Title:
System for securing a board
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A system for securing a board is disclosed. The system comprises an attachment element, wherein the attachment element is adhesively affixed to the board and a cable, wherein the cable is capable of being coupled to the attachment element. Accordingly, the present invention provides an easy to use system that can securely lock the board when the board is not being used. In addition, the present invention also provides a tether/leash-type mechanism for connecting the board to the rider.



Inventors:
Leaf, Eric D. (San Francisco, CA, US)
Oxford, Jonathan Douglas (San Francisco, CA, US)
Application Number:
09/534833
Publication Date:
09/19/2002
Filing Date:
03/24/2000
Assignee:
LEAF ERIC D.
OXFORD JONATHAN DOUGLAS
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63C5/03; A63C11/00; (IPC1-7): A63C11/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FISCHMANN, BRYAN R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Joseph A Sawyer Jr (Palo Alto, CA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A system for securing a board comprising: an attachment element, wherein the attachment element is adhesively affixed to the board; and a cable, wherein the cable is capable of being coupled to the attachment element.

2. The system of claim 1 wherein the cable further comprises a locking element.

3. The system of claim 2 wherein the locking element comprises a lock post and a lock post controller coupled to the lock post.

4. The system of claim 3 wherein the locking element is made of a plastic material.

5. The system of claim 4 wherein the plastic material comprises Xenoy.

6. The system of claim 2 wherein the cable comprises a looped portion, the looped portion being capable of being coupled to the attachment element.

7. The system of claim 6 wherein the attachment element comprises a hinge element.

8. The system of claim 7 wherein the hinge element operates in a spring-like fashion.

9. The system of claim 8 wherein the hinge element is molded into the attachment element.

10. The system of claim 8 wherein the attachment element is made of a plastic material.

11. The system of claim 10 wherein the plastic material comprises Xenoy.

12. The system of claim 3 or 6 wherein the board comprises a snowboard.

13. The system of claim 3 or 6 wherein the board comprises a surfboard.

14. The system of claim 3 or 6 wherein the board comprises a ski.

15. A system for securing a board comprising: an attachment element, wherein the attachment element is adhesively affixed to the board; and a cable, the cable having a first end, wherein the first end comprises a looped portion capable of being coupled to the attachment element, and a second end wherein the second end comprises a locking element, wherein the locking element comprises a lock post and a lock post controller coupled to the lock post.

16. The system of claim 15 wherein the locking element is made of a plastic material.

17. The system of claim 16 wherein the plastic material comprises Xenoy.

18. The system of claim 15 wherein the attachment element comprises a hinge element.

19. The system of claim 18 wherein the hinge element operates in a spring-like fashion.

20. The system of claim 19 wherein the hinge element is molded into the attachment element.

21. The system of claim 20 wherein the attachment element is made of a plastic material.

22. The system of claim 21 wherein the plastic material comprises Xenoy.

23. The system of claim 16 or 18 wherein the board comprises a snowboard.

24. The system of claim 16 or 18 wherein the board comprises a surfboard.

25. The system of claim 16 or 18 wherein the board comprises a ski.

26. A system for securing a board comprising: an attachment element, wherein the attachment element is adhesively affixed to the board, the attachment element comprising a hinge element, wherein the hinge element is molded into the attachment element and operates in a spring-like fashion, the attachment element being made of a plastic material; and a cable, the cable having a first end, wherein the first end comprises a looped portion capable of being coupled to the attachment element, and a second end, wherein the second end comprises a locking element, the locking element being made of the plastic material, wherein the locking element comprises a lock, a lock post, and a lock post controller.

27. The system of claim 26 wherein the board comprises a snowboard.

28. The system of claim 26 wherein the board comprises a surfboard.

29. The system of claim 26 wherein the board comprises a ski.

Description:

FIELD OF INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates generally to snowboarding and more particularly to a system for securing a board.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] In recent years, the sport of snowboarding has steadily increased in popularity. Snowboarding involves the use of a wide, flat ski-like runner upon which a rider/snowboarder places both feet. The rider then maneuvers the snowboard down the ski slope using a constant motion of his knees and ankles. FIG. 1 is an illustration of a conventional snowboard 10. As can be seen in FIG. 1, the snowboard 10 includes mounting holes 12 wherein a rider can mount boot-binding fixtures 14.

[0003] However, along with the increase in the popularity of snowboarding comes in increase in snowboard theft. When a rider is resting, eating lunch, shopping, etc., he has a tendency to put the snowboard down and leave it unattended. Unless the snowboard is locked to a stationary object, an unscrupulous individual will more than likely seize any opportunity to pilfer an unlocked snowboard.

[0004] Though snowboard locks have been available on the market for some time now, they are rarely used on the slopes. This is due to the fact that most of the existing designs require that the snowboarder carry over three feet of cable and a lock in their pocket. This both offsets the snowboarders balance and can cause bruising if the snowboarder falls the wrong way and lands on the lock/cable.

[0005] A further aspect of the sport of snowboarding is the notion that the snowboard should somehow be connected to the rider. Many ski resorts and snowboarding areas stringently require that a rider must have some form of tether or leash-type mechanism connecting the snowboard to the rider when the rider is performing maneuvers. The incorporation of the tether/leash-type mechanism with the snowboard prevents the snowboard from causing injury to a third-party should the snowboard become detached from the rider during a maneuver.

[0006] Accordingly, what is needed is a device that can securely lock the snowboard when the snowboard is not being used while at the same time provide a tether/leash-type mechanism for connecting the snowboard to the rider. The present invention addresses such a need.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] A system for securing a board is disclosed. The system comprises an attachment element, wherein the attachment element is adhesively affixed to the board and a cable, wherein the cable is capable of being coupled to the attachment element.

[0008] Accordingly, the present invention provides an easy to use system that can securely lock the board when the board is not being used. In addition, the present invention also provides a tether/leash-type mechanism for connecting the board to the rider.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0009] FIG. 1 is an illustration of a conventional snowboard.

[0010] FIG. 2 shows a system in accordance with the present invention.

[0011] FIG. 3 shows an attachment element in accordance with the present invention.

[0012] FIG. 4 shows the attachment element in accordance with the present invention whereby the looped portion of the cable is coupled thereto.

[0013] FIG. 5 shows a locking element in accordance with the present invention.

[0014] FIG. 5(a) shows the lock post in an open position.

[0015] FIG. 5(b) shows the lock post in a closed position.

[0016] FIG. 6 shows the attachment element appropriately affixed near the center of the snowboard wherein the cable is attached to the attachment element via the looped portion and the locking element is clipped to the riders boot.

[0017] FIG. 7(a) shows how a rider on a chair lift securely wedges his boot between the snowboard and the cable.

[0018] FIG. 7(b) illustrates the level snowboard.

[0019] FIG. 7(c) shows a rider sitting on the cable/locking element.

[0020] FIG. 8(a) shows a rider carrying a snowboard over his shoulder.

[0021] FIG. 8(b) shows a rider carrying a snowboard over his head and shoulder.

[0022] FIG. 9(a) shows how the system in accordance with the present invention is utilized to lock a snowboard to a railing.

[0023] FIG. 9(b) is an exploded view of the attachment element wherein the loop portion and the locking element are coupled thereto.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0024] The present invention provides a system for securing a board. The following description is presented to enable one of ordinary skill in the art to make and use the invention and is provided in the context of a patent application and its requirements. Various modifications to the preferred embodiment will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art and the generic principles herein may be applied to other embodiments. Thus, the present invention is not intended to be limited to the embodiments shown but is to be accorded the widest scope consistent with the principles and features described herein.

[0025] The present invention is disclosed in the context of a preferred embodiment. The preferred embodiment of the present invention is a system for securing a board. Preferably, the board comprises a snowboard. Accordingly, the system in accordance with the present invention provides a tether/leash type mechanism for connecting the snowboard to the rider. Furthermore, the system in accordance with the present invention can securely lock the snowboard to a stationary object when the snowboard is not in use.

[0026] Although the following description of the preferred embodiment of the system in accordance with the present invention is described in the context of being utilized with a snowboard, one of ordinary skill in the art will readily recognize that the system in accordance with the present invention could be utilized in conjunction with any board (i.e. ski, surfboard, boogie board, etc.) and still remain within the spirit and scope of the present invention.

[0027] For a further description of the system in accordance with the present invention, please refer now to FIG. 2. FIG. 2 shows a system 20 in accordance with the present invention. The system 20 comprises a cable 25 and an attachment element 22. The cable 25 comprises a first end 23 and a second end 26. Preferably, the first end comprises a looped portion 24 and the second end 26 comprises a locking element 27. The looped portion 24 is capable of being removeably coupled to the attachment element 22 wherein the attachment element 22 is affixed to a snowboard 28.

[0028] For a further description of the attachment element 22, please refer now to FIG. 3. FIG. 3 shows an attachment element 22 in accordance with the present invention. The attachment element 22 is preferably made of a hard plastic material that is capable of maintaining its tensile strength in cold weather. A preferred material is Xenoy. The attachment element 22 comprises a hinge element 32 and an opening 34. The hinge element 32 is preferably made of a metal material that is molded into the attachment element 22 during the manufacture of the attachment element 22.

[0029] The ends of the hinge element 22 are offset thereby allowing the hinge element 22 to operate in a spring-like fashion. The looped portion 24 is easily coupled to the attachment element 22 by depressing the hinge element 22 with the looped portion 24 of the cable 25 and sliding the looped portion 24 through the opening 34. Once the looped portion 24 is coupled to the attachment element 22, the cable 25 can easily pivot in any direction. FIG. 4 shows the attachment element 22 in accordance with the present invention whereby the looped portion 24 of the cable 25 is coupled thereto.

[0030] For a better understanding of the locking element 27, please refer now to FIG. 5. FIG. 5 shows a locking element 27 in accordance with the present invention. The locking element 27 is also preferably made of a hard plastic material that is capable of maintaining its tensile strength in cold weather. A preferred material is Xenoy. The locking element comprises a lock post 42, a lock post controller 44 and a lock 46. The lock post 42 is preferably spring-loaded whereby the lock post controller 44 is utilized to interchangeable move the lock post 42 between an open and closed position. FIG. 5(a) shows the lock post 42 in an open position and FIG. 5(b) shows the lock post 42 in a closed position.

[0031] The attachment element 22 should be appropriately mounted on the snowboard in order for the system in accordance with the present invention to function optimally. Snowboards are typically designed with multiple mounting holes, so that the rider can appropriately mount the boot-binding fixtures according to the conditions. For example, on a hard pack day a rider will move their bindings towards the front of the snowboard so that the rider can better maneuver the snowboard. On a deep powder day, the boot-binding fixtures are moved back towards the tail of the board to help keep the rider's weight back and their board's tip up on top of the snow.

[0032] Consequently, in order to properly mount the attachment element 22, the front binding is preferably moved to the mounting holes closest to the rear of the snowboard. From this position, the rider places his boot into the front boot-binding fixture and clips the locking element onto the bootlaces closest to the rider's toes. The looped portion 24 of the cable 25 is then wrapped once around the boot and extending back towards the center of the snowboard. If the rider's stance is with his left foot forward, the cable 25 should wrap clockwise around the boot. If the rider's stance is with his right foot forward, the cable 25 should wrap counter clockwise around the boot. The attachment element 22 should then be affixed near the center of the snowboard wherein the cable 25, once attached to the attachment element 22 via the looped portion 24, has enough slack so as not to constrict the rider's front foot when he is leaning into turns. The slack in the cable 25 can be adjusted by clipping the locking element 27 onto bootlaces higher up on the rider's boot. FIG. 6 shows the attachment element 22 appropriately affixed near the center of the snowboard 28 wherein the cable 25 is attached to the attachment element 22 via the looped portion 24 and the locking element 27 is clipped to the riders boot 29. Additionally, if the rider needs to move the bindings forward, the locking element 27 can be clipped to the rider's boot at a different location to accommodate for the adjustment.

[0033] The actual physical mounting process of the attachment element 22 is fairly simple. First, the consumer will have to clean the area on the board where the attachment element 22 is to be attached. This is best accomplished with rubbing alcohol or similar cleaning product. The attachment element 22 is then adhesively attached to the snowboard. A preferred adhesive system is manufactured by 3M. In such a system, an applicator much like a felt pen is used to apply a primer fluid to the area on the board where the attachment element 22 is to be attached. This dries quickly leaving a tacky layer on the snowboard. Next, a piece of double-sided tape is preferably attached to the bottom of the attachment element 22. The attachment element 22 is then affixed to the area where the primer fluid was applied. Direct downward pressure is then applied to the attachment element 22. After 24 hours, the adhesive qualities of such a system reach full strength wherein it is virtually impossible to remove the attachment element 22 from the snowboard.

[0034] The system in accordance with the present invention offers several advantages. First it functions as a leash. Most resorts require that snowboarders use some sort of leash or restraining strap with the snowboard in order to prevent the snowboard from causing injury to a third-party should the snowboard become detached from the rider during a maneuver. Accordingly, the system in accordance with the present invention provides this functionality to the snowboard rider.

[0035] Another advantage in using the system in accordance with the present invention is that the attachment element 22 replaces the conventional stomp pad. Conventional stomp pads are usually made of rubber compounds and are glued onto the snowboard between the bindings near the rear binding. Before getting onto a chair lift, snowboarders must release their rear foot from it's binding in order to be able to scoot through the chair lift line. Upon reaching the top of the lift, the rider steps onto the stomp pad to maintain control while sliding down the ramp. After dismounting from the chair lift, snowboarders must then reattach their rear binding. Before this is done, the stomp pad is used to clear snow and ice chunks from the bottom of the boot. Accordingly, through the appropriate placement of the attachment element 22, the attachment element 22 can be utilized to provide the above-described functionality of the conventional stomp pad.

[0036] Once on the chair lift, one of the most important features of the system in accordance with the present invention is observed. Because snowboarders have to remove their rear boot from it's binding to scoot themselves through lift lines, the snowboard tends to dangle from one foot during the chair lift ride. This is a very unbalanced weight (typically 20 lbs), and causes severe pain to the attached foot. Every snowboarder suffers from “chair lift deadfoot,” wherein the muscles along the outer edge of the front foot and leg can cramp and wear out, causing the snowboarder to lose more and more control as the day progresses. Furthermore, snowboarders have problems on chair lifts keeping their snowboards from banging into other people's equipment. Skis are particularly vulnerable to the free swinging diagonal hang of a snowboard.

[0037] The system in accordance with the present invention addresses these problems by allowing the rider to support and level the tail end of the snowboard during the chair lift ride. After the rider gets on the chair lift, he can slip his free boot toe under the cable and slide it back towards the attachment element in order to securely wedge the boot between the board and the cable. This levels the board and equally divides the weight of the snowboard between both of the riders feet. FIG. 7(a) shows how a rider 70 on a chair lift 72 securely wedges his boot between the snowboard 74 and the cable 76 and FIG. 7(b) illustrates the level snowboard 74′. Accordingly, just before dismounting the chair lift, the rider slips his foot free from the cable, and slides down the ramp normally.

[0038] If the chair lift ride is to be shared with a skier, the system in accordance with the present invention can be utilized to help keep the skis and board from banging against each other, as well as leveling off the tail. After detaching the boot from the rear binding, the rider unclips the locking element, and unwraps the cable from his front boot. Once on the chair lift, the rider can sit on the cable/locking element and control the tail end of the board. FIG. 7(c) shows a rider 80 sitting on the cable/locking element 82. Alternatively, the locking element can be held by the rider or it could be clipped onto the rider's belt.

[0039] Additionally, the system in accordance with the present invention easily adapts as a carrying strap for the snowboard. With the looped portion of the cable inserted into the attachment element, the locking element can be clipped onto the front binding. The rider can then pull the cable over his shoulder. FIG. 8(a) shows a rider 90 carrying a snowboard 92 over his shoulder.

[0040] Alternatively, if the rider wants to carry his snowboard and have his hands free, he can pull the strap over their head and a shoulder and the board will lay across their back. FIG. 8(b) shows a rider 95 carrying a snowboard 96 over his head and shoulder. This is a particularly attractive feature for riders who like to hike off of the trails for fresh powder runs, and need their hands free for scrambling and clearing a path.

[0041] The system in accordance with the present invention also serves as a means for securely locking the snowboard to a stationary object. With the looped portion still coupled to the attachment element, the cable can be run around a railing or other solid object and the locking element is then coupled to the attachment element. The lock post is then locked in the closed position. FIG. 9(a) shows how the system in accordance with the present invention is utilized to lock a snowboard 100 to a railing 102. FIG. 9(b) is an exploded view of the attachment element 104 wherein the looped portion 106 and the locking element 108 are coupled thereto.

[0042] Although the present invention has been described in accordance with the embodiments shown, one of ordinary skill in the art will readily recognize that there could be variations to the embodiments and those variations would be within the spirit and scope of the present invention. Accordingly, many modifications may be made by one of ordinary skill in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the appended claims.





 
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