US 3488049 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 6; 1970 M. v. sAssEFz, JR
BALANCE AND EXERCS'ING BOARD Filed Oct. l5. 1965 Wig.
AVI/Vm mmmuwm wilma lll/11111111? l0 Muff/'n L( Sasse/j Jr United States Patent O 3,488,049 BALANCE AND EXERCISING BOARD Martin V. Sasser, Jr., Rte. 3, Box 130, Tracy, Calif. 95376 Filed Oct. 15, 1965, Ser. No. 496,320 Int. Cl. A63g 3] /00 U.S. Cl. 272-41 ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A rigid elongated one-piece panel serves as a balance board. The respective end portions of the panel are of uniform thickness and have perfectly smooth at top and bottom surfaces. The median area only of the bottom side is recessed in a manner to provide a centralized shallow receiving and seating pocket or depression for a segmental portion of an elevating and fulcruming roller. The roller is of a cross-sectional diameter greater than the depth of the pocket. A minimal segmental peripheral portion ofl the roller is lodged rotatably and shiftably in the pocket whereby to provide a body exercising, strengthening and skill developing balance board.
This invention relates, generally speaking, to physical fitness and has to do with a portable body exercising, strengthening, skill developing and recreational type balance board capable of advantageous use by children and adults and adapted for practical and advocated use either indoors or outdoors.
Briefly, this invention is characterized by an elongated rigid wooden or plastic panel having at top and bottom sides. This panel is tiltably and shiftably supported on a simple cylindrical type elevating and fulcruming roller. The roller is of uniform diametral cross-section from end to end and its size is proportional with the length and width of the panel, more particularly, the balancing board for the occupant.
The invention, in a manner of speaking, is broadly similar in purpose and function to a commonly called Bongo Board and analogous prior patented adaptations which utilize a board or panel rockably coordinated with an underlying and fulcruming roller. However, in carrying out the principles of the instant concept certain new and useful improvements have been devised.
One improvement has to do with a precision-made smooth-surfaced roller unique in that it coacts with a shallow properly dimensioned recess formed in the flat median underneath side or surface of the main panel and which constitutes and provides a confining and keying pocket for a minimal but sufficient segmental peripheral surface of the roller. The roller and pocket are proportional and by properly coating the surfaces of the pocket and roller with suitable wax or a light adhesive lubricant, the roller is virtually confined and is operatively ,keyed and stays put in its pocket even when the device is bodily lifted and carried. Accordingly, the roller is self and ever ready for use and avoids undesirable and accidental displacement when the user, often a beginner, :mounts the board for teetering and balancing fun. Also, by` constructing these component parts of requisite weather-proof materials, the device lends itself to feasible use indoors or outdoors, as the case may be.
In both embodiments herein shown the recessed -pocket is rectangular (either square or oblong) and has a flat bottom and four straight-edged marginal edges, two of which provide confining guides for the dat ends of the roller and the other two providing limit stops for the rollably shiftable roller. This pocket has all marginal edges spaced from and parallel to the coordinating marginal edges of the over-all panel or board. The pocket is precisely oriented and centered and the ends of the roller 3 Claims rice are accordingly confined within the marginal limits of the thus isolated pocket to prevent any portion of the roller from projecting beyond the margins of the panel.
The elongated or oblong pocket is such in size and position that excellent balance and equilibrium is attainable, enabling the user to stand or squat and rock and roll from side to side (left to right). The roller is then transverse to the lengthwise dimension of the board and its pocket. When the square pocket is selected for use the roller is transferred thereto and its axis is then parallel to the long edges of the panel, whereby to permit the occupant to rock forwardly and backwardly for a change of pace and to learn and use a more difficult balancing skill.
Then, too, novelty is thought to reside in providing the top side of the paned with precision located foot pads which are footshaped, anti-slipping, and such that they quickly teach the novice how to get started for best results.
Further, it is within the purview of the concept to provide two boards or panels positionable one above the other in superposed alignment. The bottom panel then becomes a highly satisfactory base and has its pocket facing upwardly, registering with the rst named pocket, and contributing to the extended utility and unique end result.
This board is uniquely designed and adapted for use of the non-professional public with the idea in `mind that all (youths and adults) can afford to 'purchase it for recreation and balance. After trial and error practice one can achieve the desired balance as well as develop leg and hip muscles that the customarily seldom used.
These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:
FIG. l is a top plan View of a balance board embodying the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a side or edge view with parts in section aud elevation showing the device in ready-to-use position.
FIG. 3 is a section taken approximately on the plane of the horizontal section line 3--3 of FIG. 2 with the roller appearing in elevation.
FIG. 4 is a section on the Vertical or transverse section line 4-4 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 5 is a top plan view similar to FIG. 1 but on a smaller scale and with the main board or panel broken away to expose the panel therebeneath and which, in addi tion, shows a slight modification in the construction and arrangement of component parts.
FIG. 6 is a cross section on an enlarged scale taken on the plane of the line 6 6 of FIG. 5.
Reference will be made first to the form of the invention appearing in FIGS. 1 to 4 inclusive. As shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 4 there are two panels the upper one of which is the main panel and denoted by the numeral 8 and the companion panel by the numeral 10, both panels being substantially the same in construction and being capable of coordination and use in the manner shown, for example in FIG. 2. The main or top panel 8 is of elongated rectangular form and embodies a tlat top surface 12, a flat bottom surface 14, longitudinal marginal parallel edges 16 and 18 and transverse end edges 20 and 22. The top surface is provided just inwardly of the respective transverse ends with foot shaped occupant standing pads 24. These pads may be superimposed on the top surfaces as suggested in FIG. 2 or may be recessed (not shown). In any event, they will be made of anti-slipping material to not only mark the places for the left and right feet but to greatly assist the inexperienced user in taking the safe and easy-to-use position, particularly when starting the use of the device. The underneath central side, that is the center of the bottom side 14 is provided with an elongated recess 26 which is of a prescribed depth and has a at bottom surface 28 and longitudinal edges 30 and transverse marginal edges 32 all of which are in plane at right angles to the fiat or bottm" surface 28. Experience has shown that the preferred dimensions of this board are approximately one inch in thickness, six inches in plan width and anywhere from 22 to 24 inches in plan length. The recessed area on the bottom which provides a pocket is three-eighths to one-half inch deep by four to five inches in width and eleven to twelve inches in length. The cooperating roller 34, which may be of wood or plastic, is three inches in diameter (depending on the buyers ability and choice) and this is of a length that it orients itself with requisite nicety in the confining limits of pocket 26. Only a segmental portion of the peripheral surface of the roller is seated in the pocket. It will be noted from FIG. 3 that the dat end portions of the roller abut the lengthwise guiding walls or surfaces 30 of the recess or pocket. The roller has relative rotatable and roving movement and the end walls 32 of the recess or pocket constitute limit stops.
As previously stated the bottom or lower panel is fundamentally the same in construction as the upper or platform panel 8. It can be distinguished from the panel 8 by considering it as a relatively stationary base board or panel. It also has fiat top and bottom surfaces 36 and 38 (FIG. 2), has longitudinal marginal edges 40 and transverse end edges 42. The elongated recess which constitutes the pocket is denoted at 44 and is opposed and aligned with the open bottom recess 26 whereby the two recesses or pockets are properly interrelated. The segmental peripheral surface of the roller is received in the pocket 44 in the same manner as it is ttingly received in the pocket 26.
The roller 34 may be made of wood or plastic which is also true of the panels 8 and 10. It is within the purview of the invention to place the roller directly on a fioor or other support surface and to thus use the single platform panel 8, without the base panel 10, for rocking, rolling and balancing results. It is also to be pointed out that the materials employed should be weatherproof in character so that it is feasible to use the device both indoors and outdoors. Then, too, it will be noted that the peripheral surface of this roller is uninterruptedly smooth from end to end and that the length corresponds with the width of the recess or pocket 26 as brought out in FIG. 3. Further, and in practice the surfaces of the recesses, that is, the walls thereof, can be and should be coated with wax or paraffin (even soap) to provide the desired lubricating characteristics and to cause the roller to adhere to the surfaces of the pockets so that, While the parts are individual and separate, they are nevertheless capable of sticking together, so to speak, to enable one to pick up the over-all device and carry it from place to place.
When a single board or panel is used, that is the panel 8, the roller is placed on a fairly smooth area (indoors or outdoors) and the board fits on top of the roller and Ibriefly, to operate the user simply places the feet near the ends of the board or preferably on the rough coated pads 24 which are provided for that purpose. Also and briefly stated the instructions for use involve placing the roller under the board recess or pocket. The user should make sure that the roller is in the position indicated in the views of the drawing before attempting to rock or move. All that is necessary is to twist sideways with the hips by merely relaxing. The user will practice until the roller only contacts and moves and rotates on the floor. In the case of contestants they face each other and determine who is the last to be tilted off the board. Occasional waxing and Soaping of the surfaces of the roller and surfaces of the pocket or groove will ordinarily maintain the device in good working order.
The second or -bottom panel 10 lends itself to use as a firm surface conditioning and foundation base for the first or upper panel 8. It can be placed atwise for effective use on a carpet or rug surface with deep pile, on a covered kitchen fioor or equivalent surface, on a grassy lawn and perhaps even atop a table at which time it constitutes a firm and surface protecting foundation for the rocking and rolling action of the first panel, the roller and the occupant of the first or balancing panel.
With reference now to the modification shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 the top tilting board or panel is denoted at 46 and has longitudinal edges 48 and 50 and transverse ends 52. It is coordinated with the bottom or base panel'54 having similar edges S6 and 58. In this arrangement the roller 60 is adapted to fit rollably and turnably in one of the square recesses or pockets 62. The edges I64I. in this instance provide the limit stop shoulders and the coordinating edges 66 constitute the guiding and confining edges for the ends of the roller 60. The end portions of the top panel are provided with foot-shaped anti-skid pads 68. In other words, this form of the invention is the same as that already described except that the smaller pockets make it possible to turn the roller around from the position shown in FIGS. 1 to 4 to the position shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 whereupon the roller is in a position at right angles and consequently the motion of the top panel is to rock back and forth or to and fro in a seemingly evident manner.
Experience has repeatedly shown that it may be, and generally is, advisable to apply a suitable grade of wood coating wax to surfaces of the relatively movable parts. By doing so, undue wear is minimized and the life of the over-all structure is significantly prolonged.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention as claimed.
What is claimed as new is as follows:
1. A portable body exercising, strengthening skill developing andrecreational type device comprising: an elongated rigid one-piece panel providing a body supporting and balancing board, the respective end portions of said panel being of uniform thickness and having smooth fiat top and bottom sides, the median portion only of said bottom side being recessed and providing a roller receiving and seating pocket, said pocket having straight marginal edges spaced inwardly from and parallel with the respectively oriented longitudinal and transverse marginal edges of said panel, and a panel supporting, elevating and fulcruming roller of a cross-sectional diameter greater than the depth of said pocket and having a minimal segmental peripheral portion rotatably and shiftably lodged in said pocket, the marginal edges of said pocket coacting with respectively coordinating ends of said roller and movably confining and guiding the roller, said pocket being square in plan, of a length and width greater than the diameter of the roller so that positioning of the roller with respect to the length and width of the pocket, respectively, permits to and fro or back and forth rocking movement.
2. The portable body exercising strengthening and skill developing device defined in and according to claim 1 and wherein the top side of saidpanel is provided just inwardly of the respective transverse ends with individual foot-shaped anti-skid foot pads.
3. The structure defined in and according to claim 2 and, in combination, a second panel corresponding in shape, size and construction with said first panel, said second panel underlying said first panel and providing a rm surface conditioning foundation and base for said first panel, the median area of the upper surface of said second panel being correspondingly recessed and providing a roller receiving and seating pocket, said pocket being likewise square and corresponding in size and depth with the rst-named pocket and facing upwardly and communicatively registering with said first pocket and also providing a guiding and confining receiver for a coacting segmental portion of the roller, that is, the portion diametrically opposite the segmental portion which is confined and guided in said rst-named pocket.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,608,598 11/1926` Heilborn. 1,998,197 4/1935 Lang. 2,764,411 9/ 1956 Washburn 272-1 2,829,891 4/1958 Ludwig 272-1 2,829,892 4/ 1958 Ludwig 272-1 6 3,188,087 6/1965 Larson 272-1 X 3,352,559 11/1967 Larsen.
OTHER REFERENCES Balance and Conditioning Board, Exhibits A and U.S. Cl. X.R.