Title:
SURFBOARD CONTROL DEVICE
United States Patent 3593356


Abstract:
A surfboard control device comprising a foot stirrup that is secured to the upper surface of a surfboard along its longitudinal axis, which stirrup holds the foot of the surfer to the surfboard during surfing and aids in turning the surfboard by allowing the surfer to exert upward force on the board through cooperation with the surfer's other foot, and aids both experienced surfers and beginning surfers in accurately positioning their feet on the surfboard, which position is established by trial and error and identified on a scale.



Inventors:
SCHMALFELDT GENE N
Application Number:
04/806365
Publication Date:
07/20/1971
Filing Date:
03/12/1969
Assignee:
GENE N. SCHMALFELDT
Primary Class:
International Classes:
(IPC1-7): A63C15/06
Field of Search:
9/310 280
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3308493Surfboard1967-03-14Lambach
3134992Water ski1964-06-02Tyll
2740972Water ski harness1956-04-10Taylor
2664578Foot binding for water skis and the like1954-01-05Clinedinst



Foreign References:
DE821162C1951-11-15
Primary Examiner:
Buchler, Milton
Assistant Examiner:
Sauberer, Paul E.
Claims:
Having described my invention, I now claim

1. A surfboard control device for surfboards on which the surfer places both feet at selected positions thereon in controlling movement of the board on waves comprising,

2. A surfboard control device as claimed in claim 1 including,

3. A surfboard control device as claimed in claim 2 in which,

4. A surfboard control device for surfboards on which the surfer places both feet at selected positions thereon in controlling movement of the board on waves comprising,

5. A surfboard control device as claimed in claim 4 in which,

6. A surfboard control device as claimed in claim 4 including,

7. A surfboard control device as claimed in claim 4 including,

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Surfing has become a major sport. So there are many surfers, beginners and experienced surfers, that are constantly improving their skills and techniques in the sport. While some advancements have been made in controlling surfboards, such as in the positioning of the fin on surfboards, the surfer still must control the surfboard through shifting his feet and weight on the surfboard to achieve optimum balance and control for given wave sizes, surfing conditions and size and techniques of the surfer. While the surfer may press his feet and shift his weight against the board, the surfer is merely standing on the top of the board and any downward movement of the board tends to separate the board from the surfer and decrease his control. While experienced surfers are more adept at quickly establishing the desired position of the feet on the smooth upper surface of the surfboard for given surfing conditions, which experienced surfers can quickly check by glancing at the board and yet not lose their balance, beginning surfers find this technique very difficult to learn. Further, even experienced surfers often find it difficult to accomplish this technique in many surfing conditions. Thus this difficulty along with the problem of maintaining a position on the top of the smooth surfboard, restricts even the most experienced surfer's ability to ride waves at a higher point on the waves or at optimum speed and control.

Thus it is advantageous to have a surfboard control device that allows all surfers to establish given foot positions on a surfboard and to hold their feet at these given positions to achieve a greater degree of surfboard control.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In an exemplary embodiment of this invention, the surfboard control device comprises a foot stirrup that is secured to the upper surface of a surfboard and holds the surfer's foot at a given position on the surfboard. The foot stirrup is movable longitudinally on the surfboard, allowing the foot stirrup to be moved to optimum positions and to be rigidly held at these positions. The surfboard control device has indicia with a scale positioned along its longitudinal movement that allows the surfer to identify and remember given positions of the foot stirrup.

In one embodiment the foot stirrup is secured to a pair of longitudinally positioned and spaced-apart straps that hold the outer ends of the foot stirrup in position. Fastening means secure the foot stirrup along the length of the straps. At least one of the straps has an indicia scale there on for identifying the position of the stirrup. In another embodiment, the foot stirrup is secured to a plate member that is held by a pair of fasteners in a longitudinal recess in the surface of the surfboard. The foot stirrup is normally provided for the forward foot of the surfer, be it the surfer's left foot or right foot, and is canted at an angle to correspond with the angular position of the forward foot on the surfboard. The canted position may be selectively adjusted as desired to the individual taste of the surfer. The surfer is thus able to insert his foot into the stirrup and hold the forward foot to the surfboard while moving the rearward foot as necessary to establish balance and to turn the board during the ride.

It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a new and improved surfboard control device.

It is another object of this invention to provide a new and improved surfboard control device that allows experienced surfers to achieve higher degrees of skill in surfing and increases the experienced surfer's ability to turn and control the surfboard.

It is another object of this invention to provide a new and improved surfboard control device that allows beginning surfers to establish given foot positions on a surfboard and to hold their feet in these positions during surfing.

It is another object of this invention to provide a new and improved surfboard control device that is inexpensive to make, is easily installed on a surfboard, and that improves the surfing skill of all surfers.

Other objects and many advantages of this invention will become more apparent upon a reading of the following detailed description and an examination of the drawings wherein like reference numerals designate like parts throughout and in which:

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a surfboard with an embodiment of the surfboard control device positioned thereon.

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 2-2 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a partial view of a holding member of the embodiment of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view with parts broken away of the foot position of a surfer using the surfboard control device.

FIG. 5 is a top plan view with parts broken away of a modified embodiment of the surfboard control device.

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 6-6 of FIG. 5.

Referring now to FIG. 1, a normal surfboard 10, that may be of any known design having a short or long length and made of any suitable materials, has a pair of longitudinal strap members 14 and 16 secured thereon. These straps may be made of any suitable material, such as plastic, fiberglass, aluminum or the like, and are secured to the upper substantially flat surface of the surfboard in any known manner such as by screws 21 positioned at spaced intervals. The strap members 14 and 16 have a plurality of holes 22 along the length thereof. These holes are threaded to receive the screws 18 that secure the stirrup member 12. The foot stirrup member 12 may be made of flexible material, such as plastic or other suitable known materials. It may be understood that if the strap members 14 and 16 are aluminum, then the holes 22 may be threaded to directly receive the ends of the fastening screws 18. However if the straps 14 are of plastic material, then bolts may be embedded at appropriate locations to form the threaded holes 22.

It will be noted that the foot stirrup 12 is at a slight angle, dotted line 20, from the longitudinal axis of the surfboard 10. This allows the surfer to insert his foot at the angle to which it is normally positioned on the surfboard, see FIG. 4. In this invention, the degree of diagonal positioning of the stirrup to meet different foot positions may be selectively adjusted by relative movement of the fastening screws 18 and 19. This adjustment also provides the correct canted position for surfers who surf with their left foot forward. Also one of the longitudinal straps, such as strap 14, see FIG. 3, is provided with scaled indicia 24 along the length thereof for marking and identifying the longitudinal position of the stirrup. Both the straps 14 and 16 have such indicia scaled thereon to additionally allow the surfer to cant the foot stirrup to set angles.

Referring now to FIG. 5, a modified embodiment of the surfboard control device of this invention employs a flat, thin, stirrup-holding member 30 that may be made of plastic, aluminum or any other suitable thin and lightweight material. A channel 32 is provided in the upper surface of the surfboard. This channel may be grooved in the surfboard or may comprise a channel 48 of plastic, aluminum or other suitable material that has a narrow slot 32 and an enlarged longitudinal opening 51. Fastening members 36 secure the plate member 30 to the surfboard 10 and each have a rotating bar member 46 with a length slightly smaller than the width of the opening 51 and a width that is slightly smaller than the slot 32. The bolt 36 threadably engages the member 46 and thus draws the member 46 against the surface 52 to secure the plate 30 in position. Plate 30 has spacers 44 of suitable resilient material, such as plastic foam or the like along its outer side edges that aid in providing a secure and nontwisting attachment to the surfboard 10. The plate 46 rotates to pass through slot 32 at which time it is then rotated to the position of FIG. 6. Also the plate 46 may have longitudinal grooves therein that coact with cross grooves in the surface 52 of the shoulder of the slot 32 in member 48 to provide a more rigid holding of the fastener members 36 at given longitudinal positions in the slot 32.

The plate 30 has a plurality of holes 31 that are threaded to coact with screws 42 to hold the stirrup 40 in selected positions. Holes 31 allow the stirrup 40 to be canted as desired for different surfers. Scale 34 allows identification of the longitudinal position of plate 30 and thus stirrup 40.

In operation, the stirrup surfboard control device is secured to the surfboard and is positioned at a given longitudinal location along the length of the surfboard. The surfer places his feet substantially as illustrated in FIG. 4, with the forward foot 26 in the stirrup and the rearward foot 28 positioned as necessary to control the surfboard. The foot 28 is moved from side to side on the surfboard with appropriate weight shifting to make the surfboard turn. Normally the position of foot 26 establishes the relative position of both feet along the length of the surfboard. This relative positioning can be established by trial and error in given surf conditions. For example, the stirrup 12 is normally moved forward for larger waves and moved rearwardly for smaller waves with the rear foot 28 being moved to the right strap for right turns and to the left strap for left turns. The latter features allow a less experienced surfer to position his feet through feel on the longitudinal members 14 and 26 and thus gain quicker and more rapid experience in the correct positioning of his feet. For the more skillful surfer, he would of course establish through trial and error the exact desired position. It will also be recognized that all surfers may shift the weight on the foot 28 and lift to a slight degree with foot 26 against the stirrup 12, thus in effect lifting up the front of the board. This greatly increases the ability to turn and skillfully maneuver the surfboard.