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Publication numberUS3156483 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 10, 1964
Filing dateApr 11, 1963
Priority dateApr 14, 1962
Publication numberUS 3156483 A, US 3156483A, US-A-3156483, US3156483 A, US3156483A
InventorsSee Jacques Leon Alexandre
Original AssigneeSee Jacques Leon Alexandre
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Gliding appliance for winter and nautical sports
US 3156483 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

J. L. A. SEE 3,156,483


United States Patent 3,156,483 GLTDING APPLIANCE FUR WINTER AND NAUTICAL SPGRTS Jacques Leon Alexandre See, 54 Rue la Bruyere, Paris 9, France Filed Apr. 11, 1963, Ser. No. 272,423 Ciaims priority, application France, Apr. 14, 1962, 894,513, Patent 1,327,943; July 25, 1962, 905,099, Patent 1,336,828

1%) Claims. (Cl. 280-12) The present invention relates to a new gliding appliance for winter and nautical sports made in the form of an inflatable element of which one of the advantages is to afford great stability both longitudinal and crosswise, whatever the element on which it is used.

The appliance according to the invention, which forms a vehicle, is, moreover, so devised that it can be easily manoeuvred, particularly on snow, for giving great freedom or" action to the users. Moreover, its very special embodiment confers on it a sporting character that can give rise to vigorous muscular training.

According to the invention, the appliance comprises an inflatable flexible cover, confining at least two parallel struts connected to each other by their ends by a connecting area which forms an elastic articulation enabling the user, normally stretched out on the appliance, to ensure the steering of the latter, by means of prehensile compo nents provided for the purpose on the struts and/or the connecting area.

Various other characteristics of the invention will moreover be revealed by the detailed description which follows.

Forms of embodiment of the invention are shown, by way of non-restrictive examples in the attached drawings.

FIGURE 1 is a side elevation of an appliance according to the invention comprising four struts.

FIGURE 2 is a flat view taken substantially along the line XV-XV of FIG. 1.

FIGURE 3 is a flat view showing charcteristic positions of the appliance of FIG. 2.

FIGURES 4, 5 and 6 are cross sections showing other forms of embodiment.

FIGURE 7 is a partial flat view showing another form of embodiment.

FIGURE 8 is a flat view showing a special form of making the appliance.

According to the method of execution shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, the gliding appliance comprises an inflatable flexible cover 191 formed by an assembly of two strong rubbered canvasses 102, 1%, confining two strut assemblies 15M and MP5 parallel in pairs and opposed connected together by a central section 1% whose section appreciably corresponds to that of the strut. 1W7 denotes indentations provided in the connecting area of the struts intended to reduce in a given manner the section separating these areas of the central section to form parts 168 of least resistance.

It is advantageous that the struts have both on their top and their underneath at least one groove or longitudinal cavity 109 shown in the drawing and obtained by glueing one or more strips 11% of fabric vertically inside the struts and eventually of the central section.

The cover thus formed, of which the set of struts approximately confincs four members, has a median peripheric border iii formed by the place where the two canvasses come together. This border is advantageously cut at the ends of the two struts, for example, the struts 1 35, in order to allow the positioning of elastic components 11?. forming stirrups M3 and 114 provided for receiving the users feet and using the appliance in the prone position.

To this end, the upper canvas 102 forms at the ends of the struts 105 various curves, particularly hollows or concavities visible particularly in FIG. 2, so as to fit the instep of the foot and avoid muscular fatigue that might result from a prolonged tension necessary for correctly holding the feet in the stirrups.

The terminal parts of the struts opposed are provided with manoeuvring components 116 consisting of two handles made integral with the upper canvas at two or more points and so arranged that their ends, for example, converging, are directed towards the terminal parts of the struts. The handles 116 can extend either obliquely in one or other direction as shown in the drawing, and also partly parallel to the struts.

117 denotes an inflating orifice associated with an auto matic closing plug and preferably provided on the upper canvas particularly in the area forming the side of the central section above the peripheric border. This plug can obviously be placed at any other suitable spot.

The appliance described above can be used for various purposes particularly for descending slopes particularly covered with snow.

In this case, the user can assume a prone position in which his feet are engaged in the stirrups whereas his hands ensure balancing by controlling the manoeuvring components. It is then possible for the user to by changing his position to produce load changes enabling evolutions facilitating the running of the vehicle.

It should be noticed that in this position the appliance and user form a whole and that the four struts are in the form of four independently displaceable members, so that the limbs of the human body always tend to be brought into their initial position owing to their elasticity imparted by inflation and also owing to the fact that the intersection of the central part and struts forms an area of least resistance favorising folding at that particular spot which thus forms an elastic articulation. Hence, to benefit by greater freedom of manoeuvering, the user can exert, either with the legs, or with the arms, efforts tending laterally to displace one or more struts so as to create by reaction the entering of turnings from one side to the other according to the distortion applied to the appliance.

It should be noticed that the appliance used in this manner calls for a more or less considerably expense of muscular energy, according as to whether it is more or less inflated, and that it is advantageous in this case as a sports training appliance that is complete, remarkable for the number of various muscles necessarily brought into play during manoeuvres causing each change of trajectory. It is also possible to regulate the intensity of this training by altering the inflation pressure of the cover seeing that the muscular efforts required are proportional to said pressure which must compulsorily be overcome for causing the displacement of at least one strut in the event of a change of trajectory or that of two or four struts whenthe user wished to obtain braking stresses similar to those Well known in skiing methodsand called in snow plough.

The vehicle can also be used for descending slopes covered with frozen snow and in this case it is advantageous to provide runners 118, that can be flexible, at least partially enveloping the sides of the struts. These runners are applied against the latter, for example, by means of straps 119 engaged in eyelets 120 preferably provided in the peripheric border (FIG. 2). The straps 119 are intended to ensure a perfect holding of the runners capable of resisting the various stresses set up during evolutions. To this end, the positioning of the runners is preferably done before inflating the cover so that the inflation of the struts has the effect of further stretching the straps and applying these runners more securely against said struts.

FIGURE 5 shows another form of embodiment according to which the struts have at least two longitudinal ribs 121 projecting from the gliding surface and intended to avoid the positioning of protecting runners in the case where the appliance is used on slopes of frozen snow.

The eyelets 120 provided in the peripheric border can also be used, as shown in FIG. 6, for adapting a flexible or rigid panel or of canvas 122 thus connecting all or part of the struts so as to form a larger supporting surface. This positioning is particularly appreciable when the appliance is used for mountain rescue work for ensuring the transport of an injured person whose condition necessitates a perfectly prone position. For this purpose, one of the panels or one of the canvasses can comprise a head-rest 123 thus atfording a more comfortable position (FIG. 7).

In addition to being used on snowy slopes, the appliance also forms a floating and gliding element usable for nautical sports. Actually, the appliance shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 can be used as a floating support for a swimmer or underwater fisherman, lying in a prone position in which he has the feet, for example, encased in webs, immersed at the end of the struts for ensuring propulsion, and benefit by the possibilities of observation by placing the head between the two opposite struts.

In certain cases, the appliance can be provided with a light anchor allowing it to be fixed at a given spot so that it forms a rest platform for the user, who, for example, is under-water fishing or exploring the sea bottom.

Owing to the great stability imparted by the four struts, the appliance can also be used by persons astride on the central section and can progress by alternately moving the legs.

It is also possible to make use of the appliance for doing water skiing or surf-riding. Actually, the positioning of panels or canvasses stretched on the struts imparts a suitable rigidity to the appliance enabling great stability to be obtained. One of the canvasses can then support moulded elements provided for receiving and wedging the users feet connected, as in present practice, by a cable to a towing vehicle. This form of embodiment can then be completed by adapting runners or skis of a given shape, fixed, in a similar manner to that described above, by straps engaged in eyelets on the peripheric edge thus ensuring already the maintaining of the canvasses.

Moreover, in certain cases, the appliance can fulfill the functions of a pneumatic mattress. To this end, it may be advantageous to produce this appliance as shown in FIG. 8 according to which the cover is divided up into several inflation chambers 124 that can be separately inflated through the openings 125, for example, a chamber formed for each strut and another formed by a central section.

This form of embodiment has the particular advantage of enabling a distribution of pressures at the users convenience and particularly to eliminate the thickness of the central section, thus avoiding a too curved position of the spinal column in the lumbar region.

In the various forms of embodiment shown and described it should be noticed that the appliance has the advantage of being easily carried when it is inflated. Ac-

tually, of light weight, it can be easily carried under the arm by its middle part so that the user does not feel any fatigue from the space required by the appliance.

I claim:

1. Gliding appliance for winter and nautical sports comprising a member having a central section and a pair of end sections, each end section being formed of a pair of parallel struts extending longitudinally and connected to said central section by means which permits each of said struts to pivot at least partially with respect to said central section.

2.. Gliding appliance for winter and nautical sports according to claim 1 wherein said member comprises two rubberized canvasses connected together to delimit an inflatable cover, said canvasses being shaped to form said central section and said pair of end sections.

3. Gliding appliance as set forth in claim 1, wherein said canvasses form the upper and lower surfaces of the member and comprising further longitudinal strips extending vertically between said two rubberized canvasses and connected therewith inside each of said struts to form longitudinal grooves along the upper and lower sides of said struts.

4. Gliding appliance as set forth in claim 1, in which said rubberized canvasses forming said cover are shaped to have portions of reduced dimension between said central section and said struts such that said struts may be pivoted independently with respect to said central section.

5. Gliding appliance as set forth in claim 1, in which at least two stirrups extend from the ends of at least two of said struts, said canvasses further being shaped to delimit a concavity near the stirrup in each of said struts provided with a stirrup for positioning and maintaining the foot of a user, the struts not provided with said concavities and stirrups having handles constituting inaneuvering components.

6. Gliding appliance as set forth in claim 1, comprising further at least a runner provided beiow each one of said struts.

7. Gliding appliance as set forth in claim 6, in which said runners each comprises a flexible member removably connected to a strut.

8. Gliding appliance as set forth in claim 6, in which each said runner comprises two longitudinal ribs projecting downwardly from each one of said struts.

9. Gliding appliance as set forth in claim 1, comprising further a panel covering at least in part said central section and said struts, said panel being removably secured to the member.

10. Gliding appliance as set forth in claim 9, in which said panel is made of flexible material and is provided with a head rest.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,478,345 Matheson Dec. 18, 1923 FOREIGN PATENTS 218,879 Austria Dec. 27, 1961

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1478345 *Jun 2, 1923Dec 18, 1923Euichin Matheson IanToboggan
AT218879B * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3446512 *Sep 11, 1967May 27, 1969N B GardnerSnow surfer
US3632124 *Nov 17, 1969Jan 4, 1972James P CroppSnow coaster
US4206933 *Jul 24, 1978Jun 10, 1980Herbert KochSleigh having an improved inflatable body
US4413832 *Nov 19, 1981Nov 8, 1983Pendleton James EBody sled
US4678445 *Dec 9, 1985Jul 7, 1987Monreal F JavierWater and snow wishbone shaped sled for one or two
US5320369 *Oct 9, 1992Jun 14, 1994Bears James AAir bag toy
US5544903 *Jun 10, 1994Aug 13, 1996Bears; James A.Air bag toy
US5820430 *Oct 10, 1997Oct 13, 1998Hornsby; William G.Dual aquaplaning craft
US20070254541 *Jun 16, 2006Nov 1, 2007Even Helley Hansen SorbyInflatable sports device
US20160318588 *Apr 28, 2015Nov 3, 2016K. Bowler II RolandTowable Recreational Craft
U.S. Classification280/845, 441/66, 280/18, 280/28
International ClassificationB62B13/00, B63B35/81, B63B7/00, B63B35/73, B63B13/00, B63C9/00, B62B13/16, B63C9/08, A47C27/08, B63B7/08
Cooperative ClassificationB63C9/08, B63B13/00, B62B13/16, B62B13/00, A47C27/081, B62B15/006, B63B7/08, B63B35/81
European ClassificationB62B15/00I, A47C27/08A, B63B13/00, B63B7/08, B63C9/08, B62B13/00, B63B35/81, B62B13/16