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Publication numberUS3274612 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 27, 1966
Filing dateMay 18, 1965
Priority dateMay 18, 1965
Publication numberUS 3274612 A, US 3274612A, US-A-3274612, US3274612 A, US3274612A
InventorsMerriam Robert C
Original AssigneeMerriam Robert C
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Helmet for water sports
US 3274612 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 27, 1966 R. c. MERRIAM 3,274,612

HELMET FOR WATER SPORTS Filed May 18, 1965 /N VE N TOR /6 ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,274,612 HELMET FOR WATER SPORTS Robert C. Merriam, 2222 Alice St., Santa Cruz, Calif. Filed May 18, 1965, Ser. No. 456,621 4 Claims. (Cl. 2-3) This is a continuation-in-part application of co-pending application Serial No. 410,113, filed November 10, 1964, now abandoned.

This invention relates to wearing apparel for participants in water sports and more particularly to a safety helmet for surf-boarding, waterskiing and the like.

Surfing entails the riding of a flat, rigid member commonly made of wood, fiberglass or metal, propelled along the water surface by an advancing wave. Due to the great force generated by -a wave and the great degree of difliculty encountered in maintaining proper balance, it is common for surfers to be thrown from the board into the water. Because of this common occurrence, surfers and skiers are highly prone to being struck on the head by surfboards, rudders or skegs of surfboards, skis or other objects while they are in the water. Impact may cause serious head injury and, in extreme cases, loss of consciousness endangering the life of the participant.

Although head gear, crash helmets or the like are well known, they are unsatisfactory for participation in water sports because they are either too heavy or too buoyant to be safely and comfortably worn in the water, or they fail to provide means for the escape of water that may become entrapped inside the helmet.

The present invention relates to a safety helmet shaped to conform to the wearers head and comprises a rigid outer shell and a flexible, shock-absorbing inner liner. It is an important element of this invention that the helmet be provided with a plurality of openings and drain channels to allow water to pass freely from inside the helmet thereby preventing a pressure build-up and the resulting discomfort or injury to the wearer upon impact with a solid object, or submergence.

The invention will be more fully understood when viewed in conjunction with the drawings wherein:

FIGURE 1 is an illustration of a surfer using the subject invention;

FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary view of the subject invention;

FIGURE 3 is a partial fragmentary view taken along lines 3-3' of FIGURE 2; and

FIGURE 4 is a plan view of the subject invention.

Referring to the drawings, the helmet is hereinafter designated by numeral 10. The helmet comprises a rigid outer shell 11 shaped to generally conform to the curvature of the human head. The helmet 10 is a single unit having lobe portions 20 and 21 covering the ears and sides of the head and is open in the front so as not to obscure the vision of the wearer.

Secured to the inner surface of the rigid outer shell 11 is a thick, flexible, shock-absorbing liner 12. A plurality of holes 13 are provided throughout the surface of the helmet 10 and extend through both the outer shell 11 and liner 12. A network of drain channels 14 extends along the inside surface of the liner 12 from the holes 13 to the edge of the helmet. The holes 13 and drain channels 14 facilitate the exodus of water from inside the helmet. Holes 13 are spaced from each other to afford a maximum protective covering for the head of the wearer.

In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, helmet 10 includes a fiberglass outer shell 11 and a liner 12 of partially closed cell foamed material. The outer shell 11 may, however, be of various other materials such as vinyl resin, polystyrene or metal. The surface of 3,274,612 Patented Sept. 27, 1966 "ice the outer shell 11 is generally hemi-spheroidal, it being important that flat surfaces are avoided so that the full force of an object hitting the helmet 10 will not be absorbed by the helmet 10. Because the cushioning characteristics of the liner 12 are important, the preferred embodiment of the helmet 10 employs polyurethane as a liner 12. Vinyl chloride, polyethylene, or styrofoam as well as numerous other materials are suitable for this purpose. The liner 12 is approximately one inch thick and is secured to the outer shell 11 by adhesives or other suitable means. Holes 13 are approximately one inch in diameter, and are spaced approximately two inches apart. If greater cushioning is desired, a thicker liner may be used. However, it is important that the helmet 10 is not excessively buoyant. A helmet that is too buoyant might cause extreme or violent movement of the head while the wearer is in the water, or discomfort while submerged. This problem is overcome by layers of open cellular material Within or under the liner 12, which material will readily absorb water, thereby decreasing the overall buoyancy of the helmet 10. The density of the helmet 10 should be low enough to enable the helmet to float if it becomes detached from the wearers head. Drain channels 14 are generally concave having a width at the inner surface of liner 12 approximating the diameter of the openings 13 and a depth of approximately one-half inch. Drain channels 14 extend to the edge of the helmet 10 whereby some of the water that may have been entrapped flows from inside the helmet.

A chin strap 16 is provided to maintain the helmet on the wearers head and is comprised of two nylon strips 16', 16". Strip 16' is secured at one end to lobe portion 20 of the helmet 10 by rivets 17 or other suitable means. Strip 16" is similarly secured to lobe portion 21 of helmet 10. The unsecured ends of strips 16 and 16" are provided with male and female snaps 18 or other suitable fastening means.

The foregoing preferred embodiment of the present invention is provided for illustrative purposes only, no limitations being intended, it being understood that those skilled in the art will make obvious modifications within the scope and spirit of the present invention.

What is claimed is:

1. A safety helmet for use in water sports comprising:

a protective head-shaped shell;

a flexible liner attached to the inner surface of said shell, said flexible liner and said shell each being provided with a plurality of aligned openings therethrough; and

a network of drain channels extending from said aligned openings along the inside surface of said flexible liner to the edge of said safety helmet thereby permitting the escape of water entrapped inside said helmet.

2. The safety helmet described in claim 1 wherein said liner is a material of predominantly closed cell structure.

3. A safety helmet for use in water sports comprising:

a rigid, protective, head-shaped shell describing a substantially hemi-spheroidal outer surface and having two downwardly extending lobe portions;

a flexible liner of foamed material secured to the inner surface of said shell, said liner and said shell each being provided with a plurality of aligned openings therethrough;

a network of drain channels extending from said aligned openings along the inside surface of said flexible liner to the edge of said safety helmet thereby permitting the escape of water entrapped inside said helmet; and,

chin strap means for securing said helmet on the head of the wearer.

4. A safety helmet for use in water sports comprising:

a rigid, protective, fiberglass, head-shaped shell describing a substantially hemi-spher-oidal outer surface and having two downwardly extending lobe portions;

an approximately one inch thick closed cell poly urethanc liner adhesively secured to the inner surface of said shell, said liner and said shell each being provided with a plurality of aligned one inch diameter openings thereth-rough;

a network of drain channels extending from said aligned openings along the inside surface of said flexible liner to the edge of said safety helmet, said drain channels being substantially concave witha width approximately one inch at the surfiace of the liner and depth approximately one-half inch;

a first thin strip secured at one end to one of said lobe portions of said helmet;

UNITED References Cited by the Examiner STATES PATENTS Turner 2-3 Pryale 2-3 Turner et a1. 2--3 Richter 26 Simpson 23 JORDAN FRANKLIN, Primary Examiner.

FRANK J. COHEN, Examiner.

J. R. BOLER, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1602727 *Apr 27, 1925Oct 12, 1926Wilson Western Sporting GoodsHelmet or head guard
US2140716 *May 13, 1935Dec 20, 1938Pryale Harry MProtective device for athletic wear
US2634415 *Mar 11, 1950Apr 14, 1953Wilson Athletic Goods Mfg Co IHelmet
US2763005 *May 24, 1955Sep 18, 1956Bell Auto Parts IncProtective helmet
US3039109 *Oct 16, 1958Jun 19, 1962Electric Storage Battery CoLining for safety helmets
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3407408 *Aug 8, 1966Oct 29, 1968Vilena P. HansenSwimming cap
US3454962 *Jun 12, 1968Jul 15, 1969Hind Harry WEar guard for water polo players
US3478365 *Aug 21, 1967Nov 18, 1969Varga Tibor JosephProtective helmet for babies
US3500473 *Dec 14, 1967Mar 17, 1970Wolverine World Wide IncSafety headgear assembly
US3503076 *Jul 10, 1968Mar 31, 1970Marks Lillian ISwimming cap with rigid dome
US3783450 *Feb 5, 1973Jan 8, 1974Connor W OHockey helmet
US4134155 *Sep 22, 1975Jan 16, 1979The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The NavySwimmer protective helmet
US4279038 *Nov 5, 1979Jul 21, 1981Metzeler Schaum GmbhHeadprotector made of elastic material for athletes
US4290149 *Feb 11, 1980Sep 22, 1981Gentex CorporationMethod of making an individually fitted helmet
US4612672 *Feb 6, 1985Sep 23, 1986Schrack Michael EProtective head gear
US4716914 *May 12, 1986Jan 5, 1988Laura GreenHair styling bonnet
US4912777 *Sep 21, 1988Apr 3, 1990Gasbarro Tony JDiver's safety cap
US5046193 *Feb 19, 1990Sep 10, 1991Foresman Timothy WAquatic thermal head covering
US5050245 *Apr 23, 1990Sep 24, 1991Nearhood David LCephalic tool for construction of a ceiling
US5083320 *Dec 24, 1990Jan 28, 1992Athletic Helmet, Inc.Protective helmet with self-contained air pump
US5298208 *Nov 1, 1991Mar 29, 1994Athletic Helmet, Inc.Method for molding a protective helmet
US5680656 *Sep 11, 1995Oct 28, 1997Gath; Ricky JamesSafety helmet
US6401258 *Oct 25, 2000Jun 11, 2002Corey WilsonHeadgear for sports fans
US6565461 *Nov 25, 1998May 20, 2003Stuart E. ZatlinMethod and apparatus for reducing the likelihood of head injury from heading a soccer ball
US7654260 *Sep 10, 2004Feb 2, 2010Ogilvie Scott AProtective helmet for air extraction from snow
US7975317 *Feb 28, 2005Jul 12, 2011Palmer RampellProtective helmet cap with improved ventilation
US8046845 *Jan 9, 2009Nov 1, 2011The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The NavyLightweight combat helmet
US8739599Mar 2, 2011Jun 3, 2014Bio-Applications, LLCIntra-extra oral shock-sensing and indicating systems and other shock-sensing and indicating systems
US20050056278 *Sep 10, 2004Mar 17, 2005Ogilvie Scott A.Protective helmet for air extraction from snow
US20060191060 *Feb 28, 2005Aug 31, 2006Palmer RampellProtective helmet cap with improved ventilation
US20090139004 *Nov 4, 2008Jun 4, 2009Florence VallWig swim cap
US20110113533 *Nov 19, 2009May 19, 2011Manuel GuillenSports/swimming head protection device
US20140109292 *Oct 24, 2012Apr 24, 2014Sharron CalhounMenopause hair protector
USD733973Sep 17, 2013Jul 7, 2015Joey LaRocqueWater polo headgear
EP0351407A1 *Mar 8, 1988Jan 24, 1990GATH, Ricky JamesSafety helmet
EP0351407A4 *Mar 8, 1988Dec 27, 1990Ricky James GathSafety helmet
Classifications
U.S. Classification2/421, 441/124, 2/68, 2/425
International ClassificationA42B3/00
Cooperative ClassificationA42B3/00
European ClassificationA42B3/00