Title:
SPORTS BOARD WITH ADJUSTABLY FLEXIBLE STRINGER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An adjustably flexible stringer and a sports board employing the stringer are disclosed. The sports board includes a foam core in which the stringer is embedded. The stringer includes a plurality of flexible longitudinal strips overlapped with one another and is arranged from one end to the other end in order of increasing flexibility. Specifically, the strips vary in length from each other. Alternatively, the strips may vary in height, width or materials. By varying the arrangement of the strips, an almost unlimited number of configurations may be attained. As such, the sports board employing that stringer may be constructed in a variety of maulers with desired flexibility.



Inventors:
Yeh, Tzong In (Fremont, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/192612
Publication Date:
12/11/2008
Filing Date:
08/15/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B63B35/73
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Primary Examiner:
AVILA, STEPHEN P
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Muncy, Geissler, Olds & Lowe, P.C. (Fairfax, VA, US)
Claims:
The invention claimed is:

1. A sports board comprising: a foam core having a front end and a rear end; said front end facing in a forward direction of said sports board; and a stringer arranged within said foam core, extending substantially from said front end toward said rear end of said foam core, and including a plurality of flexible longitudinal strips overlapped with one another.

2. The sports board of claim 1, wherein said stringer is arranged from one end to the other end in order of increasing flexibility.

3. The sports board of claim 2, wherein said strips are arranged within said foam core top to bottom in order of increasing length.

4. The sports board of claim 3, wherein said strips are vertically aligned at one end toward said rear end of said foam core.

5. The sports board of claim 3, wherein said strips are arranged top to bottom in order of increasing flexibility.

6. The sports board of claim 4, wherein said strips are arranged top to bottom in order of increasing flexibility.

7. The sports board of claim 5 further comprising a reinforcing bar arranged in said foam core and parallel with said stringer.

8. The sports board of claim 6 further comprising a reinforcing bar arranged in said foam core and parallel with said stringer.

9. A stringer including a plurality of flexible longitudinal strips overlapped with one another, wherein said strips are arranged top to bottom in order of increasing length and are vertically aligned at one end.

10. The sports board of claim 9 wherein said strips are arranged top to bottom in order of increasing flexibility.

Description:

CROSS REFERRENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This is a continuation-in-part of co-pending application Ser. No. 12/068,616, filed on Feb. 8, 2008.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

1. Field of Invention

The present invention relates to a sports board, such as surfboard, bodyboard, snowboard or the like, and more particularly to a sports board having an adjustably flexible stringer.

2. Related Prior Art

Many sports boards involve the use of flexible reinforcing materials to form a desire finished configuration. An example of the sports board is found in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,114,370 or 5,224,890, wherein a bodyboard is provided to incorporate selected regions of differing stiffness in order to combine in one board the speed associated with relatively stiff bodyboards and the maneuverability of soft body boards. Laminated into the layered structure of the bodyboard is a fiber mesh which has a size and orientation designed to stiffen the rear four-fifths of the bodyboard. The remainder of the board, adjacent the nose, incorporates a pattern of parallel arcuate channels which increase the bendability of the nose portion of the board. The flexibility in the nose area enhances maneuverability. However, the reinforcing mesh has constant flexibility only, and is not allowed to be changed while manufacturing.

Another example of sports board is of the formed disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,036,560. This is a variable flexible bodyboard, which includes therein, at least one two-part stringer rod. The stringer rod is composed of a material to impart stiffness to the body of the bodyboard, such as a fiber-resin material, and a material to impart flexibility to the front nose area of the bodyboard, such as a polyethylene material. Nevertheless, either the stiff portion or the flexible portion of the stringer rod has constant flexibility and is invariable.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

This invention relates to an adjustably flexible stringer and a sports board employing the stringer. The sports board includes a foam core in which the stringer is embedded. The stringer includes a plurality of flexible longitudinal strips overlapped with one another and is arranged from one end to the other end in order of increasing flexibility. In accordance with one embodiment of the invention, the strips vary in length from each other. In other examples, the strips may vary in height, width or materials. By varying the arrangement of the strips, an almost unlimited number of configurations may be attained. As such, any stringer may be made with desired flexibility. Also, a sports board having that stringer may be constructed with desired flexibility according to user demand. Therefore, the sports board with variable stringer overcome the prior art problem of invariable flexibility.

The present invention and the advantages thereof will become more apparent upon consideration of the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a sports board in accordance with a first embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view taken along line A-A of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view taken along line B-B of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged perspective view of a stringer to be embedded in the sports board of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a schematic operational view of the sports board of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a sports board in accordance with a second embodiment of the invention; and

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a sports board in accordance with a third embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

With reference to FIGS. 1 to 3, description will be given of a sports board according to a first embodiment of this invention. The sports board mainly includes a foam core 1 and two stringers 2.

In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, the foam core 1 has a front end 10 and a rear end 11. The front end 10 faces in a forward direction of the sports board. The foam core 1 may be made of a material selected from the group of PE, PS, PP and EPS.

The two stringers 2 are embedded in the foam core 1 and parallel to each other. Each stringer 2 has a first end 20 and a second end 21. The first and second ends 20, 21 of the stringer 2 are oppositely directed toward the rear end 11 and the front end 10 of the foam core 1 respectively.

FIG. 4 shows one example of the stringer 2, which includes three longitudinal strips 22 overlapped with one another and is arranged from one end to the other end in order of increasing flexibility. Specifically, the strips 22 vary in length and are flexible. The strips 22 may be made of glass fiber, carbon fiber or other flexible reinforcing material and manufactured by extrusion molding process. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 4, three strips 22 of the stringer 2 are vertically aligned at one end, namely the first ends 20, toward the rear end 11 of the foam core 1. At the other end, the second ends 21, with the strips aligned at the end, are arranged top to bottom in order of increasing length. That is, the top strip 22 has the shortest length while the lowest strip 22 has the longest length. Moreover, the strips 22 are arranged top to bottom in order of increasing flexibility. The lower strip 22 is more flexible than the higher 22, depending on materials, dimensions and others.

Referring to FIG. 5, as a result of the relationship heretofore set forth, the sports board incorporates selected regions of differing stiffness and flexibility in order to combine in one board the speed associated with relatively stiff boards and the maneuverability of soft boards. Specifically, the sports board is stiff in the region supporting most of the weight of the rider due to the rear overlapped portions of the strips 22. On the other hand, the remainder of the sports board, adjacent the front end 10, incorporates ladder-like arrangements of the stringers 22 which increase the bendability of the front portion of the sports board. Hence the design of the rear overlapped portions of the strips 22 and the ladder-like bendability-enhancing portions of the strips 22 inhibits the formation of permanent creases and allows the sports board to retain the overall appearance.

In this embodiment, the three strips 22 of each stringer 2 are tied up with a steel wire 23. In other examples, the three strips 22 may be glued together via an adhesive. Alternatively, screw means (such as screws), snapping means (such as snap rings or rivets) or binding straps may be used to tie the strips 22 together.

With reference to FIG. 6, a sports board in accordance with a second embodiment of the invention is illustrated. The second embodiment is similar to the first embodiment, except that the second embodiment employs three stringers, instead of the two stringers 22. It should be noted that one, two, three or more stringers 22 may be included in a sports board in order to attain desired stiffness and flexibility. In addition, the stringer is not necessary to have three strips as disclosed in the first embodiment. One, two or more strips may also be included to form one stringer with desired flexibility. In addition, the strips 22 need not to be formed by the same material or dimension. Different materials or dimension may be applied to form one strip with desired flexibility as well. By varying the arrangement of the stringers 22, an almost unlimited number of configurations may be attained. As such, any sports board having that stringer(s) may be constructed with desired flexibility according to a customer's preference. Accordingly, the sports board may be constructed in a variety of different manners. The strips 22 can be efficient manufactured and the stringers 2 can be assembled easily and efficiently.

With reference to FIG. 7, a sports board in accordance with a third embodiment of the invention is illustrated. The third embodiment is similar to the first embodiment, except that a reinforcing bar 3 is added and placed in the foam core 1. The reinforcing bar 3 is parallel with the other two stringers 2. Since the reinforcing bar 3 is stiffer in nature, the sports board may be strengthened. By varying the arrangement of the variable stringers and the reinforcing bar, a sports board with higher strength and desired flexibility may be attained.

It will be appreciated that although a particular embodiment of the invention has been shown and described, modifications may be made. It is intended in the claims to cover such modifications which come within the spirit and scope of the invention.