US 20070191188 A1
The present invention is a climbing hold for removably securing on a mounting surface or a climbing wall. The climbing hold comprises a hold body, a surface conforming member integrated with the hold body, and a fastening means. The surface conforming member is made of a pliable material with physical characteristics that impart tear-resistance, enhanced frictional properties, abrasion-resistance, and elasticity. The hold body is made of a gripping material suitable for climbing. The surface conforming member is positioned to abut the mounting surface. The fastening means is then used for removably mounting the climbing hold on the mounting surface, whereby the surface conforming member deforms and conforms to any unique texture and shape of the mounting surface, which results in a substantial gapless interface between the climbing hold and the mounting surface.
1. An improved climbing hold for removably securing on a climbing wall or mounting surface, comprising;
a hold body;
a resilient pliable surface conforming member integrated with the hold body, positioned to abut the mounting surface;
a fastening means for removably mounting the climbing hold on the mounting surface, wherein the surface conforming member deforms and conforms to the unique texture and shape of the mounting surface, resulting in a gapless interface between the climbing hold and the mounting surface.
2. The improved climbing hold of
3. The improved climbing hold of
4. The improved climbing hold of
5. The improved climbing hold of
6. The improved climbing hold of
7. The improved climbing hold of
8. The improved climbing hold of
9. The improved climbing hold of
10. The improved climbing hold of
11. The improved climbing hold of
12. The improved climbing hold of
13. The improved climbing hold of claims 1, wherein the surface conforming member is attached to the hold body by a chemical bond possible between two different polyurethanes.
14. The improved climbing hold of
15. The improved climbing hold of
16. The improved climbing hold of claims 1 and 18, wherein the surface conforming member can be adapted to any shape of the hold body.
17. The improved climbing hold of
Portions of the disclosure of this patent document contain material that is subject to copyright protection. The copyright owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent document or the patent disclosure as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office file or records, but otherwise reserves all copyright rights whatsoever.
The present invention relates in general to rock-climbing holds that can be removably fastened to a climbing surface, and more particularly to an improved rock-climbing hold with an integrated surface conforming member, which conforms to the texture and curvature of the climbing surface.
Recreational rock-climbing is a popular sport for many climbing enthusiasts. Several structures and devices have been developed to artificially recreate this experience. These structures and devices are also used to train novice climbers. Typically, these structures include an artificial climbing wall with climbing holds fastened to the climbing wall. Preferably, these climbing holds are removably secured to the climbing wall so that they can be mounted at different locations depending on the skill or experience level of the climber. Climbing holds include a gripping surface and means to secure them to the climbing wall.
Several climbing holds have been developed in art. For example, U.S. Pat. App. No. 20040162190 to Diamond discloses a climbing hold apparatus that can be used on an existing climbing wall. The apparatus comprises a mounting bracket defining a plurality of apertures. At least one aperture is elongated, such that each of the apertures can be aligned with one of the wall attachment points, and wall fasteners are inserted to fasten the mounting bracket to the wall. An elongate track is attached to the mounting bracket such that the track may be adjustably oriented with respect to the mounting bracket. A track attachment point is located adjacent to each end of the track to attach a climbing hold feature.
U.S. Pat. App. No. 20030100407 to Barbafieri discloses a removable artificial climbing hold, which comprises a molded or cast body having an opening for a threaded fastener to pass through. A safety means is incorporated in the body around the opening to retain debris in the event of the body breaking.
In U.S. Pat. No. 6,709,365 to Zeilinger, an imitation climbing rock is disclosed that allows children to simulate rock-climbing activity. The climbing rock includes a mounting surface, a body, and an endless grip that extends outwardly from the entire circumference of the body. The body of the climbing rock preferably includes a mounting portion that forms an edge with the mounting surface and a gripping portion where the endless grip extends outwardly. The endless grip provides a hand/foot hold regardless of a climbing child's position relative to the climbing rock and no matter how the climbing rock is mounted to the climbing wall.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,074,327 to Franklin discloses a climbing hold that includes a hold body and a reinforcing sleeve. The hold body has an exterior portion adapted to support a climber and a substantially planar mounting face adapted to engage the front face of the climbing wall. The reinforcing sleeve is secured within the hold body and has first and second ends with an aperture adapted to accommodate a fastener for mounting the climbing hold to a climbing wall. The reinforcing sleeve substantially isolates the hold body from fastening forces, which result from mounting the climbing hold to the climbing wall.
These devices are functionally and structurally different from the present invention. A major drawback of rock climbing holds in the current art is that they leave spaces or gaps between the flat backside of the climbing hold and the mounting surface due to the uneven texture or curvature of the mounting surface. With these gaps present, a climber may simply grip the back edge of the climbing hold, defeating the purpose of the unique texture of the hold, and also causing the hold to chip or warp. In addition, current rock-climbing holds have a tendency to spin because of lack of friction between the mounting surface and the hold.
To resist spinning, prior art holds must be bolted to the mounting surface with a great deal of force. This high degree of force causes premature wear and failure of mounting hardware and often leads to breakage when the bolting force surpasses the tensile strength of the hold material. In some devices, a soft compound is typically applied as a thin film on the back surface of the hold to prevent rotation. This film acts primarily as a friction-enhancing agent, though often with limited success. Also, this film fails to address the problem of gaps and spaces left between the hold and the mounting surface.
Therefore, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved climbing hold that overcomes the drawbacks experienced in the prior art.
A further object is to provide an improved climbing hold that includes an integrated surface conforming member, which forms a seamless/gapless interface with any mounting surface regardless of its surface texture, curvature, or angle.
A further object is to provide an improved climbing hold that adjusts to different surface textures of the mounting surface.
A further object is to provide an improved climbing hold that can be designed in the form of any rock-climbing hold shape.
A further object is to provide an improved climbing hold that is extremely resistant to rotation once properly secured.
Finally, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved climbing hold that significantly reduces the amount of mounting force necessary to securely attach the climbing hold to the mounting surface. These and other objects of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the appended Summary, Description, and Claims.
The present invention relates in general to rock-climbing holds, and more particularly to an improved rock-climbing hold that when fastened to a climbing wall, conforms to the shape and texture of the climbing wall or mounting surface. The climbing hold mainly includes a surface conforming flange integrated with the body of the climbing hold. The surface conforming member is resilient and positioned to abut the mounting surface around the circumference of the mounting hold. A typical fastening means is used to secure the climbing hold to the mounting surface. When properly mounted, the surface conforming member deforms and substantially conforms to any shape and texture of the mounting surface.
Several suitable materials, including rubbers, pliable dense plastics or other dense resilient polymers may be used to fabricate the surface conforming member and the hold body. In the preferred embodiment the hold body is formed of polyurethane resin with Shore_D hardness between 60D and 100D, and the surface conforming member is formed of polyurethane with Shore_A hardness between 50A and 95A. Accordingly, several bonding methods can be used to attach the surface conforming member to the hold body, including glues, resins, or other chemical fixatives. In the preferred embodiment, the surface conforming member is attached to the hold body by direct polymer cross-linking between the two polyurethane materials.
Referring to the drawings, the preferred embodiment of an improved climbing hold is illustrated and generally indicated as 10 in
The surface conforming member 11 is designed such that its thickness is minimized or eliminated at the center of the hold, and significantly thicker towards the perimeter of the hold that abuts the mounting surface, thereby achieving a concaved shape and presenting a malleable flange that rests against the mounting surface.
Several suitable fastening means can be used to secure the climbing hold to the mounting surface. For example, bolts, screws, clamps, hooks, latches, magnets, or other means can be used as the fastening means to removably secure the climbing hold to the mounting surface. In the preferred embodiment, a bolt 13 and a washer 14 can be used as the fastening means. Accordingly, the surface conforming member 11 and the hold body 12 are provided with a hole 15 for the bolt 13 to pass through. The washer 14 is built into the hold body 12.
Several structural variations of the present invention are possible. For example, the hold body 12 can be of different shapes. Accordingly, the surface conforming member 11 can be adapted to any shape of the hold body. A variety of colors are possible for the surface conforming member and the hold body by using an appropriate colorant. Finally, the surface conforming member can be adapted wherever a temporary seamless interface is required between an object and a curved or unevenly textured surface.
All features disclosed in this specification, including any accompanying claims, abstract, and drawings, may be replaced by alternative features serving the same, equivalent or similar purpose, unless expressly stated otherwise. Thus, unless expressly stated otherwise, each feature disclosed is one example only of a generic series of equivalent or similar features.
Any element in a claim that does not explicitly state “means for” performing a specified function, or “step for” performing a specific function, is not to be interpreted as a “means” or “step” clause as specified in 35 U.S.C. § 112, paragraph 6. In particular, the use of “step of” in the claims herein is not intended to invoke the provisions of 35 U.S.C. § 112, paragraph 6.
Although preferred embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, various modifications and substitutions may be made thereto without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, it is to be understood that the present invention has been described by way of illustration and not limitation.