US20070085320A1 - Sled with a calf-securing strap - Google Patents

Sled with a calf-securing strap Download PDF

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Publication number
US20070085320A1
US20070085320A1 US11/610,800 US61080006A US2007085320A1 US 20070085320 A1 US20070085320 A1 US 20070085320A1 US 61080006 A US61080006 A US 61080006A US 2007085320 A1 US2007085320 A1 US 2007085320A1
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US
United States
Prior art keywords
strap
sled
hull
rider
anchor points
Prior art date
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
US11/610,800
Inventor
David Sellers
Parker Sellers
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
David Sellers dba Mad River Rocket Co
Original Assignee
David Sellers dba Mad River Rocket Co
Priority date (The priority date 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 date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US10/329,288 priority Critical patent/US20040119254A1/en
Priority to US10/716,032 priority patent/US7165775B1/en
Application filed by David Sellers dba Mad River Rocket Co filed Critical David Sellers dba Mad River Rocket Co
Priority to US11/610,800 priority patent/US20070085320A1/en
Publication of US20070085320A1 publication Critical patent/US20070085320A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B62LAND VEHICLES FOR TRAVELLING OTHERWISE THAN ON RAILS
    • B62BHAND-PROPELLED VEHICLES, e.g. HAND CARTS OR PERAMBULATORS; SLEDGES
    • B62B15/00Other sledges; Ice boats or sailing sledges
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B62LAND VEHICLES FOR TRAVELLING OTHERWISE THAN ON RAILS
    • B62BHAND-PROPELLED VEHICLES, e.g. HAND CARTS OR PERAMBULATORS; SLEDGES
    • B62B17/00Accessories or details of sledges
    • B62B17/06Superstructures; Attachments therefor
    • B62B17/063Seats or other supports specially adapted for the user
    • B62B17/067Seats or other supports specially adapted for the user the user being sitting on his knees
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B62LAND VEHICLES FOR TRAVELLING OTHERWISE THAN ON RAILS
    • B62BHAND-PROPELLED VEHICLES, e.g. HAND CARTS OR PERAMBULATORS; SLEDGES
    • B62B2501/00Manufacturing; Constructional features
    • B62B2501/06Materials used
    • B62B2501/065Plastics

Abstract

A sled includes a hull and a strap extending transversely across the hull. The strap extends across the hull at a first longitudinal position selected such that it extends across the calves of a kneeling rider. This enables the rider to kneel erect when riding the sled.

Description

    RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application is a divisional of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/716,032, filed on Nov. 17, 2003, and a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/329,288, filed on Dec. 24, 2002, the contents of which are herein incorporated by reference in their entirety.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The invention relates to sleds, and in particular, to sleds having a restraint system.
  • BACKGROUND
  • To a great extent, control over a moving sled is achieved by shifting one's weight. When turning, for example, one leans in the direction of the turn. In negotiating bumpy terrain, one constantly leans forward and backward in an effort to keep the sled on the snow.
  • In effect, the shifting of one's weight causes small, almost imperceptible perturbations in the position of an imaginary point, referred to as the center-of-mass. A rider's ability to quickly and precisely control these perturbations permits the performance of various stunts or acrobatic maneuvers on the sled.
  • A rider can shift the center of mass in three dimensions. By leaning to one side, the rider shifts the center-of-mass transversely. Leaning backwards or forwards shifts the center-of-mass longitudinally, Sitting up straight or crouching shifts the center-of-mass vertically.
  • Known sleds, such as that disclosed in Sellers, U.S. Pat. No. 4,666,171, feature a strap extending transversely across the rider's knees. This strap secures the rider's legs in a flexed position, and thereby limits the rider's ability to vertically adjust the center-of-mass.
  • SUMMARY
  • In one aspect, the invention includes a sled having a hull and a strap extending transversely across the hull. The strap extends across the hull at a first longitudinal position selected such that it extends across the calves of a kneeling rider. This enables the rider to kneel erect when riding the sled.
  • In one embodiment, the strap is adjustable between the first longitudinal position and a second longitudinal position. The second longitudinal position in this case can be selected such that when the strap is extended across the hull the second longitudinal position, it extends across the thighs of a kneeling rider.
  • Another embodiment includes a first pair of transversely opposed anchor points on opposite sides of the hull for engaging respective first and second ends of the strap. The anchor points are disposed astern of a shin-receiving area on the hull such that the strap extends across the calves of a kneeling rider.
  • In certain embodiments, an optional second pair of anchor points is disposed to be adjacent to the shin-receiving area. A strap extending between the anchor points of the second pair thus passes across the thighs of a kneeling rider.
  • In another aspect, the invention includes a sled having a hull and a first pair of transversely opposed anchor points on opposite sides of the hull for engaging respective first and second ends of a strap. The anchor points are disposed such that a strap extending between the anchor points extends across the calves of a kneeling rider.
  • One embodiment also includes a strap extending across the hull between the anchor points.
  • In another embodiment, there is a second pair of transversely opposed anchor points on opposite side of the hull for engaging respective first and second ends of a strap. The second pair of anchor points being longitudinally displaced relative to the first pair of anchor points. For example, the second pair of anchor points can be disposed such that a strap extending between the anchor points of the second pair extends across the thighs of the kneeling rider.
  • These and other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following detailed description and the accompanying figures, in which:
  • These and other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following detailed description and the figures, in which:
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIGS. 1 and 2 are top and side view of a hull for a sled;
  • FIG. 3 is a cross-section of the hull shown in FIGS. 1 and 2;
  • FIGS. 4-6 show a configuration for attaching a strap to the hull;
  • FIGS. 7-10 show sleds having variable-length straps;
  • FIG. 11 shows a sled having a strap configured to secure a rider's calves; and
  • FIGS. 10-14 show sleds having center anchors.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
  • A downhill racing sled suitable for incorporating the features of the invention described with particularity in Sellers, U.S. Pat. No. 4,666,171, the contents of which are herein incorporated by reference.
  • As shown in FIGS. 1-3, the sled includes a one-piece elongated molded hull 10, preferably of vacuum-molded thermoplastic. The hull 10 has a bow or front-end, which is on the right as viewed in FIGS. 1 and 2, and a stern, or rear-end, which is on the left as viewed in FIGS. 1 and 2. Between the bow end and the stern end are a pair of optional contoured shin pads 40 on which a rider kneels while riding the sled.
  • The hull 10 presents a generally crescent-shaped profile, best seen in FIG. 2. An upper outwardly rolled molded edge of the hull 10 forms continuous railing or gunwales 12 surrounding the hull 10. The gunwales 12 are raised at the bow to afford handholds and to protect against the intrusion of snow. The bottom of the hull 10 while generally curved in profile as shown in FIG. 2, includes certain features that enhance the sled's performance in deep snow.
  • Between the two runners 14 and 16, a main central channel 30 extends along a mid-line of the hull 10 from the bow to the stern with progressively increasing depth as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. The inside ribs 20 and 22 define the edges of the channel 30 and are slightly outwardly flared with gradually increasing spacing at both ends of the hull 10. Inside the hull 10, the molded channel 30 forms a large longitudinal central rib or keel-like hump 32 running down the center of the hull 10. Because of the increasing depth of the snow channel 30 toward the rear of the hull 10, the hump 32 becomes more pronounced toward the rear as shown in phantom in FIG. 2.
  • Referring now to FIG. 4, side portions of the gunwale 12 are rolled outward to form a lip 56. This lip 56 curls downward to form a rim portion 58 parallel to the hull 10 and separated therefrom by a gap 60. An outboard hole 62 through the rim portion 58 is aligned with an inboard hole 64 through the hull 10. Molded retaining walls 66A-B, seem in isometric view in FIG. 5 flank the inboard hole 64 and extend outward from the hull 10, part way across the gap 60.
  • A strap 36 has a grommet 68 at each of its two ends, one of which is shown in FIG. 6. To attach the strap 36 to the hull 10, a grommet hole 70 defined by the grommet 60 is aligned with the inboard hole 64. Then, a threaded ½ inch bolt 72 is passed through the grommet hole 70 and through the inboard hole 64. The bolt 72 is long enough to extend through the inboard hole 64 and all the way to the outboard hole 62. Preferably, the bolt 72 extends approximately 3/16 inches beyond the outboard hole 62 to ensure adequate support by the edge of the outboard hole 62.
  • A nut 74 is then threaded onto the bolt 72 to secure the bolt 72 to the hull 10. When the nut 74 is fully tightened, it comes to rest snugly between the retaining fins 66A-B, as shown in FIG. 8. The retaining fins 66A-B thus limit rotation of the nut 74 in response to torque transmitted by the strap 36. By doing so, the retaining fins 66A-B reduce the likelihood that the nut 74 will loosen during use. The nut 74, the bolt 72, and the walls forming the inboard and outboard holes 62, 64 collectively define a strap anchor 65.
  • Because of its strength, metal is typically used for making the nut 74 and bolt 72. However, other materials, such as plastic can be used.
  • A shear force exerted on the strap 36 is transmitted to the hull 10 by the bolt 72. However, the hull 10 supports the bolt 72 at two different points, namely at the edge of the inboard hole 64 and also at the edge of the outboard hole 62. As a result, the strap-anchoring configuration shown in FIGS. 4-6 resists the tendency of the bolt 72 to pivot about a single support in response to a shear force. It does so by resisting shear force using shear resistance provided by the hull 10 at two different support points.
  • By concealing the nut 74 and bolt 72 from view, the rim portion 58 of the lip provides the hull 10 with a more attractive and streamlined appearance. This appearance can be enhanced by coloring the end of the bolt 72 or by extending the end of the bolt 72 slightly beyond the rim portion 58 so it can be capped.
  • In addition, by covering the nut 74 and bolt 72, the rim portion 58 also prevents the nut 74 and bolt 72 from snagging on nearby objects, such as the rider's clothing.
  • In one embodiment, the strap 36 has a length that varies in response to the force exerted thereon. An example of such a strap 36 is an elastic strap as shown in FIG. 7. Another example is a strap 36 having one or more elastic sections 76A-B, as shown in FIG. 8. In this case, the strap 36 has a pair of inelastic grommet sections 78A-B that accommodate the grommets 68 and a central inelastic section 80 for securing the rider. Each grommet section 78A-B is connected to the central inelastic section 80 by a corresponding one of the elastic sections 76A-B. Yet another example, shown in FIG. 9 is a strap 36 having a pair of inelastic grommet sections 78A-B joined by a central elastic section 82.
  • Preferably, the elasticity of the strap 36, or the elasticity of an elastic section thereof, is such that the strap 36 changes in length by no more than three inches. A strap 36 that is excessively elastic, in which the length changes significantly, will fail to restrain the rider. A strap 36 that has too little elasticity will be uncomfortable in the presence of high g-forces.
  • The elastic sections can be made of a manufactured fiber in which the fiber-forming substance is a long-chain synthetic polymer comprised of at least 85% of a segmented polyurethane. An exemplary fiber having these properties is presently sold under the name SPANDEX™. The elastic sections can also be made of a manufactured elastic fiber sold under to name SPANDURA™.
  • The inelastic sections can be made of a manufactured fiber in which the fiber forming substance is a long-chain synthetic polyamide in which less than 85% of the amide-linkages are attached directly (—CO—NH—) to two aliphatic groups. An exemplary fiber having these properties is presently sold under the name NYLON™.
  • Another embodiment, shown in FIG. 10, features an elastic section 76A in which the elasticity is provided by a spring 84. The spring 84 is sheathed by a fabric jacket 86 (opened to expose the spring 84 in FIG. 10) to protect the rider's clothing from being caught by the spring 84 as it expands and contracts.
  • The longitudinal position of the strap anchor 65 can be chosen so that the strap 36 extends across the hull 10 above the shin pads 40. In this configuration, the strap 36 extends over the rider's thighs. However, the strap 36 can also be placed astern of the shin pads 40 so that the strap 36 extends over the rider's calves and thereby frees the rider from having to ride with fully flexed knees at all times. A rider thus freed is able to kneel erect or partially erect in the sled, thereby enabling the rider to shift the center-of-mass vertically by a distance that corresponds to the difference between the rider's fully erect position and the rider's fully crouched position.
  • In FIG. 11, the strap 36 can be switched between a rear pair of strap anchors 65 and a forward pair of strap anchors 88 that are structurally the same as the rear pair of strap anchors 65 but positioned over the shin pads 40. The sled shown in FIG. 11 is thus convertible between the configuration shown in FIG. 11, in which the strap 36 secures the rider's calves, and a configuration in which the strap 36 secures the rider's thighs.
  • A disadvantage of having a single strap 36 that extends across the hull 10 is that in sharp turns, both of the rider's legs are apt to shift laterally. This causes the center-of-mass of the combined rider and sled to also shift laterally. This lateral shift during a turn undermines the stability of the turn and, in extreme cases, can capsize the sled.
  • To avoid this difficulty, another embodiment of the sled features a center anchor 90 at the mid-line of the hull 10. An exemplary center anchor 90, shown in FIG. 12, is a longitudinally extending horizontal bar 92 supported over the hull by a vertically-extending bow leg 94A and a vertically-extending stern leg 94B. The bar 92 and the two legs 94A-B define an aperture 96 through which a strap 36 extending transversely across the hull 10 passes. When the strap 36 is looped through the center anchor 90, as shown in FIG. 12, the rider's legs are individually secured. This makes it more difficult for the rider's legs to shift laterally in a sharp turn.
  • In FIG. 13, the single strap 36 extending across the hull 10 is replaced by a pair of straps 98A, 98B, each one of which extends from a strap anchor 65 to the center anchor 90. This embodiment enables the rider to individually adjust the straps 98A, 98B.
  • In another embodiment, shown in FIG. 14, the center anchor 90 is molded and/or padded to more closely fit the rider's thighs. This embodiment can be configured to accommodate a single strap 36 looping through an aperture in the center anchor 90 or a pair of straps extending in opposite directions from the center anchor 90 to each of the two sides of the hull 10.
  • The invention has been described in the context of a specific recreational racing sled. However, the various features of the invention can readily be incorporated other types of recreational sleds.
  • Having described the invention, and a preferred embodiment thereof, I now claim as being new and secured by letters patent:

Claims (16)

1. A sled comprising:
a hull;
a strap extending transversely across the hull at a first longitudinal position selected such that the strap extends across a calf of a kneeling rider; and
a center anchor coupled to the strap.
2. The sled of claim 1, wherein the strap is adjustable between the first longitudinal position and a second longitudinal position.
3. The sled of claim 2, wherein the second longitudinal position is selected such that the strap, when extended across the hull at the second longitudinal position, extends across a thigh of the kneeling rider.
4. The sled of claim 1, further comprising
a first pair of transversely opposed anchor points on opposite sides of the hull for engaging respective first and second ends of the strap,
the anchor points being disposed astern of a shin-receiving area on the hull such that the strap extends across the calves of a kneeling rider.
5. The sled of claim 4, further comprising a second pair of anchor points disposed over the shin-receiving area such that a strap extending between the anchor points extends across a thigh of a kneeling rider.
6. The sled of claim 1, further comprising means for selectively engaging the strap at one of the first longitudinal position and a second longitudinal position.
7. A sled comprising:
a hull;
a first pair of transversely opposed anchor points on opposite sides of the hull for engaging respective first and second ends of a strap, the anchor points being disposed such that a line extending between the anchor points extends across the calves of a kneeling rider; and
a center anchor for coupling to a strap.
8. The sled of claim 7, further comprising a strap extending across the hull between the anchor points, the strap being coupled to the center anchor.
9. The sled of claim 7, further comprising a second pair of transversely opposed anchor points on opposite side of the hull for engaging respective first and second ends of a strap, the second pair of anchor points being longitudinally displaced relative to the first pair of anchor points.
10. The sled of claim 10, wherein the second pair of anchor points is disposed such that a strap extending between the anchor points of the second pair extends across the thighs of the kneeling rider.
11. The sled of claim 1, wherein the center anchor comprises a structure molded to conform to the rider, the center anchor forming an aperture; and wherein the strap passes through the aperture.
12. The sled of claim 1, wherein the center anchor comprises a horizontal bar extending longitudinally and supported by vertical legs, the horizontal bar and the vertical legs defining an aperture, and wherein the strap passes through the aperture.
13. The sled of claim 1, wherein the strap is detachably coupled to the center anchor.
14. The sled of claim 7, wherein the center anchor comprises a structure molded to conform to the rider, the center structure forming an aperture for receiving a strap.
15. The sled of claim 7, wherein the center anchor comprises a horizontal bar extending supported by vertical legs, the horizontal bar and the vertical legs defining an aperture for receiving a strap.
16. The sled of claim 7, wherein the center anchor is configured for detachable coupling to a strap.
US11/610,800 2002-12-24 2006-12-14 Sled with a calf-securing strap Abandoned US20070085320A1 (en)

Priority Applications (3)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US10/329,288 US20040119254A1 (en) 2002-12-24 2002-12-24 Steering-rail for sled
US10/716,032 US7165775B1 (en) 2003-11-17 2003-11-17 Sled with a center tie-down
US11/610,800 US20070085320A1 (en) 2002-12-24 2006-12-14 Sled with a calf-securing strap

Applications Claiming Priority (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US11/610,800 US20070085320A1 (en) 2002-12-24 2006-12-14 Sled with a calf-securing strap
US13/867,382 US8840120B2 (en) 2002-12-24 2013-04-22 Sled with a calf-securing strap

Related Parent Applications (2)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US10/329,288 Continuation-In-Part US20040119254A1 (en) 2002-12-24 2002-12-24 Steering-rail for sled
US10/716,032 Division US7165775B1 (en) 2003-11-17 2003-11-17 Sled with a center tie-down

Related Child Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US13/867,382 Continuation US8840120B2 (en) 2002-12-24 2013-04-22 Sled with a calf-securing strap

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US20070085320A1 true US20070085320A1 (en) 2007-04-19

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US10/716,032 Expired - Fee Related US7165775B1 (en) 2003-11-17 2003-11-17 Sled with a center tie-down
US11/610,800 Abandoned US20070085320A1 (en) 2002-12-24 2006-12-14 Sled with a calf-securing strap
US13/867,382 Expired - Fee Related US8840120B2 (en) 2002-12-24 2013-04-22 Sled with a calf-securing strap

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US10/716,032 Expired - Fee Related US7165775B1 (en) 2003-11-17 2003-11-17 Sled with a center tie-down

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Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US13/867,382 Expired - Fee Related US8840120B2 (en) 2002-12-24 2013-04-22 Sled with a calf-securing strap

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US20170113118A1 (en) * 2015-10-26 2017-04-27 Sled Legs, LLC Snow Sled Leg Apparatus And Method Of Use Thereof
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US8840120B2 (en) 2014-09-23
US20130307233A1 (en) 2013-11-21

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