Title:
Slide body
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A slide body with a top end and a bottom end including a bed portion and sidewalls disposed beside the bed portion respectively on opposite sides thereof. Each sidewall includes an upper portion extending from the top end toward the bottom end, and a lower portion extending from the bottom end toward the top end. The bed portion has a profile substantially defining a path taken by the user sliding from the top end to the bottom end. The upper portion of each sidewall extends above the profile at least a first predetermined distance along a selected length of the upper portion, and the lower portion of each sidewall extends above the profile at least a second predetermined distance along a selected length of the lower portion. The first predetermined distance exceeds the second predetermined distance by a ratio of at least about 2:1.



Inventors:
Rieber, Frederick M. (Hamburg, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/403903
Publication Date:
11/16/2006
Filing Date:
04/13/2006
Assignee:
Solowave Design Inc.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63G21/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, KIEN T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Pequignot + Myers LLC (90 North Coast Highway 101 Suite 315, Encinitas, CA, 92024, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A slide body for a user to slide thereon, the slide body having a top end and a bottom end, the slide body comprising: a bed portion comprising an upper surface adapted for sliding thereon, the bed portion being defined by the upper surface and a lower surface disposed opposite to the upper surface; two sidewalls disposed beside the bed portion respectively on opposite sides thereof; each said sidewall comprising an upper portion extending from the top end toward the bottom end, and a lower portion extending from the bottom end toward the top end; the bed portion having a profile substantially defining a path taken by the user sliding from the top end to the bottom end; the upper portion of each said sidewall extending above the profile at least a first predetermined distance along a selected length of the upper portion; the lower portion of each said sidewall extending above the profile at least a second predetermined distance along a selected length of the lower portion; and the first predetermined distance exceeding the second predetermined distance by a ratio of at least about 2:1.

2. A slide body according to claim 1 in which said two sidewalls are integrally formed with the bed portion.

3. A slide body according to claim 1 additionally comprising at least one longitudinal rib projecting from the lower surface, for strengthening the bed portion.

4. A slide body according to claim 3 in which said at least one longitudinal rib extends substantially from the top end to the bottom end.

5. A slide body according to claim 3 in which said at least one longitudinal rib is integrally formed with the bed portion.

6. A slide body according to claim 3 comprising two longitudinal ribs spaced apart from each other for strengthening the bed portion.

7. A slide body according to claim 3 in which said bed portion has a thickness defined by the upper surface and the lower surface of substantially 4.6 millimetres (0.180 inches).

8. A slide body according to claim 1 in which the profile is substantially sinusoidal.

9. A slide body according to claim 1 in which each said sidewall additionally comprises a middle portion disposed between the upper portion and the lower portion.

10. A slide body for a user to slide thereon, the slide body having a top end and a bottom end, the slide body comprising: a bed portion comprising an upper surface adapted for sliding thereon, the bed portion being defined by the upper surface and a lower surface disposed opposite to the upper surface; and at least one longitudinal rib integrally formed with the bed portion and extending from the top end to the bottom end, for strengthening the bed portion.

11. A slide body according to claim 10 in which the bottom surface is substantially sinusoidal from the top to the bottom.

12. A slide body according to claim 10 in which the bed portion has a thickness defined by the upper surface and the lower surface of substantially 4.6 millimetres (0.180 inches).

13. A slide body according to claim 10 comprising two longitudinal ribs spaced apart from each other for strengthening the bed portion.

14. A slide body according to claim 10 additionally comprising: two sidewalls disposed beside the bed portion respectively on opposite sides thereof; each said sidewall comprising an upper portion extending from the top end toward the bottom end, and a lower portion extending from the bottom end toward the top end; the upper surface of the bed portion having a profile substantially defining a path taken by the user when sliding from the top end to the bottom end; the upper portion of each said sidewall extending upwardly from the profile at least a first predetermined distance along a selected length of the upper portion; the lower portion of each said sidewall extending upwardly from the profile at least a second predetermined distance along a selected length of the lower portion; and the first predetermined distance exceeding the second predetermined distance by a ratio of at least about 2:1.

15. A slide body according to claim 14 in which said two sidewalls are integrally formed with the bed portion.

Description:

This application is a continuation-in-part of prior application Ser. No. 29/229,869, filed May 13, 2005.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention is related to slide bodies for users to slide thereon.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Slides for recreational use are known, and a wide variety of types are available. Typically, a slide includes at least a slide body and fasteners, to fasten the body to a structure supporting a top end of the slide body. However, slides of the prior art have a number of disadvantages.

For example, in general, slide bodies of the prior art are formed of a suitable metal or plastic material (e.g., polyethylene or structural foamed polyethylene). The prior art slide body may be made or formed using any suitable process. For instance, slide bodies made of polyethylene may be injection molded or rotationally molded. More specifically, larger injection molded polyethylene slide bodies may be molded with structural foamed polyethylene with walls exceeding 0.250 inches (6.35 millimetres) in thickness to have sufficient strength. The typical slide body of the prior art (e.g., a slide body about 8 feet long), would require over 20 pounds of polyethylene to mold.

As is known, each slide body typically includes a slide bed portion on which a user slides from a top and of the slide body to the bottom end thereof. The slide bed portion includes a profile thereof which generally defines the path followed by the user sliding down the bed portion. Usually, the slide body also includes two sidewalls extending between the top end and the bottom end of the slide body, disposed on each side of the slide bed portion respectively. However, in the prior art, the extent to which the sidewalls extend above the slide bed is substantially constant along the length of the body. This height may provide some protection from falling for the user at the top, yet to the extent that it provides this, it prevents the user exiting the slide to either side at the bottom. Also, the use of sidewalls of substantially constant height along the slide body requires a substantial amount of material.

There is therefore a need for an improved slide body which overcomes or mitigates one or more of the disadvantages of the prior art.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In its broad aspect, the invention provides a slide body for a user to slide thereon. The slide body has a top end and a bottom end, and includes a bed portion with an upper surface adapted for sliding thereon. The bed portion is defined by the upper surface and a lower surface disposed opposite to the upper surface. The slide body also includes two sidewalls disposed beside the bed portion respectively on opposite sides thereof. Each sidewall includes an upper portion extending from the top end toward the bottom end, and a lower portion extending from the bottom end toward the top end. Also, the bed portion has a profile substantially defining a path taken by the user sliding from the top end to the bottom end. The upper portion of each sidewall extends above the profile at least a first predetermined distance along a selected length of the upper portion. In addition, the lower portion of each sidewall extends above the profile at least a second predetermined distance along a selected length of the lower portion. The first predetermined distance exceeds the second predetermined distance by a ratio of at least about 2:1.

In another aspect, the sidewalls are integrally formed with the bed portion.

In another of its aspects, the slide body additionally includes one or more longitudinal ribs projecting from the lower surface of the bed portion, for strengthening the bed portion.

In yet another aspect, the longitudinal ribs are integrally formed with the bed portion. In another aspect of the invention, the longitudinal ribs extend substantially from the top end to the bottom end.

In yet another aspect, the slide body includes two longitudinal ribs spaced apart from each other, for strengthening the bed portion.

In another aspect of the invention, the profile is substantially sinusoidal.

In another broad aspect, the invention provides a slide body for a user to slide thereon, with a top end and a bottom end. The slide body includes a bed portion comprising an upper surface adapted for sliding thereon. The bed portion is defined by the upper surface and a lower surface disposed opposite to the upper surface. Also, the slide body includes one or more longitudinal ribs integrally formed with the bed portion and extending from the top end to the bottom end, for strengthening the bed portion.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will be better understood with reference to the drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of an embodiment of the slide body of the invention showing an upper surface of a bed portion of the slide body;

FIG. 2 is an isometric view of the slide body of FIG. 1 showing a lower surface of the bed portion thereof;

FIG. 3 is a side view of a right side of the slide body of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a front view of the slide body of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a back view of the slide body of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is another top view of the slide body of FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is another bottom view of the slide body of FIG. 1;

FIG. 8 is an isometric view of the slide body of FIG. 1 including a partial cross-section, drawn at a larger scale;

FIG. 9 is an isometric view of a slide body of the prior art, including partial cross-section; and

FIG. 10 is a longitudinal cross-section of the slide body of FIG. 1 taken along a profile of the bed portion.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Reference is first made to FIGS. 1-8 and 10 to describe an embodiment of a slide body in accordance with the invention indicated generally by the numeral 20. The slide body 20 is adapted for a user (not shown) to slide thereon. As can be seen in FIG. 1, the slide body 20 has a top end 22 and a bottom end 24. Preferably, the slide body 20 includes a bed portion 26 which has an upper surface 28 adapted for sliding thereon. The bed portion 26 is at least partially defined by the upper surface 28 and a lower surface 30 (FIG. 8) disposed opposite to the upper surface 28.

The slide body 20 also includes two sidewalls 32, 34 which are positioned beside the bed portion 26 respectively on opposite sides thereof and integrally formed with the bed portion 26. In the embodiment shown, each sidewall 32, 34 has an upper portion 36, 38 respectively, and each upper portion 36, 38 extends from the top end 22 toward the bottom end 24 (FIG. 6). Each sidewall 32, 34 also includes a lower portion 40, 42 respectively, and each lower portion 40, 42 extends from the bottom end 24 toward the top end 22 (FIG. 6). Also, and as can be seen in FIG. 10, the bed portion 26 has a profile 44 substantially defining a path taken by the user sliding from the top end 22 to the bottom end 24, as will be described. (It will be understood that only one sidewall, namely the sidewall 32, is shown in FIG. 10, in order to simplify the drawing. It will also be understood that the relationship of the sidewall 34 to the profile 44 is the same in all material respects.)

The upper portion 36, 38 of each sidewall 32, 34 respectively extends above the profile at least a first predetermined distance “A” along a selected length 46 of each of the upper portions 36, 38. Also, the lower portion 40, 42 of each sidewall 32, 34 extends above the profile 44 at least a second predetermined distance “B” along a selected length 48 of each of the lower portions 40, 42. It is preferred that the first predetermined distance exceeds the second predetermined distance by a ratio of at least about 2:1, as will be described.

As is known in the art, in use, the top end 22 is supported by, and attached to, a supporting structure (not shown) so that the top end 22 is maintained above the bottom end 24. This difference in elevations of the top end 22 and the bottom end 24 results in the bed portion 26 being maintained at a predetermined slope, so that the user slides from the top end 22 to the bottom end 24 under the influence of gravity. Preferably, holes 47, 48 are provided at the top end 22 (FIG. 6) to facilitate attachment of the top end 22 to the supporting structure.

Also, it is preferred that the slide body 20 includes a bottom stub portion 49 (FIG. 4) which is aligned with the bed portion 26 and extends from a lower end 60 of the bed portion 26 to a foot portion 62. The foot portion 62 is adapted to be positioned on a ground level (not shown). Although the stub portion 49 is not necessary, it is preferred because enables the user to exit from the bed portion 26 more easily. This is because the stub portion 49 positions the lower end 60 of the bed portion 26 a predetermined distance above the ground level. Accordingly, the user, when at the lower end 60, can be in an upright sitting position, from which position the user can relatively easily stand.

As can be seen in FIGS. 2, 5, 7, 8, and 10, the slide body 20 preferably includes longitudinal ribs 50, 52 projecting from the lower surface 30, for strengthening the bed portion 26. Preferably, the longitudinal ribs 50, 52 are integrally formed with the bed portion 26. In the preferred embodiment, the longitudinal ribs 50, 52 extend substantially from the top end 22 to the bottom end 24. Also, it is preferred that the longitudinal ribs 50, 52 are spaced apart from each other by a predetermined distance (shown as “X” in FIG. 5), for strengthening the bed portion 26. As can be seen in FIG. 8, the thickness of the bed portion 26 is defined by the upper surface 28 and the lower surface 30. Because of the longitudinal ribs 50, 52, the thickness of the bed portion 26 can be decreased somewhat from that which would be required in the absence of longitudinal ribs. For example, in one embodiment, the bed portion 26 preferably has a thickness of about substantially 4.6 millimetres (0.180 inches) if longitudinal ribs about 51 millimetres (2 inches) high are integrally formed with the bed portion 26.

Preferably, and as can be seen in FIG. 10, the profile 44 is substantially sinusoidal. As can also be seen in FIGS. 6 and 10, it is also preferred that the sidewalls 32, 34 each include middle portions 54, 56 positioned between the upper portions 36, 38 and the lower portions 40, 42 respectively.

The slide body 20 is preferably made of polyethylene which is injection molded, as is known in the art. For instance, in an embodiment of the slide body 20 which is approximately 7 ½ feet long, the height of the upper portions relative to the profile preferably is about 178 millimetres (7 inches), and the distance from the top of the lower portions to the profile (measured substantially orthogonal to the upper surface of the bed portion) is approximately 89 millimetres (3 ½ inches). Also, the top of the middle portion is located approximately 89 millimetres (3 ½ inches) above the profile.

Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the slide body 20 may be formed in various ways, and that certain features thereof are not necessarily integrally formed with the bed portion 26. For instance, the sidewalls 32, 34 need not necessarily be integrally formed with the bed portion 26, although it is preferable (for strength) that they be integrally so formed, and if formed via injection molding or other suitable methods, it is also convenient. Similarly, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the longitudinal ribs 50, 52 are not necessarily integrally formed with the bed portion 26. However, it is preferable that the longitudinal ribs 50, 52 be integrally formed with the bed portion 26.

It will also be appreciated that the upper surface 28 of the bed portion 26 may or may not be substantially planar, i.e., at any given distance from the top end (or the bottom end). That, the profile may be at about the same elevation across a width of the bed portion at any given distance from the top end (or the bottom end). However, as is known in the art, the upper surface 28 may include a groove (or trough) which, at its lowest extent, defines the profile along the length of the bed portion 26.

Any element in a claim that does not explicitly state “means for” performing a specified function, or “step for” performing a specific function, is not to be interpreted as a “means” or “step” clause as specified in 35 U.S.C. §112, paragraph 6.

It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the invention can take many forms, and that such forms are within the scope of the invention as claimed. Therefore, the spirit and scope of the appended claims should not be limited to the descriptions of the preferred versions contained herein.