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Title:
SURFBOARD FINS AND RELATED COMPONENTS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/018027
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An elastic member is provided for enhancing retention of a surfboard fin that has been removably inserted in a surfboard. The surfboard fin has one or more receptacles. The elastic member has a capsule that is adapted to fit in one of the receptacles and has an opening, and which. The elastic member includes an elastic biasing member in the housing, and a protruding member that is biased by the elastic biasing member into a position where the protruding member protrudes through the opening.

Inventors:
ISHIDA, Michiaki (34095 Granada Dr, Dana Point, CA, 92629, US)
Application Number:
US2017/043411
Publication Date:
January 25, 2018
Filing Date:
July 21, 2017
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
ISHIDA, Michiaki (34095 Granada Dr, Dana Point, CA, 92629, US)
International Classes:
B63B35/79; B63B35/00
Foreign References:
US8282434B22012-10-09
US20080220672A12008-09-11
US20030194289A12003-10-16
US20050089384A12005-04-28
US7182661B22007-02-27
US20100233921A12010-09-16
US20100323568A12010-12-23
US8096846B22012-01-17
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NIENSTADT, Reece (Mei & Mark LLP, P.O. Box 65981Washington, DC, 20035-5981, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
WE CLAIM:

1. An elastic member for enhancing retention of a surfboard fin that has been removably inserted in a surfboard, the surfboard fin having one or more receptacles, the elastic member comprising:

a capsule adapted to fit in one of the receptacles, the capsule having an opening;

an elastic biasing member in the housing; and

a protruding member that is biased by the elastic biasing member into a position where the protruding member protrudes through the opening.

2. The elastic member of claim 1, wherein the capsule comprises a front portion and a back portion that are adhered together to at least partially enclose the elastic biasing member and protruding member.

3. The elastic member of claim 1, wherein the capsule has an outer surface that is shaped substantially as a conical frustum to hold the elastic member within the receptacle by mechanical resistance.

4. The elastic member of claim 3, wherein the outer surface of the capsule is angled at from about 1 degree to about 3 degrees relative to an axis of the capsule, the capsule being wider at the side with the opening than at the opposing side.

5. The elastic member of claim 1, wherein the outer surface of the capsule comprises one or more raised and substantially rounded protuberances, the protuberances being adapted to hold the elastic member within the receptacle by mechanical resistance.

6. The elastic member of claim 5, wherein each of the protuberances comprises one or more of polyurethane, thermoplastic, epoxy, and cyanoacrylate.

7. The elastic member of claim 1, wherein the outer surface of the capsule comprises one or more substantially rounded indentations, the indentations being adapted to hold the elastic member within the receptacle by mechanical resistance.

8. The elastic member of claim 1, wherein the outer surface of the capsule has a screw thread to allow the elastic member to be screwed into the receptacle.

9. The elastic member of claim 1, wherein the protruding member is a metal ball bearing.

10. The elastic member of claim 1, wherein the elastic biasing member is a coil spring.

11. An elastic member for enhancing retention of a surfboard fin that has been removably inserted in a surfboard, the surfboard fin having one or more receptacles, the elastic member comprising:

a capsule comprising an outer surface that is shaped substantially as a conical frustum to hold the elastic member within one of the receptacles by mechanical resistance, the capsule having an opening; an elastic biasing member in the housing; and

a protruding member that is biased by the elastic biasing member into a position where the protruding member protrudes through the opening.

12. The elastic member of claim 11, wherein the capsule comprises a front portion and a back portion that are adhered together to at least partially enclose the elastic biasing member and protruding member.

13. The elastic member of claim 11, wherein the outer surface of the capsule is angled at from about 1 degree to about 3 degrees relative to an axis of the capsule, the capsule being wider at the side with the opening than at the opposing side.

14. The elastic member of claim 11, wherein the outer surface of the capsule comprises one or more raised and substantially rounded protuberances, the protuberances being adapted to hold the elastic member within the receptacle by mechanical resistance.

15. The elastic member of claim 14, wherein each of the protuberances comprises one or more of polyurethane, thermoplastic, epoxy, and cyanoacrylate.

16. The elastic member of claim 11, wherein the outer surface of the capsule comprises one or more substantially rounded indentations, the indentations being adapted to hold the elastic member within the receptacle by mechanical resistance.

17. The elastic member of claim 11, wherein the outer surface of the capsule has a screw thread to allow the elastic member to be screwed into the receptacle.

18. The elastic member of claim 11, wherein the protruding member is a metal ball bearing.

19. The elastic member of claim 11, wherein the elastic biasing member is a coil spring.

20. An elastic member for enhancing retention of a surfboard fin that has been removably inserted in a surfboard, by being inserted in a receptacle of the surfboard fin, the elastic member comprising a layer of elastomeric material rolled in a substantially cylindrical shape.

Description:
SURFBOARD FINS AND RELATED COMPONENTS

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

PRIORITY

[001] This application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. § 119(e) to Provisional Application No. 62/365,274, filed July 21, 2016, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[002] This application relates to surfboard fins and related components, such as, for example, aftermarket components for surfboard fins or surfboards.

BACKGROUND

[003] A variety of water sport boards (e.g., surfboards, wake boards,

windsurfing boards, kite boards, stand-up paddle boards), referred to herein as

"surfboards," may be provided with one or more fins to allow the user to exert directional control to the surfboard in use. Further, the watersport enthusiast may exchange fins on the surfboard. For example, a user may want to select the surfboard's performance and feel according to the user's preference, ability, and/or water conditions being

encountered.

[004] However, a user may desire to be able to further adapt his surfboard according to his preference, ability, and/or water conditions. A user may also desire to improve the performance, durability, or safety of his surfboard according to newly developed technologies. To do so conventionally, a user may have to purchase another surfboard or at least purchase additional surfboard fins. Needing numerous different surfboards and/or surfboard fins can become expensive and inconvenient to transport. [005] Thus, there is a need for aftermarket products that can improve the performance, durability, and safety of the surfboard fins and the surfboard.

SUMMARY

[006] An elastic member is provided for enhancing retention of a surfboard fin that has been removably inserted in a surfboard. The surfboard fin has one or more receptacles. The elastic member comprises a capsule that is adapted to fit in one of the receptacles and has an opening. The elastic member further comprises an elastic biasing member in the housing and a protruding member that is biased by the elastic biasing member into a position where the protruding member protrudes through the opening.

[007] An elastic member is provided for enhancing retention of a surfboard fin that has been removably inserted in a surfboard. The surfboard fin has one or more receptacles. The elastic member comprises a capsule that has an opening. The capsule has an outer surface that is shaped substantially as a conical frustum to hold the elastic member within one of the receptacles by mechanical resistance. The elastic member further comprises an elastic biasing member in the housing and a protruding member that is biased by the elastic biasing member into a position where the protruding member protrudes through the opening.

[008] An elastic member is provided for enhancing retention of a surfboard fin that has been removably inserted in a surfboard, by being inserted in a receptacle of the surfboard fin. The elastic member comprising a layer of elastomeric material rolled in a substantially cylindrical shape. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[009] The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, and, together with the description, illustrate several

embodiments and aspects of apparatuses and methods described herein.

[010] Fig. 1 is a cross-sectional side view of an embodiment of a surfboard fin.

[011] Fig. 2 is a three-dimensional perspective view of an embodiment of parts of an elastic member that comprises a capsule, a ball bearing, and a coil spring to mechanically bias the ball bearing within the capsule.

[012] Fig. 3 is a three-dimensional perspective view of an embodiment of parts of an elastic member that comprises a capsule, a ball bearing, and a coil spring to mechanically bias the ball bearing within the capsule, showing the ball bearing inside a part of the capsule.

[013] Fig. 4 is a three-dimensional perspective view of an embodiment of parts of an elastic member that comprises a capsule, a ball bearing, and a coil spring to mechanically bias the ball bearing within the capsule, showing the parts in an assembled state.

[014] Fig. 5 is a schematic diagram, from a side view, of an embodiment of an elastic member that has a capsule and a ball bearing protruding from the capsule, showing an angle of an outer surface of the capsule.

[015] Fig. 6 is a three-dimensional perspective view of an embodiment of a user- detachable surfboard fin that has receptacles containing elastomeric spacers.

[016] Fig. 7 is a three-dimensional perspective view of another embodiment of a user-detachable surfboard fin that has receptacles containing elastomeric spacers. [017] Fig. 8 is a cross-sectional side view of an embodiment of a surfboard fin that has an edge guard around the edge of the fin.

[018] Figs. 9A, 9B, and 9C are cross-sectional side, from, and top views, respectively, of an embodiment of a surfboard fin having a fairing.

[019] Figs. 10A, 10B, and IOC are cross-sectional side, from, and top views, respectively, of another embodiment of a surfboard fin having a fairing, the fin being inserted in a fin box that protrudes from the surface of the surfboard.

[020] Figs. 11 A, 11B, and 11C are cross-sectional side, from, and top views, respectively, of another embodiment of a surfboard fin having a fairing, the fin being inserted in a fin box whose exposed surface is substantially flush with the surface of the surfboard.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[021] Surfboard fins may be provided that can be removably attached to a surfboard. "Surfboards" may refer to traditional surfboards, windsurfing boards, stand up paddle surfing (SUP) boards, paddleboarding boards, and other buoyant platforms used to enable people to traverse bodies of water or other liquid. A surfboard fin has a foil and a fin base. The fin base may be inserted into the surfboard, such as either inserted directly into the surfboard or alternatively inserted into a fin box that is provided as an interface between the surfboard and the fin to attach the fin to the surfboard. The fin base may, in one embodiment, include two or more protruding base parts. For example, Figure 9 A, which is discussed in more detail below, shows an embodiment in which a fin base 20 has two protruding base parts. [022] Examples of surfboard fins and fin boxes are described in U.S. Patent No. 8,282,434, issued October 9, 2012, U.S. Patent No. 8,393,928, issued March 12, 2013, U.S. Patent Application No. 14/379,151, filed April 7, 2015, and U.S. Patent Application No. 14/549,698, filed November 21, 2014, all of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entireties.

[023] The surfboard fin may have, at the fin base, one or more receptacles configured to receive components. A receptacle may be shaped to hold a component with suitable force that the component is held in place at the fin base. For example, the receptacle may hold the component by mechanical and/or magnetic force. The receptacles may be, for example, threaded or non-threaded apertures. The apertures may be formed to be accessed from opposing sides, such as apertures that have through holes. Alternatively, apertures may be formed to have blind holes. Examples of shapes of the apertures include substantially cylindrically symmetric apertures, substantially elliptical shaped apertures, substantially oval shaped apertures, or substantially rectangular shaped apertures. Such apertures may be formed in the surfboard fin by drilling using a mechanical drill bit of suitable dimension, laser drilling, or, in yet another embodiment, by molding the surfboard fin to have the aperture therein.

[024] One example of an embodiment of a surfboard fin is illustrated in Figure 1. Surfboard fin 10 has a foil 15 and a fin base 20. Fin base 20 has different- sized receptacles 30A, 30B, 30C, which are circularly shaped through-hole apertures, to receive elastic members (at 30A), elastomeric spacers (at 30B), and pins (at 30C). In this illustration, the four rightmost of receptacles 30A have elastic members inserted therein, while the leftmost of receptacles 30A is unoccupied. In this illustration, the leftmost and rightmost of receptacles 30B have elastomeric spacers therein, while the middle one of receptacles 30B is unoccupied. In this illustration, both of receptacles 30C have metal pins therein.

[025] One or more elastic members may be provided to be removably attached to the surfboard fin at the receptacles. When the surfboard fin is in the surfboard, the elastic members may apply elastic force between the surfboard fin and the fin box or surfboard, which assists in keeping the surfboard fin in the surfboard. Furthermore, the elastic members and/or the receptacles may be adapted to substantially prevent unintentional detachment of the elastic member from the receptacle when the surfboard fin is not held in the surfboard. In one example, one or more of the elastic members are adapted to be removably attached to the surfboard fin by elastic pressure within the receptacle of the surfboard fin. In another example, one or more of the elastic members are removably attached to the surfboard fin by being screwed into a threaded cavity of the surfboard fin. Other suitable forms of removably attaching one or more of the elastic members to the surfboard fin are possible, such as by another interlocking mechanical arrangement and/or by magnetic attraction.

[026] Meanwhile, the fin box or surfboard may optionally have one or more recesses, such as grooves, that correspond in location to the elastic members in the surfboard fin and are adapted to receive the elastic members when the surfboard fin is inserted into the fin box or surfboard. Such recesses may enhance the attachment of the surfboard fin to the fin box or surfboard.

[027] Alternatively, one or more of the elastic members may be removably attached to the fin box or surfboard (rather than to the fin base), to apply elastic force between the surfboard fin and the fin box or surfboard. The fin box or surfboard may have receptacles permitting removable attachment of the elastic members to the receptacles. Meanwhile, the fin base of the surfboard fin may optionally have one or more recesses, such as grooves, that correspond in location to the elastic members in the fin box or surfboard and are adapted to receive the elastic members when the surfboard fin is inserted into the fin box or surfboard.

[028] The elastic members may include, in one version, one or more spring- biased ball-bearing members of a substantially cylindrical shape. A spring-biased ballbearing member may comprise a ball bearing contained within a capsule that has an opening, the ball bearing being mechanically biased by a spring to protrude through the opening of the capsule. The ball bearing may be substantially rigid. For example, the ball bearing may be made of metal, such as stainless steel or a titanium alloy.

[029] One example of an embodiment of a spring-biased ball-bearing member having a substantially cylindrical shape is illustrated in Figures 2, 3, and 4. In this example, a spring-biased ball-bearing member 100 comprises a capsule that includes a front portion 110 and a back portion 120 to substantially enclose a ball bearing 130. Front portion 110 has an opening 135 to allow ball bearing 130 to protrude therethrough.

Member 100 also includes a spring 140 to bias ball bearing 130 into opening 135.

[030] Apart from use in a surfboard fin, such spring-biased ball-bearing members may be capable of being used for mounting other accessories. Such accessories for which the spring-biased ball-bearing members may be used in mounting include sports accessories, such as, for example, portable digital video cameras (e.g., GoPro® cameras). In this way, the spring -based ball-bearing members can serve manifold purposes for the user.

[031] In one embodiment, one or more of the elastic members may have an angled outer surface to fit securely in the receptacle. For example, the elastic member may have an outer surface that is shaped substantially as a conical frustum. This outer surface of the elastic member may contact an inner surface of the receptacle. The outer surface of the elastic member may have an angle Θ (relative to a longitudinal axis of the elastic member) to adapt the elastic member to be snapped into the receptacle and held in place by mechanical resistance between the outer surface of the elastic member and the inner surface of the receptacle. In one example, the angle Θ may be from about 1 to about 3 degrees while the receptacle has a substantially straight (i.e., not angled) inner wall, to permit the elastic member to be inserted into the receptacle with relative ease while also causing the elastic member to be held in place with suitable mechanical force after it has been inserted. For the sake of illustration, one example of an embodiment of elastic member that is a spring-biased ball-bearing member with a slightly angled outer surface (having angle Θ) is shown in Figure 5. The outer surface may also be angled in the opposite longitudinal direction, such as at an angle Θ of from about -1 to about -3 degrees.

[032] In another embodiment, one or more of the elastic members contain a projection at an outer surface of the elastic member to hold the elastic member within the receptacle by mechanical resistance to substantially prevent the elastic member from being unintentionally dislodged, such as by accidental knocking, jarring, or vibrations. In one example, the projection is configured in a radially asymmetric manner on an outer surface of the elastic member, such as, for example, a raised (e.g., convex) protuberance in a substantially rounded form on the outer surface. The projection may be formed, for example, by molding when the elastic member is manufactured, or, in another example, by applying one or more drops of hardening polyurethane, thermoplastic, epoxy, cyanoacrylate ("super glue"), or a suitable physically hardening adhesive material. The receptacle may optionally have an indentation (e.g., concave portion) to accommodate the projection of the elastic member such that the elastic member snaps into place when inserted into the receptacle and is held sufficiently strongly by the receptacle to substantially prevent unintentional dislodgement.

[033] Alternatively, the projection may be provided at an inner surface of the receptacle to hold the elastic member within the receptacle. In this version, the elastic member may optionally have an indentation to accommodate the projection at the inner surface of the receptacle such that the elastic member snaps into place within the receptacle to substantially prevent unintentional dislodgement.

[034] The elastic member may be removably inserted into the receptacle by mechanical force applied by the user. For example, the user may use a mallet or wooden block, together or without a buffer piece (e.g., a wooden dowel), to force the elastic member into the receptacle.

[035] One or more of the elastic members may also include, in another example, elastomeric spacers. The elastomeric spacers comprise elastomeric material. These elastomeric spacers may have a shape that is, for example, substantially cylindrically symmetric, substantially elliptical, or substantially oval. For example, the elastomeric spacer may have the shape of a sheet of elastomeric material rolled in a substantially cylindrical shape, with sufficient thickness of the elastomeric material to apply suitable pressure between the surfboard fin and the fin box or surfboard.

[036] Two examples an embodiments of surfboard fins having elastomeric spacers are illustrated in Figures 6 and 7. In these examples, surfboard fins 10 have elastomeric spacers 40 in corresponding receptacles 30A. Surfboard fins 10 also have pins 50 for retaining surfboard fin 10 in a fin box or surfboard.

[037] Pins may also be provided for removable attachment to the surfboard fin at one or more of the receptacles to retain the surfboard fin in the fin box or directly in the surfboard. Specifically, the pins may protrude from one or more sides of the fin base and, when the surfboard fin is inserted into the fin box or surfboard, the pins may be held inside grooves or other recesses formed in one or more inner surfaces of an aperture (or "hollow") of the fin box or surfboard that is adapted to receive the fin base of the surfboard fin. The pins may be shaped to be locked into and/or slide within the grooves or other recesses, such as by being substantially cylindrically shaped. In one embodiment, two pins are removably attached at receptacles at two different locations of the fin base, the attachment locations of the pins corresponding to grooves in a fin box or surfboard. The pins may be suitably rigid, and may have a suitably high tensile strength and shear strength, to retain the mass of the surfboard fin even against forces produced by strong water flows against the fin in various directions. For example, the pins may comprise stainless steel, titanium alloy, plastic, or another suitable material.

[038] Alternatively, the pins may be nonremovably formed on the surfboard fin. For example, the pins may be molded together with the surfboard fin, such as molded of the same material as the fin base. [039] One or more edge guards may be provided to protect an edge of the surfboard fin, such as a leading edge or a trailing edge of the foil of the surfboard fin. The edge guard may also protect a person from injury by mechanical collision with the edges of the surfboard fin. In addition or in the alternative, the edge guards may be adapted to improve hydrodynamic flow around the surfboard fin (e.g., to reduce hydrodynamic drag). For example, the edge guard has an outward- shaping edge that is substantially rounded, sharp, or beveled.

[040] The edge guard may comprise a substantially pliable or substantially deformable material. For example, the edge guard may comprise urethane, polyurethane, silicone, rubber, or another suitable material. In one example, the edge guard is adhered to the edge of the surfboard fin. However, other forms of attaching the edge guard to the surfboard fin may be used. For example, an edge guard may elastically fit around the surfboard fin, or, in another example, an edge guard may be heat shrunk to fit around the edge of the surfboard fin. One example of an embodiment of a surfboard fin with an edge guard adhered to the edge of the foil is illustrated in Figure 8. In this example, edge guard 200 wraps around foil 15 all the way from the beginning of the leading edge to the end of the trailing edge of foil 15.

[041] One or more fairings may also be provided at the juncture between the surfboard fins and the surfboard, such as at the juncture between the surfboard fins and the fin box. Such a fairing may improve hydrodynamic performance of the surfboard, such as by mitigating interference drag. The fairing may also protect the base of the surfboard fin and/or a receiving portion of the fin box or the surfboard, such as protecting these parts from impact damage or the introduction of contaminants (e.g., sand or saltwater). In one example, the fairing is attached to the base of the surfboard fin. In other examples, however, the fairing is attached to a fin box that is received in the surfboard or the fin base may be attached directly to the surfboard. The fairing may be configured to be removably attachable or, alternatively, the fairing may be nonremovably attached— such as, for example, by gluing or molding— to the surfboard fin, the fin box, or the surfboard.

[042] Examples of certain embodiments of fairings for surfboard fins are illustrated in Figures 9A, 9B, 10A, 10B, IOC, 11 A, 11B, and 11C. In Figures 9A and 9B, surfboard fin 10 has a fairing 300 disposed at the bottom portion of foil 15, just above fin base 20. Figure 9A shows a side profile of surfboard fin 10, while Figure 9B shows a front profile of the same.

[043] In Figures 10A, 10B, and IOC, surfboard fin 10 has a larger and more smoothly sloping fairing 300 disposed at the bottom portion of foil 15, just above fin base 20. Fin base 20 is shown inserted into a fin box 310, which is attached to a surfboard 320. Fairing 300 abuts, from the top, fin box 310. Figure 10A shows a side profile of surfboard fin 10, while Figure 10B shows a front profile of the same and Figure IOC shows a top profile of the same. In this example, fin box 310 protrudes from the surface of surfboard 320.

[044] In Figures 11A, 1 IB, and 11C, surfboard fin 10 again has a larger and more smoothly sloping fairing 300 than in the example illustrated in Figures 9A and 9B. Fin base 20 is shown inserted into a fin box 310 and abutting, from the top, fin box 310. Figure 11A shows a side profile of surfboard fin 10, while Figure 1 IB shows a front profile of the same and Figure 11C shows a top profile of the same. In this example, fin box 310 may be inserted into a receptacle or cavity of the surfboard such that the exposed surface of fin box 310 is substantially flush with the surface of the surfboard.

[045] Various components of surfboard fins may be provided separately, such as to end users. For example, a surfboard fin having receptacles for elastic members (e.g., spring-biased ball-bearing members and/or elastomeric spacers) may be sold or otherwise provided without the elastic members themselves, so that the end user can provide his own elastic members of his choice. The elastic members (e.g., spring-biased ball-bearing members and/or elastomeric spacers) may also be sold or otherwise provided separately, so that the end user can attach these elastic members to his own surfboard fin, such as to replace older or worn elastic members. In such a manner, components (e.g., surfboard fins and elastic members) can be reused, replaced, and/or interchanged.

[046] It is noted that, as used herein and in the appended claims, the singular forms "a", "an", and "the" include plural referents unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. As will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon reading this disclosure, each of the individual aspects described and illustrated herein has discrete components and features which may be readily separated from or combined with the features of any of the other several aspects without departing from the scope or spirit of the disclosure. Any recited method can be carried out in the order of events recited or in any other order that is logically possible. Accordingly, the preceding merely provides illustrative examples. It will be appreciated that those of ordinary skill in the art will be able to devise various arrangements which, although not explicitly described or shown herein, embody the principles of the disclosure and are included within its spirit and scope. [047] Furthermore, all examples and conditional language recited herein are principally intended to aid the reader in understanding the principles of the invention and the concepts contributed by the inventor(s) to furthering the art, and are to be construed without limitation to such specifically recited examples and conditions. Moreover, all statements herein reciting principles and aspects of the invention, as well as specific examples thereof, are intended to encompass both structural and functional equivalents thereof. Additionally, it is intended that such equivalents include both currently known equivalents and equivalents developed in the future, i.e., any elements developed that perform the same function, regardless of structure. The scope of the present invention, therefore, is not intended to be limited to the exemplary configurations shown and described herein.

[048] In this specification, various embodiments have been described with reference to the accompanying drawings. It will be apparent, however, that various other modifications and changes may be made thereto and additional embodiments may be implemented. The specification and drawings are accordingly to be regarded in an illustrative rather than restrictive sense.