Title:
Sports board having stringers
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A sports board includes a foam core, a top skin, a bottom skin, at least one stringer and at least one flexible foam tube. The top skin is connected to a top of the foam core. The bottom skin is connected to a bottom of the foam core. The stringer enclosed by the foam tube is secured in the foam core for strengthening the board.



Inventors:
Yeh, Tzong In (Fremont, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/976943
Publication Date:
10/09/2008
Filing Date:
10/30/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B63B35/73
View Patent Images:
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20090165690SPORTS BOARDJuly, 2009Walworth et al.
20070004296Swimmer's kickboard with speedometerJanuary, 2007Herring
20080287017Surfboard and Method of ConstructionNovember, 2008Cox
20080248701Sports board having stringersOctober, 2008Yeh
20070135004Flotation systems, products, and methodsJune, 2007Lanehart I Jr.
20030068939Adult flotation deviceApril, 2003Ishihara
20070224895Mooring of arrays of buoy-like WECsSeptember, 2007Draper



Primary Examiner:
OLSON, LARS A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ROSENBERG, KLEIN & LEE (ELLICOTT CITY, MD, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A sports board comprising: a foam core; a top skin connected to a top of the foam core; a bottom skin connected to a bottom of the foam core; at least one stringer disposed within the foam core to strengthen the foam core; and at least one flexible foam tube enclosing the stringer within and disposed in the foam core.

2. The sports board of claim 1, wherein the foam tube is made of expanded polyethylene (EPE).

3. The sports board of claim 2, wherein the foam core is made of a material selected from the group consisting of expanded polystyrene (EPS), expanded polypropylene (EPP) and expanded polyolefin (EPO).

4. The sports board of claim 3, wherein the foam core has a density in a range of 4 to 24 pcf, and a thickness in a range of 0.5 to 1.25 inches.

5. The sports board of claim 3 further comprises an adhesive layer connecting the foam tube and the foam core.

6. The sports board of claim 1, wherein the stringer is a cylindrical tube.

7. The sports board of claim 1, wherein the top skin includes a first foam layer and a second foam layer; the first foam layer connects to the top of the foam core with a first density; and the second foam layer connects to the first foam layer with a second density larger than the first density.

8. The sports board of claim 7, wherein the first density is in a range of 1.5 to 10 pcf.

9. The sports board of claim 7, wherein the top skin further includes a first film formed with a first pattern and connected with the second foam layer.

10. The sports board of claim 7, wherein the bottom skin includes a third foam layer connected to the bottom of the foam core, and a plastic plate connected to the third foam layer.

11. The sports board of claim 9, wherein the bottom skin includes a third foam layer connected to the bottom of the foam core, and a plastic plate connected to the third foam layer.

12. The sports board of claim 9, wherein the bottom skin includes a third foam layer connected to the bottom of the foam core, a second film formed with a second pattern and connected to the third foam layer, and a plastic plate connected to the second film.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

1. Field of Invention

The present invention relates to a sports board and in particular to a skimboard with stringers.

2. Related Prior Art

There are types of sports board on the market, such as a skimboard, a surfboard and body board, for water sports activities. Among the sports boards, the skimboard is particularly employed for gliding on the beach. Although skimboarding is predominantly a recreational activity, like surfing, it has also evolved into a highly competitive water sport. However, unlike surfing, skimboarding starts on the beach. A skimboarder stands within running distance from the point of entry into the water with the skimboard in hand and waits for a wave. As the desired wave approaches, the skimboarder runs towards the water. For this, the skimboard is smaller and thinner than the surfboard or the bodyboard because it does not require as much buoyancy. The skimboard seems to be merged from the surfboard for ocean surf and a skateboard for land riding.

A conventional skimboard is made by wood or of a foam core enclosed with glass fiber. The plywood skimboard is easier to slide along the sands, but is heavier, which may cause trouble while using carelessly. However, the foam skimboard provides more buoyancy than a wood one, and is more like a bodyboard.

FIG. 4 is a conventional foam board, which comprising a foam core 40, a top skin 41, a bottom skin 42 and three stringers 43. The foam core 40 defines three holes therein for receiving the stringers 43. The stringers 43 are therefore secured in three holes of the foam core 40 for strengthen the foam board. However, in extreme conditions of use or with long wear and use, each of the channels of the foam core 40 will be enlarged and the gaps generated between the foam core 40 and the stringers 43 get bigger and bigger. Particularly, when the foam board is bent up harshly or frequently, any one of the stringers 43 can and does pop out of the either the top skin 41 or the bottom skin 43 of the board. Such pop out of the stringer 43 ruins the board and can possibly injure the rider. This problem is caused because the stringers 43 do not flex or bend as easily as the foam core 40 which surrounds the stringers 43.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,036,560 concerns a bodyboard with a variable flexible, two-part stringer element. The bodyboard includes a polyethylene foam core material in which the two-part stringer element is secured. The stringer element is composed of a solid portion of a thermoset resin impregnated glass fiber or graphite fiber material, and a flexible portion of polyethylene rod material. Furthermore, the stringer element includes polyethylene caps snapped on the ends thereof, and thereby avoids puncturing out of the bodyboard. However, a gap generated between the stringer element and the foam core material is unavoidable to become larger and larger over time, which reduces the performance of the bodyboard.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

The primary object of this invention is therefore to provide a foam board, especially a skimboard with high rigidity, endurance and safety.

According to the present invention, a sports board comprises a foam core, a top skin, a bottom skin, at least one stringer and at least one flexible foam tube. The top skin is connected to a top of the foam core. The bottom skin is connected to a bottom of the foam core. The stringer is secured in the foam core for strengthening. The flexible foam tube encloses the stringer within and is disposed in the foam core.

Preferably, the top skin or the bottom skin is formed by at least two laminated foam layers with different densities.

Further benefits and advantages of the present invention will become clear as the description proceeds.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

The invention will now be elucidated with reference to the following description and accompanying drawings where:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a sports board according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a cross section taken along line II-II of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a sports board according to another embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 4 is a prior art.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

With reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, description will be given of a sports board according to a first embodiment of this invention. More specifically, the sports board is directed to a skimboard 100 for a user to skim at the beach. The skimboard 100 includes foam core 1, a top skin 2, a bottom skin 3, three stringers 5, three foam tubes 6 each enclosing one stringer 5, a plurality of protective parts 7 and three adhesive layers 8 coated around the foam tubes 6.

FIG. 2 is a cross section taken along line II-II of FIG. 1. Referring to FIG. 2, the foam core 1 has a top 11 and a bottom 12. The top skin 2 and the bottom skin 3 are heat-bonded onto the top 11 and the bottom 12 of the foam core 1 respectively. Each of the stringers 5 is a hollow fiberglass tube enclosed within the respective one of the flexible foam tubes 6 and secured in the foam core 1 for strengthen the skimboard 100. Each of the foam tubes 6 may be formed in one-piece or be made by shaping a piece of foam sheet like a roll. Since the foam tubes 6 are made of by flexible foam material, such as expanded polyethylene (EPE), the flexible foam tubes 6 act as buffers to absorb shocks generated between the foam core 1 and the stringers 5, which reduces a possibility of generating or enlarging gaps therebetween.

In another example, a stringer may be a solid cylinder rod instead of the hollow cylinder tube 5 mentioned above. No matter what it is, a cylindrical fiberglass stringer is flexible, pliable and good at absorbing shocks. Preferably, the stringers 5 are the hollow fiberglass tubes because they exhibit the advantage of higher buoyancy than that of the solid ones.

Referring back to FIG. 1, the protecting parts 7 are hemispherical plastic caps snapped on the opposite ends of each of the stringers 5 to provide a smooth or rounded configuration which eliminates any sharpness at the ends. Thus, the stringers 5 are prevented from popping out of the either the top skin 2 or the bottom skin 3 of the skimboard 100.

Unlike a surfboard or a bodyboard, the skimboard 100 does not require as much buoyancy, but stiffness. For this, the foam core 1 may be made of a material selected from the group consisting of expanded polystyrene (EPS), expanded polypropylene (EPP) and expanded polyolefin (EPO). In the present embodiment, the foam core 1 is made by the expanded polystyrene. Preferably, the foam core 1 has a density in a range of 4 to 24 pcf, and a thickness in a range of 0.5 to 1.25 inches so as to unite rigidity and weight.

In this embodiment, since the foam tubes 6 are made of expanded polyethylene which differs from the expanded polystyrene of the foam core 1, the adhesive layer 8 made of a PE/PS copolymer is therefore provided for connecting the foam tubes 6 with the foam core 1.

To enhance the exterior of the skimboard with stiffness and flexibility, the top skin 2 of the present invention is a multi-layered foam laminate and is characteristic of easy coupled to the foam core 1. In this embodiment, the top skin 2 includes a first foam layer 21, a second foam layer 22 and a first film 23. The first foam layer 21 is heat-bonded onto the top 11 of the foam core 1. The second foam layer 22 is heat-bonded onto the first foam layer 21. The first film 23 is provided onto the outside of the second foam layer 22. The first foam layer 21 has a density lower than that of the second foam layer 22. That is, the soft first foam layer 21 contributes the flexibility to the skimboard 100, and the stiff second foam layer 22 strengthens the skimboard 100. Preferably, the first foam layer 21 has a density in a range of 1.5 to 10 pcf. In addition, the first film 23 has a first pattern 231, as depicted in FIG. 1. In practice, the first film 23 may be a plastic sheet printed with the pattern 231 thereon, or be composed of two plastic sheets with the pattern 231 printed therebetween. Either one or two sheets, the first film 23 having the first pattern 231 enhances the appearance of the skimboard 100.

On the other hand, the bottom skin 3 includes a third foam layer 31, a second film 32 and a wear-proof plastic plate 33. The third foam layer 31 is laminated to the bottom 12 of the foam core 1. The second film 32 is laminated to the third foam layer 31. The plastic plate 33 is laminated to the second film 32. The third foam layer 31 serves as a buffer and a media to join the second film 32, as well as the plastic plate 33, and the foam core 1 together. The second film 32 having a pattern (not shown) is similar to the first film 23 of the top skin 2. In such a fashion, the skimboard can be bearable and endurable and still have a splendid appearance. In another example of the bottom skin 3, the plastic plate 33 may be directly bonded to the third foam layer 31 without the second film 32.

Referring now to FIG. 3, a second embodiment of the skimboard is shown having the foam core 1, the top skin 2, the bottom skin 3 and the stringers 5 which are essentially the same as those shown in FIG. 2 of the first embodiment. However, the foam core 1 of the second embodiment is made of expanded polyolefin (EPO), a copolymer of polyethylene (PE)/polystyrene (PS) such that the foam tube 6 which is made of expanded polyethylene (EPE) can directly heat-bonded onto the foam core 1 without the adhesive layer 8.

Numerous characteristics and advantages of the invention have been set forth in the foregoing description. The disclosure, however, is illustrative only, and changes may be made in detail within the principle of the invention, to the full extent indicated by the broad general meaning of the terms in which the appended claims are expressed.