Title:
Trampoline accessory
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A trampoline accessory having a water conduit and water conduit securing means for securing the water conduit to the mat of a trampoline. The water conduit has a water supply inlet and a plurality of water discharging outlets. The water supply inlet is preferably of a first diameter, and the water discharging outlets are preferably of a second diameter, with the first diameter being greater than the second diameter. The water supply inlet preferably includes a diverter, with the diverter creating at least two flow paths. The trampoline securing means may be selected from a group which includes cable ties, cooperative hook and loop straps, grommets, fabric straps, plastic straps, belts, snaps, clasps, and clips. The water conduit itself is preferably fabricated having a hose connector and a hose. As so fabricated, the hose has at least one fitting, with the fitting engaging the hose connector. In the preferred embodiment, the hose has two fittings, with each of the fittings engaging the hose connector. The fitting and the hose connector preferably are formed have cooperating male and female connections.



Inventors:
Overholt, Chad E. (Lima, OH, US)
Application Number:
11/230445
Publication Date:
03/22/2007
Filing Date:
09/21/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B5/11
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, DINH Q
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Patrick P. Phillips (Kremblas, Foster, Phillips & Pollick 7632 Slate Ridge Blvd, Reynolsdburg, OH, 43068, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A trampoline accessory comprising a water conduit, said conduit having a water supply inlet, a sidewall, and a plurality of water discharging outlets, and water conduit securing means, said water conduit securing means securing said water conduit to a trampoline, said water conduit being secured to the mat of the trampoline.

2. The trampoline accessory according to claim 1 wherein said water supply inlet is of a first diameter, and said water discharging outlets are of a second diameter, said first diameter being greater than said second diameter.

3. The trampoline accessory according to claim 1 wherein said water supply inlet includes a diverter, said diverter creating at least two flow paths.

4. The trampoline accessory according to claim 1 wherein said trampoline securing means is selected from a group comprising cable ties, cooperative hook and loop straps, grommets, fabric straps, plastic straps, belts, snaps, clasps, clips, cooperative hook and loop fasteners with the hook and loop components of said fasteners being on opposed surfaces of the trampoline mat and said water conduit sidewall, and adhesives.

5. The trampoline accessory according to claim 1 wherein said water conduit comprises a hose connector and a hose.

6. The trampoline accessory according to claim 5 wherein said hose has at least one fitting, said fitting engaging said hose connector.

7. The trampoline accessory according to claim 6 wherein said hose has two fittings, each of said fittings engaging said hose connector.

8. The trampoline accessory according to claim 5 wherein said fitting and said hose connector have cooperating male and female connections.

9. The trampoline accessory according to claim 5 wherein said hose is of a diameter of approximately 0.5″.

10. The trampoline accessory according to claim 1 wherein the majority of said water discharging outlets are spaced apart from directly adjacent water discharging outlets a first distance, said first distance being in the range of 2-10″.

11. A trampoline comprising a support structure and a mat, said mat having secured thereto a water conduit, said conduit having a water supply inlet, a sidewall, and a plurality of water discharging outlets, and a water conduit securing means, said water conduit securing means securing said water conduit to a trampoline such that said water conduit sidewall is attached to said mat of said trampoline.

12. The trampoline according to claim 11 wherein said water supply inlet is of a first diameter, and said water discharging outlets are of a second diameter, said first diameter being greater than said second diameter.

13. The trampoline according to claim 11 wherein said water supply inlet includes a diverter, said diverter creating at least two flow paths.

14. The trampoline according to claim 11 wherein said trampoline securing means is selected from a group comprising cable ties, cooperative hook and loop straps, grommets, fabric straps, plastic straps, belts, snaps, clasps, clips, cooperative hook and loop fasteners with the hook and loop components of said fasteners being on opposed surfaces of the trampoline mat and said water conduit sidewall, and adhesives.

15. The trampoline according to claim 11 wherein said water conduit comprises a hose connector and a hose.

16. The trampoline according to claim 15 wherein said hose has at least one fitting, said fitting engaging said hose connector.

17. The trampoline according to claim 16 wherein said hose has two fittings, each of said fittings engaging said hose connector.

18. The trampoline according to claim 15 wherein said fitting and said hose connector have cooperating male and female connections.

19. The trampoline according to claim 15 wherein said hose is of a diameter of approximately 0.5″.

20. The trampoline according to claim 15 wherein the majority of said water discharging outlets are spaced apart from directly adjacent water discharging outlets a first distance, said first distance being in the range of 2-10″.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field Of The Invention

This invention relates generally to an accessory item for trampolines, and more particularly, to a trampoline accessory that facilitates the spraying of water onto individuals when using the trampoline, and even more particularly to such an accessory that directs the spraying from essentially the entire periphery of the trampoline regardless of trampoline surface shape.

2. Description Of The Related Art

This invention is directed to a trampoline accessory that is dissimilar from other known accessories for trampolines. The trampoline itself can be traced to archaeological drawings in ancient China, Egypt and Persia. From then until the mid-twentieth century, a number of methods were devised to allow man to gain time in the air. The trampoline is one of these methods.

However, the modern day trampoline was not invented until 1936, when it was developed by two Americans as an alternative to having to repair trapeze netting. While the sport of trampoline has since progressed to the point that in 2000 it was recognized an Olympic sport, the popularity of the trampoline as a recreational diversion has expanded just as much, if not more. As a result, now there are a plurality of trampoline surface sizes and shapes. In addition, some trampoline surfaces are now found decorated with colorful designs or artwork. Still further, above-ground trampolines surrounded by safety netting are found in countless yards across the country. In addition to having in-ground and above-ground trampolines, more recently an inflatable trampoline for use on bodies of water (i.e. pools, lakes, ponds) has been developed.

Even with the evolution of the modern trampoline, much of the structure associated with trampolines remains essentially unchanged. Furthermore, some trampoline users lose interest in continuing to use the device if all they can do is merely jump up and down, as that activity for some can quickly become boring. It is thus apparent that the need exists for an improvement for trampolines, whether in the form of an accessory for, or as an integral component of, a trampoline.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the present invention, there is disclosed a trampoline accessory having a water conduit, and means for securing the conduit to a trampoline, preferably to the mat thereof. The water conduit has a water supply inlet and a plurality of water discharging outlets. The water supply inlet is preferably of a first diameter, and the water discharging outlets are preferably of a second diameter, with the first diameter being greater than the second diameter.

The water supply inlet preferably includes a diverter, with the diverter creating at least two flow paths. The trampoline securing means may be selected from a group which includes cable ties, cooperative hook and loop straps, grommets, fabric straps, plastic straps, belts, snaps, clasps, and clips. In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the device utilizes cable ties which pass over the conduit and are secured to a pad secured to the mat. Preferably the pad comprises at least one eyelet through which each cable tie passes before its opposite ends are secured in the manner well known in the fastener art.

The water conduit itself is preferably fabricated having a hose connector and a hose. As so fabricated, the hose has at least one fitting, with the fitting engaging the hose connector. In the preferred embodiment, the hose has two fittings, with each of the fittings engaging the hose connector. The fitting and the hose connector preferably are formed have cooperating male and female connections.

In the preferred embodiment, the hose is of a diameter of approximately 0.5″. Also, the majority of the water discharging outlets are spaced apart from directly adjacent water discharging outlets a first distance, with the first distance being in the range of 2-10″.

There is also disclosed a trampoline having secured thereto a water conduit by means for securing the conduit to the trampoline. The water conduit has a water supply inlet and a plurality of water discharging outlets. The water supply inlet is preferably of a first diameter, and the water discharging outlets are preferably of a second diameter, with the first diameter being greater than the second diameter.

The water supply inlet preferably includes a diverter, with the diverter creating at least two flow paths. The trampoline securing means may be selected from a group which includes cable ties, cooperative hook and loop straps, grommets, fabric straps, plastic straps, belts, snaps, clasps, and clips. In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the device utilizes cable ties which pass over the conduit and are secured to a pad having its lower surface secured to the upper surface of the trampoline mat. Preferably the pad comprises at least one eyelet through which each cable tie passes before its opposite ends are secured in the manner well known in the fastener art.

The water conduit itself is preferably fabricated having a hose connector and a hose. As so fabricated, the hose has at least one fitting, with the fitting engaging the hose connector. In the preferred embodiment, the hose has two fittings, with each of the fittings engaging the hose connector. The fitting and the hose connector preferably are formed have cooperating male and female connections.

In the preferred embodiment, the hose is of a diameter of approximately 0.5″. Also, the majority of the water discharging outlets are spaced apart from directly adjacent water discharging outlets a first distance, with the first distance being in the range of 2-10″.

The primary objective of this invention is to provide an accessory for trampolines that facilitates the spraying of individuals while they are using the trampoline.

Another objective of this invention is to provide such an accessory that can be easily assembled and installed onto a trampoline.

Yet another objective of this invention is to provide a device that can be sold as an integral component of a trampoline, instead of as a separate accessory which would need to be installed on the trampoline.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description, the accompanying drawings and the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a trampoline accessory made in accordance with the present invention, and shown in use.

FIG. 2 is a modified embodiment of the invention shown in use.

In describing the preferred embodiment of the invention which is illustrated in the drawings, specific terminology will be resorted to for the sake of clarity. However, it is not intended that the invention be limited to the specific term so selected and it is to be understood that each specific term includes all technical equivalents which operate in a similar manner to accomplish a similar purpose.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Having reference to the drawings, attention is directed first to FIG. 1, which discloses a trampoline accessory designated generally by the numeral 10. In the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 1, it will be appreciated that the trampoline accessory has a water conduit 12, and means for securing the conduit to a trampoline 14. In this embodiment of the invention, the securing takes place between the water conduit 12 and mat 16 of the trampoline with which it is used, such that the water conduit rests on the upper surface 16 or mat of the trampoline.

The water conduit 12 in this embodiment of the invention is shown as having a water supply inlet 20 and a plurality of water discharging outlets 25. The water supply inlet 20 is preferably of a first diameter, and the water discharging outlets 25 are preferably of a second diameter, with the first diameter being greater than the second diameter. The water supply inlet 20 preferably includes a diverter 30, with the diverter 30 creating at least two flow paths 33 and 35. The diverter could take the form of a 3-way hose connection or another common connector. Although only one hose 41 is shown in the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 1, it would be possible for the water supply inlet 20 to be formed integrally with the hose 41. Furthermore, the water supply inlet 20 could be connected to the hose, such that there is only one flow path, with the distal end of the hose being closed by a conventional hose end cap or other equivalent device.

The trampoline securing means 14 may be selected from a group which includes cable ties, cooperative hook and loop straps, grommets, fabric straps, plastic straps, belts, snaps, clasps, clips, cooperative hook and loop fasteners, and even an adhesive affixed to the underside of the hose. Regardless of the type of securing means used, instead of the sidewalls of the water conduit being in direct contact with the frame of the trampoline, the water conduit in this invention has its sidewalls in contact with the trampoline mat 16.

In the preferred embodiment of the invention, a plurality of pads 15 are secured to the mat surface. Each pad has at least one eyelet 15a through which a portion of a fastener may pass. In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the fastener is a cable tie which effectively encircles the conduit and has the opposite ends of the tie attached together after one end has passed through the pad eyelet 15a. The pads may be secured to the mat by fastening means such as grommets, adhesive, or hook and loop cooperative tape.

The water conduit itself is preferably fabricated having a hose connector 40 and a hose 41. As so fabricated, the hose 41 has at least one fitting 42, with the fitting 42 engaging a hose connector 40. In the preferred embodiment, the hose 41 has two fittings 42, with each of the fittings 42 engaging a hose connector 40. The fitting 42 and the hose connector 40 preferably are formed have cooperating male and female connections. Regardless of the embodiment, for a more aesthetically pleasing appearance, the hose may be fabricated in a bright color, such as red, yellow, blue, green or purple. Similarly, the hose connector may be fabricated from a bright colored plastic. In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the conduit, or at least the portion of it which rests on the mat surface, is encased in a foam cover 44, it being understood that the water discharging outlets pass through the cover 44 as well.

In the preferred embodiment, the hose 41 is of a diameter of approximately 0.5″. While the diameter of the water discharging outlets could vary, in the preferred embodiment of the invention their diameter is about 0.0625″. Also, the majority of the water discharging outlets 25 are spaced apart from directly adjacent water discharging outlets 25 a first distance, with the first distance being in the range of 2-10″, with a distance of 4″ believed to be optimal.

Furthermore, while the holes are drilled in the outer surface of the hose, preferably in the upwardly facing surface, they could be drilled at various levels to effect various levels of spray. Additionally, 0.25″ long grommets 26 could be inserted into the holes to form channels which would not tend to close as could be the case if the passageways formed by the holes do not have adequate support. The inserts 26 could be cylindrical, or taper slightly inwardly from top to bottom for easier insertion. The grommets 26 are formed from a rigid or semi-rigid material such as metal or appropriate plastic, such that their walls would frictionally engage with the walls of the holes once punched or drilled.

There is also disclosed in FIG. 2, a modified embodiment of the invention. Here is disclosed a trampoline 110 having secured integrally thereto a water conduit 112 by means for securing the conduit to the trampoline 114. In this modified embodiment of the invention, the securing is shown as taking place on the trampoline's upper surface 116.

The water conduit 112 has a water supply inlet 120 and a plurality of water discharging outlets 125. The water supply inlet 120 is preferably of a first diameter, and the water discharging outlets 125 are preferably of a second diameter, with the first diameter being greater than the second diameter.

Although the water supply inlet 120 preferably includes a diverter 130, with the diverter 130 creating at least two flow paths 133 and 135 respectively as shown in FIG. 1, it can be appreciated that a single flow path can be utilized as discussed above. The trampoline securing means 114 may be selected from a group which includes cable ties, cooperative hook and loop straps, grommets, fabric straps, plastic straps, belts, snaps, clasps, clips, and even an adhesive affixed to the underside of the hose such that the sidewall of the water conduit is in direct contact with the top of the trampoline mat. The trampoline securing means may also be of the form discussed above with respect to the preferred embodiment of FIG. 1.

The water conduit itself 112 is preferably fabricated having a hose connector 140 and a hose 141. As so fabricated, the hose 141 has at least one fitting 142, with the fitting 142 engaging the hose connector 140. In the preferred embodiment, the hose has two fittings 142, with each of the fittings engaging a hose connector 140. Each fitting and the hose connector preferably are formed have cooperating male and female connections, although they could be squeezed together in a friction fit or one using fasteners, such as rivets. In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the conduit is encased in a foam or other covering which provides a cushion in the event that the user comes into contact with the conduit through a fall, it being understood that the water discharging outlets pass through the cover 144 as well.

In this embodiment, the hose once again is of a diameter of approximately 0.5″. Also, the majority of the water discharging outlets are spaced apart from directly adjacent water discharging outlets a first distance, with the first distance being in the range of 2-10″, with a distance of 4″ believed to be optimal.

In actual use, an accessory for trampolines is provided that facilitates the spraying of individuals while they are using the trampoline. The water conduit is connected to an outdoor water spigot and water is caused to flow therethrough. Ultimately, as the water is forced from the hose through the water discharging outlets, a spray effect is created. Depending on the spacing of the water discharging outlets, the diameter of such outlets, the relative vertical placement of the water discharging outlets, and the water pressure of the water flowing through the hose, the size, force, and distribution of the water droplets in the spray can be controlled.

Another aspect of this invention is that in the form of the invention wherein the invention is sold as a trampoline accessory, it can easily be installed on a trampoline. On the other hand, in the case of the integral trampoline embodiment, the device can be easily incorporated into a trampoline's design.

Still another aspect of this invention is that it can be made to be aesthetically pleasing, especially to young children, by the use of colorful hose or hose covers and colorful connectors. For older children and teens, the colors chosen could reflect professional, collegiate, or high school team colors. Thus, the components of this entertaining product would be extremely affordable.

While the form of apparatus herein described constitutes a preferred embodiment of the present invention, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to this precise form of apparatus and that changes may be made therein without departing from the scope of the invention which is defined in the appended claims.





 
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