Title:
Surfboard leash connection module
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A board connection module for detachably coupling a surfboard with a surfboard leash is provided. The leash may include a rail saver, a leash length, and an ankle strap. The leash length and rail saver couple the ankle strap with the board connection module. The board connection module detachably anchors the rail saver with an attachment pin of a leash cup of the surf board. The board connection module may engage the attachment pin of the leash cup with (a.) a cam lock; (b.) a cam lock configured with a push release element; (c.) a hooked shaft having a circular threaded end; (d.) a hook and loop attachment fabric.



Inventors:
French, Randall Lee (Santa Cruz, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/648070
Publication Date:
07/03/2008
Filing Date:
12/30/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B63B1/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20050208848Boater's keychainSeptember, 2005Grossman
20090311927SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR LOAD DISTRIBUTIONDecember, 2009Goode
20070135004Flotation systems, products, and methodsJune, 2007Lanehart I Jr.
20080293315Flexible reinforced boardNovember, 2008Yeh
20040087224WaterpillarMay, 2004Hart
20040033740Flotation deviceFebruary, 2004Jones
20050142963ArmbandJune, 2005Farrall
20100056003Surfboard antislip pad structureMarch, 2010Huang
20090163096Floatation device for teaching proper swimming techniquesJune, 2009Mix et al.
20090264033DEEP WATER HYDROCARBON TRANSFER SYSTEMOctober, 2009Pollack et al.
20050148249Maillot de bain securite pour enfantJuly, 2005Vigneron



Primary Examiner:
SWINEHART, EDWIN L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PATRICK REILLY (SANTA CRUZ, CA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. In combination with a surfboard having an attachment pin and a surfboard leash, a board connection module comprising: a. a housing, the housing coupled with the leash; b. a rotatable cam coupled with the housing, and the cam having an arm and a hook, the cam configured to translate rotation of the arm into linear motion of the hook; c. the hook configured to engage the attachment pin and pull the cam towards the attachment pin when the rotation of the arm is translated into linear motion of the hook against the attachment pin.

2. The board connection module of claim 1, wherein the housing comprises an aperture and the hook extends through the aperture.

3. The board connection module of claim 1, wherein the housing comprises a recessed surface, wherein the aperture passes from the recessed surface and a bottom surface of the housing.

4. The board connection module of claim 3, wherein the recessed surface is curved.

5. The board connection module of claim 3, wherein the leash comprises a rail server, and the housing is coupled with the rail server.

6. In combination with a surfboard having an attachment pin and a surfboard leash, a board connection module comprising: a. a housing, the housing coupled with the leash and having a post; b. a lever arm rotatably coupled with the housing, the lever arm spring biased to press against the post, and the lever arm configured to detachably capture the attachment pin.

7. The board connection module of claim 6, wherein the board connection module further comprises a release arm, the release arm coupled with the lever arm, and the release arm configured to enable a user to manually manipulate the lever arm

8. The board connection module of claim 6, wherein the post is curved.

9. The board connection module of claim 6, wherein the housing comprises an aperture and the lever arm extending through the aperture.

10. The board connection module of claim 6 wherein the leash comprises a rail server, and the housing is coupled with the rail server.

11. In combination with a surfboard having an attachment pin and a surfboard leash having, a board connection module comprising: a. a housing, the housing coupled with the leash and having a housing aperture; b. a hook having a curved end and a threaded end, the hook extending through the housing aperture, and the hook configured to engage the attachment pin and pull the attachment pin toward the housing as the threaded end is driven away from the attachment pin; and c. a handle, the handle having a threaded aperture configured to engage with and drive the threaded end of the hook.

12. The board connection module of claim 11, wherein the handle is substantively round in two dimensions orthogonal to an axis of the threaded end of the hook.

13. The board connection module of claim 11, wherein the housing further comprises a recession, the recession configured to accept at least part of the handle.

14. In combination with a surfboard having an attachment pin and a surfboard leash, a board connection module comprising: a. a fixture and a fabric, the fixture having a fixed portion and a flap, the fixed portion affixed to the leash, and the flap presenting a flap closure material configured to detachably engage and hold the fabric; and b. the fabric having a fabric closure material, the fabric coupled with the fixture and configured to detachably constrain the attachment pin, and fabric closure material detachably engage the fabric closure material.

15. The board connection module of claim 14, wherein the fabric is a cord.

16. The board connection module of claim 14, wherein the fabric is affixed to the fixture.

17. The board connection module of claim 14, wherein the attachment pin is recessed within a leash cup of the surfboard.

18. The board connection module of claim 14, wherein the leash comprises a rail server, and the fixture is coupled with the rail server.

19. In combination with a sports device having an attachment pin and a leash, a board connection module comprising: a. a housing, the housing coupled with the leash; b. a rotatable cam coupled with the housing, and the cam having an arm and a hook, the cam configured to translate rotation of the arm into linear motion of the hook; c. the hook configured to engage the attachment pin and pull the cam towards the attachment pin when the rotation of the arm is translated into linear motion of the hook against the attachment pin.

20. The board connection module of claim of 19 wherein the sports device is selected from the group consisting of a bodyboard, a skate board, a and a skim board.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to leashes that mechanically couple a human being to a mobile sports device, such as a surfboard, snowboard, skateboard, wakeboard or bodyboard.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Numerous sports devices include a board element upon which a user stands and balances during use. It is often desirable to provide a leash coupling the user to the board element to increase the ease of management and retrieval of the board element. In the prior art a first end of the leash is typically attached to the trailing section of the board element. Board leashes may include a second end having a wrist or ankle strap for attachment to the user's body. The leash is preferably long enough to reduce the likelihood of injury to the user, e.g., a surfer, when the user becomes separated from the board element, while enabling the surfer to readily recover the board element for remounting.

A rail saver comprising a strip of fabric wider than the cord may optionally be provided to protect the board element from damaging contact with the cord. The rail saver may increase undesirable drag that degrades the mobility of the board element.

The prior art provides leashes that enable removal of the leash from the user as desired by the user, while securing the leash to the board by means of a cord knotted about a pin located within a plug assembly. The plug assembly (hereafter “plug”) may be fitted into a recessed area of the board, whereby the plug and its pin are located below a substantially planar top surface of the board. The cord may be untied from the pin to facilitate storage of the sports device. Undesirably, the cord may also be detached from the other leash elements and misplaced between uses of the leash.

The prior art includes attempts to improve leash attachments means. U.S. Pat. No. 5,098,324 discloses a combination rail saver and key holder. U.S. Pat. No. 5,127,861 presents a combination leash attachment and lock for surfboard. U.S. Pat. No. 5,775,965 provides a leash release mechanism for surfboards and the like. U.S. Pat. No. 6,390,872 discloses a surfboard having improved leash plug anchoring. And U.S. Pat. No. 7,013,684 teaches of a cable lock coupling and lock system for surfboards

The entire disclosures of each and every patent mentioned in this present disclosure, to include U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,098,324; 5,127,861; 5,775,965; 6,390,872; and 7,013,684 as noted above, are incorporated herein by reference and for all purposes.

There is therefore a long felt need to provide a detachable leash attachment means that more conveniently and manageably affects attachments and detachments of a leash to and from a board element of a sports device. It is the primary object of the present invention to provide a leash connection means that supports comfortable use of the sports device. This and other objects of the invention will become clear from an inspection of the detailed description of the invention and from the appended claims

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide a detachable leash attachment means for attaching and detaching a leash to an element of a sports equipment.

It is an additional object of certain alternate preferred embodiments of the present invention to provide a detachable leash attachment means for attaching and detaching a leash to a surfboard.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Towards these and other objects that will be made obvious in light of the present disclosure, a first alternate preferred embodiment of the method of the present invention is a board connection module provides a fixture or flexible base attached to a rail saver of a leash of a board of a sports device. A strap attached to the base fits around a pin attachment of a surfboard leash plug. The strap is then detachably secured to the base by means of closure material strips, such as hook and loop fasteners.

A second alternate preferred embodiment of the present invention includes a hook driven by a manually adjustable cam, wherein the hook is driven by the cam to attach to, and release from, the attachment pin of the surfboard leash plug by manual manipulation of the cam. The leash may alternatively be attached to a surfboard, a bodyboard, a skim board, a skate board, or other suitable sports device board.

A third alternate preferred embodiment of the present invention includes a tapped hook driven by a manually adjustable tapped handle, wherein the tapped hook is driven by the cam to attach to, and release from, the attachment pin of the surfboard leash plug by manual rotation of the tapped handle.

A fourth alternate preferred embodiment of the present invention includes a spring biased lever arm and a curved post that are used to detachably capture the attachment pin of the surfboard plug.

A fifth alternate preferred embodiment of the present invention includes a looped cord that may be removabley located around the attachment pin of a surfboard plug to couple a surfboard leash to a surfboard.

The foregoing and other objects, features and advantages will be apparent from the following description of the preferred embodiment of the invention as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These, and further features of the invention, may be better understood with reference to the accompanying specification and drawings depicting the preferred embodiment, in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates a first alternate preferred embodiment of the present invention, or first version, wherein a strap is positioned about a surfboard plug attachment pin;

FIG. 2 illustrates the first version of FIG. 1 in an attachment state;

FIG. 2A is a side view of the first version of FIG. 1 in the attachment state of FIG. 2;

FIG. 3 is a top view of a second alternate preferred embodiment of the present invention, or second version;

FIG. 4 is a side view of the second version of FIG. 3, wherein a cam and hook are used to couple a surfboard leash to a surfboard;

FIG. 5 is an additional side view of the second version of FIGS. 3 and 4, and wherein the hook and cam are in a release state and the surfboard leash is detached from the surfboard;

FIG. 6 is a side view of a third alternate preferred embodiment of the present invention, or third version, wherein a threaded hook is used to couple a surfboard leash to a surfboard;

FIG. 6A is a top view of the third version of FIG. 6;

FIG. 7 is a side view of a fourth alternate preferred embodiment of the present invention, or fourth version, wherein a spring biased lever arm and a curved post are used to couple a surfboard leash to a surfboard;

FIG. 7A is a top view of the fourth version of FIG. 7;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a fifth alternate preferred embodiment of the present invention, or fifth version, wherein a looped cord is positioned about a surfboard plug attachment pin;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a fifth version of FIG. 8, wherein the fifth version is in an attaching state and the surfboard leash is detachably coupled with the leash plug attachment pin; and

FIG. 9A is a top view of the fifth version of FIG. 9.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The following description is provided to enable any person skilled in the art to make and use the invention and sets forth the best modes contemplated by the inventor of carrying out his or her invention. Various modifications, however, will remain readily apparent to those skilled in the art, since the generic principles of the Present Invention have been defined herein.

Referring generally to the Figures and particularly to FIGS. 1, 2 and 2A, FIG. 1 illustrates a first preferred embodiment of the present invention 2, or first version 2 in an open position A, wherein the first version 2 is coupled with a surfboard leash cord 4. The surfboard leash cord 4 may be comprised within a suitable surfboard leash known in the art, such as a FCS CLASSIC LEASH(™) as marketed by Fin Control Systems of 5-7 By the Sea Road, Mona Vale, NSW 2103, Australia.

The first version 2 is configured to be removabley attached to a leash plug 6 of a surfboard 8. The leash plug 6 may be a suitable leash plug known in the art having a surfboard leash plug pin 6A, such as a SHAPERS LEASH PLUG(™) marketed by Shapers Australia of 9/7 Traders Way, Currumbin, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, 4223. The plug pin 6A that is typically a solid cylindrical pin made from a strong, rigid material (e.g., metal, composite, plastic, etc.). However, it is to be understood that pin 6A could also be hollow and have a non-cylindrical external geometry without departing from the scope of the present invention.

The first version 2 includes a fixture 10, a flap 12 and a strap 14. The fixture 10 is adhered to a rail saver 16 of the leash 4 by stitching, heat treatment, and/or a water resistant adhesive, or other suitable means known in the art, at an attachment surface 10A of the fixture 10, as per FIG. 2. The first version 2 may be sized, shaped and made of suitable materials known in the art and as applicable to and compatible with uses and configurations of surfboard leashes.

It is understood that the surfboard 8 may be replaced with a bodyboard, a skim board, a skate board, or other suitable sports device board.

The strap 14 extends from the fixture 10 and is configured to be wrapped around the attachment pin 6A by a user while the attachment pin 6A remains fixed within a positioning cup 6B of the leash plug 6 of the surfboard 8. A pair of first closure strips 18A &18B are each separately and permanently attached on opposite sides of the strap 14. The first closure strips 18A &18B are each positioned to separately couple with one of a pair of second closure strips 20A &20B of the flap 12 and the fixture 10. The first closure strips 18A &18B and the second closure strips 20A &20B are selected to provide a detachable closure of the first version 2 in a coupling position A, as shown in FIG. 2. The first closure strips 18A &18B and the second closure strips 20A &20B may be matched and paired and may alternately comprise hook and loop fastener strip material, such as VELCRO(™) closure material. For example, the first closure strips 18A &18B may present small nylon hooks and the second closure strips 20A &20B may present small nylon loops, wherein the hooks and loops of the first closure strips 18A &18B and second closure strips 20A &20B are configured to detachably couple the attachment strip 14 with the flap 12.

Referring now generally to the Figures and particularly to FIGS. 2 and 2A, FIG. 2 is illustration of the first version 2 of FIG. 1 in an attachment position B, and FIG. 2A is a side view of the first version 2 in the attachment position B. In the attachment position B, the first closure strips 18A &18B and each separately and detachably coupled with one of the second closure strips 20A &20B, and the strap 14 is wrapped around the leash plug pin 6A.

Referring now generally to the Figures and particularly to FIGS. 3, 4 and 5, FIG. 3 is a top view of a second preferred alternate preferred embodiment of the present invention, or second version 24. The second version 24 includes a housing 26 and a movable cam 28. The housing 26 is attached to a rail saver 30 of the surf leash cord 4 by rail saver pins 32 and is detachably coupled with the surfboard 8.

Referring now to FIG. 4, the movable cam 28 is shown in a side view and in a cam closed position C, wherein the cam presses against a curved recessed surface 31 and a hook 32 of the second version 24 is pulled up in compression and against the surfboard leash plug attachment pin 6A. The hook 32 of the second version 24 is rotatably attached to the movable cam 28 and extends from a cam pin 34 through a hook aperture 36 of the housing 26. The cam pin 34 is fixed to the housing 26 and the movable cam 28 is rotatably attached to the cam pin 34. The cam pin 34 is typically a solid cylindrical pin made from a strong, rigid material (e.g., metal, composite, plastic, etc.). However, it is to be understood that cam pin 34 could also be hollow and have a non-cylindrical external geometry without departing from the scope of the present invention. The rotatable coupling of the hook 32 and the movable cam 28 to the housing 26 enables the cam 32 and hook 32 to be moved from the cam closed position C to a cam detach position D, as per FIG. 5. A user may alternatively transition the second version 26 from the cam closed position C to the cam detach position D by manually rotating a handle 36 of the movable cam 28 about the cam pin 34. A bottom surface 38 of the housing 26 is configured to press against a top surface 40 of the surfboard 8 when the hook 32 is pulled against the surfboard attachment pin 6A.

Referring now generally to the Figures and particularly to FIGS. 6 and 6A, FIG. 6 shows a third alternate preferred embodiment of the present invention 42, or third version 42, wherein a tapped hook 44 is alternately positioned towards and away from a tapped handle 46, whereby rotation of the tapped handle 46 in a first rotational direction pulls a hook section 48 of the tapped hook 44 towards a third version housing 50 of the third version 42, and rotation of the tapped handle 46 in an opposite rotational direction drives the tapped screw hook section 48 away from the third version housing 50. A user may secure the third version 42 to the surfboard 8 by (1.) dropping the hook section 48 into the leash cup 6 to place the hook section 44 below the surfboard attachment pin 6A; (2.) positioning a bottom surface 52 of the third version housing 50 in contact with the surfboard top surface 40; and (3.) turning the tapped handle 42 in the first rotational direction to pull the hook section 44 towards the third version housing 46 and up against the surfboard attachment pin 6A. The user may then detach the third version 42 from the surfboard 8 by turning the tapped handle 46 in the opposite rotational direction until the tapped hook 44 may be removed from the surfboard leash cup 6B. A tapped section 54 of the tapped hook 44 and a tapped channel 56 of the tapped handle 46 are configured to engage together to drive the tapped hook 44 along an third version axis E, and the rotational movement of the tapped handle 46 occurs within a plane F that is normal to the third version axis E.

FIG. 6A is a top view of the third version 42 showing the tapped handle 46 and the third housing 50. The tapped handle 46 is substantively circular and has a one-inch diameter that is normal to the third version axis E.

Referring now generally to the Figures and particularly to FIGS. 7 and 7A, FIG. 7 illustrates a fourth preferred alternate embodiment of the present invention 58, or fourth version 58, wherein a curved post 60 extends away from a fourth bottom surface 62 of a fourth version housing 64. Both a release arm 66 and a lever arm 68 are coupled to a spring-loaded pin 70. The spring-loaded pin 70 is coupled with the first version housing 64 and provides a spring bias force to drive a lever end 72 of the lever arm 68 against a hook end 74 of the curved post 60. The spring bias force may be in the range of from less than one pound to over 100 pounds, and more preferably between 2 pounds and 10 pounds.

The fourth version 58 is configured to enable the fourth bottom surface 62 of the fourth version housing 52 to be compressed against the top surface 40 of the surfboard 8 when the attachment pin 6A of the leash cup 6B is captured by the curved post 60 and the lever arm 68 as shown in the attached position G as illustrated in FIG. 7. The user may detach the fourth version 58 from the surfboard 8 by pressing the release arm 66 towards the fourth bottom surface 62 of the fourth version housing 64 and in opposition to the spring biased force provided by the spring loaded pin 70. As the user rotates the release arm 66 against the force of the spring loaded pin 70, the lever arm 68 is pulled away from the curved post 60 and the user may remove the fourth version 58 from contact with the surfboard leash cup 6B.

FIG. 7A is a top view of the fourth version 58.

Referring now generally to the Figures and particularly to FIGS. 8, 9 and 9A, FIG. 8 illustrates a fifth version of the present invention 76, or fifth version 76, in a detached position H. The fifth version 76 includes a base strip 78, an attachment strip 80, a guide strip 82 and a looped cord 84. The base strip 78. is attached to the surf leash cord 4 and the rail saver 16 by stitching, heat treatment, and/or water resistant adhesive, or other suitable means known in the art. The an attachment strip 80, the guide strip 82 and the looped cord 84 are attached to the base strip 78 by stitching, heat treatment, and/or water resistant adhesive, or other suitable attachment means known in the art.

The looped cord 84 is configured and sized, and as pictured in FIGS. 9 and 9A, to (1.) extend from the base strip 78; (2.) wrap around the surfboard attachment pin 6A within the confines of the leash cup 6B; (3.) extend between the guide strip 82 and the base strip 78; and (4.) accept an extension of a first section 80A of the attachment strip 80 within the looped cord 84.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view and FIG. 9A is a side view of the fifth version in a capturing position I. In practice, the user may draw the looped cord 84 first through the leash cup 6B and around the leash cup attachment pin 6A, then in between the guide strip 82 and the base strip 78, and finally detachably capture the looped cord 84 by means of the attachment strip 80 in the capturing position I. The attachment strip includes the first section 80A, an attached section 80B and a second section 80C. The attached section 80B is attached to the base strip 78 by stitching, heat treatment, and/or a water resistant adhesive, or other suitable means known in the art. The first section 80A includes a pair first closure strips 18A and 18B. The attached section 80B includes a second closure strip 20A and the second section 80C includes another second closure strip 20B. The first closure strips 18A 18B and the second closure strips 20A &20B are positioned to enable a detachable capture of the looped cord 84. As discussed above, the first closure strips 18A &18B and the second closure strips 20A &20B may be matched and paired, and may alternately comprise hook and loop fastener strip material, such as VELCRO(™) closure material. For example, the first closure strips 18A &18B may present small nylon hooks and the second closure strips 20A &20B may present small nylon loops, wherein the hooks and loops of the first closure strips 18A &18B and second closure strips 20A &20B are configured and positioned to detachably couple the first section 80A with the second section 80B while capturing the looped cord 66 in capturing position I. The user may, from capturing position I, release the fifth version 76 from the surfboard 8 by manually separating first closure strips 18A &18B from the second closure strips 20A &20B and withdrawing the looped cord 84 from the leash cup 6B.

The above description is intended to be illustrative, and not restrictive. The examples given should only be interpreted as illustrations of some of the preferred embodiments of the invention, and the full scope of the invention should be determined by the appended claims and their legal equivalents. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that various adaptations and modifications of the just described preferred embodiments can be configured without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. The scope of the invention as disclosed and claimed should, therefore, be determined with reference to the knowledge of one skilled in the art and in light of the disclosures presented above.