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Publication numberUS3124815 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 17, 1964
Filing dateJul 29, 1963
Publication numberUS 3124815 A, US 3124815A, US-A-3124815, US3124815 A, US3124815A
InventorsLeslie A. Harvey
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
US 3124815 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 17, 1964 A. HARVEY SWIMMING TRAINING APPARATUS 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed July 29, 1965 will Wil Fig.2


LESLIE A. HARVEY BY 14 & 161cm Fig.4

March 17, 1964 HARVEY 3,124,815

SWIMMING TRAINING APPARATUS Filed July' 29, 1963 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 e4 e2 86 78 24 70 l l I I I 'p L "'Hllllll' 1-m- 66 5s 4e H95 20 74 O 70 2s 24 26 as P y i INVENTOR.

. LESLIE A. HARVEY United States Patent 3,124,815 SWIMIVIING TRAINING APPARATUS Leslie A. Harvey, 2350 4th Ave., Yuma, Ariz. Filed July 29, 1963, Ser. No. 298,031 Claims. (Cl. 9-311) The present invention relates generally to swimming training apparatus and more particular to a floating support for use as a training means in the art of swimming.

Many devices exist in the prior art directed to the problem of teaching swimming. Some of them are rather cumbersome mechanical contrivances which are designed for use out of water. These deprive the swimming student of experience with actual swimming conditions during the exact period of time when it is most important that such familiarity should be developing. Most devices of this type require the strapping of the students limbs to various moving elements which force, rather than guide, the limbs through the proper motions. Inflatable devices have also been proposed, most of which consist of a plurality of airtight compartments connected together. These are usually wrapped around the body and/or the limbs of the student thereby restricting and hampering proper movement and coordination which is essential to the art of swimming.

The present invention has been developed to provide a professional approach to the teaching of swimming from beginner to expert. The training apparatus is used in the proper medium, i.e water, and it is designed to automatically position the swimmer, guide his strokes and teach correct breathing procedure.

It is therefore the primary object of this invention to provide an improved buoyant platform for swimming instruction having means incorporated therein to insure proper movement of the arms, legs, and head.

It is a further object of this invention to provide an improved buoyant platform for swimming instruction which will benefitthe advanced swimmer equally as well as the novice in that its design will demand from the user more exertion thereby developing strength, stamina and endurance.

It is a still further object of this invention to provide an improved buoyant platform that has recreational as well as exercise and instructional value.

It is another and further object of this invention to provide an improved platform having adjustable buoyancy.

It is a still further object of this invention to provide an improved platform that is adjustable in length to accommodate students of varying age and height groups.

Finally it is an object to provide a buoyant platform of the aforementioned character which is simple and convenient to use and which will give generally efficient and durable service.

With these and other objects definitely in view, this invention consists in the novel construction, combination and arrangement of elements and portions, as will be hereinafter fully described in the specification, particularly pointed out in the claims, and illustrated in the drawings which form a material part of this disclosure, and in which:

FIGURE 1 is a side elevation view of the improved apparatus showing a student in position thereon;

FIGURE 2 is a top plan View;

3,124,815 Patented Mar. 17, 1964 FIGURE 3 is a section on the line 33 of FIGURE 1 showing the students head in the two extreme positions;

FIGURE 4 is a sectional view of the head support mounting on an enlarged scale;

FIGURE 5 is a sectional view on the line 5-5 of FIG- URE 2;

FIGURE 6 is a sectional view on the line 66 of FIG- URE 2;

FIGURE 7 is a sectional view showing the mounting of the body strap;

FIGURE 8 is a partial longitudinal sectional view of one pontoon showing the water level therein; and

FIGURE 9 is a detail View of one of the kick indicators.

Referring now to the drawings FIGURE 2 shows a swimming training apparatus according to the present invention which consists essentially of two basic parts, a body supponting portion, indicated generally by the reference numeral 20, and a pontoon section, indicated generally by the numeral 22. The body supporting portion includes a forward section 24 and a rearward section 26. These two sections are adjustable, one with respect to the other, to accommodate students of different heights and in the embodiment shown the rearward section 26 is telescoped within the forward section 24 and secured thereto by bolts 28. It is evident that other means could be used for adjustably securing these two sections together. To provide the necessary buoyancy the sections 24 and 26 are hollow and provided with any suitable sealing means at their juncture point to prevent entrance of water thereinto.

The front end of the forward section 24 is curved as at 30 for a purpose that will be hereinafter described. Extending rearwardly from section 26 are a pair of U-shaped members 32. The free ends of these U-shaped members are pivotally mounted on opposite sides of section 26 by suitable screw threaded studs and are adjustably held in position by wing nuts 34. As shown in FIG- URE 9 the base 36 of each U-shaped member is provided with a feeler strip 38 having a plurality of flexible feelers 40 thereon.

A body encircling belt indicated generally by reference numeral 42 is also secured to the rearward section 26 of the body supporting portion 20. As shown in FIGURE 7 this belt, which may be formed of a flexible rubberized material, is fixedly secured as at 44 to one side of section 26. It then extends along the top section 26 to adjacent the other side where it is bent back upon itself to form a complete body encircling loop the free end of which is adjustably secured, by any suitable fastening means 46, to the opposite side of body 26. Other suitable belt means which provide limited freedom of movement of the students body laterally of the support may be substituted for belt means 42.

The pontoon section 22 is generally U-shaped, the legs 48 and 56 of which extend parallel to the body supporting portion 29 and are spaced therefrom to form elongated openings 52 and 54. The base 56 of the U-shaped pontoon section is spaced from the forward end 30 of the body support portion to form an opening 58 for receiving the students head.

Legs 48 and 50 of the pontoon sections have integrally formed therewith strut members 60 and 62 respectively. These strut members carry securing means, here shown as conventional bolts 64 and nuts 66 which extend through slots 68 and '76 respectively in body portion 24 for adjustably securing the pontoon section to the body support portion. A hand guide is positioned at the junction of each pontoon leg 43 and 50 with the forward portion 56. As here shown each hand guide consists of a web 72 of sheet material formed integrally with the pontoon section and sloping upwardly from a juncture with forward section 56. The inwardly facing flange 74 of the hand guide is generally planar and extends normal to the upper surface of the body supporting portion 29. The upper surface of each hand guide slopes downwardly and outwardly as clearly shown in FIGURE 6 to a junction with legs 48 and '9 of the pontoon section. Extending rearwardly from flanges 74 are braces 76. These braces are adjustably secured to forward section 24 by suitable bolt means 73 positioned in a well known manner in slots 8i Means to guide the students upper arms during the forward motion of the arm are also provided on the pontoon legs 43 and 59 in the form of protuberances 82. The rear and top of these protuberances is smoothly curved upwardly as at 84 to a high point adjacent front wall 86 which is generally normal to the upper surface of the pontoon section.

To provide the required buoyancy the pontoon section is formed as a hollow member and means are incorporated therein for varying the buoyancy by admitting water thereinto. Thus one or more openings 88 are located in the bottom wall 90 of the pontoon and u similar openings 92 are provided in the top wall 94, as clearly shown in FIGURE 8. Openings 92 are closed by plugs 96. The buoyancy may be varied to suit the weight of the student by placing the apparatus in a body of water, removing the closure plug 96 and admitting the proper amount of water while bleeding out an equal volume of air. Closure plug 96 is then replaced to trap the air in the upper part of the chambered pontoons.

With the platform adjusted for the height of the user and to give the proper buoyant effect the student assumes a prone position thereon and secures the strap 42 around his waist, adjusting it properly before fastening to give the desired freedom of movement. The head should then be positioned in the opening 58 with the face resting on face support and breathing guide as shown in FIGURE 3. Face support 98 consists of a fiat piece of substantially rigid thin material one edge or" which is fixed to a shaft 192. This shaft is non-rotatably positioned in socket 104 which is rotatably mounted in bore 106 in body supporting portion 24. Socket L34 is retained in bore 196 by snap ring 108. A torsion spring 110 is connected between the end Wall 112 and socket 104 to rotate the socket 104 and thereby the face support in the proper direction. With the support posi tioned as shown, for the right handed swimmer, the torsion spring 110 urges the face support in a clockwise direction from the position shown in solid lines to the position shown in dotted lines. With the basic crawl strokes breathing is possible only when the mouth is out of the water with the head in position shown by dotted lines 160 in FIGURE 3. Thus it will be seen that face support 93 exerts a gentle pressure against the face to turn it to a position for proper breathing.

Provision is made for adapting the face support 93 for a left handed swimmer. In this case bore 106, socket 104 and torsion spring 110 are duplicated at 114 so that shaft 102 may be withdrawn from one socket and inserted in the other. When used for a left handed swimmer the face guide would be on the opposite side of the face from that shown in FIGURE 3. The torsion spring 110 will be so arranged as to rotate the face guide in a counterclockwise direction.

The guide means built into my swim trainer make possible the proper positioning and coordination of a students arms and legs. The protuberances 82 are so located as to properly guide the swimmers upper arm after the completion of the power stroke and as the arm is brought forward for reentry of the hand into the water. Similarly the hand guides 72 are positioned to insure that the hand will enter the water at the proper angle at the beginning of each power stroke.

The leg kick is an important component part of the basic crawl stroke and it is essential that upper and lower limits of the kick be established to prevent excessive splashing and undue turbulence. The U-shaped leg guides 32 with the flexible feelers 40 provide an effective means for limiting the upper and lower leg kick. These can be adjusted to the desired position for the individual student and secured by wing-nuts 34.

From the above it can be seen that a new and novel apparatus is provided for giving swimming instruction whereby proper coordination of the limbs and proper swimming strokes and leg movement can be learned with a minimum of supervision. Furthermore such instruction is made possible under actual swimming conditions to accelerate the development of confidence in the swimming student. The built-in guides direct the students limbs through the proper strokes rather than confining and forcing them, as is true in the prior art devices. Furthermore the device can be constructed of inexpensive materials having the desired lightness and buoyancy characteristics.

It is understood that minor variation from the form of the invention disclosed herein may be made without departure from the spirit and scope of the invention, and that the specification and drawings are to be considered as merely illustrative rather than limiting.

I claim:

1. A swimming students floating support comprising:

an elongated buoyant platform;

means defining elongated openings on opposite sides thereof for guiding a students arms through the proper swimming technique;

means defining an opening at one end of said platform;

resilient means in said last named opening for supporting and exerting an upward pressure on the students head; and

adjustable means extending from the other end of the platform for limiting the vertical movement of the students legs.

2. The structure of claim 1 in which said resilient means includes a plate member pivotally mounted in said platform.

3. The structure of claim 1 in which said platform is hollow and is provided with means on the bottom thereof for the entrance of water and means on the top to bleed air therefrom whereby the buoyancy thereof may be controlled.

4. A swimming students floating support comprising:

an elongated buoyant platform including a body supporting portion adapted to receive the body of a swimming student and pontoon sections having a forward and rearward end spaced laterally from each side of said body supporting portion; i strut means connecting the rearward end of said pontoon sections to said body supporting portion; means connecting the forward end of said pontoon sections together forwardly of said body supporting portion; the space between said pontoon sections and said body supporting portion forming guide means for proper positioning of the arms during swimming and means at the rear of said body supporting portion for limiting the upper and lower stroke of the students legs.

5. The structure of claim 4 further including resilient means pivotally mounted on the forward end of said body supporting portion for supporting and exerting an upward pressure on a students head.

6. The structure of claim 5 in which said body supporting portion includes a forward portion and a rearward portion adjustably secured together.

7. The structure of claim 6 in which said pontoon sections are provided with upwardly extending shaped protuberances adjacent said guide means to assist the guide means in proper positioning of the students arms.

8. The combination of claim 7 in which said pontoon sections are adjustably supported on said body supporting portion.

9. The combination of claim 8 in which said pontoon sections are hollow and provided with means on the (9 bottom thereof for the entrance of water and means on the top to bleed air therefrom whereby the buoyancy thereof may be controlled.

10. The structure of claim 9 further including a strap means secured to said body portion and adapted to encircle the waist of the student.

Marshall Feb. 2, 1932 Wayfield Apr. 16, 1963

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1843617 *Jul 27, 1929Feb 2, 1932Marshall Leon HSwimming board
US3085356 *Mar 7, 1960Apr 16, 1963Wayfield David JSwimming instruction devices
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3491997 *May 6, 1966Jan 27, 1970Winters Mary MSwimming aid capable of undergoing porpoise-like leaping movement
US4518364 *Sep 30, 1983May 21, 1985Jacobson Vivian RSwimming instruction device
US4674740 *Jun 11, 1985Jun 23, 1987Superspine, Inc.Exercise machine for simulating swimming motions
US4781638 *Jun 19, 1986Nov 1, 1988Winters' Innovations, Inc.Kickboard for swimmers
US6790163Aug 10, 2000Sep 14, 2004Keith Van De LaarschotSwim stroke exercise device
US7044818 *Sep 18, 2004May 16, 2006Craig AskinsSwim stroke guide
US20130281264 *Apr 19, 2012Oct 24, 2013Her-Fa ChenSwimming exercise device
U.S. Classification441/55, 482/55
International ClassificationA63B69/12
Cooperative ClassificationA63B69/12
European ClassificationA63B69/12