Title:
LIFT PLATE FOR WAKEBOARD BINDINGS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A lift plate or lift plate apparatus is provided in conjunction with a binding or boot of a wakeboard. The lift plate apparatus can be separately mounted onto the wakeboard, or alternately incorporated directly into a binding boot sole, and functions in use to elevate the person's foot relative to the wakeboard, and thereby permit the wakeboard to ride deeper in the water. In addition, the lift plate apparatus provides improved so-called edging of the wakeboard for improved turning maneuvers.



Inventors:
Ruminson, Wallace E. (Porterville, CA, US)
Application Number:
14/218665
Publication Date:
09/18/2014
Filing Date:
03/18/2014
Assignee:
RUMINSON WALLACE E.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B63B35/81; B63B35/85
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WIEST, ANTHONY D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LOWRY BLIXSETH APC (CALABASAS, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A lift plate apparatus for use with a wakeboard to permit the wakeboard to ride more deeply in the water and to edge more easily during a turning maneuver, said lift plate apparatus comprising: a boot receiving a wearer's foot, said boot being attached to the wakeboard; and a lift plate interposed between the boot and the wakeboard for elevating the boot relative to the wakeboard, said lift plate being also attached to the wakeboard.

2. The lift plate apparatus of claim 1 wherein said boot and said lift plate are attached to the wakeboard by screws.

3. The lift plate apparatus of claim 2 wherein said screws are the same screws for attaching both the boot and said lift plate to the wakeboard.

4. The lift plate apparatus of claim 1 wherein said boot includes a pair of arcuate apertures at the medial and lateral sides thereof for receiving a respective pair of screws to fasten said boot to the wakeboard.

5. The lift plate apparatus of claim 4 wherein said lift plate includes a pair of apertures at opposite sides thereof for receiving said respective pair of screws.

6. The lift plate apparatus of claims 1 wherein a pair of boots for respectively receiving said wearer's feet are attached to the wakeboard, and a pair of lift plates are interposed between said pair of boots for elevating said pair of boots relative to the wakeboard and are attached to the wakeboard.

7. The lift plate apparatus of claim 1 wherein said lift plate is integrated into the sole of said boot.

8. A lift plate apparatus for use with a wakeboard to permit the wakeboard to ride more deeply in the water and to edge more easily during a turning maneuver, said lift plate apparatus comprising: a pair of bindings each including a respective integrated lift plate, the pair of bindings respectively configured to receive the wearer's feet and attach to the wakeboard, said bindings and said integrated lift plate elevating the wakeboard rider relative to the wakeboard.

9. The lift plate apparatus of claim 8 wherein said bindings attach to the wakeboard by screws.

10. The lift plate apparatus of claim 9 wherein said screws are the same screws for attaching both said bindings and said integrated lift plates to the wakeboard.

11. The lift plate apparatus of claim 8 wherein each of said bindings and said integrated lift plates include a pair of arcuate apertures at the medial and lateral sides thereof for receiving a respective pair of screws to fasten said bindings and said integrated lift plates to the wakeboard.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to a lift or lift plate apparatus for use with a wakeboard binding or boot. The lift plate permits the wakeboard to ride deeper in the water and further to accommodate quick and easy so-called edging of the wakeboard to execute turns, thereby providing additionally improved stability in curvilinear and straight-line wakeboarding.

Wakeboards are generally known in the art, and comprise a single board upon which a rider stands and is pulled by a boat so that the board skims or rides upon the surface of the water behind the boat. In general, the wakeboard is about 3-5 feet long, and is shaped with upturned ends and a somewhat wider middle. The rider stands on the wakeboard by means of a pair of bindings such as boot-like structures adapted to receive the rider's feet in a relatively fixed, spaced-apart stance. Minimal angular adjustment of the boot-like structures is permitted for rider preference and comfort. The boot-like structures can be open-toed, or close-toed, and/or custom fitted to the individual rider.

In the past, the boot-like structure, or binding, has been designed for a supporting the rider's feet at a fixed and relatively small height above the surface of the wakeboard. As a result, the rider has had a limited ability to place the wakeboard on “edge” in the course of a turning maneuver. That is, the ability of the rider to “edge” the wakeboard has been controlled by the height of the rider's feet above the surface of the wakeboard. Indeed, in the past, there has been no capability to vary the height of the boot-like binding structure above the surface of the wakeboard to correspondingly improve the ability of the rider to place the board on “edge” in the course of a turning maneuver.

The present invention comprises an improved lift plate or lift plate apparatus for use with a wakeboard binding or boot, wherein the lift plate permits the wakeboard to ride deeper in the water and further to accommodate quick and easy so-called edging of the wakeboard to execute turns. The present invention fulfills these needs and provides further related advantages.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the invention, a lift plate or lift plate apparatus is provided for use with a binding or boot on a wakeboard to permit the wakeboard to ride deeper in the water and further to accommodate relatively quick and easy so-called edging of the wakeboard in the course of a turning maneuver, thereby providing a significant improvement in stability in curvilinear (turning) and straight-line wakeboarding. The lift plate height enhances the ability to angulate the wakeboard edge more deeply into the water.

In the preferred form, the lift plate apparatus comprises a lift plate of selected height mounted on the wakeboard between each wakeboard boot and the board. The lift plate includes at least two openings for passage of screws or the like to secure the binding to the lift plate onto the wakeboard. The openings can be oblong or elongated with an arcuate shape, if desired, to permit mounting onto the wakeboard within a range of selected different angular orientations. Alternatively, if desired, the lift plate can be directly incorporated into the sole of each wakeboard boot.

Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following more detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate, by way of example, the principles of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings illustrate the invention. In such drawings:

FIG. 1 is a fragmented perspective view illustrating a wakeboard rider on a wakeboard, wherein the wakeboard is equipped with the improved boot or binding lift plate or lift plate apparatus, in accordance with one preferred form of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a fragmented perspective view of one preferred embodiment of the invention, showing the wakeboard with the improved boot or binding lift plate in one position of adjustment;

FIG. 3 is a further enlarged and fragmented perspective view showing one of the boots in association with a lift plate, in accordance with the preferred form of the invention;

FIG. 4 is a fragmented perspective view showing the boot association with the underlying lift plate and a portion of the wakeboard;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the lift plate of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a vertical sectional view taken generally on the line 6-6 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a fragmented plan view of the lift plate or lift plate apparatus of FIGS. 4-6;

FIG. 8 is a fragmented perspective view similar to FIG. 2, but illustrating one preferred alternative form of the invention wherein the lift plate or lift plate apparatus is incorporated into the boot sole; and

FIG. 9 is a fragmented plan view similar to FIG. 7, but illustrating a further preferred alternative form of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

As shown in the exemplary drawings, a lift plate or lift plate apparatus is referred to generally in FIG. 1 by the reference numeral 10. As shown, the lift plate 10 is provided on a wakeboard 18 or the like for use by the rider 14 to execute so-called “edge” turns more easily, and to ride deeper in the water 16.

Wakeboarding is generally known in the art wherein a rider 14 (FIG. 1) stands upon a wakeboard 18 and is towed through the water 16 at a sufficiently high rate of speed by a boat (not shown). The rider 14 is coupled to the boat by means of a tow rope 20 including a releasable handle 22 held by the rider 14. In accordance with the invention, the lift plate or lift plate apparatus is provided to elevate the rider 14 with respect to the underlying wakeboard 18 by the thickness of the lift plate or lift plate apparatus 10 to permit the rider 14 to place the wakeboard 18 on “edge” in the course of executing a relatively sharp turn or the like. In addition, the lift plate 10 enables the rider 14 to ride the wakeboard 18 with the wakeboard disposed deeper in the water 16 for improved wakeboard control.

The lift plate 10 of the present invention comprises a skeletal framework including a perimeter 24 (FIG. 4) with suitable reinforcing struts 26. A pair of wing segments 28 protrude from opposite sides of each lift plate 10, wherein each of the wing segments 28 includes a pair of screw-receiving ports 30 and 32. If desired, each lift plate 10 can be mounted onto the upper surface of the underlying wakeboard 18 by means of a pair of screws 34 (FIGS. 3-4) passed downwardly through the screw ports 32 and suitably fastened into the wakeboard 18 by means of a corresponding pair of threaded receptacles 25 or the like.

In addition, each boot or boot binding 36 for receiving and supporting the left and right foot of the rider 14 is attached to an upper surface of the associated lift plate 10 by means of the same pair of screws 34 passed downwardly through screw ports 33 formed in the boot or boot binding 36 and further through the associated screw ports 32 into the receptacles 25 formed in the wakeboard 18. Importantly, as shown best in FIGS. 4, 5 and 7, the screws 34 protrude downwardly through the ports 32 which have an increasing arcuate dimension from the medial or laterally inboard side of each foot to the lateral or outboard side of each foot, to accommodate a degree of circumferential adjustment of the specific position of each rider foot extending laterally across the wakeboard 18, for improved rider comfort. Indeed, in the exemplary drawings as shown, the arcuate dimension of the screw ports 32 accommodate angular adjustment of the rider's foot to an angle on the order of about + or −45 degrees from a straight lateral position on the wakeboard 18, for a total angular adjustment of about 90 degrees. Similar arcuate adjustment is provided by the arcuate shape of the other pair of screw ports 30, if provided. Alternately, if desired, some binding designs would align the openings 33 in the boot 36 with the lift plate ports 30 and thereby connect to the wakeboard 18.

FIG. 6 illustrates a multi-ply construction for each lift plate 10, wherein the lift plate 10 comprises three plies 44, 46 and 48 of a noncompressible material. A more preferred lift plate 10 can be constructed from a single homogenous layer or ply, such as a noncompressible or semicompressible material of a metal or plastic or carbon fiber composition or the like.

FIGS. 8 and 9 illustrate alternative preferred forms of the invention. More specifically, in the alternative form depicted in FIG. 8, the lift plate or lift plate apparatus 10′ is constructed directly into the boot or boot sole during manufacture of the boot 36′. The lift plate or lift plate apparatus 10′ is similar to that shown in FIGS. 1-7, but the boot 36′ with the lift plate or lift plate apparatus 10′ incorporated into the sole thereof is attached directly to the wakeboard 18′ by passing screws 34′ downwardly through a pair of screw ports 32′ formed respectively at the laterally opposed sides thereof. These screw ports 32′ accommodate respective passage of a corresponding pair of screws 34′ downwardly therethrough into anchored relation into receptacles (not shown in FIG. 8) within the wakeboard 18′. In this regard, the screw ports 32′ are unthreaded and at least partially arcuate in shape to permit angular adjustment of the boots 36′ through an angle such as on the order of about + or −45 degrees, for a total angular adjustment capability of about 90 degrees, for enhanced rider comfort. The sole of the boot 36′ is, of course, thicker by incorporating the lift plate directly into the boot.

FIG. 9 shows a modified lift plate or lift plate apparatus 10″ wherein the lift plate apparatus is generally similar to the lift plate or lift plate apparatus 10 shown and described in FIGS. 1-7, but has a somewhat different shape. As shown, the modified lift plate apparatus 10″ has a periphery 24″ with a single internal reinforcing strut 26″, in combination with laterally opposed wings 28″ each formed with a single screw port 32″ formed therein, wherein the screw ports 32″ are somewhat arcuate in shape to accommodate downward passage of a corresponding pair of screws 34″ fastened into wakeboard receptacles (not shown in FIG. 9). The arcuate screw ports 32″ permit the associated screws 34″ to be tightened while permitting angular adjustment of the associated boots for enhanced rider comfort.

A variety of further modifications and improvements in and to the lift plate or lift plate apparatus of the present invention will be apparent to persons skilled in the art. By way of limited example, persons skilled in the art will recognize and appreciate that the description of the invention and the accompanying drawings shows the wakeboard boots with an open toe design, it will nevertheless be understood that the invention is equally applicable to closed toe wakeboard boots. Accordingly, no limitation on the invention is intended by way of the foregoing description and accompanying drawings, except as set forth in the appended claims.