US20050130759A1 - Sports shaft with variable contour - Google Patents

Sports shaft with variable contour Download PDF

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Publication number
US20050130759A1
US20050130759A1 US10887175 US88717504A US2005130759A1 US 20050130759 A1 US20050130759 A1 US 20050130759A1 US 10887175 US10887175 US 10887175 US 88717504 A US88717504 A US 88717504A US 2005130759 A1 US2005130759 A1 US 2005130759A1
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Prior art keywords
shaft
portion
elongated
body
cross
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Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US10887175
Inventor
Mark Hayden
Chad Wittman
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Harrow Sports Inc
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Harrow Sports Inc
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B49/00Stringed rackets, e.g. for tennis
    • A63B49/02Frames
    • A63B49/08Frames with special construction of the handle
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B53/00Golf clubs
    • A63B53/10Non-metallic shafts
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B59/00Bats, rackets or the like, not covered by groups A63B49/00 - A63B57/00
    • A63B59/20Bats, rackets or the like, not covered by groups A63B49/00 - A63B57/00 having means, e.g. pockets, netting or adhesive type surfaces, for catching or holding a ball, e.g. for lacrosse or pelota
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B59/00Bats, rackets or the like, not covered by groups A63B49/00 - A63B57/00
    • A63B59/50Substantially rod-shaped bats for hitting a ball in the air, e.g. for baseball
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B59/00Bats, rackets or the like, not covered by groups A63B49/00 - A63B57/00
    • A63B59/70Bats, rackets or the like, not covered by groups A63B49/00 - A63B57/00 with bent or angled lower parts for hitting a ball on the ground, on an ice-covered surface, or in the air, e.g. for hockey or hurling
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B60/00Details or accessories of golf clubs, bats, rackets or the like
    • A63B60/06Handles
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B60/00Details or accessories of golf clubs, bats, rackets or the like
    • A63B60/06Handles
    • A63B60/08Handles characterised by the material
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B60/00Details or accessories of golf clubs, bats, rackets or the like
    • A63B60/06Handles
    • A63B60/10Handles with means for indicating correct holding positions
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2102/00Application of clubs, bats, rackets or the like to the sporting activity ; particular sports involving the use of balls and clubs, bats, rackets, or the like
    • A63B2102/18Baseball, rounders or similar games
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2102/00Application of clubs, bats, rackets or the like to the sporting activity ; particular sports involving the use of balls and clubs, bats, rackets, or the like
    • A63B2102/22Field hockey
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2209/00Characteristics of used materials
    • A63B2209/02Characteristics of used materials with reinforcing fibres, e.g. carbon, polyamide fibres
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B60/00Details or accessories of golf clubs, bats, rackets or the like
    • A63B60/06Handles
    • A63B60/14Coverings specially adapted for handles, e.g. sleeves or ribbons
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B60/00Details or accessories of golf clubs, bats, rackets or the like
    • A63B60/48Details or accessories of golf clubs, bats, rackets or the like with corrugated cross-section

Abstract

The present invention relates to an improved sports shaft. The improved shaft is comprised of a synthetic material designed to minimize weight and provide other desirable characteristics. The shaft may include a unique outwardly expanded portion that dramatically improves the shaft's performance. The outwardly expanded portion expands lengthwise and widthwise to create a wider portion that accommodates a player's hand position. The outer surface of the shaft may be coated with a gripable material to improve the overall grip and feel characteristics of the shaft.

Description

    RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This applications is a continuation-in-part of related co-pending application Ser. No.10/735,596, titled “[IMPROVED] SPORT SHAFT,” filed Dec. 12, 2003.
  • TECHNICAL FIELD
  • [0002]
    The present invention relates to sticks or shafts for use in sports and sporting activities. More particularly, the present invention relates to a shaft with improved weight, feel, and grip for improved playability.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0003]
    Various sports incorporate sticks or shafts players use to assist in propelling an object from one location to another. Tennis, hockey, lacrosse, baseball, racquetball, squash, etc. all incorporate some form of shaft. The shafts often include a specialized head that is either detachable or manufactured into the shaft. For example, most tennis racket shafts incorporate an integrated head that is configured to provide a bounceable surface for a tennis ball. Whereas, most lacrosse shafts incorporate a detachable head that is used to catch, throw, and cradle a lacrosse ball. The shafts must conform to certain rules and regulations particular to each activity. For example, baseball bats must conform to very strict size, weight, and composition requirements.
  • [0004]
    Players choose shafts they perceive will assist or increase their overall performance in playing a particular sport. Therefore, shaft manufacturers design and build shafts that conform to characteristics that players are likely to seek out. These characteristics generally include weight, feel, flex, off-set, grip, and the like. The weight of a shaft is primarily dependent on the composition of the shaft. Shafts are often composed of wood, aluminum, graphite, carbon fiber, titanium, or other metal alloys. Each of these compositions has unique weight characteristics. The feel of a shaft depends on the manufacturing of the outer surface of a shaft. If a particular shaft does not feel appropriate, players are forced to add tape or rubber to the outside of the shaft in order to create the required feel. A shaft's flex also is dependent on the overall composition and shape of the shaft. The grip of a shaft is, in part, dependent on manufacturing of the outer surface of a shaft. The grip of a shaft relates, in part, to the amount of friction between a players hand/glove and the shaft during play. The grip also relates, in part, to the available surface area to grip the shaft. In most sports, it is desirable to have a sufficient amount of friction between the shaft and the player's hand so as to maximize the control the player has over the shaft.
  • [0005]
    One of the main problems with conventional shafts is that they do not maximize all of the characteristics desired by players. Certain shafts may have superior flex and feel but are unnecessarily heavy; other shafts may be lightweight but have little or no flex capabilities. Still other shafts may have a satisfactory weight, but provide insufficient size for gripping the shaft. In the field of lacrosse sticks, most of the shaft manufacturers sell traditional hollow, aluminum shafts because they are relatively lightweight, easy to manufacture, and provide a minor amount of flex. These conventional aluminum shafts must be modified to provide the right feel and grip desired by most players. Players commonly tape athletic tape around, the center, the bottom, and/or the top portions of the shaft to create improved gripping surfaces.
  • [0006]
    Furthermore, traditional, hollow, aluminum shafts have a consistent cross-section along the length of the shaft. The consistent cross-section is due, in part, to tradition, but also due, in part, to the restrictions in manufacturing technology to make traditional, hollow, aluminum shafts. These shafts, while functional, are not designed with player positional responsibilities nor with any real consideration to the control and torque requirements associated with facing off, shooting, cradling with one hand, and retrieving balls from the ground.
  • [0007]
    Therefore, there is a need in the industry for an improved sports shaft that maximizes the performance characteristics of a shaft. In addition, the improved shaft should be relatively easy to manufacture such that it can be marketed at a reasonable fee to consumers.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0008]
    The present invention relates to an improved sports shaft that is configured to maximize weight, feel, grip, and the like. The improved shaft comprises a shaft having a variable contour along the length of the shaft. The variable contour provides increased surface area and/or improved gripping surfaces.
  • [0009]
    In one embodiment, the shaft is a lacrosse shaft. The lacrosse shaft includes an elongated body portion made of synthetic material. The elongated body having a first end and a second end. The elongated body has at least one expanded portion disposed on the elongated body portion between the first and second end.
  • [0010]
    The foregoing and other features, utilities, and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following detailed description of the invention with reference to the accompanying drawings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0011]
    The accompanying drawings illustrate various embodiments of the present invention and are a part of the specification. The illustrated embodiments are merely examples of the present invention and do not limit the scope of the invention.
  • [0012]
    FIG. 1 illustrates a profile view of a prior art lacrosse shaft;
  • [0013]
    FIG. 2A illustrates a profile view of a lacrosse shaft and lacrosse head in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0014]
    FIG. 2B illustrates a cross-sectional view of the lacrosse shaft of FIG. 2A along line B-B;
  • [0015]
    FIG. 2C illustrates a cross-sectional view of the lacrosse shaft of FIG. 2A along line C-C;
  • [0016]
    FIG. 2D illustrates a cross-sectional view of the lacrosse shaft of FIG. 2A along line D-D
  • [0017]
    FIG. 3 illustrates a cross-sectional view of a prior art octagonal lacrosse shaft; and
  • [0018]
    FIG. 4 illustrates a cross-sectional view of an alternative prior art octagonal lacrosse shaft including flaring rounded edges.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • [0019]
    Reference will now be made to the drawings to describe embodiments of the invention. It is to be understood that the drawings are diagrammatic and schematic representations of particular embodiments of the present invention, and are not limiting, nor are they drawn to scale.
  • [0020]
    As a matter of design choice, the outer gripable material may be located strategically where a player will grip the shaft rather than cover the entire surface. However, the gripable material is preferably located substantially or entirely along the outer surface of the shaft. In addition, the outer coating may comprise a low thermal surface thermal conductivity coefficient and create an aesthetic clean appearance in comparison to an uncoated shaft. While embodiments of the present invention are described in the context of a lacrosse stick, it will be appreciated that the teachings of the present invention are applicable to other applications as well. Also, the outwardly expanded portion is shown and generally described as being substantially centered on the shaft and substantially along a majority of the shaft length. However, the below described outwardly expanded portion or portions may be strategically placed to facilitate a player's grip instead of over the majority of the shaft length.
  • [0021]
    The present invention relates to an improved sports shaft configured to provide a shaft with at least a weight, feel, control, torque, and grip superior to prior shafts. The improved shaft comprises a synthetic or natural material designed to minimize weight and provide variable contours along the length of the shaft. According to one embodiment, the shaft includes a unique outwardly expanded portion or portions that dramatically improves the player's ability to grip the shaft. The expanded portion expands lengthwise and widthwise to create a wider portion useful for a more controllable and comfortable handgrip. As described below, the expanded portion may provide other advantages as well. The expanded portion may be located to accommodate a player's natural hand position or grip, whether the player is gripping the shaft with one or two hands. The outer surface of the entire shaft or a portion thereof may be coated with a gripable composition to improve the overall grip and feel, and also to provide a low thermal surface conductivity coefficient.
  • [0022]
    One of the improved feel characteristics is the temperature perception of the shaft when gripped. The gripable composition comprises a low thermal conductivity coefficient, which reduces a rate of heat transfer conducted to the shaft from a player's hand or to a player's hand from the shaft. Therefore, the perceived temperature of the shaft when a user grips the shaft is warmer or cooler as compared to a conventional aluminum shaft. Although the actual temperature of the improved shaft is not affected by the gripable composition, the gripable composition reduces the rate of heat conducted from the player's hand to the shaft or from the shaft to a player's hand, thus leading to a more comfortable temperature perception. According to some embodiments, the gripable composition is a rubberized paint or other elastomeric coating.
  • [0023]
    Reference is initially made to FIG. 1, which illustrates a profile view of a prior art lacrosse shaft, designated generally at 100. The shaft 100 includes a lower grip portion 110, an elongated body 115, and a head receiving portion 105. While called lower grip portion 110 for identification, it is to be understood that players frequently use one or two hands to grip shaft 100. Placement of the hands along the shaft may be at any point along the shaft depending on the preference of the player.
  • [0024]
    The elongated body 115 is comprised of a metallic material including aluminum. Aluminum is traditionally used for lacrosse shafts because of its lightweight and semi-flexible properties. The grip and feel of a raw aluminum shaft is generally undesirable to most lacrosse players. Therefore, many manufacturers paint raw aluminum shafts to conceal the raw metal appearance. Unfortunately, painting does not improve the grip or feel. Accordingly, players and/or manufacturers commonly add external tape to the lower grip portion 110 of the shaft 100 in order to improve the overall grip and feel characteristics. The lower grip portion 110 is disposed near one of the ends of the elongated body 115 as illustrated in FIG. 1. The head receiving portion 105 is simply an upper section of the elongated body 115 that is commonly used to attach a detachable lacrosse head. The head receiving portion 105 may include at least one hole for head mounting purposes. The cross-sectional shape of the prior art shaft 100 is described in more detail below with reference to FIGS. 3 and 4.
  • [0025]
    As can be appreciated by one of ordinary skill in the art, the conventional shaft 100 has a relatively constant cross-sectional area along its length. This is due, in part, to the material used to construct conventional shafts as well as the manufacturing techniques. Frequently, players modify the outer surface of conventional shaft 100 to improve the grip characteristics of the conventional shaft 100. In some instances, players wrap tape about portions of the shaft. When a player wraps a significant amount of tape about the shaft, it is possible to increase the surface area of the gripping surface to provide an improved grip, which allows increased control and torque in certain cases. However, using a large amount of tape to increase the gripping surface leaves much to be desired according to players.
  • [0026]
    Reference is next made to FIG. 2A, which illustrates a lacrosse shaft in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. The lacrosse shaft is designated generally at 200. The lacrosse shaft 200 includes at least one outwardly expanding portion 210 (which is shown exaggerated in the FIG. for ease of reference), an elongated body 215, and first and second head receiving portions 205, 230. While the expanding portion 210 is shown substantially centered between head receiving portions 205 and 230, it is possible to provide the expanding portion 210 nearer the first head receiving portion 205 or the second head receiving portion 230. Moreover, although only one expanded portion 210 that extends over substantially the entire length of elongated body 215, multiple expanding portions 210 are possible located are multiple locations along elongated body 215 is possible. Generally, location and number of expanding portions 210 will be a function of the shaft design, player preference, and the like. Providing both head receiving portions 205 and 230 makes the stick reversible as each is receptive of a lacrosse head. Being reversible is more important if shaft 200 is designed with multiple or non-centered expanding portions 210. Moreover, shaft 200 may be designed with a tapered portion 210 t. Tapered portion 210 t would provide increased flex for shaft 200. For more information regarding tapered portion 210 t, refer to co-pending patent application Ser. No. 10/735,596, titled “[IMPROVED] SPORT SHAFT,” incorporated herein by reference.
  • [0027]
    The expanded portion 210 expands outwardly from the remainder of the elongated body, meaning that the expanded portion 210 has a larger diameter or cross-sectional surface area than the remainder of the shaft 200. On either side of the expanded portion 210, the elongated body expands outwardly or increases in width to the width of the expanded portion 210. The outwardly expanding tapered portion 210 is preferably, but not necessarily, consistent on all of the outer sides of the lacrosse shaft 200 in order to create a uniformly thicker section. The expanded portion 210 may improve the grip and feel of the shaft by providing a contoured location for a user's hand(s). The combination of a semi-flexible synthetic composition, the inward tapered portion 210 t, and expanded portion 210 provides an improved grip on a shaft that can assist in allowing a player with whipping the shaft. Players often whip lacrosse shafts in order to throw the ball at a high speed.
  • [0028]
    The elongated body 215 comprises a semi-flexible, preferably synthetic material including but not limited to: carbon fiber, graphite, plastic, composites, etc. According to the embodiment shown, the entire elongated body 215 is coated with one or more types of gripable material 217. To further improve feel of shaft 200, the gripable material 217 should have a low coefficient of thermal surface conductivity in the areas of the shaft most likely to contact the player's hands, such as, expanded portion 210. The gripable material may include, but is not limited to: rubber, leather, vinyl, cloth, and elastomeric paints and coatings. Providing the gripable material 217 with a low coefficient of thermal surface conductivity causes the shaft 200 to feel warmer or cooler in a player's hand than conventional shafts.
  • [0029]
    While the gripable material coating 217 is shown covering all or substantially all of the elongated body 215 as shown, according to other embodiments the gripable material coating 217 covers only selected sections of the elongated body 215. For example, the gripable material may cover only portions of the elongated body 215 that tend to be gripped by players. The application of the gripable material coating 217 may be performed during or after the lacrosse shaft 200 forming process. The gripable material coating 217 dramatically improves the grip and feel of the entire shaft.
  • [0030]
    Lacrosse players occasionally grip the shaft at different locations in order to, for example, cradle the ball in tight situations, shooting, face offs, or the like. In some instances, the player may even want to completely spin or twirl the shaft to assist in, for example, retrieving a ball from the ground. Because of the various functions a single player may need to perform in one game, shaft 200 is better designed with strategically placed outwardly expanded portions 210 and conventional shaped portions, such as the remainder of the elongated body 215. In embodiments such as the one shown in FIG. 2A with the gripable coating substantially covering the entire elongated body 215, the feel of the entire lacrosse shaft 200 is significantly more attractive to a player than the feel of the conventional shaft described with reference to FIG. 1. However, devoid portions 217 d of the shaft may be devoid of a gripable coating to facilitate spinning the shaft.
  • [0031]
    One method of manufacturing the shaft 200 comprises use of graphite or other materials. According to one embodiment, a graphite sheet is wrapped around an internal member such as a dowel. The number of times the graphite sheets is wrapped around the dowel determines the strength of the shaft. Therefore, stronger shafts may be wrapped multiple times. When the desired number of graphite layers has been achieved, the dowel is removed, leaving the graphite in a tubular arrangement. The tubular graphite is then inserted into a mold, where it is heated and formed into the mold shape. The tubular graphite is thus preferably hollow, but according to some embodiments it may also be solid. The graphite is subsequently cooled, and the graphite hardens into the shaft 200. As mentioned above, the graphite shaft may have the gripping layer 217 applied, for example the rubber, leather, vinyl, cloth, rubberized paints, or other materials mentioned above that comprise a low thermal surface conductivity coefficient.
  • [0032]
    Referring now to FIGS. 2B to 2D, cross-sectional areas of shaft 200 are shown at various locations around the shaft. Referring first to FIG. 2B, a cross-section 200 b of the first head receiving portion 205 is shown. Cross-section 200b has a surface area A. Cross-section 200 b is shown as elliptical having a major diameter 240 and a minor diameter 245. Cross-section 200 b could be more circular, however, if desired such that major diameter 240 and minor diameter 245 were substantially equal. The cross-section 200 b has a general octagonal shape but has non-protruding rounded edges 250 connecting a series of substantially flat surfaces 255. It is desirable to include multiple flat surfaces on a shaft to provide increased grip characteristics. However, it is not desirable to include numerous sharp edges or protruding edges that prevent contact with the surfaces. Therefore, the cross-section of the lacrosse shaft in accordance with the present invention is superior to the conventional designs. The shaft 200 shown is hollow, although according to some embodiments the shaft 200 may also be solid.
  • [0033]
    Reference is now made to FIG. 2C showing a cross-sectional area 200 c of expanded portion 210. Cross-section 200 c is shown as having the same general shape as cross-sectional area 200 b, but the shape could change as a matter of design. Cross-section 200 c has a surface area B. Surface area B is greater than surface area A. Cross-sectional area 200 c has a major axis 260 (greater than major axis 240) and a minor axis 265 (greater than minor axis 245). While having major axis 260 and minor axis 265 greater than corresponding major axis 240 and minor axis 245, it is not necessary. Increasing the major and minor axis by the same proportion, however, provides symmetry for shaft 200.
  • [0034]
    Referring now to FIG. 2D, a cross-sectional area 200 d across second head receiving portion 230 is shown. Cross-section 200 d is shown as having the same general shape as cross-sectional area 200b, but the shape could change as a matter of design. Cross-section 200 d has a surface area C. Surface area C is less than surface area B. It is envisioned surface area A and surface area C would be substantially equal or equal, but surface area C could be greater or less than surface area A as a matter of design choice. Cross-sectional area 200 d has a major axis 270 (less than major axis 260) and a minor axis 275 (less than minor axis 265). Again, it is envisioned that major axis 270 and minor axis 275 would be substantially equal or equal to major axis 240 and minor axis 245, but not necessary. Decreasing the major and minor axis by the same proportion, however, provides symmetry for shaft 200.
  • [0035]
    While not specifically shown, if shaft 200 has more than one expanded portion, the additional expanded portions could have cross-sectional areas larger or smaller as a matter of design choice. Also, the cross-sectional areas across various sections of shaft 200 do not need to be consistent.
  • [0036]
    Reference is next made to FIGS. 3 and 4, which illustrate cross-sectional views of two different conventional lacrosse shafts. FIG. 3 illustrates a standard octagonal shape with pointed edges and FIG. 4 illustrates an octagonal shape with flaring rounded edges. Both of the cross-sections are hollow, meaning they only contain material at the outer edges of the shaft. The shafts 300 and 400 are hollow in order to minimize weight and manufacturing costs. One of the problems with these designs, however, is that they do not maximize contact between a player's hand/glove and the shaft. Pointed edges or flaring rounded edges push a player's hands or gloves away from the shaft, thereby reducing the grip. In conventional shafts, these deficient cross-sectional shapes are extended the length of the shaft.
  • [0037]
    While this invention has been described with reference to certain specific embodiments and examples, it will be recognized by those skilled in the art that many variations are possible without departing from the scope and spirit of this invention. For example, the teachings of one embodiment may be combined with the teachings of another and remain consistent with the scope and spirit of this invention. The invention, as defined by the claims, is intended to cover all changes and modifications of the invention which do not depart from the spirit of the invention.

Claims (37)

  1. 1. A sports shaft comprising:
    an elongated body portion comprising a synthetic semi-flexible material, the elongated body having a first end and a second end;
    at least one expanded portion disposed on the elongated body portion between the first end and the second; and
    a gripable coating disposed on an outer surface of the elongated body portion.
  2. 2. The sports shaft of claim 1, further including a first outwardly tapered head receiving portion disposed on the first end.
  3. 3. The sports shaft of claim 2, further including a second outwardly tapered head receiving portion disposed on the second end.
  4. 4. The sports shaft of claim 1, wherein the elongated body has a rounded non-protruding octagon cross-sectional shape.
  5. 5. The sports shaft of claim 1, wherein the synthetic semi-flexible material includes carbon fiber.
  6. 6. The sports shaft of claim 1, wherein the synthetic semi-flexible material includes graphite.
  7. 7. The sports shaft of claim 1, wherein the elongated body has a first cross-sectional area and the at least one expanded portion has a second cross-sectional area, the second cross-sectional area being greater than the first cross-sectional area.
  8. 8. The sports shaft of claim 1, wherein the at least one tapered portion is disposed in a position on the elongated body that is consistent with a standard hand position of a player for the sport within which the sports shaft is designed to be used.
  9. 9. The sports shaft of claim 1, wherein the gripable coating includes a rubberized paint coating.
  10. 10. The sports shaft of claim 1, wherein the sports shaft conforms to the regulations of a lacrosse stick shaft.
  11. 11. The sports shaft of claim 3, further including a lacrosse head disposed on an end of the elongated shaft, the end selected from the group consisting of the first end and the second end.
  12. 12. The sports shaft of claim 1, further including a detachable head disposed on an end of the elongated body.
  13. 13. The sports shaft of claim 1, wherein the at least one expanded portion comprises a plurality of expanded portions.
  14. 14. The sports shaft of claim 1, wherein the at least one expanded portion facilitates a grip of a player.
  15. 15. The sports shaft of claim 1, further comprising a tapered portion disposed on the elongated body.
  16. 16. The sports shaft of claim 7, further comprising a tapered portion disposed on the elongated body, the tapered portion having a third cross-sectional area, the third cross-section area less than the first cross-sectional area.
  17. 17. The sports shaft of claim 1, wherein the gripable material is on the outer surface of the elongated body only at the at least one expanded portion.
  18. 18. A lacrosse shaft comprising:
    an elongated body portion comprising a synthetic semi-flexible material;
    the elongated body portion having a first end and a second end, the first end including a first head receiving portion and the second end including a second head receiving portion;
    at least one outwardly expanding grip portion disposed on the elongated body portion;
    a gripable coating disposed a portion of an outer surface of the elongated body portion, wherein a detachable head can be detachably coupled to the elongated body at a head receiving portion selected from the group consisting of the first head receiving portion and the second head receiving portion.
  19. 19. The lacrosse shaft of claim 18, wherein the gripable coating is disposed on selected portions of the outer surface comprising locations where a player would grip the lacrosse shaft and wherein the at least one outwardly expanding grip portion is a selected portion.
  20. 20. The lacrosse shaft of claim 18, wherein the gripable coating is disposed on the entire outer surface.
  21. 21. A method of manufacturing a sports shaft comprising:
    wrapping synthetic material around an internal member;
    removing the internal member;
    providing a mold for the sports shaft, the mold comprising at least one outwardly expanded portion;
    inserting the synthetic material into a mold;
    heating synthetic material to conform to the synthetic material to a shape of the mold;
    solidifying the synthetic material; and
    coating at least a portion of the synthetic material with a gripable material comprising a low coefficient of thermal surface conductivity, such that
    a sports shaft having a gripable coating and an outwardly expanded portion is provided.
  22. 22. The method of claim 21, wherein the coating further comprises spraying one or more layers of rubberized paint.
  23. 23. The method of claim 21, wherein the synthetic material comprises carbon.
  24. 24. The method of claim 21, wherein the mold for the sports shaft further includes at least one outwardly flared head receiving portion.
  25. 25. The method of claim 21, wherein the mold further includes an inwardly tapered portion.
  26. 26. The method of claim 21, wherein the mold for the sports shaft is configured to create a shaft with a rounded non-protruding octagonal cross-sectional profile.
  27. 27. A sports shaft comprising:
    an elongated body comprised of a synthetic semi-flexible material, the elongated body having a first end and a second end;
    a first outwardly expanded portion disposed on the elongated body portion, the outwardly expanded portion being located substantially equidistant from the first end and the second end;
    a first head receiving portion located at the first end and a second head receiving portion located at the second end; and
    a head located at a location selected from the group consisting of the first end and the second end, wherein the head is located at either the first or second end.
  28. 28. The sports shaft of claim 27, further comprising a gripable coating disposed on at least a portion of an outer surface of the elongated body.
  29. 29. The sports shaft of claim 27, further comprising a second outwardly expanded portion disposed on the elongated body, the second outwardly expanded portion being proximate an end of the elongated body, the end selected from the group of ends consisting of the first end and the second end.
  30. 30. The sports shaft of claim 27, wherein the first outwardly expanded portion is located to facilitate a grip of a player.
  31. 31. The sports shaft of claim 29, wherein the first outwardly expanded portion and the second outwardly expanded portion are located to facilitate a grip of a player.
  32. 32. The sports shaft of claim 27, wherein the elongated body comprises a polygonal shape in cross-section, the polygonal shape having non-protruding rounded corners.
  33. 33. The sports shaft of claim 27, wherein the elongated body comprises a polygonal shape in cross-section, and the polygonal shape has non-protruding rounded corners proximate the first outwardly expanded portion.
  34. 34. The sports shaft of claim 1, wherein the elongated body has a symmetrical appearance.
  35. 35. The sports shaft of claim 1, wherein the elongated body has an asymmetrical appearance.
  36. 36. A lacrosse shaft, comprising:
    an elongated body portion having a first end and a second end;
    the first end having at least a first end major diameter;
    the second end having at least a second end major diameter;
    at least one expanded portion disposed on the elongated body portion between the first end and the second; and
    the at least one expanded portion having a expanded major diameter greater than the first end major diameter and the second end major diameter.
  37. 37. The lacrosse shaft of claim 37 wherein the first end major diameter is equal to the second end major diameter.
US10887175 2003-12-12 2004-07-07 Sports shaft with variable contour Abandoned US20050130759A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

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US10735596 US20050130773A1 (en) 2003-12-12 2003-12-12 Sports shaft
US10887175 US20050130759A1 (en) 2003-12-12 2004-07-07 Sports shaft with variable contour

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US10887175 US20050130759A1 (en) 2003-12-12 2004-07-07 Sports shaft with variable contour
PCT/US2005/014664 WO2006016911A1 (en) 2004-07-07 2005-04-29 Sports shaft with variable contour

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US20050130759A1 true true US20050130759A1 (en) 2005-06-16

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US (1) US20050130759A1 (en)
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US20070129186A1 (en) * 2005-12-01 2007-06-07 Doug Appleton Grip for sports equipment
US20080026882A1 (en) * 2006-07-31 2008-01-31 Main Brian W Lacrosse stick shaft
US20090239687A1 (en) * 2008-03-19 2009-09-24 Purnell John W Lacrosse stick

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US20080026882A1 (en) * 2006-07-31 2008-01-31 Main Brian W Lacrosse stick shaft
US20090239687A1 (en) * 2008-03-19 2009-09-24 Purnell John W Lacrosse stick

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Owner name: HARROW SPORTS, INC., COLORADO

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:HAYDEN, MARK X.;WITTMAN, CHAD M.;REEL/FRAME:015560/0825

Effective date: 20040707