliding apparatus according to another embodiment of the invention including, three channel groups and a traction member with a concave top surface.

[0023]FIG. 11 is an isometric view of a snow-gliding apparatus according to another embodiment of the present invention, including a laterally curved upper surface.

[0024]FIG. 12 is a bottom view of the snow-gliding apparatus of FIG. 11.

[0025]FIG. 13 is a cross sectional view of the snow-gliding apparatus of FIG. 11.

[0026]FIG. 14 is an isometric view of a snow-gliding apparatus according to another embodiment of the present invention, including a translucent top and bottom surfaces through which indicia may be viewed.

[0027]FIG. 15 is a bottom view of the snow-gliding apparatus of FIG. 14.

[0028]FIG. 16 is a cross sectional view of the snow-gliding apparatus of FIG. 16

[0029]FIG. 17 is an isometric view of a snow-gliding apparatus according to another embodiment of the present invention, including a pair of stringers running along the length of the apparatus.

[0030]FIG. 18 is a cross sectional view of the snow-gliding apparatus of FIG. 17.

[0031]FIG. 19 is a cross sectional view of another embodiment of a snow-gliding apparatus according to the present invention, including rounded ridges and channels.

[0032]FIG. 20 is an isometric view of a snow-gliding apparatus according to one exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

[0033]FIG. 21 is a left side view of the embodiment of FIG. 20, the left and right sides being symmetrical.

[0034]FIG. 22 is a bottom view of the embodiment of FIG. 20.

[0035]FIG. 23 is a trailing end view of the embodiment of FIG. 20, the leading end being symmetrical to the trailing end.

[0036]FIG. 24 is a top view of the embodiment of FIG. 20.

[0037]FIG. 25 is a cross-sectional view of the embodiment of FIG. 24, taken along line 25-25 of FIG. 24.

[0038]FIG. 26 is a cross-sectional view of the embodiment shown partially in FIG. 25, taken along line 26-26 of FIG. 25.

[0039]FIG. 27 is a partial detailed cross-sectional view of an upturned end of the embodiment of FIG. 20.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0040] Referring initially to FIGS. 1-3, a snow-gliding apparatus according to the present invention is shown generally at 10. Snow-gliding apparatus 10 typically includes an elongate member 12 configured to slide over snow, and a traction member 14 configured to provide traction for the boots or shoes of a rider.

[0041] Elongate member 12 includes a substantially flat intermediate portion 16 and opposite upturned end portions 18 a, 18 b, also referred to as leading end portion 18 a and trailing end portion 18 b. Leading and trailing end portions 18 a, 18 b each include a respective inward end positioned adjacent a corresponding outer end of intermediate portion 16. Leading and trailing end portions 18 a, 18 b typically each extend outward from the intermediate portion 16 in a continuously curved shape. Alternatively, the leading and trailing end portions 18 a, 18 b may be polygonal, or may have another curved shape. Typically, the upturned end portions 18 a, 18 b are symmetric. Alternatively, the upturned end portions may be formed in different shapes.

[0042] Elongate member 12 includes a top surface 20 and a bottom surface 22. The bottom surface includes a substantially planar bottom region 22 a, typically extending along a bottom side of intermediate portion 16 of the elongate member 12. It will be understood that substantially planar bottom region may include a camber. Elongate member 12 is typically made of high-density polyethylene material. Alternatively, the elongate member may be constructed partially or wholly from a translucent material such as polycarbonate or LEXAN. For example, the elongate member may include an upper layer of high density polyethylene, with a graphical design imprinted on its bottom surface, followed a lower layer of translucent material, such that the graphical design is viewable from the bottom of the elongate member through the translucent material.

[0043] Bottom surface 22 further includes a leading upturned bottom region 22 b and a trailing upturned bottom region 22 c each extending along an underside of upturned end portions 18 a and 18 b, respectively. Typically, both leading upturned bottom region 22 b and trailing upturned bottom region 22 c are shaped in a continuous curve originating at an inward end of the respective upturned bottom region, which is positioned at the intersection of the respective upturned bottom region 22 b, 22 c and the substantially planar bottom region 22 a. Alternatively, the upturned bottom regions may be straight, polygonal, or curved in another shape.

[0044] As shown in FIG. 3, elongate member 12 is surrounded by an outer edge 24, which includes left and right edges 24 a, 24 b and leading and trailing end edges 24 c and 24 d. Typically, the outer edge 24 is rounded in the region of ends edges 24 c and 24 d and straight in the region of side edges 24 a and 24 b. Alternatively, the end edges may be straight or polygonal, and/or the side edges may be curved or polygonal.

[0045] Apparatus 10 typically includes a plurality of elongate channels 26 organized into first and second channel groups 28 a, 28 b separated by a dividing portion 30. First and second channel groups 28 a, 28 b are also referred to as left and right channel groups 28 a, 28 b, respectively. Channels 26 are separated from each other within channel groups 28 a, 28 b by a plurality of channel-separating portions 32. Channel groups 28 a, 28 b are typically positioned in an interior region of the bottom surface 22 of elongate member 12.

[0046] Each of channels 26 typically extends lengthwise along the substantially planar bottom region 22 a of the bottom surface of the apparatus, from the inward end of leading end portion 18 a to the inward end of trailing end portion 18 b. Each channel 26 includes a pair of leading and trailing rounded end portions 34 a and 34 b formed at each end of the channel. Typically, elongate member 12 is formed from a flat sheet of material, which first is bent to form upturned end portions 18 a, 18 b and later is cut horizontally with a router or other device to form elongate channels 26. This produces rounded end portions 34 a and 34 b in the bends adjacent the inner end of upwardly turned end portions 18 a and 18 b.

[0047] Bottom surface 22 typically includes left-side and right-side surface portions 36 a, 36 b, and leading end and trailing end surface portions 36 c and 36 d. Surface portions 36 a, 36 b, 36, and 36 d typically are smooth, and do not include channels or projections.

[0048] Channels 26 typically open to the leading end of the apparatus, as shown in FIG. 5, as well as to the trailing end of the apparatus, which typically is symmetric to the leading end shown in FIG. 5. As the apparatus passes over a snow-covered surface, snow under channels 26 is guided into the channels, while snow under substantially planar regions of bottom surface 22 is compacted. Thus, snow under channel-group dividing portion 30, channel-separating portions 32, and right-side and left-side surface portions 36 a, 36 b, is compacted. Snow within channels 26, if compacted at all, is not compacted so much as snow under the planar regions of bottom surface 22. This creates ridges in the snow, along which channels 26 are configured to slide. The sliding of the snow ridges within channels 26 tends to cause the apparatus to slide in a straight path, thereby making the apparatus easier to ride.

[0049] Typically, each of channel groups 28 a, 28 b includes three channels. It also will be appreciated that either of channel groups 28 a, 28 b alternatively may include one, two, four, or a greater number, of channels. In addition, while apparatus 10 typically includes two channel groups, it will be appreciated that apparatus 10 may include a single channel group, or three or more channel groups. Apparatus 10 may, for example, include a single channel group having a single channel.

[0050] As shown in FIG. 7, each of channels 26 includes an interior surface 38 that is semi-circular (preferably hemispherical) in cross-section. Each of channels 26 further includes a pair of sharp edges 40, 42 along the intersections between the respective interior surface 38 of each channel and bottom surface 22 of elongate member 12. Sharp edges contribute to the ability of the channel to guide the apparatus over snow. Alternatively, interior surface 38 of channels 26 may be polygonal (e.g. triangular or square) or rounded according to some other predetermined curve, such as an ellipse. In addition, it will be appreciated that edges 40 and 42 may include a radius, bevel, or chamfer, and may not be sharp.

[0051] Elongate member 12 typically includes a bevel 44 along its outer edge 24. Traction member 14 also typically includes an outer edge 46 including a bevel 48. Usually, bevels 44 and 48 are formed at a common angle. Alternatively, each bevel may have a different angle. In addition, will be appreciated that elongate member 12 and traction member 14 may not include any bevel at all.

[0052] Traction member 14 typically is a pliant layer of a foam material. In one exemplary embodiment of the invention, the foam material is a closed-cell ethylene vinyl acetate material. Alternatively, virtually any other suitable pliant material may be used, including other open or closed-cell foams, or rubber materials, etc. In addition, it will be understood that the traction member may not be pliant, and may not be a foam material. Traction member 14 also typically includes an adhesive backing that adheres to elongate member 12. Alternatively, virtually any other suitable adhesive method (e.g., glues, fasteners, cements, etc.) may be used to secure traction member 14 to elongate member 12.

[0053] Traction member 14 typically is positioned on each of intermediate portion 16 and upturned end portions 18 a, 18 b of elongate member 12, and covers a substantial portion of top surface 20 of elongate member 12, typically all of the top surface. In the embodiment of FIG. 1, traction member 14 extends from left-side edge 24 a to right-side edge 24 b and from leading edge 24 c to trailing edge 24 d and covers all of top surface 20. Thus, a rider may step virtually anywhere on the top of the apparatus and contact the traction member 14.

[0054] Alternatively, traction member 14 may not extend entirely from left-side edge 24 a to right-side edge 24 b, or from leading edge 24 c to trailing edge 24 d, and may not be positioned on each of intermediate portion 16 and upturned end portions 18 a, 18 b. Typically traction member 14 is a continuous sheet of material. Alternatively, traction member 14 may be perforated or include gaps, and may not be continuous.

[0055] Referring to FIG. 9, a snow-gliding apparatus according to another embodiment of the invention is shown generally at 10′. Except as described below, the above description of apparatus 10 applies equally to apparatus 10′, and, for the sake of brevity, common elements between apparatus 10 and 10′ will not be redescribed in detail.

[0056] Apparatus 10′ includes an elongate member 12′ and a traction member 14′. Traction member 14′ has an upwardly curved top portion 50, also referred to as concave portion 50. Concave portion 50 typically includes a well 52 surrounded by ridges 54 and 56. Concave portion 50 typically extends along the length of a substantially flat intermediate portion of elongate member 12′, and into upwardly turned end portions of the elongate member 12′. Alternatively, the concave portion 50 may be contained entirely within the intermediate portion, or may extend only between a single upwardly turned end portion and the flat intermediate portion. The ridges improve the traction of the rider on the traction member 14′.

[0057]FIGS. 4, 6, and 8 show a snow-gliding apparatus according to another exemplary embodiment of the invention, indicated generally at 110. Except as described below, the above description of apparatus 10 applies equally to apparatus 110, and, for the sake of brevity, common elements between apparatus 10 and 110 will not be redescribed in detail. Corresponding elements of apparatus 10 and apparatus 110 are indicated by reference indicators that differ by 100.

[0058] Apparatus 110 includes an elongate member 112 with a bottom surface 122 and an outer edge 124 including left-side and right-side edges 124 a, 124 b, and leading and trailing edges 124 c, 124 d. Bottom surface 122 has a plurality of elongate channels 126 formed therein, which are organized into first, second, and third spaced-apart channel groups 128 a, 128 b, 128 c, respectively.

[0059] First and third channel groups 128 a, 128 c are positioned on opposite sides of second channel group 128 b, intermediate second channel group 128 b and a respective left- or right-side edge 124 a, 124 b. The channels within channel groups 128 a, 128 b, and 128 c are referred to as channels 126 a, 126 b, and 126 c, respectively. The first, second, and third channel groups 128 a, 128 b, and 128 c also are referred to as the left channel group 128 a, central channel group 128 b, and right channel group 128 c, respectively.

[0060] Apparatus 110 further includes a first channel-group dividing portion 130 a positioned intermediate channel groups 128 a and 128 b, and a second channel-group dividing portion 130 b positioned intermediate channel groups 128 b and 128 c. Apparatus 110 further includes a plurality of channel-separating portions 132, each channel-separating portion 132 being positioned between an adjacent pair of channels within channel group 128 a, 128 b, or 128 c.

[0061] Typically, left channel group 128 a and right channel group 128 c each includes two channels, and central channel group 128 b includes three channels. Alternatively, a different predetermined number of channels may be used for each of the channel groups.

[0062] Channels 126 b of central channel group 128 b typically include respective leading and trailing rounded end portions 134 a, 134 b. The leading and trailing end portions 134 a, 134 b of channels 126 b typically are positioned in an interior region of bottom surface 122, adjacent a respective inward end of leading or trailing end portion 118 a 118 b. Thus, channels 126 b are formed within and internal to bottom surface 122.

[0063] Bottom surface 122 typically includes left-side and right-side surface portions 136 a and 136 b, as well as leading-end and trailing-end surface portions 136 c and 136 d. Surface portions 136 a,136 b, 136 c and 136 d typically are smooth, and do not include channels or protrusions. Each of leading-end surface portion 136 c and trailing-end surface portion 136 d is positioned intermediate a respective end 134 a, 134 b of the of channels 126 b and a corresponding end edge 124 c, 124 d of the elongate member 12, and intermediate channel groups 128 a and 128 c. Each of left-side and right-side surface portions 136 a, 136 b is positioned intermediate a respective channel group 128 a, 128 c and a corresponding left-side or right-side edge 124 a, 124 b.

[0064] Channels 126 a, 126 c of the left and right channel groups typically are longer than the channels 128 b of the central channel group, and extend to intersect leading and trailing edges 124 c, 124 d of the apparatus. Alternatively, channels 126 a and/or 126 b may intersect only one of edges 124 c, 124 d, or may not intersect edges 124 c, 124 d at all. For example, the ends of channel 126 a and/or 126 c may terminate within an interior of upturned end portion 118 a and 118 b without intersecting edge 124 of the elongate member 112.

[0065] Elongate member 112 typically is formed from a flat sheet of material by first cutting channels 126 a and 126 c along the bottom surface of the sheet. Next, the sheet is bent at each end to form upwardly turned end portions 18 a and 18 b. Finally, channels 126 b are cut from the sheet by passing a router or other cutting device horizontally along the bottom surface 122 of the elongate member. As the router passes from the substantially planar region of bottom surface 122 away from the elongate member, rounded end portions 134 a, 134 b are formed at the end of each of elongate channels 126 b.

[0066] Referring to FIG. 10, a snow-gliding apparatus according to another embodiment of the invention is shown generally at 110′. Except as described below, the above description of apparatus 110 applies equally to apparatus 110′, and, for the sake of brevity, common elements between apparatus 10 and 10′ will not be redescribed in detail.

[0067] Apparatus 110′ includes an elongate member 112′ and a traction member 114′. Traction member 114′ has an upwardly curved top portion 150, also referred to as concave portion 150. Concave portion 150 typically includes a well 152 surrounded by ridges 154 and 156. Concave portion 150 typically extends the length of a substantially flat intermediate portion of elongate member 112′, and into upwardly turned end portions of the elongate member 112′. Alternatively, the concave portion 150 may be contained entirely within the intermediate portion, or may extend only between a single upwardly turned end portion and the flat intermediate portion. The ridges improve the traction of the rider on the traction member 114′.

[0068] In FIGS. 11-13, a snow-gliding apparatus according to another embodiment of the present invention is shown generally at 210. Apparatus 210 typically includes an elongate member 212 configured to slide over snow, and a traction member 214 configured to provide traction for the boots or shoes of a rider. Apparatus 210 includes opposed, leading, and trailing upturned end portions 218 a, 218 b, and an intermediate portion 216. Upturned end portions 218 a, 218 b typically have a longitudinally curved shape similar to that shown in FIG. 2. Intermediate portion 216 typically is laterally curved, such that a central region 216 a is depressed relative to side regions 216 b. The laterally curved surface has two primary advantages. First, raised side regions 216 b provide the rider with improved traction. Second, the upwardly curved intermediate portion makes apparatus 10 longitudinally stiffer, thereby enabling the apparatus to keep its shape after repeated use in rail slides, curb slides, etc.

[0069] As shown in FIG. 12, elongate member 212 includes a bottom surface 222, which is similar to that shown in FIG. 3, except that channels 226 formed therein terminate in a U-shaped or parabolic pattern adjacent each of upturned end portions 218 a, 218 b. Alternatively, the channels may be formed as shown in FIG. 3, or in another suitable pattern.

[0070] As shown in FIG. 13, both elongate member 212 and traction member 214 typically are curved laterally upward along their entire cross-sections within intermediate portion 216. Typically, both the upper and lower surfaces of each of the elongate member 212 and traction member 214 are curved upward, and the elongate member 212 and traction member 214 have a substantially continuous thickness, apart from channels 226. Alternatively, either or both of traction member 214 and elongate member 212 may have a variable cross-section, such that only an upper or lower surface of each is upwardly curved.

[0071] Turning now to FIGS. 14-16, a snow-gliding apparatus according to another embodiment of the present invention is shown generally at 310. Apparatus 310 typically includes an elongate member 312 configured to slide over snow, and a traction member 314 that is at least partially translucent such that a graphic or other indicia 313 may be viewed through the traction member. Traction member 314 typically includes a plurality of bumps or protrusions 314 a for gripping the shoes or boots of a rider. Bumps 314 a typically cover substantially all of an upper surface of the elongate member 312. Alternatively, the bumps may be positioned only over one or both of the upturned end portions, and in an intermediate portion 316.

[0072] The intermediate portion 316 of apparatus 310 typically is laterally upwardly curved, such that a central region 316 a is depressed relative to side regions 316 b. Apparatus 310 also typically includes a translucent lower layer 315 attached adjacent a lower surface of elongate member 312. Lower layer 315 is at least partially translucent such that bottom indicia 317 is viewable through layer 315. Layer 315 may be completely transparent, or may be diffuse and/or colored. Channels 326 typically are formed through both of lower translucent layer 315 and elongate member 312. Upper indicia 313 typically is formed on an upper surface 312 a of elongate member 312, while lower indicia 317 typically is formed on a lower surface 312 b of elongate member 312. As shown in FIG. 15, indicia 317 typically is not printed within channels 326. Alternatively, indicia 317 may be applied within channels 326 as well as to bottom surface 312 b of elongate member 312. Typically, the upper and lower translucent layers 316, 315 are made of LEXAN, although any other suitable at least partially translucent material may be used.

[0073] Turning now to FIGS. 17 and 18, a snow-gliding apparatus according to another embodiment of the present invention is shown generally at 410. Apparatus 410 typically includes an elongate member 412 configured to slide over snow and a traction member 414 configured to provide traction for the boots or shoes of a rider. Apparatus 410 typically includes an intermediate portion 416 and upturned end portions 418 a, 418 b similar to those described above. Intermediate portion 416 typically is upwardly laterally curved such that a central region 416 a is depressed relative to side regions 416 b.

[0074] Snow-gliding apparatus 410 further typically includes a plurality of stringers 413. Each stringer typically is placed into a corresponding channel 412 a formed in elongate member 412. Stringers 413 are made of a resilient material, such as laminated wood, carbon fiber, or other material, and are configured to increase the longitudinal stiffness of elongate member 412 and cause apparatus 410 to keep its shape after repeated use. Stringers 413 usually are adhered to elongate member 412 within channels 412 a with a suitable adhesive. Although U-shaped channels 412 a are depicted, stringers 413 also may be positioned in completely enclosed channels that are O-shaped.

[0075] Elongate member 412 typically includes a plurality of layers, such as layer 412 b and 412 c. Typically, layer 412 b is stiffer than layer 412 c. The stiffness of layer 412 b is achieved by adding talcum to the plastic (typically, high-density polyethylene, as described above). Typically, stiffer layer 412 a is positioned above layer 412 c, such that a downwardly applied bending stress by the feet of a rider is counteracted more efficiently. Alternatively, stiffer layer 412 b may be placed below layer 412 c.

[0076] Apparatus 410 further typically includes a lower translucent layer 415 configured to enable a user to view indicia printed on a bottom surface of elongate member 412, similar to that shown in FIG. 15. Alternatively, layer 415 may be a third layer of elongate member 412 having a different stiffness from layer 412 b or 412 c. Typically, layers 412 b and 412 c are produced by a co-extrusion manufacturing process. Alternatively, the layers may be laminated by means of adhesives, solvents, fasteners, or other suitable mechanisms, or formed in another suitable manner.

[0077] Apparatus 410 further includes beveled edges 419 formed along the length of the side of the elongate member. Beveled edges 419 typically are formed at an angle θ of between about 30- and 60-degrees. Alternatively, angle θ is between about 40- and 50-degrees, and is 45-degrees in a particularly preferred embodiment of the invention.

[0078] In FIG. 19, another embodiment of the present invention is shown at 410′. Apparatus 410′ is similar in construction to apparatus 410, except as otherwise described below. Apparatus 410′ has a traction member 414′ and an elongate member 412′. Elongate member 412′ includes a plurality of channels 426′ that meet in curved ridges 427′. Channels 426′ and ridges 427′ are formed in an undulatory, or corrugated shape, thereby giving strength to apparatus 410′.

[0079] In FIGS. 20-27, a snow-gliding apparatus according to another embodiment of the present invention is shown generally at 510. Apparatus 510 typically includes an elongate member 512 configured to slide over snow, and a traction member 514 configured to provide traction for the boots or shoes of a rider.

[0080] Elongate member 512 includes a substantially flat intermediate portion 516 and opposed upturned end portions 518 a, 518 b, also referred to as leading end portion 518 a and trailing end portion 518 b. Upturned end portions 518 a, 518 b typically have a longitudinally curved shape similar to that shown in FIG. 2. Typically, the upturned end portions 518 a, 518 b are symmetric. Alternatively, the upturned end portions may be formed in different shapes.

[0081] Elongate member 512 includes a top surface 520, as shown in FIG. 27, and a bottom surface 522. The bottom surface includes a substantially planar bottom region 522 a, typically extending along a bottom side of intermediate portion 516 of the elongate member 512.

[0082] As shown in FIGS. 22 and 23, bottom surface 522 of elongate member 512 includes a plurality of channels 524 that terminate in a U-shaped or parabolic pattern adjacent each of upturned end portions 518 a, 518 b. Typically, elongate member 512 includes three types of channels, namely external channel 524 a, internal channel 524 b, and central channel 524 c, each channel-type being designated according to its location in bottom surface 522. External channels 524 a are the outermost channels relative to central channel 524 c. Internal channels 524 b, located adjacent each side of central channel 524 c, are typically longer than external channels 524 a. Central channel 524 c is typically shorter the remaining channels. Alternatively, channels 524 a, 524 b, and 524 c may all be of the same length, or of other differing lengths.

[0083] Typically, central channel 524 c is wider horizontally than the remaining channels and is configured to facilitate sliding along a rail or curb. A cross section of the central channel is typically polygonal, but also may be curved and typically conforms closely to the convex outer surface of the hard elongate object 525. In a preferred embodiment, central channel 524 c is approximately 1.5 cm to 5 cm wide and the remaining channels are approximately 1 cm to 2 cm wide. In a particularly preferred embodiment, central channel 524 c is 2-3 cm wide and the remaining channels are 1-2 cm wide. Alternatively, channels 524 a and/or 524 b may be wider horizontally than the remaining channels. As described above, each of channels 524 typically includes an interior surface 526 that is substantially polygonal in cross-section, with rounded interior comers. Alternatively, channels 524 may be semi-circular (preferably hemispherical) in cross-section, or a subset of channels 524 may be semi-circular and the remaining channels polygonal.

[0084] Turning now to FIGS. 25-27, elongate member 512 further includes depression 528 in top surface 520 that is useful for retaining pliant traction member 514 on top surface 520. Typically, depression 528 is formed in substantially all of top surface 520. Alternatively, depression 528 may be formed in intermediate portion 516 and/or in upturned end portions 518 a and 518 a. Typically, depression 528 has a substantially flat surface 530 located in a central region of top surface 520, and an inwardly inclined surface 532 extending along a side of elongate member 512. Inclined surface 532 may be continuous around the perimeter of elongate member 512 or may be located only on opposing sides of elongate member 512. Alternatively, surface 532 can be omitted. Pliant traction member 514 is typically mounted completely within depression 528. Alternatively, only a portion of pliant traction member 514 may be mounted in depression 528. For example, the depression may be formed only in the intermediate portion of elongate member 512, and the traction member may be mounted within the depression in the intermediate portion, and not in any depression along the upturned end portions.

[0085] As shown in FIG. 27, top surface 520 of elongate member 512 also includes a rim 534. Typically, rim 534 borders depression 528 and extends substantially completely along the perimeter of elongate member 512. Alternatively, rim 534 may extend along opposing sides of top surface 520, but not around upturned end portions 518 a, 518 b. Rim 534 is typically polygonal (e.g. triangular or square) in cross-section. Alternatively, rim 534 may be rounded according to some other predetermined curve, such as an ellipse. In an alternative embodiment of the present invention, rim 534′ extends above at least a portion of pliant traction member 514. Similar to depression 528 described above, rim 534 is useful for retaining pliant traction member 514 on top surface 520. In addition, rim 534 may be configured such that a user's toes and heel may contact rim 534 when the standing on apparatus 510 and thereby provide the user with additional support and control while skating.

[0086] While typically the above described embodiments of the invention incorporate an elongate member manufactured from plastic, it will be appreciated that the various embodiments described herein may incorporate an elongate member that is made from wood, typically laminated wood.

[0087] It will also be appreciated that the tapered edges, stringers, and material layers of different stiffnesses shown and described with reference to the embodiment of FIG. 18 and/or the sinusoidal channels of FIG. 19 may also be incorporated into the embodiment shown in FIGS. 23-27, which has a depression, rim, and center channel. Further, it will be appreciated that the embodiment shown in FIGS. 23-27 may also be provided with a graphical design visible through a translucent bottom or top layer, as shown in FIGS. 14-15, and/or with bumps or protrusions on the traction layer, as shown in FIG. 16.

[0088] While the present invention has been particularly shown and described with reference to the foregoing preferred embodiments, those skilled in the art will understand that many variations may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the following claims. The description of the invention should be understood to include all novel and non-obvious combinations of elements described herein, and claims may be presented in this or a later application to any novel and non-obvious combination of these elements. Where the claims recite “a” or “a first” element or the equivalent thereof, such claims should be understood to include incorporation of one or more such elements, neither requiring nor excluding two or more such elements.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7150666Mar 11, 2004Dec 19, 2006Bamba International (Canada) Ltd.Multi-layered sports board
US7219916 *Oct 7, 2004May 22, 2007Olson Mark ASnowboard
US7377828Nov 2, 2006May 27, 2008Bamba International (Canada) Ltd.Multi-layered sports board
US7422228Dec 10, 2004Sep 9, 2008Wah Kan CheungSports board
US7922206 *Apr 30, 2008Apr 12, 2011James KriezelUpright seated snowboard
US8356822 *Nov 4, 2011Jan 22, 2013Auto Deck Snowboards LlcSnowboard
US8388402 *Jul 5, 2011Mar 5, 2013Jerry Fielding, Jr.Submersible water toy and related method of use
US8845382 *Feb 26, 2013Sep 30, 2014Jerry Fielding, Jr.Submersible water toy and related methods of use
US20110263170 *Jul 5, 2011Oct 27, 2011Fielding Jerry JrSubmersible water toy and related method of use
US20120061929 *Nov 4, 2011Mar 15, 2012Auto Deck Snowboards LlcSnowboard
US20130171907 *Feb 26, 2013Jul 4, 2013Jerry Fielding, Jr.Submersible water toy and related methods of use
EP1405657A1 *Sep 11, 2003Apr 7, 2004Salomon S.A.Gliding or roller board
Classifications
U.S. Classification280/609
International ClassificationA63B23/04, A63C5/03, A63B23/035
Cooperative ClassificationA63B2022/0688, A63C5/03, A63B22/205, A63B22/001, A63B2022/0017, A63B22/0664, A63B2022/0051, A63B22/0056
European ClassificationA63B22/00P6, A63B22/00A6, A63C5/03, A63B22/06E, A63B22/20T4
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 27, 2002ASAssignment
Owner name: ANDY WOLF, INC., OREGON
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:WOLF, ANDREW;REEL/FRAME:012744/0968
Effective date: 20020224