Title:
Self propelled water ski
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A device for allowing a user to move across a body of water. This device comprises at least one ski wherein the ski contains a foot strap, sandal, or similar type device allowing the user to attach his or her feet to the ski. This ski contains a self-propelling element in the form of a fin, rotationally coupled to the ski or a frame having louvered blades rotationally coupled to the frame. As the user moves the ski forward, the fin folds up, or the blades open, allowing the ski to easily slide forward. AS the user moves the ski back, the fin rotates down, or the blades close, to catch the water and hold the ski in place allowing the user to propel himself across the water. This device may also contain a rudder, and a rudder control allowing the user to steer these skis in the water.



Inventors:
Ko, Judson (Flushing, NY, US)
Application Number:
10/079154
Publication Date:
08/22/2002
Filing Date:
02/20/2002
Assignee:
KO JUDSON
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B63B35/83; (IPC1-7): B63B35/83
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SOTELO, JESUS D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
COLLARD & ROE, P.C.,WILLIAM COLLARD (1077 NORTHERN BOULEVARD, ROSLYN, NY, 11576, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A device for allowing a user to move across a body of water, the device comprising: a) at least one ski which substantially floats above water; b) a foot holder disposed on said ski; c) at least one self-propelling element coupled to said ski and wherein a user can be coupled to said at least one ski via said foot holder, wherein said self propelling element allows the user to propel said at least one ski in a direction desired by the user.

2. The device as in claim 1, wherein said ski has a front end and a back end and wherein said ski further comprises a rudder coupled to said back end of said at least one ski.

3. The device as in claim 1, wherein said device further comprises a rudder control for controlling a direction that said ski is pointing.

4. The device as in claim 1, wherein said at least one ski has a bottom face, a top face and a plurality of side walls.

5. The device as in claim 4, wherein said at least one self-propelling element is coupled to a bottom face of said at least one ski.

6. The device as in claim 1, wherein said at least one self-propelling element is in the form of a fin that is rotationally coupled to said at least one ski.

7. The device as in claim 6, wherein said fin is substantially V-shaped.

8. The device as in claim 7, wherein said at least one ski has a bottom face that is substantially V shaped and said fin rotates from a first position adjacent to said bottom face of said at least one ski, to a second position rotated down and away from said bottom face.

9. The device as in claim 8, further comprising at least one additional fin, wherein when the user moves said at least one ski forward said fin and said at least one additional fin are in said first position and when said user moves said at least one ski backwards, said fin and said at least one additional fin is in said second position, so that said fin catches water to help the user move forward in the water.

10. The device as in claim 1, wherein said at least one self-propelling element comprises a frame coupled to said ski and a plurality of blades rotationally coupled to said frame.

11. The device as in claim 10, wherein said plurality of blades rotate approximately 80 degrees within said frame.

12. The device as in claim 11, wherein said plurality of blades rotate in unison between an open position and a closed position as said ski moves back and forth in the body of water.

13. The device as in claim 10, wherein said frame can be alternately attached to said ski or detached from said ski.

14. The device as in claim 1, where in said foot holder is a sandal.

15. The device as in claim 1, further comprising at least one additional ski.

16. The device as in claim 15, further comprising a coupling element wherein said at least one ski and said at least one additional ski are coupled together via said coupling element.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The invention relates to a self-propelled water ski. Essentially, this self-propelled water ski has two floating boards that are activated by a user standing on each of the boards. The user is attached to the boards by a pivoting sandal. When a user uses the boards, the fins or other pushing means snap down to push the water allowing a person to walk across the water.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The invention relates to a self-propelled water ski. This water ski comprises at least one floating board. This board can be made from a floatable material such as wood, styrofoam, plastic, or any other type composite material that floats on water. This water ski can contain a roughened region so that a user can stand on this water ski and maintain traction. The user can strap himself or herself to this water ski via a rotatable or moveable sandal. Each of these water skis contains a series of fins which rotate about an axle attached to the water ski. Each of these fins is V-shaped, wherein the angle of this V is approximately 120°. These fins are V-shaped because it allows each of the fins to be designed stronger than a flat piece. This is because this V-shaped piece acts as an arch receiving pressure in a central portion that can be made thicker than the remaining portions. In addition, the angle of this V-shaped fin keeps the fin away from a bottom surface of the board, to avoid any suction between the floating board and the fin.

[0003] In a first embodiment of the invention, the three rotatable fins attach to a bottom section of each of the self-propelled water skis. In addition, attached to the back end of the water ski is a rotatable rudder which comprises two rudder fins and a backplate, all attached on an axle.

[0004] Essentially, when a user wants to propel himself or herself across the water, the user straps on each of these floating boards using a rubber sandal. The sandal has a series of buckles to be adjusted to strap a user's feet tight against the floating boards. Once a person stands up on these boards, with these boards floating on the water, the person can then walk forward by pushing one of his or her legs forward. As the user pushes his or her leg forward, the remaining leg is propelled back in the water. This remaining leg eventually locks in place on the top of the water because as that remaining floating board propels backwards, the fins and the rudder flip down. Once each of these fins and the rudder flip down on that remaining board, that board remains substantially stable and static on the water. By holding that remaining board static on the water, the user is given enough force to propel the other moveable board forward. As each of these boards is propelled forward, the fins and the rudder fold up underneath the moving board to allow it to propel forward with limited restraint across the water. So that this board remains stable along the water, the board has an substantially triangular shaped upward extending frontal region, that allows the board to cut through the water. In addition, the underside region of this board can contain small tracks or fins to keep the board floating in a straight line. Furthermore, a series of fins on the rudder also keep the board traveling in a substantially straight line.

[0005] In the second embodiment of the invention, the propelling means includes a detachable frame having a plurality of louvered blades disposed within the frame. These frames are joined to each ski, not at right angles but with a back slanting of approximately 83 degrees. When a person wants to propel himself through water these louvered blades would rotate 90 degrees up and down to alternately let water flow past them and then to close to allow the user to propel himself through the water.

[0006] In both the first and the second embodiment, each of the boards can be attached together along the inside region which allows some flexibility in the up and down movement of either ski.

[0007] These boards can be attached to each other with a series of hinges that have ball bearings. In this case, each of the boards is attached together along the inside region to keep the boards together to allow the skier to move the skis back and forth along the grooves. At the same time, there is some flexibility in the up and down movement of either ski.

[0008] With this optional design, these hinges with ball bearings allow a beginner to train his or her inner thigh muscles to hold the skis closer together.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0009] Other objects and features of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description considered in connection with the accompanying drawings. It is to be understood, however, that the drawings are designed as an illustration only and not as a definition of the limits of the invention.

[0010] In the drawings, wherein similar reference characters denote similar elements throughout the several views:

[0011] FIG. 1 shows a top view of a floating board according to the invention;

[0012] FIG. 2 shows a side view of a floating board shown in FIG. 1;

[0013] FIG. 3 shows a front view of the floating board according to FIG. 1;

[0014] FIG. 4A shows a side view of a floating board having a series of fins and a rudder attached thereto, wherein these fins and rudder are in a folded down position;

[0015] FIG. 4B shows a front view of the floating board shown in FIG. 4A;

[0016] FIG. 4C shows a back view of the floating board shown in FIG. 4A;

[0017] FIG. 5 shows a bottom view of the board wherein the fins and rudder are in their folded down position;

[0018] FIG. 6A shows a closeup side view of a fin;

[0019] FIG. 6B shows a bottom view of the fins in their folded down position showing the angle of the inner section on either side of the fin;

[0020] FIG. 7A shows a side view of the board, wherein the fins and the rudder are in a folded up position;

[0021] FIG. 7B shows a front view of the floating board shown in FIG. 7A;

[0022] FIG. 7C shows a back view of the floating board shown in FIG. 7A;

[0023] FIG. 8 shows a bottom view of the invention, wherein the fins and the rudder are in a folded up position;

[0024] FIG. 9 shows a side view of the rudder;

[0025] FIG. 10 shows a bottom view of the rudder;

[0026] FIG. 11 shows a back view of the rudder in its folded down position;

[0027] FIG. 12 shows a top view of the second embodiment of the invention;

[0028] FIG. 13 shows a closer view of the hinges shown in FIG. 12;

[0029] FIG. 14 shows a top view of the sandal in an unstrapped position;

[0030] FIG. 15 shows a top view of the sandal in a buckled position;

[0031] FIG. 16 shows a side view of the sandal in its buckled position; and

[0032] FIG. 17 shows a perspective view of the first embodiment of the invention;

[0033] FIG. 18 shows a side view of the second embodiment of the invention;

[0034] FIG. 19 shows a front view of a louver shown in FIGS. 17 and 18;

[0035] FIG. 20 shows a perspective view of the blade;

[0036] FIG. 21 shows a top view of the blade;

[0037] FIG. 22 shows a side view of the blade;

[0038] FIG. 23 shows a perspective view of this second embodiment of the invention wherein the blades are closed;

[0039] FIG. 24A shows a perspective view of the invention wherein both skis are joined together;

[0040] FIG. 24B shows a close up view of the joined skis;

[0041] FIG. 24C shows a top view of these joined skis;

[0042] FIG. 25 shows a close up view of a back portion of the skis; and

[0043] FIG. 26 shows a side view of the skis with rudders.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0044] Referring now in detail to the drawings and, in particular, FIG. 1 relates to a top view of the self-propelling ski 10 according to the invention. Here there is a floating board 12, having a roughened region 14 in a center portion wherein the board extends along the longitudinal axis 16 that intersects with a latitudinal axis 18 at a center point 20. Floating board 12 is substantially rectangular, however, this front region 12′ has a flattened back at a back region 12″. In this way, floating board 12 has a ski-shape so that floating board 12 can cut across the water. FIG. 2 shows a side view of the floating board 12, which forms one of the self-propelling skis 10. The texture of the bottom region of floating board 12 has a series of fins 22, 24 and 26.

[0045] FIG. 3 shows a front view of floating board 12 which has the narrowed point for front region 12″. In this way, floating board 12 cuts across the water when this narrowed point 12 allows water to flow on either side of this narrowed point 12 creating a streamlined profile across the water. FIG. 4A shows a side view of floating board 12 having a series of fins 32, 34 and 36 attached to floating board via axles 23, 25 and 27. Fins 32, 34 and 36 can fold up into recessed regions 22, 24 and 26, respectively. In this case, fins 32, 34 and 36 are all folded down along with rudder 40 to create a resistant profile in the water. In this case, the self-propelled water ski 10 is designed to stay substantially stationary within the water while being held in place by fins 32, 34 and 36 and rudder 40. Fins 32, 34 and 36 and rudder 40 all fold down away from floating board 12 when a person pushes back on floating board 12. This backward push causes freely rotatable fins 32, 34 and 36 to rotate around axles 23, 25 and 27 and fold away from a bottom portion of floating board 12. In addition, rudder 40, which is attached by an axle, not shown, is also freely foldable. This folded down position can be seen also from a front view in FIG. 4B and a back view of floating board 12 shown in FIG. 4C.

[0046] As shown in FIG. 4B, there is a first angle fin region 35 that joins with a second angle fin region 37 along a center line 30. In addition, fins 44 extend down and out from rudder 40 below fins 32, 34 and 36. In addition, FIG. 4C shows a back view, wherein there is a rudder plate 46 (see FIG. 11) that extends down to catch the water when rudder plate 46 is held in place by rudder tongues or fins 44.

[0047] FIG. 5 shows a bottom view of self-propelled water ski 10 showing fins 32, 34 and 36 and rudder 40 in a down extended position. As shown in FIGS. 6A and 6B, fins 32, 34 and 36 are formed by a series of separate plates. In this case, catch flange 33 is attached to a first angled fin region 35 and a second angled fin region 37, respectively. First angled fin region 35 and a second angled fin region 37 join in a center region 30 to form an approximately 120° angle. The design of this fin is important because with this angled fin, it forms a substantially stronger fin than that of a substantially flat fin shape. This additional strength is created by the substantially arch-shaped features of this fin.

[0048] In addition, because this fin is substantially V-shaped or arch-shaped, fins 32, 34 and 36 avoid being caught or stuck to floating board 12 via a suction force.

[0049] As is common in the water in water-based designs, water can be trapped between a foldable fin and a floating board. If the fin was designed substantially flat, water could be trapped between the surfaces of the fin and of the floating board and cause the fin to be substantially stuck to the floating board 12.

[0050] With this design, as the user tries to propel himself or herself forward, this flat-shaped fin would remain stuck to floating board 12, rather than rotate down to provide a fin for propelling the user forward. Therefore, with this angle as shown in FIG. 6B, it creates a space between fins 32, 34 and 36 and floating board 12. This gap keeps fins 32, 34 and 36 away from floating board 12 so that when a user propels himself or herself forward, fins 32, 34 and 36 automatically rotates down around hinges 23, 25 and 27, respectively to create a self-propelled water ski. FIG. 7A shows a side view of self-propelled ski 10, wherein fins 32, 34 and 36 are in a folded up position stored adjacent to recesses 22, 24 and 26, respectively. In addition, rudder 40 is also folded up in an upward position so that rudder fins 42′ and 42″ (see FIG. 10) help point the ski in a straight line. In addition, attached to board 12 is a button like protrusion 43 that is designed to hold rudder 40 away from the body of floating board 12, making it easier for rudder 40 to switch from an up position to a down position.

[0051] FIGS. 7B and 7C show a front view and a back view, respectively of the fins and the rudder in their folded up position. As shown in FIG. 7B, there is a first angled fin region 35a and a second angled fin region 35b joined in middle region 30 to form a V-shaped profile underneath board 12. In addition, rudder fins 42a and 42b set a profile along the water so that floating board 12 flows in a straight line. When fins 32, 34 and 36 and rudder 40 are in their folded up position, floating board 12 can cut across the water more easily than when fins 32, 34 and 36 and rudder 40 are in their downward position which then provide propulsion.

[0052] Thus, to allow an individual to walk across the water, one of the boards has fins in their downward position while the other board has fins in their upward position. Since the fins extend in an upward position when a person pushes forward on the board, and the fins extend in a downward position when a person pushes back on the board to move across the water, a user would ultimately push forward on one board and backward on another to propel forward across the water. For example, if the user pushed forward on the board attached to his or her right leg, then the user would ultimately push back on board 12 attached to his or her left leg. These movements simulate a walking motion across the water.

[0053] FIG. 8 shows a bottom view of board 12 showing fins 32, 32, 34, 36 all folded up underneath board 12. In addition, rudder 40 is also folded up and viewed from the bottom view.

[0054] FIG. 9 shows a side view of rudder 40 wherein there is shown rudder fin 44 and back plate 46 joining rudder fin 42. Back plate 46 helps to catch the flow of water as rudder fin 42 in 40 is folded down. With this design, back plate 46 keeps the water from flowing underneath board 12 to allow a user to propel himself or herself across the water.

[0055] FIG. 10 shows an alternate view of rudder 40 wherein there is shown rudder fins 42′ and 42″ joining with rudder plate 46. As shown when rudder 40 is folded down, rudder fins 42′ and 42″ extend out in an angled manner such that they flare in toward the back region and flare out toward the front region such that the outer edges of fins 42′ and 42″ join with an outer region of board 12.

[0056] FIG. 11 shows the back view of rudder 40 shown rudder plate 46 as it joins rudder fins 42′ and 42″.

[0057] FIG. 12 shows another embodiment of the invention showing board 110 consisting of boards 112 and 116 joined together in a central region by a series of ball bearings shown in FIG. 13. Here, boards 112 and 116 have a roughened region 114 positioned in a main center portion of the board. There is also a hole 120 for attaching straps onto these boards. In addition, there is a plate 121 that joins these two boards 112 and 116 together. Plate 121 is shown in FIG. 13 wherein there are shown a series of ball bearings 122 and 124 designed to join plate 121 together as shown in FIG. 12. With this design, plate 121 is a slidable plate allowing boards 112 and 116 to be connected together while sliding along side each other.

[0058] With this design, a user can use the boards without having the boards slide apart from each other. In this way, this design is a training device allowing users to train on this board without losing his or her balance.

[0059] Foot straps 125 can also be attached to these boards. FIGS. 14, 15 and 16 show foot straps 125 which contain a bottom piece 126, a series of strap pieces 127, buckle 128 and a connection hole 129 allowing strap 125 to connect to boards 112 and 116. Strap pieces 127 shown in FIG. 15 can be folded up and buckled over on top of the foot. As shown in FIG. 16, strap 125 is connected via a bolt or screw to a board such that it can rotate up allowing a person to angle up the straps on the shoe to propel himself or herself forward. With this design a user can propel himself or herself forward while gaining the benefit of further adjustability with these movable straps.

[0060] FIG. 17 shows a perspective view of the second embodiment of the invention wherein there is shown a ski 112 which has a front tip 112′ and a back end 112″. There are a plurality of propelling means or blinds 130, 140, 150 and 160. Each set of blinds 130, 140, 150, and 160 includes a set of blades 132, 142, 152, and 162 respectively. Each set of blades 132, 142, 152, and 162 are set in their respective frames 124, 134, 144, 154, and 164.

[0061] FIG. 18 shows blades, 132, 142, and 152 and 162 in an open position wherein these blades are set to allow water to flow past them. These blades as shown in FIGS. 19, 20, 21, and 22 are substantially wing shaped with a narrow front end that expands into a wider section and then gradually tapers of into a thinner section. Blades 132, 142, 152 and 162 are coupled to frames 134, 144, 154, and 164 via an off center axle (132A, 142A, 152A, 162A) wherein these blades rotate within the frames with a total possible angle of rotation being approximately 80 degrees. The blades can move from a substantially open position as shown in FIG. 18, to a substantially closed position as shown in FIG. 23 due to the off center position of the axis placed toward the front edge of the blade. In the closed position, blades 132, 142, 152, 162 rotate downwards when the ski is pushed back so that it closes an opening, which allows water to pass. Thus, with this design, when a user kicks a ski back, blades 132, 142, 152, 162 snap down to close then openings in frames 134, 144, 154, and 164 creating a closed face allowing the ski to brace against the water and propel the user and the other ski forward. At the same time, the alternate ski can move forward because the blades in the ski on the other foot can be in an open position allowing the user to slide that ski forward. The user can thus propel himself forward by alternately kicking one ski back while kicking the other ski forward.

[0062] These blades move in unison resulting from a fine fish-line threaded through each blade at a back center position, this string is knotted on each blade to cause a uniform up and down movement. This fish line is tautly knotted to a bottom of the frame when the blades are in their up position. This allows the blades to drop but not go upward beyond an optimum up position.

[0063] FIG. 24A shows two skis 112 positioned side by side wherein there is also shown a plurality of coupling tracks 170 and 180 which include rails 172 and 182 and clips 174 and 184 (See FIG. 24B) which couple skis 112 together. Clips 174 and 184 contain ball bearings and allow rails 172 and 182 to slide therethrough. FIG. 24B shows ball bearings 175 within clip 174 and hinges 176 on clip 174 in greater detail. FIG. 24C shows a top view of these skis showing a left and right rudder guide 190L and 190R and a left and a right rudder 192L and 192R.

[0064] FIG. 25 shows a rudder guide 190L and 190R and a rudder 192L and 192R which allows the user to rotate these rudders to steer skis 112 in the water. The user can rotate rudders 192L and 192R a total of 90 degrees left on the left board and up to 90 degrees right on the right board to steer the ski. This design allows the user to rotate the rudder 90° on either board, but not simultaneously. This steers skis 112 in the water in the direction that the user chooses. The non-steering ski is there to maintain balance. FIG. 26 shows a side view of these skis which also shows rudder guides 190L and 190R along with rudders 192L and 192R.

[0065] Accordingly, while only a few embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, it is obvious that many changes and modifications may be made thereunto without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.