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Title:
FLOATING WATER FEATURE ATTRACTION
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/006211
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A floating water feature for use in a body of water is disclosed. The floating water feature includes at least one waterslide assembly having a flume defining a substantially descending path, and a ramp coupled to the flume at a terminating end. The ramp has a launch point, where a person is launched upward and outward into a body of water.

Inventors:
SCHMIT, Gary (3935 E. Rough Rider Rd, #1275Phoenix, AZ, 85050, US)
Application Number:
US2018/040149
Publication Date:
January 03, 2019
Filing Date:
June 28, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
SCHMIT, Gary (3935 E. Rough Rider Rd, #1275Phoenix, AZ, 85050, US)
International Classes:
A63G21/18; B63B35/73
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
UDALL, Pacer, K. (Booth Udall Fuller, PLC1255 W. Rio Salado Pkwy., Ste. 21, Tempe AZ, 85281, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A floating water feature for use in a body of water, comprising:

a floating platform comprising a float support assembly coupled to at least one float that is buoyant;

a main deck coupled to and positioned above the floating platform;

at least one elevated deck positioned above the main deck and coupled to at least one of the main deck and the floating platform, each of the at least one elevated deck connected to the main deck by a plurality of steps; and

at least one waterslide assembly, each waterslide assembly comprising:

a flume having a top surface and a bottom surface opposite the top surface, and further comprising a beginning end coupled to one of the at least one elevated decks and a longitudinal midline defining a substantially descending path from the beginning end to a terminating end that is closer to the floating platform than the beginning end; and a ramp having an upper surface with an entrance and an exit, a longitudinal midline, and a launch point, wherein at least a majority of the entrance is coupled with at least a majority of the top surface of the flume at the terminating end and wherein the launch point is the point along an ascending portion of the longitudinal midline whose tangent forms the smallest obtuse angle with respect to a surface of the body of water.

2. The floating water feature of claim 1, each of the at least one waterslide assembly further comprising a slide foundation comprising at least one brace coupled to the bottom surface of the flume.

3. The floating water feature of claim 2, further comprising a slide support assembly comprising a plurality of beams coupling the slide foundation of each of the at least one waterslide assembly to the floating platform.

4. The floating water feature of claim 3, wherein at least some of the plurality of beams of the slide support assembly are interconnected between the floating platform and the slide foundation of each of the at least one waterslide assembly.

5. The floating water feature of claim 3, wherein the plurality of beams of the slide support assembly are vertical, and are in a single line.

6. The floating water feature of claim 1, wherein the flume and ramp of each of the at least one waterslide assembly is shaped such that a tangent of the top surface of the terminating end of the flume taken at the longitudinal midline is substantially parallel to a tangent of the entrance of the upper surface of the ramp taken at the longitudinal midline.

7. The floating water feature of claim 1 wherein, for each of the at least one waterslide assembly, the tangent of the ramp taken at the launch point forms a launch angle with respect to the surface of the body of water between 140 and 175 degrees.

8. The floating water feature of claim 1 wherein, for each of the at least one waterslide assembly, the substantially descending path has an average angle between 35 and 40 degrees with respect to the surface of the body of water.

9. The floating water feature of claim 2 wherein, for each of the at least one waterslide assembly, the flume is modular and comprises a plurality of flume segments releasably coupled to each other and to the slide foundation.

10. The floating water feature of claim 3 wherein the couplings between the float support assembly and the at least one float, the couplings between the main deck and the floating platform, the couplings between each flume and the slide foundation, and the couplings between each ramp and the floating platform are all releasable couplings made through reusable couplers.

11. The floating water feature of claim 1 wherein, for at least one ramp, the launch point is at least two feet above a lowest point along the longitudinal midline of the upper surface of the ramp.

12. The floating water feature of claim 1 wherein the ramp of each of the at least one waterslide assembly is releasably coupled to the floating platform.

13. A floating water feature for use in a body of water, comprising:

at least one floating platform, each floating platform comprising a float support assembly coupled to at least one float that is buoyant;

at least one main deck coupled to and positioned above one of the at least one floating

platforms;

at least one elevated deck positioned above and coupled to each of the at least one floating platforms, each of the at least one elevated deck connected to the main deck by a plurality of steps; and

at least one waterslide assembly, each waterslide assembly comprising:

a flume having a top surface and a bottom surface opposite the top surface, and further comprising a beginning end coupled to one of the at least one elevated decks and a longitudinal midline defining a substantially descending path from the beginning end to a terminating end that is closer to one of the at least one floating platforms than the beginning end; and

a ramp having an upper surface with an entrance and an exit, a longitudinal midline, and a launch point, wherein at least a majority of the entrance is coupled with at least a majority of the top surface of the flume at the terminating end and wherein the launch point is the point along an ascending portion of the longitudinal midline whose tangent forms the smallest obtuse angle with respect to a surface of the body of water.

14. The floating water feature of claim 13, each of the at least one waterslide assembly further comprising a slide foundation comprising at least one brace coupled to the bottom surface of the flume.

15. The floating water feature of claim 14, further comprising a slide support assembly comprising a plurality of beams coupling the slide foundation of each of the at least one waterslide assembly to at least one of the at least one floating platforms.

16. The floating water feature of claim 15, wherein the at least one floating platform comprises at least a first, second, and third floating platform, the main deck coupled to the first floating platform, and further comprising a first elevated deck and a first waterslide assembly, wherein the slide support assembly of the first waterslide assembly comprises at least a first beam coupling the slide foundation to the first floating platform and a second beam coupling the slide foundation to the third floating platform, wherein the ramp of the first waterslide assembly is releasably coupled to the second floating platform, and wherein the first, second, and third floating platforms are coupled to each other proximate the surface of the body of water via a framework.

17. The floating water feature of claim 13 wherein, for each of the at least one waterslide assembly, the longitudinal midline of the flume combined with the longitudinal midline of the ramp is between 5 and 30 meters long.

18. A floating water feature for use in a body of water, comprising:

a floating platform comprising a float support assembly coupled to at least three high-density polyethylene pontoons that are buoyant;

a main deck coupled to and positioned above the floating platform; at least a first and second elevated deck, each positioned above and coupled to the floating platform, each of the at least two elevated decks connected to the main deck by a plurality of steps;

at least a first, second, and third waterslide assembly, each waterslide assembly comprising: a flume having a top surface and a bottom surface opposite the top surface, and further comprising a beginning end coupled to one of the at least two elevated decks and a longitudinal midline defining a substantially descending path from the beginning end to a terminating end that is closer to the floating platform than the beginning end; a slide foundation comprising at least one brace coupled to the bottom surface of the flume; and

a ramp having an upper surface with an entrance and an exit, a longitudinal midline, and a launch point, wherein at least a majority of the entrance is coupled with at least a majority of the top surface of the flume at the terminating end and wherein the launch point is the point along an ascending portion of the longitudinal midline whose tangent forms the smallest obtuse angle with respect to a surface of the body of water, the flume and ramp shaped such that a tangent of the top surface of the terminating end of the flume taken at the longitudinal midline is substantially parallel to a tangent of the entrance of the upper surface of the ramp taken at the longitudinal midline; and a slide support assembly comprising a plurality of beams coupling the slide foundation of each of the at least one waterslide assemblies to the floating platform;

wherein the first waterslide assembly is coupled to the first elevated deck, and the second and third waterslide assemblies are coupled to the second elevated deck.

19. The floating water feature of claim 18, wherein the ramp of each of the at least three waterslide assemblies is releasably coupled to the floating platform

20. The floating water feature of claim 18, wherein the first elevated deck is between 2 and 10 meters above the main deck, the second elevated deck is between 2 and 8 meters above the first elevated deck, and each of the at least two elevated decks is at least 1.2 square meters in area.

21. The floating water feature of claim 18, wherein each ramp of the at least three waterslide assemblies is composed of steel having an upper surface composed of the same material as the top surface of the flume.

22. A floating water feature for use in a body of water, comprising: at least one waterslide assembly, each waterslide assembly comprising:

a flume having a top surface and a bottom surface opposite the top surface, and further comprising a beginning end and a longitudinal midline defining a substantially descending path from the beginning end to a terminating end; and

a ramp having an upper surface with an entrance and an exit, a longitudinal midline, and a launch point, wherein at least a majority of the entrance is coupled with at least a majority of the top surface of the flume at the terminating end and wherein the launch point is the point along an ascending portion of the longitudinal midline whose tangent forms the smallest obtuse angle with respect to a surface of the body of water.

23. The floating water feature of claim 22, further comprising:

a floating platform comprising a float support assembly coupled to at least one float that is buoyant;

a main deck coupled to and positioned above the floating platform; and

at least one elevated deck positioned above the main deck and coupled to at least one of the main deck and the floating platform, each of the at least one elevated deck connected to the main deck by a plurality of steps;

wherein the beginning end of the flume may be coupled to one of the at least one elevated decks and the terminating end of the flume may be closer to the floating platform than the beginning end.

24. The floating water feature of claim 23, each of the at least one waterslide assembly further comprising a slide foundation comprising at least one brace coupled to the bottom surface of the flume.

25. The floating water feature of claim 24, further comprising a slide support assembly comprising a plurality of beams coupling the slide foundation of each of the at least one waterslide assembly to the floating platform.

26. The floating water feature of claim 25, wherein at least some of the plurality of beams of the slide support assembly are interconnected between the floating platform and the slide foundation of each of the at least one waterslide assembly.

27. The floating water feature of claim 25, wherein the plurality of beams of the slide support assembly are vertical, and are in a single line.

28. The floating water feature of claim 23, wherein the flume and ramp of each of the at least one waterslide assembly is shaped such that a tangent of the top surface of the terminating end of the flume taken at the longitudinal midline is substantially parallel to a tangent of the entrance of the upper surface of the ramp taken at the longitudinal midline.

29. The floating water feature of claim 23 wherein, for each of the at least one waterslide assembly, the tangent of the ramp taken at the launch point forms a launch angle with respect to the surface of the body of water between 140 and 175 degrees.

30. The floating water feature of claim 23 wherein, for each of the at least one waterslide assembly, the substantially descending path has an average angle between 35 and 40 degrees with respect to the surface of the body of water.

31. The floating water feature of claim 24 wherein, for each of the at least one waterslide assembly, the flume is modular and comprises a plurality of flume segments releasably coupled to each other and to the slide foundation.

32. The floating water feature of claim 25 wherein the couplings between the float support assembly and the at least one float, the couplings between the main deck and the floating platform, the couplings between each flume and the slide foundation, and the couplings between each ramp and the floating platform are all releasable couplings made through reusable couplers.

33. The floating water feature of claim 23 wherein, for at least one ramp, the launch point is at least two feet above a lowest point along the longitudinal midline of the upper surface of the ramp.

34. The floating water feature of claim 23 wherein the ramp of each of the at least one waterslide assembly is releasably coupled to the floating platform.

Description:
FLOATING WATER FEATURE ATTRACTION

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This document claims priority to and the benefit of the filing date of U.S. provisional patent application 62/525,920 titled "Floating Water Feature Attraction," which was filed on June 28, 2017, and U.S. nonprovisional patent application 16/022,550 titled "Floating Water Feature Attraction," which was filed on June 28, 2018, the entireties of the disclosures of which are hereby incorporated herein by these references.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] Aspects of this document relate generally to a floating water feature.

BACKGROUND

[0003] Conventional commercial waterslides are a popular form of recreation, providing people fun as well as refreshment from the heat. Waterslides can be found in locations ranging from large waterparks to hotels and public or private swimming pools. The large size and engineering involved in making a commercial waterslide has resulted in these slides typically being constructed in waterparks, resorts or large hotels, which provide a steady stream of consumers. However, the same conditions that drive people to waterparks also spurs many people to congregate at lakes or other large bodies of water. Yet despite the demand, these large bodies of water often lack the infrastructure or the crowd size needed to make the installation of a conventional permanent waterslide physically or economically feasible.

SUMMARY

[0001] According to one aspect, a floating water feature for use in a body of water may include at least one waterslide assembly, each waterslide assembly comprising: a flume having a top surface and a bottom surface opposite the top surface, and further comprising a beginning end and a longitudinal midline defining a substantially descending path from the beginning end to a terminating end; and a ramp having an upper surface with an entrance and an exit, a longitudinal midline, and a launch point, wherein at least a majority of the entrance is coupled with at least a majority of the top surface of the flume at the terminating end and wherein the launch point is the point along an ascending portion of the longitudinal midline whose tangent forms the smallest obtuse angle with respect to a surface of the body of water.

[0002] Particular embodiments may include any or all of the following: [0003] The floating water feature may also include a floating platform comprising a float support assembly coupled to at least one float that is buoyant.

[0004] The floating water feature may also include a main deck coupled to and positioned above the floating platform.

[0005] The floating water feature may also include at least one elevated deck positioned above the main deck and coupled to at least one of the main deck and the floating platform, each of the at least one elevated deck connected to the main deck by a plurality of steps.

[0006] The beginning end of the flume may be coupled to one of the at least one elevated decks. The terminating end of the flume may be closer to the floating platform than the beginning end.

[0007] Each of the at least one waterslide assembly may further include a slide foundation comprising at least one brace coupled to the bottom surface of the flume. A slide support assembly including a plurality of beams may couple the slide foundation of each of the at least one waterslide assembly to the floating platform. At least some of the plurality of beams of the slide support assembly may be interconnected between the floating platform and the slide foundation of each of the at least one waterslide assemblies. The plurality of beams of the slide support assembly may be vertical, and may be in a single line. For each of the at least one waterslide assembly, the flume may be modular and include a plurality of flume segments releasably coupled to each other and to the slide foundation. The couplings between the float support assembly and the at least one float, the couplings between the main deck and the floating platform, the couplings between each flume and the slide foundation, and the couplings between each ramp and the floating platform may all be releasable couplings made through reusable couplers.

[0008] The flume and ramp of each of the at least one waterslide assembly may be shaped such that a tangent of the top surface of the terminating end of the flume taken at the longitudinal midline is substantially parallel to a tangent of the entrance of the upper surface of the ramp taken at the longitudinal midline.

[0009] For each of the at least one waterslide assembly, the tangent of the ramp taken at the launch point may form a launch angle with respect to the surface of the body of water between 140 and 175 degrees. [0010] For each of the at least one waterslide assembly, the substantially descending path may have an average angle between 35 and 40 degrees with respect to the surface of the body of water.

[0011] For at least one ramp, the launch point may be at least two feet above a lowest point along the longitudinal midline of the upper surface of the ramp.

[0012] The ramp of each of the at least one waterslide assembly may be releasably coupled to the floating platform.

[0013] For each of the at least one waterslide assemblies the flume may include a cross section that is substantially flat with retaining sidewalls. Alternatively, for each of the at least one waterslide assemblies the flume may include a cross section that is concave and curvilinear.

[0014] According to another aspect, a floating water feature for use in a body of water may include at least one floating platform including a float support assembly coupled to at least one float that is buoyant. At least one main deck may be coupled to and positioned above the floating platform. At least one elevated deck may be positioned above the main deck and coupled to at least one of the main deck and the floating platform, each of the at least one elevated deck connected to the main deck by a plurality of steps. At least one waterslide assembly may be included, each waterslide assembly including: a flume having a top surface and a bottom surface opposite the top surface, and a beginning end coupled to one of the at least one elevated decks and a longitudinal midline defining a substantially descending path from the beginning end to a terminating end that is closer to the floating platform than the beginning end; and a ramp having an upper surface with an entrance and an exit, a longitudinal midline, and a launch point, wherein at least a majority of the entrance is coupled with at least a majority of the top surface of the flume at the terminating end and wherein the launch point is the point along an ascending portion of the longitudinal midline whose tangent forms the smallest obtuse angle with respect to a surface of the body of water.

[0015] Particular embodiments may include any or all of the following:

[0016] Each of the at least one waterslide assembly may further include a slide foundation comprising at least one brace coupled to the bottom surface of the flume. A slide support assembly including a plurality of beams may couple the slide foundation of each of the at least one waterslide assembly to the floating platform. At least some of the plurality of beams of the slide support assembly may be interconnected between the floating platform and the slide foundation of each of the at least one waterslide assemblies. The plurality of beams of the slide support assembly may be vertical, and may be in a single line. For each of the at least one waterslide assembly, the flume may be modular and include a plurality of flume segments releasably coupled to each other and to the slide foundation. The couplings between the float support assembly and the at least one float, the couplings between the main deck and the floating platform, the couplings between each flume and the slide foundation, and the couplings between each ramp and the floating platform may all be releasable couplings made through reusable couplers.

[0017] The flume and ramp of each of the at least one waterslide assembly may be shaped such that a tangent of the top surface of the terminating end of the flume taken at the longitudinal midline is substantially parallel to a tangent of the entrance of the upper surface of the ramp taken at the longitudinal midline.

[0018] For each of the at least one waterslide assembly, the tangent of the ramp taken at the launch point may form a launch angle with respect to the surface of the body of water between 140 and 175 degrees.

[0019] For each of the at least one waterslide assembly, the substantially descending path may have an average angle between 35 and 40 degrees with respect to the surface of the body of water.

[0020] For at least one ramp, the launch point may be at least two feet above a lowest point along the longitudinal midline of the upper surface of the ramp.

[0021] The ramp of each of the at least one waterslide assembly may be releasably coupled to the floating platform.

[0022] For each of the at least one waterslide assemblies the flume may include a cross section that is substantially flat with retaining sidewalls. Alternatively, for each of the at least one waterslide assemblies the flume may include a cross section that is concave and curvilinear.

[0023] According to still another aspect, a floating water feature for use in a body of water may include at least one floating platform, each floating platform comprising a float support assembly coupled to at least one float that is buoyant. At least one main deck may be coupled to and positioned above one of the at least one floating platforms. At least one elevated deck may be positioned above and coupled to each of the at least one floating platforms, each of the at least one elevated deck connected to the main deck by a plurality of steps. At least one waterslide assembly may be included, each waterslide assembly comprising: a flume having a top surface and a bottom surface opposite the top surface, and a beginning end coupled to one of the at least one elevated decks and a longitudinal midline defining a substantially descending path from the beginning end to a terminating end that is closer to one of the at least one floating platforms than the beginning end; and a ramp having an upper surface with an entrance and an exit, a longitudinal midline, and a launch point, wherein at least a majority of the entrance is coupled with at least a majority of the top surface of the flume at the terminating end and wherein the launch point is the point along an ascending portion of the longitudinal midline whose tangent forms the smallest obtuse angle with respect to a surface of the body of water.

[0024] Particular embodiments may include any or all of the following:

[0025] Each of the at least one waterslide assembly may further include a slide foundation comprising at least one brace coupled to the bottom surface of the flume. A slide support assembly including a plurality of beams may couple the slide foundation of each of the at least one waterslide assembly to the floating platform. At least some of the plurality of beams of the slide support assembly may be interconnected between the floating platform and the slide foundation of each of the at least one waterslide assemblies. The plurality of beams of the slide support assembly may be vertical, and may be in a single line. For each of the at least one waterslide assembly, the flume may be modular and include a plurality of flume segments releasably coupled to each other and to the slide foundation. The couplings between the float support assembly and the at least one float, the couplings between the main deck and the floating platform, the couplings between each flume and the slide foundation, and the couplings between each ramp and the floating platform may all be releasable couplings made through reusable couplers.

[0026] The at least one floating platform may include at least a first, second, and third floating platform, the main deck being coupled to the first floating platform, and further including a first elevated deck and a first waterslide assembly. The slide support assembly of the first waterslide assembly may include at least a first beam coupling the slide foundation to the first floating platform and a second beam coupling the slide foundation to the third floating platform. The ramp of the first waterslide assembly may be releasably coupled to the second floating platform, and the first, second, and third floating platforms may be coupled to each other proximate the surface of the body of water via a framework.

[0027] For each of the at least one waterslide assembly, the longitudinal midline of the flume combined with the longitudinal midline of the ramp may be between 5 and 30 meters long.

[0028] The substantially descending path of at least one flume may be curvilinear. Alternatively, the substantially descending path of at least one flume may be rectilinear.

[0029] According to yet another aspect, a floating water feature for use in a body of water may include a floating platform comprising a float support assembly coupled to at least three high-density polyethylene pontoons that are buoyant. A main deck may be coupled to and positioned above the floating platform. At least a first and second elevated deck, may each be positioned above and coupled to the floating platform, each of the at least two elevated decks connected to the main deck by a plurality of steps. At least a first, second, and third waterslide assembly may also be included. Each waterslide assembly may include: a flume having a top surface and a bottom surface opposite the top surface, a beginning end coupled to one of the at least two elevated decks and a longitudinal midline defining a substantially descending path from the beginning end to a terminating end that is closer to the floating platform than the beginning end; a slide foundation including at least one brace coupled to the bottom surface of the flume; and a ramp having an upper surface with an entrance and an exit, a longitudinal midline, and a launch point, wherein at least a majority of the entrance is coupled with at least a majority of the top surface of the flume at the terminating end and wherein the launch point is the point along an ascending portion of the longitudinal midline whose tangent forms the smallest obtuse angle with respect to a surface of the body of water, the flume and ramp shaped such that a tangent of the top surface of the terminating end of the flume taken at the longitudinal midline is substantially parallel to a tangent of the entrance of the upper surface of the ramp taken at the longitudinal midline. Also included is a slide support assembly including a plurality of beams coupling the slide foundation of each of the at least one waterslide assemblies to the floating platform. The first waterslide assembly is coupled to the first elevated deck, and the second and third waterslide assemblies are coupled to the second elevated deck.

[0030] Particular embodiments may include any or all of the following: [0031] The ramp of each of the at least three waterslide assemblies may be releasably coupled to the floating platform

[0032] The first elevated deck may be between 2 and 10 meters above the main deck, the second elevated deck may be between 2 and 8 meters above the first elevated deck, and each of the at least two elevated decks may be at least 1.2 square meters in area.

[0033] Each ramp of the at least three waterslide assemblies may be composed of steel having an upper surface composed of the same material as the top surface of the flume.

[0034] A water pump may be included having an output proximate the beginning end of the flume of each of the at least three waterslide assemblies. The water pump may further include an input beneath the floating platform at least 1 meter away from an edge of the floating platform.

[0035] Aspects, embodiments, and applications of the disclosure presented here are described below in the DRAWINGS and DESCRIPTION. Unless specifically noted, it is intended that the words and phrases in the specification and the claims be given their plain, ordinary, and accustomed meaning to those of ordinary skill in the applicable arts. The inventors are fully aware that they can be their own lexicographers if desired. The inventors expressly elect, as their own lexicographers, to use only the plain and ordinary meaning of terms in the specification and claims unless they clearly state otherwise and then further, expressly set forth the "special" definition of that term and explain how it differs from the plain and ordinary meaning. Absent such clear statements of intent to apply a "special" definition, it is the inventors' intent and desire that the simple, plain and ordinary meaning to the terms be applied to the interpretation of the specification and claims.

[0036] The inventor is also aware of the normal precepts of English grammar. Thus, if a noun, term, or phrase is intended to be further characterized, specified, or narrowed in some way, then such noun, term, or phrase will expressly include additional adjectives, descriptive terms, or other modifiers in accordance with the normal precepts of English grammar. Absent the use of such adjectives, descriptive terms, or modifiers, it is the intent that such nouns, terms, or phrases be given their plain, and ordinary English meaning to those skilled in the applicable arts as set forth above.

[0037] Further, the inventor is fully informed of the standards and application of the special provisions of 35 U.S.C. § 112, ]f 6. Thus, the use of the words "function," "means" or "step" in the Detailed Description or Description of the Drawings or claims is not intended to somehow indicate a desire to invoke the special provisions of 35 U.S.C. § 112, ]f 6, to define the invention. To the contrary, if the provisions of 35 U.S.C. § 112, ]f 6 are sought to be invoked to define the inventions, the claims will specifically and expressly state the exact phrases "means for" or "step for", and will also recite the word "function" (i.e., will state "means for performing the function of [insert function]"), without also reciting in such phrases any structure, material or act in support of the function. Thus, even when the claims recite a "means for performing the function of . . . " or "step for performing the function of . . .," if the claims also recite any structure, material or acts in support of that means or step, or that perform the recited function, then it is the clear intention of the inventors not to invoke the provisions of 35 U.S.C. § 112, ]f 6. Moreover, even if the provisions of 35 U.S.C. § 112, ]f 6 are invoked to define the claimed aspects, it is intended that these aspects not be limited only to the specific structure, material or acts that are described in the preferred embodiments, but in addition, include any and all structures, materials or acts that perform the claimed function as described in alternative embodiments or forms of the disclosure, or that are well known present or later-developed, equivalent structures, material or acts for performing the claimed function.

[0038] The foregoing and other aspects, features, and advantages will be apparent to those artisans of ordinary skill in the art from the DESCRIPTION and DRAWINGS, and from the CLAIMS.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0039] The invention will hereinafter be described in conjunction with the appended drawings, where like designations denote like elements, and:

[0040] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a floating water feature;

[0041] FIG. 2 is a front view of the floating water feature of FIG. 1;

[0042] FIG. 3 is a back view of the floating water feature of FIG. 1;

[0043] FIG. 4 is a side view of the floating water feature of FIG. 1;

[0044] FIG. 5 is a top view of the floating water feature of FIG. 1;

[0045] FIG. 6 is a bottom view of the floating water feature of FIG. 1;

[0046] FIG. 7 is a side view of the longitudinal midline of an exemplary waterslide assembly; [0047] FIG. 8 is a close-up side view of the ramps of the floating water feature of

FIG. 1;

[0048] FIG. 9 is a perspective view of another floating water feature;

[0049] FIG. 10 is a side view of the floating water feature of FIG. 9;

[0050] FIG. 11 is a top view of the floating water feature of FIG. 9;

[0051] FIG. 12a is a sectional view of a flume taken along the line A-A of FIG. 5;

[0052] FIG. 12b is a sectional view of a flume taken along the line B-B of FIG. 11; and

[0053] FIG. 13 is a perspective view of still another floating water feature.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0054] Contemplated herein is a floating water feature having one or more waterslide assemblies made up of a downward sloped flume coupled with an upward sloped ramp that launches a person off the end of the waterslide and into the body of water away from the floating water feature. As will be discussed below, the ramps may be interchangeable, such that some slides can be configured to launch people higher in the air, while others may shoot people further away from the floating water feature.

[0055] According to various embodiments, the floating water feature may include, but does not have to include, sufficient structure to accommodate an admission kiosk and lifeguard stations for example, allowing the feature to be used in a commercial setting in circumstances and locations that would not be feasible to commercialize with traditional water features (e.g. lack of infrastructure, population is too seasonal, etc.).

[0056] In some embodiments, the floating water feature may be "beached" or otherwise accessible by walking from the shore to the main deck either with or without the aid of a gangway. The floating water feature may also be connected to a dock, pier, or other structure jutting out into the body of water. The floating water feature may also be anchored to the bottom of the body of water, or to objects above water or on or near the shore, according to various embodiments. In some cases, the floating water feature may be positioned in the water and be surrounded entirely by water, similar to a swim platform, thereby requiring swimming or boats to reach the floating water feature. This flexibility in how the floating water feature is deployed allows for it to be adapted for use in various locations without requiring the construction of new infrastructure. [0057] FIGs. 1 through 6 show various views of a non-limiting example of a floating water feature 100. Specifically, FIG. 1 is a perspective view, FIG. 2 is a top view, FIG. 3 is a back view, FIG. 4 is a side view, FIG. 5 is a top view, and FIG. 6 is a bottom view. As shown, the floating water feature 100 comprises a floating platform 102, a main deck 106, at least one elevated deck 108 connected to the main deck 106 by a plurality of steps 110, and at least one waterslide assembly 112. The non-limiting example shown in FIG. 1 has three waterslide assemblies. Other embodiments may have one, two, three, four, five, or more waterslide assemblies, as shall be discussed below.

[0058] Each waterslide assembly 112 comprises a flume 114 with a beginning end 118 connected to an elevated deck 108 and a terminating end 120 connected to a ramp 112. The waterslide assembly 112 also comprises a slide foundation 300, to be discussed further with respect to FIG. 3. The waterslide assemblies 112 will be discussed in greater detail below.

[0059] As shown, the floating water feature 100 is entirely supported by one or more floating platforms 102. Some embodiments, such as those shown in FIGs. 1 and 9, may be built upon a single floating platform 102, while other embodiments, such as that shown in FIG. 13, may utilize more than one floating platform 102.

[0060] The floating platform 102 is capable of supporting the weight of the floating water feature 100 because it is supported by one or more floats 104 that are buoyant. Examples of floats 104 include, but are not limited to pontoons, floats, barges, hulls, dock buoyancy aids, or other hollow structures providing buoyancy whether airtight or not. As a specific example, in one embodiment, floats 104 may be pontoons 600 composed of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which may also be modular. Pontoons made from plastic are economical, resist corrosion, and have excellent buoyancy properties. HDPE, polyethylene or polypropylene are not the only plastics that will function as a buoyant pontoon. Other types of plastic pontoons (using existing plastics and/ or composites or plastics and/or composites developed in the future) may support the floating platform, such as PVC (inflatable or not), PVC composites (inflatable or not), HDPE composites (inflatable or not), and the like. Pontoons may also be constructed of steel or aluminum or wood for example, in the case of hulls or barges for examples. Other floatation devices such as square "dock floats", "dock cubes" or barge or hull sections may also be used as floats 104. [0061] According to various embodiments, the floating platform 102 may have a generally rectangular, square, other rectilinear shape, oval, or irregular shape (in a plan view). Some embodiments having generally straight waterslide assemblies 112 may include a floating platform 102 with a length that is 2 to 8 times the width (e.g., 2.5-7 times, 3-6 times, or 3-4.5 times). In some embodiments, the floating platform 102 has a length of 15-50 meters (m) and a width of 5-10 meters. In other embodiments, the floating platform 112 has a length of 5-25 meters and a width of 2-6 m. As a specific example, the floating platform 102 may have a length of 80 feet and a width of 20 feet.

[0062] Floats 104 may be separate from one another, may be coupled together, or may be integrated joined together into a unitary member. For example, floats 104 of the floating platform 102 may be coupled to each other through a float support assembly 604 (see FIG. 6), which may also serve as an effective structure to which the rest of the floating water feature 100 may be attached. The floats 104 may be attached to the float support assembly 604 in a variety of ways. For example, in one embodiment, the floats 104 may each have one or more flanges along the top configured to bolt onto a steel beam. As an option, the steel beam may run perpendicular to the floats 104, which may be elongated (e.g. pontoons, hulls, etc.). In some embodiments, the float support assembly 604 may comprise a plurality of beams that couple multiple floats 104 into a single floating platform 102.

[0063] The floating water feature 100 includes a main deck 106 attached to the floating platform 102. In some embodiments, the main deck 106 is attached directly to the float 104 or floats 104, while in others it is attached to the float support assembly 604. In some embodiments, the main deck 106 may be supported by a space frame, or other form of framework, which may serve to more evenly distribute the weight held by the main deck 106 onto the floating platform 102.

[0064] The main deck 106 provides an area for people (e.g., customers, employees, guests, etc.) to move about, but may have certain areas with restricted access. The main deck 106 may include a customer area, a waiting area, space for lines of people awaiting their turn on the waterslides, jumping or swim-up areas next to the water, or the like. An admission kiosk or other ticketing booth or location may also be located on the main deck 106. The main deck 106 may include safety railing along the edges of the main deck 106 where people are not allowed to jump into the water. The main deck 106 may include non-slip abrasive surfaces in areas where people will walk with wet feet (e.g., rubberized coatings, fiberglass-reinforced plastic, or the like).

[0065] People reach the beginning end 118 of the waterslides by climbing at least one collection of steps 110. The collection of steps 110 may be in the form of staircases, ladders, nets, climbing holds or grips (modular or affixed or integrally molded) for hands and feet, or other assemblies that allow people to get from the body of water 400 to the main deck 106, or from the main deck 106 to the top of a waterslide assembly 112. The steps 110 begin at the main deck 106 and rises to an elevated deck 108 from which a waterslide begins. According to various embodiments, the elevated decks 108 have sufficient area to hold at least two people (e.g., a customer and a lifeguard) and may be large enough to hold numerous customers waiting their turn on the waterslide. As a specific example, in one embodiment, the elevated decks 108 of the floating water feature 100 are each provide at least 1.2 square meters of area for people (e.g. not including safety rails, etc.).

[0066] In some embodiments having more than one elevated deck 108, each elevated deck 108 may be accessible through a separate plurality of steps 110. In other embodiments, including the non-limiting example shown in FIG. 1, people may ascend to higher elevated decks 108 using additional collections of steps 110 beginning at a lower elevated deck 108.

[0067] The steps 110 may be coupled to one or more of a slide foundation 300, the main deck 106, and the floating platform 102. The steps 110 may be supported by any of a variety of supports to form the particular collection of steps desired, including the slide support assembly 406, bars, beams, columns, struts, walls, climbing walls, or other structural supports.

[0068] In some embodiments, the steps 110 may be located at the rear of the floating water feature 100, and may overlap, forming a spiraling stairwell for example ascending up to higher decks. In other embodiments, the steps 110 may form a single flight staircase for example, and may follow the length of a waterslide, providing people waiting in line a view of other sliders taking their turn. Like the main deck 106, the steps 110 may be covered with a non- slip surface such as an abrasive surface or a textured rubber surface, or the like.

[0069] The floating water feature 100 includes one or more waterslide assemblies 112, each assembly 112 comprising a flume 114, a ramp 112, and a slide foundation 300. The flume 114 represents the bulk of the waterslide, and is where a person builds up the speed that will allow them to launch off of the ramp 122 at the bottom. According to various embodiments, the flume 114 is a long, predominantly (though not always exclusively) downward-sloped channel adapted to direct water and people down a path. Each flume 114 has a top surface 116 and a bottom surface 404 opposite the top surface 116. Additionally, each flume 114 has a beginning end 118 that connects to an elevated deck 108, and a terminating end 120 that connects with a ramp 112. More specifically, the top surface 116 of the flume 114 at the terminating end 120 (or at least a majority of the top surface 116 at the terminating end 120) mates with an upper surface 124 (or at least a majority of the upper surface 124) of a ramp 122 at the entrance 126 of the ramp 122.

[0070] The ramp 122 serves to redirect a person's path upward and outward once they have built up momentum sliding down the flume 114. As a specific example, in some embodiments, the ramp 122 and flume 114 are both sized and shaped such that a person is launched up into the air at least one meter above the surface 402 of the water 400 before falling in. As shown, each ramp 122 has an entrance 126 which meets with the terminating end 120 of a flume 114, and an exit 128, where a person is launched. The shape of the flume 114 and the ramp 122, in both a longitudinal and transverse sectional sense, will be discussed in greater detail with respect to FIGs. 7, 18, 12a, and 12b, below.

[0071] According to some embodiments, the ramp 122 may be releasably coupled to the floating platform 102 with reusable couplers, and is interchangeable with other ramps 122, allowing for variation in the slider's experience. Conventional waterslide installations do not include ramps and are static, not changing once constructed. Interchangeable ramps 122 having different sizes and pitches are advantageous in that they allow for variation in what is done with a slider's kinetic energy at the end of the flume 114, whether it be launching them further away from the feature 100 or higher into the air, or somewhere in between.

[0072] The surface of the waterslide, meaning the combined top surface 116 of the flume 114 and upper surface 124 of the ramp 122 for each waterslide assembly 112, is smooth, allowing for an efficient conversion of a slider's potential energy at the elevated deck 108 into kinetic energy at the exit 128 of the ramp 122. For each waterslide, a person may ride down the waterslide in their swimsuit (e.g., on back, on stomach, or sitting) or ride down on a slippery mat or flotation device (e.g., mat, inflatable tube, raft, or other slippery and buoyant device).

[0073] According to various embodiments, the top surface 116 of a flume 114 may be high-density polyethylene (FIDPE), medium-density polyethylene (MDPE), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), plastic or other polymeric material, elastomer, fiberglass, polished metal, or another smooth surface that is slippery when wet. The upper surface 124 of ramp 122 may also be any of these smooth materials as well. In some embodiments, the top surface of a flume 114 and the upper surface 124 of its accompanying ramp 122 may be composed of the same material, while in others the slippery surfaces may be composed of different materials. In some embodiments, these slippery surfaces may be a permanent part of the waterslide assembly 112, while in others they may be replaceable. Replacement of a thin surface material may be easier and more cost effective than repairing damage to a permanent surface of a flume 114 or ramp 122, in some instances.

[0074] In some embodiments, the upper surface 124 of the ramp 122 and the top surface 116 of the flume 114 may be covered with a single piece of material, such that the union of the two surfaces is covered by the material, providing a smoother transition. In other embodiments, the two surfaces may simply be pressed together tightly and evenly to provide a similar, smooth transition. In still other embodiments, the material of the top surface 116 of the flume 114 may extend beyond the rest of the structure of the flume 114, such that it overlaps the upper surface 124 of the ramp 122 slightly, covering the union.

[0075] The ramp 122 itself may be constructed of steel, fiberglass, and/or other materials. In some embodiments, the upper surface 124 may be slippery when wet due to a coating of any of the previously mentioned materials, or other materials known in the art. In other embodiments, the upper surface 124 may be slippery due to the nature of the material from which the rest of the ramp 122 is made. For example, in one embodiment, a ramp 122 may be constructed out of metal, and the upper surface 124 may be polished metal.

[0076] According to various embodiments, the floating water feature 100 may further comprise a water pump 140 which may draw water from the body of water 400 or some other source and delivers it to pump outputs 504 at the beginning end 118, or near the beginning end 118, of each flume 114.

[0077] The pump 140 may be located on, near, or under the main deck 106. The pump 140 takes water drawn from the body of water 400 and delivers the water to the top portion of each waterslide assembly(s) 112. One or more filters may be positioned after a pump input 602 and before the pump 140 to filter the water. [0078] According to various embodiments, the pump input 602 for the pump 140 may be located beneath the main deck 108 and at least 1 meter away from the edges 606 of the floating platform 102 to reduce strong currents near the edges of the floating platform 102 which could be dangerous to swimmers. In some embodiments, the pump input 602 is located at the end of a pipe or conduit positioned in the water away from the floating water feature 100 by at least 5 meters. The pump 140 may be powered from an array of rechargeable batteries, power delivered from on-shore, solar panels coupled to the floating water feature, and/or gas or propane generator(s).

[0079] In some embodiments, electrical power may also be supplied to included lighting, audio speakers, a sound system, and an admission kiosk for example. Power may also be supplied to lifeguard stations positioned at the top of the waterslides and on the main deck 106 (e.g., providing power to communications or alarms at the lifeguard stations). If the floating water feature 100 also includes storage, restrooms, or an office, electrical power can be supplied to these structures as well.

[0080] In addition to the disclosed waterslide assemblies 112, other recreational water activities can be conducted from the floating platform. For example, any one of the following can be added: a rope swing, a diving board, a cliff jump, a catapult, "The Blob" bag jump, a corkscrew slide, and the like.

[0081] In each waterslide assembly 112, the flume 114 is supported by a slide foundation 300. In the context of the present description and the claims that follow, a slide foundation 300 is the structure that is directly coupled to the flume 114, and through which the flume 114 is supported above the main deck 106. In some embodiments, the slide foundation 300 may be coupled to the bottom surface 404 of the flume 114, while in other embodiments the slide foundation 300 may couple to the flume 114 through other surfaces (e.g. clamping onto the edges of the flume 114, bonding with the top surface 116 of the flume 114, etc.).

[0082] In some embodiments, the slide foundation 300 may be a series of braces 302 coupled to the bottom surface 404 of the flume 114. See, for example, FIG. 3. Such a slide foundation 300 may be useful in embodiments where the flume 114 has structure of its own (e.g. a concave fiberglass flume, etc.). In other embodiments, the slide foundation 300 may comprise a surface, or a partial surface (e.g. a surface with holes, etc.) on which a less substantial flume 114 may be supported. For example, a flume 114 comprising a flexible sheet of material bordered by inflatable bumpers could be unfurled and secured to a slide foundation 300 that provides a flat or curved surface to give the flexible sheet form and support the weight of the water and the sliders. As an option, such a surface may be perforated to reduce the wind drag exerted on the waterslide assembly 112 when the floating water feature 100 is not in use, preventing damage, tipping, or a runaway waterslide.

[0083] Various bars, beams, columns, struts, space frames, trusses, or other structural supports may be used as part of the slide foundation 300. In some embodiments, the slide foundation 300 is constructed of metal (e.g., steel or aluminum alloys) and may have a lattice structure to reduce the amount of wind drag of the entire waterslide assembly 112. In some embodiments, the slide foundation 300 includes a space frame substantially parallel to the slope of the flume 114. See, for example, FIGs. 9 and 10.

[0084] The slide foundation 300 of each waterslide assembly 112 is coupled to the floating platform 102 through a slide support assembly 406. In some embodiments, each waterslide assembly 112 may have its own, separate slide support assembly 406. In other embodiments, multiple, or even all, waterside assemblies 112 of a floating water feature 100 may be coupled to the floating platform 102 through a single slide support assembly 406. See, for example, FIG. 4, which shows three waterslide assemblies 112 being supported by a single slide support assembly 406, which is made up of a plurality of beams 408 joining the various slide foundations 300 with the floating platform 102.

[0085] In some embodiments, the beams 408 of the slide support assembly 406 may be substantially vertical with respect to the floating platform 102, directly supporting the weight of the slide assemblies 112 above them. In other embodiments, one or more of the beams 408 may be oriented at an angle with respect to the floating platform 102 that is not perpendicular.

[0086] In some embodiments, the beams 408 of the slide support assembly 406 may be interconnected at points between the floating platform 102 and the slide foundation 300, creating a framework or lattice. See, for example, FIGs. 9 and 10. In other embodiments, the beams 408 of the slide support assembly 406 may stand independent of each other (other than coupling to the same waterslide assemblies 112 above and floating platform 102 below). See, for example, FIG. 4, where the beams 408 of the slide support assembly 406 are each thick, vertical poles that form a single line centered beneath the three waterslide assemblies 112 being supported. [0087] The slide support assembly 406 is coupled to one or more slide foundations 300 belonging to one or more waterslide assemblies 112. According to some embodiments, the slide support assembly 406 is also coupled to floating platform 102 indirectly through the main deck 106, or directly coupling to one or more floats 104 or a float support assembly 604 of the floating platform 102. In some embodiments, the slide support assembly 406 may also support other structures, such as steps 110, elevated decks 108, and the like.

[0088] According to various embodiments, the floating water feature 100 may be, to some degree, modular. Modularity, in this case meaning "built up from and able to be broken down into pieces", gives the floating water feature 100 an advantage over conventional waterslide installations of similar size and scope, which are generally built permanently affixed to surrounding infrastructure, and are at the mercy of whatever people travel to the slide. The floating water feature 100, however, may be moved as is (or disassembled and moved) to various bodies of water, creating larger demand in each body of water due to scarcity while able to reach people in a variety of locations.

[0089] There are various degrees of modularity. For example, some or all of the flumes 114 of the waterslide assemblies 112 may be modular. In some embodiments, the flumes 114 may be constructed with: interlocking fiberglass, plastic, HDPE/FRP, and the like segments 200 (see, for example, FIG. 2).

[0090] The interlocking fiberglass, plastic, HDPE/FRP, and the like segments 200 may be removable segments that can stack and roll on top of each other to be lowered to the bottom of the waterslide assembly 112. As a specific example, the flume segments 200 may lock to the slide foundation 300 using a tab connected to the bottom surface 404 of the flume 114 (or each flume segment 200). This tab may penetrate the face of a surface of the slide foundation 300, after which a spring-loaded bolt locks them in place. Other connections may include bolting or hooking into the slide structure as shown in some of the other attached figures.

[0091] In other embodiments, a flume 114 may be modular in the sense that they can take on a different shape, such as a shape more appropriate for transport or storage. For example, flexible sheets such as a vinyl or plastic slide with inflatable side bumpers, or a polymerized and slippery surface, such as those previously discussed above, may be rolled up and/or deflated after decoupling from a slide foundation 300. [0092] In some embodiments, all or a majority of the floating water feature 100 or the waterslide assembly 112 is constructed in a modular fashion using bolts or other reusable couplers 304 (e.g. removable fasteners, etc.) instead of permanent welds. Modular construction allows the modular elements to be disassembled when not in use (e.g., during cold seasons, during off-peak vacation seasons, or in anticipation of high wind). For example, some or all of a waterslide assembly 112, float support assembly 604, main deck 106, and floating platform 102, may be disassembled and stored during cold weather to reduce sun or weather damage to the stored structures. An entirely modular construction allows the floating water feature 100 to be disassembled and moved from location to location to service a number of different lakes, marinas, or other bodies of water.

[0093] FIG. 5 shows a top view of the floating water feature 100 of FIG. 1. A longitudinal midline is indicated for the flume 114 (i.e. midline 600) and ramp 122 (i.e. midline 602) of one of the waterslide assemblies 112. In the context of the present description, a longitudinal midline refers to the line or path traced along the intersection of the highest surface (e.g. top surface 116, upper surface 124) with a longitudinal plane (or surface, for waterslide assemblies 112 providing a ride that is substantially nonlinear in all three dimensions instead of just two) that bisects the flume 114 or ramp 122. These midlines provide a useful context in which to characterize the path that the waterslide assembly 112 takes, or in other words, the path that a person rides along as they use the waterslide assembly 112.

[0094] FIG. 7 is a side view of the longitudinal midlines 500 and 502 of an exemplary waterslide assembly 112. It should be noted that for demonstrative purposes, some aspects of the midlines shown in FIG. 7 might differ slightly from the midlines pointed to in FIG. 5.

[0095] The flume 114 of a waterslide assembly 112 may have a variety of shapes, so long as the general path (hereinafter described by discussing longitudinal midlines) is substantially descending. In the context of the present description and the claims that follow, substantially descending means that the path is predominantly downward, but may have portions that are flat or even slightly inclined, so long as the deviations from a downward slope are not large enough to disrupt a slider's journey from the elevated deck 108 to the water below. As a rough approximation, it may be said that such a path is, on average, descending. [0096] In some embodiments, the shape of the longitudinal midline 500 of a flume 114 may be curvilinear, meaning consisting of curved lines. In other embodiments, the shape of the longitudinal midline 500 may be rectilinear, meaning consisting of straight lines. Some midlines 500 may be compound curves having an inflection point, such as an ogee curve. Other midlines 500 may be segments of a circular curve, while still others may be portions of various conic sections. In some embodiments, the longitudinal midline 500 of a flume 114 does not have any discontinuities, providing a smooth ride, while in others the midline 500 may have one or more discontinuities or sharp changes in slope that results in a small "hop" before the big launch off the ramp 122 at the bottom. Additionally, ramps 122 may have any of the above-described shapes, except ramps 122 may be either substantially flat, or substantially ascending, on average, depending on the desired ending to the waterslide assembly 112.

[0097] As previously discussed, the ramp 122 serves as the launching structure that ejects a person upward and outward. In some embodiments, where the ramp 122 launches a slider upward to some degree, the midline 502 of the ramp 122 may be described as having an ascending portion 714 at, or proximate to, the exit 128. Within the ascending portion 714, the ramp 122 has a launch point 712, which is the point along the ascending portion 714 of the longitudinal midline 502 whose tangent forms the smallest obtuse angle with respect to the surface 402 of the body of water 400. In other words, the launch point 712 is the point along the midline 502 with the sharpest upward angle. Put differently, the launch point 712 would be the point of separation between an object speeding down the slide and the ramp 122, if gravity were no longer a factor after the potential energy of the object has reached its minimum.

[0098] Some ramps 122 may curve downward towards the exit 128 after the launch point 712, to ensure a smooth transition for the slider, while others may terminate at the launch point 712 with a sharp drop-off In other embodiments, where the slider is not intended to be launched into the air, but instead launch outward or even downward into the water, the ramp 122 may not have an ascending portion 714 nor a launch point 712.

[0099] According to various embodiments, and as previously discussed, at least a majority of the top surface 116 of the terminating end 120 of the flume 114 is butted up against, or coupled with, at least a majority of the upper surface 124 of the entrance 126 of the ramp 122, to provide a smooth ride and prevent injury to the slider. Put differently, the tangent 706 taken along the midline 500 of the flume 114 and the tangent 708 taken along the midline 502 of the ramp 122, at that point of the flume 114 and ramp 122 meeting, are substantially parallel. In the context of the present description and the claims that follow, substantially parallel means parallel to within 15 degrees. As previously discussed, in some embodiments, a slight discontinuity at the union of ramp 122 and flume 114 may be compensated for with covering the union with a portion of slippery material.

[00100] The flumes 114 and ramps 122 may have any of a variety of pitches or slopes. In some embodiments, the flume 114 may be sloped at an average angle of 15-50 degrees with respect to the surface of water, or between 35 and 40 degrees, and in a specific embodiment may have an average angle 704 of approximately 37 degrees. In other embodiments, the average angle may vary from 30 to 50 degrees and may have variable curvature. In some embodiments, ramp 122 may have a launch angle 700 (i.e. the angle of the tangent taken at the launch point 712, with respect to the surface of the water) between 140 and 175 degrees, or between 130 and 178 degrees.

[00101] It should be noted that in some embodiments, the ramp 122 may have a downward-sloped portion and an upward sloped portion at the end. See, for example, the ramps 122 shown in FIG. 1. In other embodiments, the ramp 122 may be entirely upward. See, for example, the ramps 122 of FIG. 10.

[00102] In a number of embodiments, the floating water feature 100 may include two or more separate waterslide assemblies 112 with flumes 114 having different average angles 704 and/or ramps 122 having different launch angles 700. See, for example, FIG. 8, which shows a close-up of the three ramps of the floating water feature 100 of FIG. 1. Each of the three ramps 122 has a different launch angle.

[00103] In some embodiments, the midline path of a waterslide assembly 112 may be essentially linear in one dimension. See, for example, the paths of the slides shown in FIGs. 1, 9, and 13. In other embodiments, a waterslide assembly 112 may be non-linear in all three dimensions, meaning that in addition to sliding forward and up and down, there is some side to side motion, or even turns and complete reversals. In some embodiments, a flume 114 may be essentially planar (i.e. essentially linear in one dimension), and may be paired with a ramp 122 that sends the slider off at an angle with respect to the plane of the flume 114. This may be advantageous, as it may be used to spread out sliders as they are launched outward, preventing collisions and facilitating a quicker evacuation from the landing area so other sliders may proceed. In other embodiments, a non-planar flume 114 may be paired with an essentially planar ramp 122. Of course, in still other embodiments, the flume 114 and ramp 122 may both be either planar or non-planar. Furthermore, the ramps 122 and/or flumes 114 may be of different lengths, or midline lengths, in some embodiments, while in others the ramps 122 and/or flumes 114 may be similar or identical.

[00104] The floating water feature 100 may have any of a variety of sizes, though the size of the floating platform 102 is typically defined by the weight of the rest of its components and anticipated weight of people and pumped water, in light of the type and number of floats 104 being employed. As a specific example, in one embodiment, a floating water feature 100 may have two elevated decks 108: a first elevated deck 130, which is between 2 and 10 meters above the main deck 106, and a second elevated deck 132, which is between 2 and 8 meters above the first elevated deck 130. The floating water feature 100 may further comprise three waterslide assemblies 112: a first waterslide assembly 134 coupled to the first elevated deck 130, and a second 136 and third 138 waterslide assembly coupled to the second elevated deck 132. Each of the three waterslide assemblies 112 may have a total path length, meaning the longitudinal midline 500 of the flume 114 combined with the longitudinal midline 502 of the ramp 122, of between 5 and 30 meters. Furthermore, the ramps 122 may have launch points 712 that are at least two (2) feet, three (3) feet, four (4) feet, five (5) feet, six (6) feet, and more above a lowest point 710 (meaning the point closest to the surface of the water) of the longitudinal midline 502 of the ramp 122. It should be clear to those skilled in the art that variations in number of waterslide assemblies 112, number of elevated decks 108, size of floating platform 102, as well as the size, shape, and length of the flumes 114 and ramps 122 are available using the structures contemplated herein.

[00105] FIGs. 9-11 are various views of a non-limiting example of another embodiment of a floating water feature 900. Specifically, FIG. 9 is a perspective view, FIG. 10 is a side view, and FIG. 11 is a top view. As shown, in other embodiments, the floating water feature 900 may make use of different ramps 122, slide foundations 300, slide support assemblies 406, and flumes 114, as has been discussed above.

[00106] FIGs. 12a and 12b are sectional views of two different embodiments of a flume 114. Specifically, FIG. 12a is the sectional view of a flume 114 taken along line A-A of FIG. 5, and FIG. 12b is the sectional view of a flume 114 taken along line B-B of FIG. 11. As shown, the flumes 114 of a floating water feature 100, 900, may have a variety of transverse cross sections. In some embodiments, the transverse cross section 1200 of a flume 114 may be concave and curvilinear. In other embodiments, the transverse cross section 1202 of a flume 114 may be substantially flat (i.e. a majority of the cross section is linear within 10 degrees) and may be bounded by retaining sidewalls 1204 to prevent a slider from separating from the slide prematurely, possibly resulting in harm to them, other sliders, or bystanders. It should be understood that other flume transverse sectional shapes might be used, as is known in the art of waterslides.

[00107] FIG. 13 is a perspective view of a non-limiting example of yet another embodiment of a floating water feature 1300. Depending upon the embodiment, a floating water feature 1300 may make use of more than one floating platform 102 that may or may not be separated from each other, or may use just one floating platform 102 that may be in a "T", "V", "Y", "A", "U", "H", "X", and the like shape for example.

[00108] As particularly shown in FIG. 13, some embodiments of the floating water feature 1300 employ a first floating platform 1302, a second floating platform 1304, and a third floating platform 1306, which are separated from each other. The floating water feature 1300 also comprises a first elevated deck 130 coupled to a first waterslide assembly 134 whose ramp 122 is releasably coupled to the second flotation platform 1304. The slide support assembly 406 comprises at least a first beam 1308 coupling the slide foundation 300 to the first floating platform 1302 and a second beam 1310 coupling the slide foundation 300 to the third floating platform 1306. In other embodiments, additional beams may be employed to couple the slide foundation 300 to the first and third floating platforms 1302 and 1306, respectively.

[00109] The minimalist structure of the floating water feature 1300 of FIG. 13 may be further strengthened by connecting the three floating platforms to each other by a framework at or near the surface of the water and/or above the surface of the water, to prevent them from spreading apart and lowering the elevated deck downward until the structure fails. In some embodiments, the floating platforms may be connected by a framework to each other directly, while in others they may be connected by a framework using a central point or hub, to more evenly distribute the forces. Such a framework connection may be made using one or more cables, one or more rails, a combination of rails and cables, or other framework structures able to resist pulling forces known in the art. As particularly shown in FIG. 13 and for the exemplary purposes of this disclosure, such a framework connection may be made using a framework of rails 1312 and 1314 that directly connect floating platforms 1302, 1304, and 1306 to each other.

[00110] Embodiments of the floating water feature 1300 such as the one shown in FIG. 13 may be advantageous over other embodiments in certain circumstances. The minimal structure makes it easier to disassemble, transport, and assemble, requires less material potentially making it less expensive to manufacture, and allows it to be employed in smaller bodies of water, such as larger pool areas of resorts and community pools, water parks, rivers, ponds, and the like. However, the minimal structure may make it difficult to employ other features that facilitate commercialization, such as an admission kiosk. It should be recognized that the use of multiple floating platforms 102 might be adapted to other embodiments of the floating water feature, such as floating water features 100 and 900.

[00111] This disclosure, its aspects and implementations, are not limited to the specific material types, components, methods, or other examples disclosed herein. Many additional material types, components, methods, and procedures known in the art are contemplated for use with particular implementations from this disclosure. Accordingly, for example, although particular implementations are disclosed, such implementations and implementing components may comprise any components, models, types, materials, versions, quantities, and/or the like as is known in the art for such systems and implementing components, consistent with the intended operation. For example, some or all of the components of a disclosed floating water feature could be formed of materials that may or may not be rigid or completely rigid materials, such as inflatable materials, such as PVC, PVC composite, HDPE, HDPE composites, other plastic materials, other composite materials, and the like.

[00112] The word "exemplary," "example," or various forms thereof are used herein to mean serving as an example, instance, or illustration. Any aspect or design described herein as "exemplary" or as an "example" is not necessarily to be construed as preferred or advantageous over other aspects or designs. Furthermore, examples are provided solely for purposes of clarity and understanding and are not meant to limit or restrict the disclosed subject matter or relevant portions of this disclosure in any manner. It is to be appreciated that a myriad of additional or alternate examples of varying scope could have been presented, but have been omitted for purposes of brevity. [00113] While this disclosure includes a number of embodiments in many different forms, there is shown in the DRAWINGS and have herein been described in detail particular embodiments with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the principles of the disclosed methods and systems, and is not intended to limit the broad aspect of the disclosed concepts to the embodiments illustrated.

[00114] Where the above examples, embodiments and implementations reference examples, it should be understood by those of ordinary skill in the art that other floating water features, manufacturing methods and examples could be intermixed or substituted with those provided. In places where the description above refers to particular embodiments of a floating water feature, it should be readily apparent that a number of modifications may be made without departing from the spirit thereof and that these embodiments and implementations may be applied to other floating water features and other recreational features as well. Accordingly, the disclosed subject matter is intended to embrace all such alterations, modifications and variations that fall within the spirit and scope of the disclosure and the knowledge of one of ordinary skill in the art.