US 3863915 A
A surfing simulator consists of a top board which is suspended by a spring suspension system consisting of two units. In one embodiment, each unit includes two spaced apart parallel coil springs. The units are used to suspend the top board above an appropriate surface, e.g., ground. The rockability of the top board about one axis when a person steps on the board, is dependent on the orientations of the springs with this axis. The rockability of the board about a transverse axis depends on the spacing between the two units. Both the orientations of the springs and the spacing between the units is easily variable.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1111 3,863,915 Pifer Feb. 4, 1975 SURFING SIMULATOR 434,315 /1926 Germany 272/57 B  Inventor: Hm PiferPO. BOX 11 17, 1,360,732 0/1964 France 272/57 B l 11, t. 01 Ka lspe Mom 599 Primary Examiner-George J. Marlo [2 Fllfidl P 1973 Assistant Examiner-Joseph R. Taylor I. N 5 74 Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Lindenberg, Freilich, [211 App 0 39 3 Wasserman, Rosen & Fernandez 2 7 54, 2  U S Cl 27 /5 B, 272/ 27 4[61/2138 ABSTRACT  Int. Cl A63h 69/18 A surfing simulator consists of a top board whichis  Field of Search 272/54, 55, 57 A, 57 B, suspended by a spring suspension system consisting of 272/57 57 60 280/1 1.28, two units. In one embodiment, each unit includes two 280/1l.37 R, 87.04 R, 87.04 A; 267/182; spaced apart parallel coil springs. The units are used 35/29R to suspend the top board above an appropriate surface, e.g., ground. The rockability of the top board  References C'ted about one axis when a person steps on the board, is UNITED STATES PATENTS dependent on the orientations of the springs with this 2,557,331 6/1951 Wintercorn 280/11.28 axis. The rockability of the board about a transverse 3,522,953 8/1970 Gold et al. 280/87.04 axis depends on the spacing between the two units. FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 5 g f f l ggi and the spacing 980,145 0/1965 Great Britain 272/57 E e ween e um S ea a 1,029,590 0/1966 Great Britain 280/87.04 2 Claims 5 Drawing Figures 6l6,723 0/1946 Great Britain 280/87.04
PATENTED FEB 75 SHEET 1 OF 2 SURFING SIMULATOR BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention generally relates to a surfing simulator and, more particularly, to a simulator for learning and practicing the art of water surfing without resort to any body of water.
2. Description of the Prior Art In recent years water surfing has become a very popular sport, particularly among young people. The development of the dexterity and skill necessary to become a competent surfer requires months of daily practice, all of which must take place in a relatively large body of water, such as the ocean or a large lake, and only when waves of reasonable size and intensity are present.
OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is a primary object of the present invention to provide a novel surfing simulator with which the art of surfing can be learned without the need for a body of water.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a novel surfing simulator with which a beginner can teach himself the art of surfing without resort to a body of water and waves.
A further object of the invention is to provide a novel surfing simulator with which the art of surfing can be learned by a beginner and which is adjustable to enable experienced surfers to improve and/or retain their surfing skills, all without the need for a surfboard or any body of water, and which can be used within the confines of a small area, either indoor or outdoor.
These and other objects of the invention are achieved by providing a surfing simulator, hereinafter simply referred to as the simulator, which includes a top board, supported by an adjustable suspension system. The top board is generally shaped like a conventional surfboard, defining a longitudinal axis extending along the board length and a transverse axis extending along the board width. The suspension system is adjustable to control the rotation or rockability of the board about either or both axes.
Typically, the suspension system includes two identical suspension units. When used by a beginner, the two suspension units are oriented with respect to the board and with respect to one another, so as to minimize the rockability of the board about either axis. As the surfing skill increases, the units are alignable in a direction parallel to the longitudinal axis so as to provide maximum board rockability about the longitudinal axis. The units are also adjustably movable with respect to one another. By reducing the distance between them, the rockability of the board about the transverse axis is increased.
The novel features of the invention are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention will best be understood from the following description when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a top view of one embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 2 is an expanded view of a suspension unit 20, shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is another top view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is an expanded view of another embodiment of the invention; and
FIG. 5 is a side cross-sectional view of yet another embodiment of the invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Attention is first directed to FIG. 1 which is a top view of one embodiment of the invention. The novel simulator is shown comprising a top board 10, which may be shaped as a surfboard. Board 10, which is essentially rectangular, except for its short sides II, which are shown as curved, defines a longitudinal axis, designated X which extends parallel to the long sides 12 and through the board center 15. The board also defines a transverse axis Y which also extends through the center 15 and is perpendicular to the boards long sides 12. A plurality of holes 16 along the X axis, spaced on opposite sides of center 15, extend from the board's top side 18 to its bottom side I9.
The board 10 is suspended above an appropriate surface, such as the ground, by means of two identical suspension units 20 and 21, which together form an adjustable spring suspension system. An expanded view of one of the units, such as unit 20, is shown in FIG. 2. The unit includes a pair of coil springs 22 which are spaced apart and secured by means of clips 23 and screws 24 between a top member 25 and a base member 26. The top member 25 has a hole 28.
The unit, when assembled, can be thought of as defining a plane 30 with the longitudinal axes ofthe two springs 22 parallel to one another and in plane 32. The hole 28 is preferably equidistant from the two springs 22. Each unit is attachable to the top board 10 by means of a bolt 31, which extends through one of the holes 16, the units hole 28, and a nut 32. By tightening the nut on the screw, the unit's top member 25 is biased against the bottom side 19 of board 10.
As shown in FIG. 1, the two suspension units 20 and 21 are positioned so that their planes 30, represented by dashed lines 30, are parallel to the transverse axis Y. In this orientation, the two springs of each unit are on either side of the longitudinal axis X. Consequently, they minimize the rotation or the rockability of the board 10 about axis X, represented by arrow 35 when a person using the simulator attempts to get on top of the board 10. The rockability of the board 10 about the axis X may easily be adjusted by varying the orienta tions of the planes 30 of the two units with respect to the board 5 axis X. For example, as shown in FIG. 3, the planes 30 of the two units are aligned along the axis X, i.e., are perpendicular to the Y axis. Clearly in such an orientation, the support which the springs provide on either side of axis X is a minimum. Consequently, the rockability of the board about the axis X is maximized.
From the foregoing, it should thus be apparent that the rockability of the board 10 about the longitudinal axis X is dependent on the orientations of the support units with respect to the boards axis X. These orientations are easily variable by means of the two screws 31 and the nuts 32 with which the units are releasably clamped to the board. Clearly, the rockability of the board 10 about axis X may be varied to any desired value between the minimum represented by the units orientations shown in FIG. 1, and the maximum shown by the units orientations in FIG. 3 by orientations of one or both units in which either or both are neither parallel nor perpendicular to the transverse axis Y. That is, either unit may be oriented so that its plane 30 forms an angle a5 with respect to the axis X where 3 90.
It should be appreciated that the rockability of the top board about the transverse axis Y (or an axis parallel thereto), as represented in FIG. 1 by arrow 36, depends on the spacing between the two units. The spacing is easily varied by providing more than two holes 16 in board 10, as shown in FIG. I. In FIGS. land 3, the units are shown clamped through two holes 16 which are farthest from center and at equal distances on opposite sides thereof. In this position, the rockability of the board about the axis Y is at a minimum level. The rockability is increased by clamping the units through holes 16 which are closer to center 15. It should also be appreciated that the two holes 16 through which the units are clamped need not be at equal distances and on opposite sides of center 15. Any two holes 16 may be used to control the rockability of the board I0 about any axis parallel to the axis Y which passes through any point between the two units.
The previously described simulator is particularly advantageous to one, beginning to learn the art of surfing, since therein the boards rockability is controllable about the longitudinal axis X as well as the transverse axis Y. If controlling the rockability of the board about the longitudinal axis X is not required, a simulator, such as the one shown in FIG. 4 may be used. Therein elements like those previously described are designated by like numerals. The primary difference between the two simulators is that in the one shown in FIG. 4, each unit includes only one coil spring 22. In this embodiment a member 40 which defines a channel 42 is secured to the bottom side 19 of board 10 by means of screws 43. The top member 25 of each of units 20 and 21 defines grooved sides 25a which engage complementary sides 42a of channel 42. Thus, the units are secured to the board 10 by sliding their top members 25 into the channel 42. Again, the rockability of the board about any axis perpendicular to the longitudinal axis X is controlled by the spacing between the two units in the channel. It should be clear that in the embodiment of FIG. 4, the boards rockability about the longitudinal axis X is not controllable, which is the case in the simulator described in connection with FIGS. 1-3.
From the foregoing, it is thus seen that in accordance with the present invention, a simulator is provided in which the rockability of its top board on which a person, learning or developing the skills of surfing, attempts to get on and stand is easily controllable. The board is suspended by two separate suspension units which together form a spring suspension system for the board. By controlling the orientations of the units with respect to the board and/or the spacing between them, the boards rockability about one or more axes is easily controllable. Clearly, in the simulator of the present invention, this is easily achievable. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. l-3, the adjustment is achieved by first loosening the nuts 32, adjusting the units to the desired orientation and then tightening the nuts. Also, the spacing between units is easily variable in either of the above described embodiments.
Hereinbefore, it was assumed that in each simulator, the two suspension units are identical. Clearly, such limitation is not necessary. If desired, one unit may include two springs, as shown in FIG. 2, and the other unit may include a single centered spring, as shown in FIG. 4. In such a case, the rockability of the board 10 about the longitudinal axis X may be made to vary along the board's length. For example, in the arrangement shown in FIG. I, by replacing unit 21 with a unit with a single centered-spring, the rockability of the board about the axis X is increased from a minimum near the board's back end due to the orientation of unit 20 to a maximum due to the single spring unit near the boards front end.
In practice, several factors control the selection of the springs. The springs should be long enough and have a spring constant so as to support the user on the top board, yet not be fully compressed when the user stands on the top board. In the embodiment, using two springs per suspension unit, smaller diameter springs with lower spring constants can be used than for the springs in the embodiment, shown in FIG. 4, wherein each unit includes one spring. As an example, rather than to limit the invention thereto, each of the springs in the embodiment of FIGS. I-3 may be 12 inches long, 4 inches in diameter. For a user weighing approximately I50 :35 lbs., springs with a constant k of 20 lbs/in can be used. The constant k may be about 12 lbs/in for a user weighing between 50-115 lbs. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 4, each spring may be 12 inches long, 6 inches in diameter with k of about 50 lbs/in. It should again be stressed that the specific.
springs are described only as examples and are not intended to limit the invention thereto.
Although in the previously described embodiments. the simulators board is shown supported by a spring suspension system, the invention need not be limited thereto. It has been discovered that many of the surfing skills can be acquired by using a simulator which consists of board 10 connected to the top and suspended by an inflatable flexible container 50, as shown in FIG. 5. Gas, e.g., air and/or fluid, e.g., water or a combination of both is used to inflate the container through opening 52. The boards stability on the container 50 is adjusted by varying the amount of gas and/or fluid in the container.
Although particular embodiments of the invention have been described and illustrated herein, it is recognized that modifications and variations may readily occur to those skilled in the art and consequently, it is intended that the claims be interpreted to cover such modifications and equivalents.
What is claimed is:
l. A surfing simulator comprising:
an elongated board having top and bottom sides and defining a longitudinal axis in a plane parallel to said sides;
spring suspension means including first and second spring assemblies, each assembly including at least one coil spring and top and bottom members with the spring connected therebetween, with the spring axis extending between said members; and connecting means for selectively connecting each assembly to the board by securing the assembly top member to the boards bottom side with the springs axis perpendicular to said longitiduinal axis, whereby said springs suspend said board above a support surface with which the bottom members of said assemblies are in contact, with the rockability of said board about an axis perpendicular to said longitudinal axis being a function of the spacing between said assemblies, each of said assemblies includes first and second coil springs spaced apart and parallel between the top and bottom members of the assembly, each assembly defines a plane in which the axes of the springs of the assembly lie, and said connecting means connect each assembly to said board at a selectable angular orientation of the assemblys plane with respect to the boards longitudinal axis so as to control the rockability of the board about said longitudinal axis, the top member of each assembly defining an aperture equidistant from the two springs of the assembly, said board defining a plurality of apertures along its longitudinal axis, and said connecting means include a pair of bolts, extending through one of said board apertures and the aperture of the top member of one assembly, with the rockability of the board about an axis perpendicular to its longitudinal axis being a function of the distance between the boards apertures through which the bolts extend.
2. A surfing simulator comprising: an elongated board having top and bottom sides and defining a longitudinal axis in a plane parallel to said sides;
first and second identical spring assemblies, each assembly including a pair of similar coil springs, top
and bottom members and means for securing said springs between said members, with the springs being spaced from one another and with the axis of each spring extending between said members, the axes of the two springs being an imaginary plane extending through said assembly; and
I connecting means forconnecting said assemblies to the bottom side of said board so as to suspend said board above said assemblies with each assembly being connected at a variable selected angular orientation of its plane with respect to said longitudinal axis, each assembly being connected to said board so that its springs are at equal distances from said longitudinal axis, with the planes of said assemblies being vertically oriented and said longitudinal axis is in a horizontal plane and the angular orientation of each assembly plane with respect to said longitudinal axis being variable between zero and ninety degrees, said board defining a plurality of apertures along said longitudinal axis, each aperture extending between the boards top and bottom sides, and said connecting means include means for each assembly which extend through a selected one of said apertures to connect the assembly to the board through the selected aperture to thereby vary the spacing between the assemblies connected