US 3088732 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
P. R. H ETLAND May 7, 1963 WATER ROLLER 2 Sheets-Sheet l Filed March 16, 1959 AWE/VERS P. R. HETLAND May 7, 1963 WATER ROLLER 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed March 16, 1959 /NVENTOE 7mm E. HETLAND AW'OENEYS United States Patent O 3,088,732 WATER ROLLER Philip R. Hetland, 1015 S. River Drive, Moorhead, Minn. Filed Mar. 16, 1959, Ser. No. 799,574 3 Claims. (Cl. 272-1) This invention relates to a new and novel type of recreational water device. More particularly the invention relates to a water roller to be used by one or more participants to enjoy a new water sport.
For purposes of facilitating the description of the invention the longitudinal axis will be considered to be an `axis parallel to the rotational axis of the two spaced inilated tubes. The bottom of the water roller will be considered to -be the lowermost portion which normally is at least partially if not fully, submerged in the water when said water roller is not being used while the top will be considered to be the uppermost portion of the water roller which is normally above the water under the same aforementioned conditions. The transverse axis will `be considered to be an axis perpendicular to the rotational axis and located in a horizontal plane.
An object of this invention is to provide a new and novel recreational water device that permits enjoyment of a new water sport similar to diving. A further object of this invention is to provide a new and novel recreational roller device that requires a certain amount of skill to operate, that provides exercise, and that may be used by one or more people.
`A `still further object of this invention is to provide a new and improved water roller device which may be used by one or more persons and be constructed to have mainly a rotary motion or `a combination of a rotary and translatory motions in the water when used. Still another object of this invention is to provide -a water roller device having new and improved footholders that yare sturdy enough to retain the users lfeet in position and yet can easily be released at will by relaxing the feet and a simple motion of said feet. Still an additional object of this invention is to provide a new and novel water roller device which is inexpensive to produce, relatively safe to operate. easy to manufacture, and that may be dismantled to occupy a minimum of storage space.
Other and further objects are those inherent in the invention herein illustrated, described in the claims, and will be apparent as the description proceeds.
To the accomplishment of the foregoing and related ends, this invention then comprises features fully described iand particularly pointed out in the claims, the following description setting forth in detail certain illustrative embodiments of the invention, these being indicative, however, of but a few of the various ways in which the principles of the invention may be employed.
The invention is illustrated with reference to the drawings in which corresponding numerals refer to the same parts and in which:
FIGURE l is `a front elevational View of the first embodiment -of the invention, a portion of said view being shown in cross-section to better illustrate the invention;
FIGURE 2 is a vertical sectional view taken along the line and looking in the direction of the arrows 2 2 of FIGURE l to illustrate the structure for retaining the inflatable tubes in spaced relationship and for mounting the footholders;
FIGURE 3 is an enlarged side view of one of the footholders of this invention mounted on the support member, said view being taken along the line and looking in the direction of the arrows 3-3 of FIGURE l;
FIGURE 4 is a perspective View of the footholder of FIGURE '3, said view illustrating the foot of a user in said holder;
3,088,732 Patented May 7, 1963 FIGURE 5 is a plan View of the second embodiment of a water roller of this invention;
FIGURE 6 is a front view of the second embodiment of the water roller illustrated in FIGURE 5;
IFIGURE 7 is a vertical sectional view of the water roller illustrated in FIGURE 6, said view being taken along the line and looking in the direction of the arrow 7 7 of `FIGURE 6 to illustrate the structure for mountrrlilg and retaining the inflatable tubes in spaced relation- S 1P;
FIGURE 8 is a fragmentary perspective view of a third embodiment of a water roller of this invention, said view illustrating radially extending vanes mounted on the inflatable tube.
The first embodiment of the water roller of this invene tion, generally designated l0, includes a pair of equal-sized inflated plastic or rubber tubes lll (such as tire inner tubes) retained in spaced relationship |by a main frame I'generally designated 13, said tubes serving as floats. Conventional means (not shown) may be provided for inilating each of the tubes lil.
The main frame 13 includes a pair of rims 12 for mounting the tubes, said rims acting to keep the tubes circular and partially rigid and also serving as structure for the attachment of other elements of the frame to be described hereinafter. The rims and the tires mounted thereon have the same rotational axis and are retained in spaced, generally parallel relationship by a modified X- frame member 14 at the top as seen in FIGURE l which is secured to the rims 12 at the respective end portions of said X-frame and at the bottom by the longitudinal frame i8. The modified X-frame (see FIGURES l and 2) includes a pair of spaced handhold bars 16 which extend longitudinally between the two spaced, inflated tubes and are bent outwardly and downwardly at their :outer ends to have curved legs i5 formed integral therewith. The outer ends of the curved legs are removably secured to the respective `adjacent portions of the rims by means such as cap screws 17. The radius of curvature of the curved legs is of a length similar to the radius of a cross-section of the tube. As a result, the curved legs are of a dimension such that they aid in retaining the adjacent tube on the rim. Two short bars 23 connect the handhold bars 16 at their ends, one bar 23 being adjacent each of the rims 12. Thus the modified X-frame comprises the aforementioned handhold bars 16, four curved legs 15 and two short bars 23.
The frame member 18 includes a pair of rods 19 mounted to extend generally parallel to the X-frame, each rod being welded at one end to the inner periphery of the rim 12 at a position diametrically across the rim from the X-frame. Each rod'extends approximately onehalf of the longitudinal distance to the opposite rim. A pipe 2i) covered with a spongy material 21 to prevent bruising of the limbs of the participants using the water roller forms a snug fit over the adjacent end portions of each of the aforementioned rods thus joining said rods in elfect, to form a cross piece.
Attached to each of the rods 19 are downwardly extending U-shaped tubes 24 which extend in planes that are generally perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of said rods and lie within close proximity of each of the inflated tubes. The transversely extending web portion 24a of each of the U-shaped tubes is welded to the rods while curved braces 22 are secured at one end to the rirn-s 12 and extend in an inwardly and downwardly direction to be secured at their opposite ends to the lower end of the adjacent hollow legs 24b of the U-shaped tubes. Each of the curved braces may be concavely curved so that the generally at surface thus formed will extend over Va portion of the inner `surface of the rim and around a portion of the inflated tube to aid in retaining the adjacent tube on the rim. The pipe 2t) is covered with a spongy material since the participants may place their knees against said pipe as a means of obtaining additional leverage to rotate the water roller in the desired direction, while the tubes 24- are rigidly braced since a large force is exerted thereupon by the participants weight and movement.
A pair of parallel, longitudinally extending U-shaped support members 27 having upwardly turned legs 27a iat their end portions may also form part of the frame 1S, said upwardly turned legs being inserted in the respective hollow legs of the U-shaped tube 24 and removably retained therein by nuts and bolts 32. The bolts are extended through appropriate apertures 24e, 27C formed in each of the legs 24b and the upturned legs 27a, there being a plurality of spaced apertures 24C, 27C in said legs to form an adjustment to be described hereinafter.
Mounted on the web portion 27b of the support bracket in spaced relationship are a right and left footholder 26. Each of the footholders includes an angle member 2S that is welded at its center portion to the web of the support bracket and has yan upwardly extending element 28a formed integral therewith at its outer end. A fabric web member 29 is secured to the inner end of the member 2S to be extended across the instep of a foot 30, over the top of the foot and thence around the ankle and in back of the heel where it is secured to the upwardly extending element 28a. Each footholder which may be considered to include the adjacent portion of the support member 28 forms means for holding and supporting the foot of a user of the device. The reversely bent end portions formed on either end of the support bracket serve to prevent the loop of the fabric from slipping off of said bracket.
The structure of one of the embodiments of my invention having been described, I will now set forth the structure of a second embodiment of the invention. The second embodiment of a Water roller of my invention, generally designated 40, has the same general construction as the rst embodiment except for diiferences pointed out hereinafter. The water roller of the second embodiment includes a pair of inllatable tubes 41 held in longitudinally spaced relationship by the main frame 43. The rnain yframe 43 includes a pair of spaced rims 42 which serve to keep the tube circular and serve as a point of attachment for the other parts. The portion of the main frame that holds the tubes in spaced relationship includes the modified X-frame 46 attached to the bottom inner peripheral portion (as shown in FIGURE 6) of each of the rims and a pair of parallel longitudinally extending bars 49 which are secured at their opposite end portions to the top portions of the respective rims. Each of the bars 49 may include an outwardly extending curved leg portion having a radius of curvature slightly larger than the adjacent portion of the inflated tube around which it extends similarly as the curved legs of the irst embodiment; however, as presently illustrated, the bars are straight members.
The X-frame 46 includes a pair of legs 47 diverging outwardly from one another to be iattached to spaced portions of the adjacent rim, there being a pair of legs formed at the opposite longitudinal end portions of the frame. Each pair of legs are joined by a longitudinally extending member 48 which forms part of the X-frame. It is to be noted that the legs 47 may be shaped similarly to the curved legs `15.
Secured to the X-frame and the longitudinal bars are a pair of U-shaped hollow tubes 50 which may be considered as forming a portion of the frame. Each U- shaped tube is |inverted as shown in FIGURE 7 to have the web 50a located near the top of the adjacent tube while the respective leg portions 5017 extend vertically downwardfrom the web to an elevation substantially lower than the bottom of the inflated tubes. The upper end of each tube so may Serve as a handheld bar.
Otherwise straps (not shown) may be attached to the main frame, similarly as they may be attached to the main frame of :the rst em-bodiment to form hand holds.
Two longitudinally extending support members 51 extend between the lower end of the two U-shaped tubes, one support member connecting the 'legs on one side and the other connecting those on the other side. The support member may be of the same construction as support member 27 and may be adjustably mounted in a similar manner. Mounted on each of the support members in spaced 4relationship are a left and right footholder `52. The footholders 52 may be of the same construction as the footholders 28 of the rst embodiment.
A third embodiment of my invention (see FIGURE 8) generally designated 60, may be of the same construction as either of the first two embodiments except for the differences set forth hereinafter. For the purpose of describing the third embodiment it will be assumed that it includes a main frame 64 of the same construction as the frame 13l of the first embodiment. The frame 64 includes a modied X-frame member 62 detachably secured to a pair of spaced rims (only one of said rims being shown and said modified X-frame being partially illustrated). Mounted on each rim 65 is an inatable tube 61.
Secured to Veach of the tubes are a plurality of radially extending vanes 63. The radially extending vanes may be formed integral with the inflatable tube (as shown in FIGURE 8), vulcanized to the inflatable tube, or may be removably attached to the outer periphery of the tube by means of a strap (not shown) which extends from one of the vertical edges of the vane, around the inner periphery of the tube, and removably secured to the opposite vert-ical edge of said vane. By providing the aforementioned radial vanes on each of the inflatable tubes, the tube will act as `a Water wheel and translatory motion will accompany the rotational motion of said tubes. The translatory motion Would be relatively straight; however, it can be directed along the surface of the water in one direction or another if the participants wish by putting more weight on the footholds adjacent the tube in the direction which they wish to direct the tube than on the other footholds. v
An alternative manner of mounting the vanes would be to mount the vanes to extend outwardly from the respective tube at an acute angle relative to a tangential line passed through the point of contact of a vane on the outer peripheral surface of the tube rather than to have the vane extend outwardly from the tube along a radial line as shown in FIGURE 8. Mounting the vanes to form an acute angle with the tube wouldpresent pockets on one side to catch the water when the water roller is rotated one way; whereas said vanes would tend to yslide over the water vwhen the water roller is rotated in the opposite direction.
'Ihe structure of various embodiments of the water roller of this invention having been described, a brief description of the operation and use thereof will now be set forth. The water roller of this invention may be used in various recreational water lactivities. Its design is particularly directed toward creating a new water sport similar to diving as will be set forth hereinafter. The water roller requires a certain amount of skill to operate but may be used by both young and old.
'Ihe water roller may be used in either shallow or deep water; however, it is preferable that the depth of the water be more than three feet. After the water roller has been placed in the water, the participants face one another with their feet in the footholders and their hands grasping the respective handholders. By a combination of motions somewhat akin to a simple swing and shifting of the persons weight, the apparatus can be made to oscillate and rotate. For example, assume that two persons have taken the positions just described and have achieved a state of balance. If the person on the lefthand side of the roller shown in FIGURE 2 moves so as to displace the 4downward component of his body Weight further from the rotational Aaxis of the water roller, the water roller will rotate in the direction of the arrow 80 thus lowering the person on the left hand side feet first into the water. At the same time the person on the right hand `side will be lifted and if the roller continues to rotate go head over heels into the Water. In other words, one individual dives head first into the Water and comes out head first and the other individual goes in feet first and comes out feet first. As apparent, the person that goes head rst into the water would be dependent upon the shifting of weights of the participants with respect to the rotational axis of the water roller. The rotation of the water roller can be continued through a full revolution or several revolutions or stopped after one revolution by properly shifting the body weights. The person on the right of course contributes to the force causing the rotation by properly shifting his weight. Eventually a swinging rhythm can be developed by the participants as they move through a revolution. In order to facilitate the operation of the roller when persons of different heights and weights use it, the footholder support members are made adjustable Within the U- Ishaped tube by providing a plurality of spaced apertures in each of the support legs and the U-shaped tube legs and bolts for holding said members in an adjusted position.
As may be noted in FIGURES 3 and r4 the footholders Iare somewhat similar to the types used on water skis and are of quite sturdy construction since at times, a persons weight is hanging from said footholders. In order for a participant to place a foot 30 in one of the footholders the toes `are first pointed out, then the foot is slipped through the footholders, and finally the toes are pointed straight ahead as illustrated in FIGURE 4. Although the footholders will retain the foot in position, there is little danger of the participant bein-g held in a dangling posi-tion against his will, since the foot can be easily released by merely relaxing it and letting the toes point out.
If the inflatable tubes are smooth (such as illustrated by the first and second embodiments), the rollers will not move very far 4in a translatory direction while they are rotating. However, if radial vanes (such `as illustrated in FIGURE 8) are placed on the tubes, they will act as water wheels to provide translatory movement to accompany the rotational movement previously described.
Small loops or handholders (not shown) and footholders (not shown) may be installed on each rim or tube on the opposite side thereof from the other tube. As a result someone may stand -on the outs-.ide of the rim and be revolved although any effect of their shifting their weight to assist in rolling would be limited.
lt is to be understood that .it is within the purview of my invention of mounting the footholders on one transverse side of the roller -at a location adjacent one of the handhold bars and mount .the handhold bar at the location of the footholder. Thus the feet of one person would be next to the hands of the person on the opposite transverse side of the roller and would permit both parties to roll forward or in a head irst direction.
As previously stated, the water roller may be constructed to be dismantled after being used to minimize the space necessary for transporting and for storing it. For example, in water roller 10, after the bolts 17 are removed, the modified X-frame may be disconnected from the remaining portions of the frame; and after the bolts 32 have been removed, the support member 18 may be detached from the U-shaped foot-support member Z7. Next the two tubes and the rims on which they are mounted may be pulled apart by pulling the rods 19 out of the pipe 20. Now the water roller may be stored in a minimum lamount of space, provided of course, that the tubes are deflated.
With respect to the pipe 20, the water roller could be constructed and rolled without the provision of said pipe and by using shorter rods 19. However, the pipe does give added rigidity, serves as a knee rest and may be used to obtain additional leverage if desired.
If the water roller is to be used by one per-son, in order to have the center of gravity of the .single user close enough to the rotational axis to permit rolling, it is desirable that, for example, in the rst embodiment that the U-shaped support member Z7 on the opposite side be reversed. Thus in FIGURE 2, the person using the roller 'would be using the handholder y16 on the right side and place his feet in the footholders on the left side. It has been found that the pipe 20 causes no inconvenience when the roller is used in the above manner.
Although it is somewhat more precarious, the roller can be operated on land. Using the roller on land, it is most effectively used by one person. If the roller is to be used on land, -it is desirable that the tubes be of a larger diameter than those used for only water operation and that the handholds and foothold/ers be mounted closer to .the rotational axis relative to the overall transverse dimension `of the device than that illustrated in the drawings.
It is within the purview of this invention that rollers may be made in diiferent sizes to permit roll-ing by adults or by children. Further, it is` w-ithin the purview of this invention that the construction of the frame may be modified as tlong Ias the principles of operation of the device remain the sa-me. For example, in place of the rims illustrated, a bent circular pipe having -spaced outwardly extending V-shaped appendages welded thereto .may be used for mounting each tube.
Additionally it is to be understood that means other than the inatable tube may be used in making the water roller as long as said means performs the same function as said tubes. For example, `floats which are in part made of cork may be used. Also the longitudinal length of the frame may be extended so that, for example, two participants may be supported on each lside lof the rotational `axis or the rol-ler may be constructed with three spaced floats, there being a frame provided between each float.
As many widely apparent different embodiments lof this invention may be made without departing from the spirit and scope thereof, it is to be understood that I do not limit myself to the specific embodiments herein.
What I claim is:
l. A water roller comprising a main frame having a longitudinal axis, a float mounted on either longitudinal end of the main frame in fixed positions with respect to said main frame, said main frame having a rim lat either end for mounting the respective float, each oat being constructed and mounted to have a rotational axis parallel to said longitudinal axis, and means mounted on the frame for forming footholds yto support a party and ret-ain the feet of the party in `a fixed position as Ithe main frame is rotated, said main frame being formed to have handholds on the main frame that are normally located vertically above the foothold means, said main frame including a top frame member secured at opposite end portions to the adjacent rim and a longitudinal frarne secured at opposite ends Ito the adjacent rim on the diametrically opposite side of the main frame from the top frame member, said longitudinal frame including a pair of support members, said supp-ont members each having the foothold means mounted thereon, and two depending means having lower ends for cooperatively supporting one support member on either transverse side of the longitudinal frame at the lower end thereof, each depending means being mounted adjacent one rim so that each of the lower ends terminates at a point below the rim.
2. A water roller comprising a main frame having a longitudinal axis, a float xedly mounted on either long-itudinal end of the main frame in fixed position with respect to the main frame, vsaid main frame having a rim at either end for mounting a float, each float being constructed -and mounted to ,have a rotational axis parallel to said longitudinal Y,ax-is, and means mounted on the frame for lforming vfootholds to support a party and retain the feet of the party in arfixed position as the frame is rotated, said main vframe 'being formed to 'have handholds on the main frame Athat are normally located vertically above the foothold means, said main frame including a longitudinally extending member secured at either end to a portion Iof said rims, a longitudinally extending sub-frame located in a position vertically below lthe longitudinally extending member and secured at either end to a portion of said rims and a pair of vertically extending members, one vertical member being mounted adjacent either rim to be secured at its upper end to the longitudinally extending member-and at its lower end portion to the longitudinally extending sub-frame, the vertical members being of a length to have Vtheir lower ends located at `an elevation below gtherims, the upper ends of each of the vertical members forming the aforementioned handholds and the aforementioned foothold means being joined to the lower end of Isaid vertical members.
3. Recreational apparatus to be used in water and rotated :about anwaxis comprising spaced opposed inflatable tubes aligned coaxially,` ya rim for mount-ing each tube, top brace means having opposite ends connected to the aforementioned `rims for retaining the adjacent portions of the rims in `spaced relationship, bottom brace means located vertically beneath the top brace means and coacting with thetop brace means for mounting the `rims in position to retain the tubes in the aforementioned spaced relationship, said bottom brace means having opposite ends secured to the lrespective rim, and means mounted on the bottom brace means for retaining the feet of a user in a fixed position relative to `said bottom brace means as said tubes and brace means rotate .about said axis, there being `only top fbrace means, said bottom brace means and feet retaining means extended between said tubes and rims and connected thereto to therebytprovide, a structure free space between the circumferential portions of said tubes and rims that extends from said bottom brace means and feet retaining means to yadjacent the top brace means, said feet retaining means including a depending member adjacent to each rim, extending to a lower elevation than the rims and Iattached to the bottom brace means, a pair of footholders, and means connected to the lower ends of said depending members for mounting said pair of footholders in spaced relationship.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 520,899 Ronk June 5, 1894 1,676,015 Feick July 3, 1928 2,253,936 Karst Aug. 26, 1941 2,559,977 Lundborg July l0, 1951 2,651,790 Geiger Sept. 15, 1953 2,838,022 Wilson June l0, 1958 2,948,531 Johnson Aug. 9, 1960 2,979,016 Rossi Apr. 11, 1961 FOREIGN PATENTS 463,933 Germany Aug. 4, 1928 461,282 Germany Aug. 9, 1928 510,387 Germany Oct. '18, 1-930 500,989 Great Britain Feb. 20, 1939 997,399' France Sept. 12, 1951