US 20070072690 A1
The invention comprises an inflatable and expandable slide and pool construction that permits the user to selectively change the structure of the slide by expanding it to include a pool or basin at the end of the slide. The pool portion may be releasably attached to the front of the slide and may include inflatable sides and an inflatable end bumper. If the slide is a continuous airflow inflatable, the sides of the pool portion may be inflated by the air blower when the sides are released from their attachment to the end of the slide.
1. An inflatable and expandable slide comprising a slide portion having a front wall at the bottom of the slide, a bumper member, a pair of extendable leg members each having a first and second end, the first ends being affixed to the bumper member and the second ends being releasably attached to the front wall of the slide portion, and a collapsible pool floor member attached to the leg members, the bumper member, and the front wall of the slide portion, whereby upon release of the leg members from attachment to the front wall of the slide portion, the leg members and the collapsible pool floor member may be extended away from the slide portion to form a pool or basin bounded by the leg members, the bumper member, and the lower end of the slide portion.
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This claims priority to U.S. provisional application Ser. No. 60/720,340 filed on Sep. 23, 2005, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety into this application.
Inflatable slides are an increasingly popular backyard or poolside recreational toy. The slide may be inflated either by filling the slide structure with air via an inflation valve and then closing the valve, or by a continuous airflow from an air blower. In the latter case, as is known, the outer material of the slide body is permeable and allows air to escape at a rate that will maintain the body in an inflated state as air is blown into the body. The slides typically include a ladder or other means to permit the user to climb to the top of the slide, and often include a device for spraying water onto the slide to facilitate sliding. However, known constructions for inflatable slides are fixed in the sense that they do not permit the user to selectively change the slide structure.
The instant invention permits the user of an inflatable slide to selectively change the structure of the slide by expanding it to include a pool or basin at the end of the slide. The pool portion may be releasably attached to the front end of the slide and may include inflatable sides and an inflatable end bumper. If the slide is a continuous airflow inflatable, the sides of the pool portion may be inflated by the air blower when the sides are released from their attachment to the end of the slide.
The following description of the invention will be more fully understood with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
A U-shaped end bumper 20 is detachably secured to the front wall 24 of the slide, and provides cushioning when a person slides down the slide and reaches the bottom. End bumper 20 is preferably comprised of an inflatable bladder made of, for example, PVC, that may be sealed off by a valve (not shown); in other words, it is not a continuous airflow inflatable structure. The bladder is enclosed in a cover made of the same material as the sides of the slide, both for continuity of appearance and for protection of the bladder from puncture.
For decorative purposes, members 26 may be formed on each side of the slide and are inflated by the air blower as part of slide construction 10. Extendable legs 36, which will form the sides of the pool, as explained more fully below, are seen in collapsed condition; the legs 36 are secured to the slide front wall 24 and the distal portions 25 of end bumper 20 (
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The slide portion of the instant invention may be made from 420 denier polyester or 490 denier Nylon, with a PVC coating, and may be fabricated by well known die-cutting, sonic welding and/or sewing operations. Preferably, the sliding surfaces themselves have an external coating of PVC, while the remainder of the slide and the extendable legs has an internal PVC coating. The air blower unit may be a commercially available 380 watt or 580 watt, 110 volt blower.