|Publication number||US3626892 A|
|Publication date||Dec 14, 1971|
|Filing date||Mar 20, 1970|
|Priority date||Mar 20, 1970|
|Also published as||DE2202841A1|
|Publication number||US 3626892 A, US 3626892A, US-A-3626892, US3626892 A, US3626892A|
|Inventors||Humbert Jack M|
|Original Assignee||Humbert Jack M|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (2), Referenced by (3), Classifications (6)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent  inventor Jack M. Humbert i878 Thelma St., Fortuna, Calif. 95540 [2i] Appl. No. 21,437  Filed Mar. 20, 1970  Patented Dec. 14, 1971  HANDLE STRUCTURE FOR A WATER SKIING TOWLINE 15 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.
52 u.s.c| 1l5/6.l [5i] lnt.Cl A63c 11/10  Field of Search. 11516.], 70
[ 56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,219,007 ll/l965 Kiefer ll5/6.i 3,304,904 2/l967 Spurlock I l l5/6.l
. Primary Examiner-Trygve M. Blix Attorney-Joseph B. Gardner to be gripped by both hands. The handle structure includes a handheld component adapted to be gripped by the hand of a skier, and a compression member movable with respect to the handheld component and urged there toward into compressive engagement with the fingers of a hand gripping the same whenever a tensile force is applied to the towline.
Patented Dec. 14, 1971 Y M E -N m m T W may 3 FIG. 3
HANDLE STRUCTURE FOR A WATER SKIING TOWLINE DISCLOSURE This invention relates generally to the art of water skiing and, more particularly, to a handle structure attached to the free end of a water skiing towline so as to enable the same to be gripped by a skier.
In water skiing, one or more towlines are attached to a boat and are payed outwardly therefrom so that the free ends thereof are remote from the boat. The free end portions of the towlines are equipped with handle structures that enable a skier to hold onto the towline and be accelerated through the water as the boat moves forwardly. Usually, the handle structures are relatively buoyant so that they are easily located and gripped by a skier preparatory to being pulled through the water.
The conventional handle structure now in use are little more than a round bar that can be gripped by the skier and which bar is attached at its ends to a towline. It has been found that it is sometimes difficult for a skier to maintain an adequate grip on the handle structure during the initial stages of forward acceleration when the legs and lower trunk of the skier are being pulled through the water in an effort to impart sufficient velocity thereto so that the skis will thereafter glide along the upper surface portion of the water. A rather strong grip is required at this time in order to maintain control of the handle structure, and it has been found that children and heavier individuals often do not have the required strength to maintain control of the handle structures at this time. Also, a good firm grip on the handle structure must be maintained by the skier as he is pulled along the water, and at least with some individuals this requirement quickly causes hand and arm fatigue.
In view of the foregoing, an object, among others, of the present invention is to provide an improved handle structure for a water skiing towline.
Another object of the invention is that of providing an improved handle structure of the character described which is operative to augment or enhance the grip of the skier so as to facilitate the control he can maintain over the handle structure. Still another object is in the provision of improved handle structure of the type explained that is of bipartite construction and includes a handhold component adapted to be gripped by the hand of a skier and a compression member movable with respect thereto and which is urged toward the handhold component and into compressive engagement with the fingers of a hand gripping the same by the tensile force imparted to the associated towline whenever the boat and skier are accelerated forwardly. Additional objects and advantages of the invention especially as concerns particular features and characteristics thereof, will become apparent as the specifica tion continues.
Embodiments of the invention are illustrated in the accompanying drawing, in which:
FIG. I is a broken perspective view illustrating the use of handle structure embodying the present invention by a water skier;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged side view in elevation showing the hand of a skier in the process of being withdrawn or released from the handle structure;
FIG. 3 is a further enlarged longitudinal sectional view taken through the various elements of the handle structure along the longitudinal axes thereof;
FIG. 4 is a side view in elevation, partly in section, of a modified handle structure embodying the invention; and
FIG. 5 is an elevational view of a further modified form 0 the invention showing the same in use.
As indicated hereinbefore, the present invention is intended for use by water skiers and it constitutes handle structure attached to the end or ends of a towline so as to enable the same to be held by a water skier. The function of the handle structure is to implement the natural grip of the skier so as to facilitate the ease with which he or she can hold the towline,
but without inhibiting the freedom of the skier to release the towline whenever this should be necessary or desirable. The handle structure embodying the present invention may take variant forms and may constitute a single handle structure adapted to be gripped by both hands of a water skier, as shown in FIG. 5, or it may constitute two smaller and separate handle structures adapted to be respectively gripped by the hands of the skier, as illustrated in FIG. 1. The water skier shown in FIG. 1 is denoted with the numeral 10, and she is provided with water skis I1 and 12 which may be wholly conventional and form no part of the present invention.
The handle structures respectively gripped by the opposite hands of the skier 10 are identical and are respectively denoted in their entireties with the numerals l4 and 14. The handle structures 14 and 14 are respectively attached to the end portion of towlines l5 and 15 which at their opposite ends (not shown) are attached to a boat which is pulling the skier l0 and thereby imparts a tensile force to each of the towlines l5 and 15'. Since the handle structures 14 and 14' are identical, only one will be described in detail and for specific identification, it may be taken to be the handle structure 14 illustrated in FIG. 3.
Referring thereto, the handle structure 14 is seen to comprise a handhold component 16 which is adapted to be gripped by a hand of the skier l0, and it further comprises a compression member 17 that is extendible along the handhold component 16 and is oriented in substantial parallelism therewith. The compression member 17 is movable with respect to the handhold component 16 between the closed position shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 in which it is in close proximity with the handhold component so as to bear against the fingers of the hand gripping the same, and a release position spaced from the handhold component 16 so as to enable the same to be gripped by a hand of the skier 10. The position of the compression member 17 relative to the handhold component I6 is determined by the magnitude of the tensile force developed along the towline l5, and when the force is great the compression member 17 will be urged toward the handhold component 16, and as the magnitude of the tensile force decreases toward zero, the force urging the compression member 17 toward the handhold component 16 will diminish therewith in a substantially linear relationship.
The handhold component 16 includes an elongated, axially extending tube 18 that is hollow and rigid. The tube 18 may be formed of any suitablematerial which usually will be one of he synthetic plastics or a relatively noncorrosive metal such as aluminum. Advantageously, the entire handhold component 16 is relatively lightweight and a material having a relatively low density is preferred. The component 16 further includes a resilient cover 19 enclosing the tube 18 in coaxial circumjacent relation therewith, and the function of the cover is to provide a soft or yieldable grip to be grasped by the hand of the skier 10. Usually, the cover 19 will be a sponge rubber or foam plastic covering. The cover 19 may be adhesively bonded to the tube 18 so as to prevent relative rotation therebetween, and since it will be most convenient to make the cover 19 somewhat shorter than the tube 18, end caps 20 and 21 are used to complete the enclosure of the tube 18 and provide a relatively continuous surface coextensive with the cover 19 from end to end of the handhold component 16.
The handhold component 16 is provided with guide means operative to pass the end portions of the towline 15 therethrough while efiectively reversing the direction of the end portions and afiording relative movement therebetween so that a tensile force applied to the towline by a boat pulling the same will cause the compression member 17 to be urged toward the handhold component 16 and into compressive engagement with the fingers of a hand of the skier l0 gripping the same. The guide means in the form shown includes pulley wheel structures rotatably supported by the component 16 and, more particularly, rotatably supported thereby within the hollow interior of the tube 18 adjacent the opposite ends thereof. The pulley wheel structures, as shown in FIG. 3,
respectively include a pair of adjacent pulley wheels 24 and 25 held in spaced apart relation along opposite sides thereof by links 26, and pulley wheels 27and 28 similarly supported by links 29. Each of the two pulley wheel structures is supported within the hollow interior of the tube 18 so that the pulley wheels thereof are freely rotatable but are fixedly constrained against transverse and longitudinal displacements. The guide means further include openings 30 and 31 provided in the tube 18 in respective alignment with the outer surfaces of the pulley wheels 24 and 25, and an elongated slot 32 formed in the end cap 20. Similarly, a pair of openings 34 and 35 in the tube 18 and a slot 36 in the cap 21 form a part of the guide means at the opposite ends of the tube.
The compression member 17 includes a hollow elongated core 37 and a rotatable sleeve 38 coaxially circumjacent the core 37 and rotatable with respect thereto. In order to facilitate angular displacements of the sleeve 38 about the core 37, bearing structures 39 and 40 are provided intermediate these two elements adjacent the opposite ends of the sleeve. The core 37 and sleeve 38 may each be relatively rigid components formed of plastic or metal as in the case of the tube 18, and the sleeve 38 is enclosed by a resilient cover 41 which may be formed of sponge rubber or plastic foam and affords a relatively soft surface for compressive engagement with the fingers of the skier 10. The sleeve 38 is substantially shorter than the core 37, and the core is equipped at the opposite ends thereof with closure caps 42 and 43.
Means are provided in association with the compression member 17 so as to attach the end portions of the towline l5 thereto. In the form shown, such fastener means comprise transverse bores 44 and 45'extending through the core 37 and caps 42 and 43 mounted thereon. The bores 44 and 45 are sufficiently large to pass the end portion of the towline l5 therethrough, and such end portions are knotted as shown at 46 and 47 so as to prevent the towline end portions from being withdrawn through the bores.
In use of the handle structures 14 and 14', the skier l grasps the handhold components 16 and 16' preparatory to having the towlines l and tensioned by the forward motion of a boat attached thereto. Since the towlines l5 and 15 are slack when the handle structures are first gripped by the skier, there is no difficulty in gripping the two components 16 and 16' because the fingers can readily slip between the components l6 and 16 and the respectively associated members I7 and 17' and considerable space may be provided therebetween, as shown in FIG. 3.
As the boat moves forwardly and the towlines l5 and 15' are tensioned, the compression members 17 and 17 are drawn toward the respectively associated handhold components I6 and I6 so as to be urged into compressive engagement with the fingers on each hand of the skier l0. In'this respect, and referring in particular to FIG} 3, as the split end portions 48 and 49 of the towline 15 are tensioned (i.e., drawn upwardly as viewed in FIG. 3), such tensile force is reversed in direction by the pulley assemblies respectively defined by the pulley wheels 24, 25 and 27, 28 with the result that the knotted end 46 and 47 bear against the compression member 17, thereby causing it to move toward the handhold component l8 and bear against the fingers gripping the same.
Accordingly, the grip imparted to the handhold components 16 and I6 is augments or enhanced by the compressive force defined by the compression members I7 and 17' which press against the fingers of the skiers hands. The combined action of the grip and compressive force enables the skier to maintain tight control over the handle structures for relatively long periods without excessive fatigue, and it also inhibits the tendency of the handle structures to be stripped from the grip of the skier during those periods of initial acceleration particularly in the case of the skier being a child that does not have a strong grip or a heavy person which has considerable inertia that must be overcome in being accelerated into forward motion.
Whenever it is necessary or desirable for the skier 10 to release the handle structures, the grip on the handhold components 16 is released, as shown in FIG. 2, and the compressive force formerly applied by the compression members 17 and 17' is converted into rolling friction which has a very low value and enables the rotatable sleeve 38 of each component to ride freely over the backs of the fingers. Thus, the handle structures 14 and 14 can be released as readily as if the compression members 17 and 17' were not present.
A somewhat modified handle structure is illustrated in FIG. 4, and it departs from the handle structure 14 and 14' heretofore described in that the handhold component is of different form especially as concerns the guide means associated therewith. In accordance with this change, pulley wheels are omitted adjacent the ends of the handhold component, and stationary guide passages are substituted and through which the towline end portions are freely slidable. Also, the compression member is of simplified construction having no moving parts. Functionally the modified handle structure is essentially the same as the handle structure heretofore described, and wherever appropriate the same numerals are used to identify respectively corresponding elements except that the suffix a" is added to each member used in FIG. 4 for purposes of differentiation.
Accordingly, the handle structure in its entirety is denoted with the numeral 140, and it comprises a handhold component 16a and a compression member 17a. The component 16a has a solid elongated tube 18a of two-piece construction divided along a center plane and held together by any suitable means, such as adhesive or pins 50 as shown. The two tube elements are denoted 5] and 52, and may be wooden members routed or otherwise formed with an arcuate guide passage 54 at each end thereof and through which the end portions 48a and 49a of the towline 15a respectively extend. A resilient cover 19a encloses the tube 18a.
The compression member 17a is a flat strap formed of a strong yet soft material which can be fabric, rubber, plastic or other media that will engage the fingers over a wide surface area so as to distribute the compressive force therealong. The compressive strap 17a may be equipped at its ends with eyelets or with openings to which the ends of the towline can be attached, or it may have line segments formed integrally therewith, as shown, which pass through the respective passages 54 and are attached by knotting or otherwise to the towline 15a.
When the handhold component 16a of the handle structure is gripped by one hand of the skier 10, any tensile force imparted to the towline 15a will cause the compression member 17a to be urged toward the component 16a and into compressive engagement with the fingers of the hand that is gripping the same. The grip-augmenting compressive force is distributed over a wide area by the member 17a, but when the skier relaxes his grip on the component 160, the handle struc ture will be drawn from his hands with the member 17a sliding freely over the backs of the fingers. Thus, the modified handle structure 14a is essentially the same as the handle structure 14 heretofore described, and it is intended that two handle structures 14a be provided, one for each hand of the skier 10.
A further modified form of handle structure is shown in FIG. 5 and it is denoted in its entirety with the numeral 14b. It is identical in all respects with the handle structure 14 heretofore described except that it is greater in axial length so as to enable a single handle structure to be used and gripped by both hands of the skier, as is shown in FIG. 5. Therefore, there is no need to described the modified handle structure 14b in further detail, and it will be evident that it includes a handhold component 16b and a compression member 17b that cooperate with end portions 48b and 49b of a towline, all as described hereinbefore.
Evidently then, in all forms of the invention, the natural grip when the skier is being accelerated forwardly. However, each handle structure can be released quickly and easily simply by having the skier relax his grip on the handhold component of the handle structure, whereupon the handle structure is withdrawn from the hand with the compression member moving freely along the back of the associated hand or hands. Otherwise, the handle structure functions in essentially the same manner as conventional handles when used by the skier in the sense that it is gripped by the skier when he is to be propelled by the boat and is released whenever he wishes to discontinue the connection with such boat.
in the event that it is desirable to increase the buoyancy of the handle structures, plugs or closures can be inserted into the hollow tube 18 of each handhold component and into the hollow core 37 of each compression member, thereby making the interiors of such elements water tight inwardly of any openings or bores therethrough which are required by the interconnection of the handhold component and compression member of each handle structure with the associated towline. Also, the handle structure may be made of wood, as heretofore explained.
As heretofore indicated, whenever tension in the towline is decreased toward zero, the compressive force applied by any of the compression members decreases therewith. Not only does this enable the handhold component to be readily grasped, but it causes the handle structure to be released simply by the skier moving his hands forwardly to slacken to towline and at the same time releasing his grip on the handhold component. This factor is especially advantageous as respects the embodiment shown in FIG. 4 in which the strap 170 does not contain an outer sleeve to rollingly engage the backs of the fingers. The line segments attached to the strap 170 may be viewed as part of the towline in which case the fastener means by which such segments are attached constitutes the integral connection therewith.
While in the foregoing specification an embodiment of the invention has been described in considerable detail for purposes of making a complete disclosure thereof, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art'that numerous changes may be made in such details without departing from the spirit and principles of the invention.
What is claimed is:
l. A handle structure for a water skiing towline or the like, comprising a handhold component adapted to be gripped by the hand of a skier, a compression member extendible along said handhold component in substantial parallelism therewith for movement with respect thereto between a closed position in proximity therewith to bear against the fingers of one gripping said handhold component and a release position spaced therefrom to enable the same to be gripped, fastener means provided by said compression member for attaching an end of a towline thereto, and guide means provided by said handhold component for passing such towline therethrough while effectively reversing the direction thereof and affording relative movement therebetween so that a tensile force applied to such towline by a boat pulling the same will causes said compression member to be urged toward said handhold component and into compressive engagement with the fingers of a hand gripping the same.
2. The handle structure of claim 1 in which said compression member includes an elongated core and a sleeve rotatably supported thereon in coaxial circumjacent relation therewith.
3. The handle structure of claim 2 in which said compression member further includes bearing structure rotatably supporting said sleeve upon said core.
4. The handle structure of claim 2 in which said compres sion member also includes a resilient cover enclosing said rotatable sleeve to provide a relatively soft surface engageable with the fingers of one gripping said handhold component.
5. The handle structure of claim 1 in which said fastener means includes a transverse bore provided by said compression member to pass an end portion of such towline therethrough which is then knotted to prevent withdrawal throu said bore.
6. he handle structure of claim 5 in which said fastener means includes a pair of the aforesaid transverse bores respectively provided adjacent the opposite ends of said compression member and respectively adapted to pass end portions of a towline therethrough.
7. The handle structure of claim 1 in which said guide means includes a pulley wheel rotatably supported by said handhold component so as to have such towline entrained thereabout,
8. The handle structure of claim 7 in which said handhold component is a hollow elongated tube having said pulley wheel mounted within the hollow interior thereof, said tube having openings therein to pass such towline therethrough.
9. The handle structure of claim 8 in which said guide means includes a pair of the aforesaid pulley wheels respec tively mounted within said hollow tube adjacent the opposite ends thereof, said hollow tube being provided with a plurality of openings respectively associated with each of said pulley wheels so as to pass end portions of a towline therethrough.
10. The handle structure of claim 9 in which said fastener means includes a pair of transverse bores respectively disposed adjacent the opposite end portions of said compression member so as to respectively pass end portions of a towline therethrough which end portions are knotted so as to prevent withdrawal thereof through the associated transverse bores.
11. The handle structure of claim 10 in which said compression member includes an elongated core and a sleeve rotatably supported thereon in coaxial circumjacent relation therewith.
12. The handle structure of claim 1 in which said guide means includes an arcuate passage adjacent each end of said handhold component so as to have an end portion of such towline slidably extend therethrough.
13. The handle structure of claim 12 in which said compression member comprises a strap having a relatively wide surface area engageable with a skiers fingers so as to distribute the compressive force thereover.
14. The handle structure of claim 13 in which said strap is equipped with line segments at the ends thereof adapted to extend through said passages and be secured to a towline, said fastener means being the integral interconnection of said line segments with said strap.
15. The handle structure of claim I in which said compression member comprises a strap having a relatively wide surface area engageable with a skier's fingers so as to distribute the compressive force thereover, in which said strap is equipped with line segments at the ends thereof adapted to extend through said passages and be secured to a towline, said fastener means being the integral interconnection of said line segments with said strap.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US3219007 *||May 5, 1961||Nov 23, 1965||Kiefer Adolph G||Two-in-one tow handles|
|US3304904 *||Jun 24, 1959||Feb 21, 1967||Spurlock A D||Multiple water ski handle|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US3830188 *||Jul 9, 1973||Aug 20, 1974||Humbert J||Adjustable handle structure for water skiing towline|
|US6379205 *||Aug 10, 2000||Apr 30, 2002||Lutz Wallasch||Rescue holding clamp|
|US6379206 *||Dec 4, 2000||Apr 30, 2002||Lutz Wallasch||Rescue holding clamp|
|International Classification||B68C1/00, B63B35/73, B63B35/81|