Thursday, April 18, 2013

The 10 Most Bonkers Snowboard Inventions Ever Patented

It's said that genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. For some people all they have is perspiration. Today we celebrate the efforts of these incredibly moist and flagrant folks...

10. Hula-Hoop Girdles

There's been a lot of chat recently about the lack of people taking up snowboarding over the last few years. One of the solutions would be to make learning to snowboard a little easier, anything that could make your first experience of snowboarding feel a little less like you'd just naively bent down to pick up the soap in the prison showers would be a massive bonus. That said, the answer has not turned out to be dressing some poor mug in a giant steering wheel.

Although it never really took off in the snowboarding world, the hoop girdle was found to be the perfect solution to the dropped soap problem

This design did actually see the light of day and it's still around and finding a small niche in adaptive snowboarding as the puntastic Sno-Wing

9. Sailboards
As soon as one person invents a sport, someone else tries to mash that sport up with another. Here's windsurfing bodged together with snowboarding.
Sailboard for snow and ice – 1984 
And here's how that idea works in real life...
The major drawback of snowboard sailing is the music

Although that original patent amounted to very little, it's not stopped people from continuing to reinvent exactly the same thing, time and time again. In an article we produced some time ago we found that this little snowboard niche had expanded to include a plethora of sports you've never heard of including; Snow Kiting, Snow Kiteboarding, Sail Boarding, Wind Sking, Wind Boarding, Winter Windsurfing, Kitewinging, Ice Surfing, Iceboarding, Snowfering, Skywinging, Speed Riding and Speedflying.

8. Motorised Snowboards
Like wind-powered snowboarding, motorised snowboarding attracts doomed inventiors like shit attracts flies. We've also produced an article on their so far unsuccessful exploits and here's the latest idea that you won't see in a resort near you soon, or at least until someone can make one of these things weigh exactly nothing.
Powered Snowboard - 2012 
The real skill is being able to ride the board without looking where you're going

7. Lift Tethers
Lift tethers are only to be used by headless snowboarders
Snowboard support and tether – 1996 
43 - nipple clamps, 25 & 26 cock suspenders

12 - string, 22 - string, 24 - string, 26 - string

36 - Snowboard clogs

"One of the advantages of the loop strap is that it prevents ankle and knee injury due to the dangling of the board from one foot as the person rides the chairlift".  - Of all the dangers inherent in our sport, this one has to be the least.

Somehow the snowboard suspenders concept actually made it to market as the Legsaver 
They are no longer in business

6. Emergency Lighting Systems

Numerous inventors have explored the opportunities of adding lighting systems to snowboards, but the insurmountable detail that snowboarding is a daytime sport has so far put an end to the realisation of their dreams.

16 - Eye of Mordor, 18 - Monocle of Mordor

All things combined, this proved to be one massively over-engineered snowplough.

It didn't help that this patent application was written by Donald Rumsfeld; "When visibility is poor in cases such as in a snowstorm, when fog rises, or when snowboarding at night, it is hard for a back person in sliding persons using snow sliding equipments (hereinafter, a “back sliding person”) to notice a front person (hereinafter, a “front sliding person”). Therefore, when the sliding speed of the back sliding person is higher than that of the front sliding person, a collision between the front sliding person and the back sliding person can occur. To avert such collision, it is considered to make the snow sliding equipment of the front sliding person luminous to draw attention of the back sliding person to the front sliding person."

Great for illuminating the ground up to three centimetres ahead of you

5. Dinky Snowboards

Adding more stuff to snowboards isn't the only path open to tinkerers, the other alternative is to remove things or cut things in half. 

Individual  Snowboard for Each Foot – 1997 
Granddad's slipper glued to a Pringle

That's an image from the original patent for the absolute pony Dual Snowboards, bafflingly the most successful of these awful ideas, although in all probability it will follow all these other ideas into dusty oblivion.

Interestingly in their various applications the other referenced patents aren't snowboarding, instead they seem to have been inspired by a series of patents for snowblade precursors, including this beauty. It undermines the positioning of their product as an improvement on snowboarding when it was inspired by feet buckets.
Shoe device and method of attaching a strap to a shoe member - 1977

As with all of these ideas, just because it's a bad idea doesn't seem to put others off from having a go too.

Articulated two-piece snowboard with rigid, flexible connector – 2011 
This saw the light of day as the Trakboard, although judging by the antiquated website and videos this product has already gone the way of the step-in binding.

This product was about as usable as the guy's spelling of usable

The bloke that produced the last patent seems to be a bit of a serial patentist. Here's another of his cracking ideas...
Bionic Boots

4. Snowboard Scooters

The premise for this is, despite all evidence to the contrary, handles would be a better way to control a snowboard than bindings. A really bad starting point, but people just love mashing shit up so they were sure to try this at some point.

Snow scooter and method of using snow scooter - 2003 
This is easily my favourite patent sketch. Loving the use of lined paper.

I was hoping they'd update their patent by submitting doodles they'd drawn on some ketchup-stained napkins, but rather disappointing by 2008 they'd tidied things up a little.
56 - man with no neck,  54 - disco shoes, 25 - Dance Dance Revolution platform, 24, fucking massive snowboard 

Here's a look at the performance of snowboard scooters in an incredibly unsuccessful advert from the now defunct Venom Switchboards. 

Question: What's better than a snowboard with an unnecessary handle? 
Anserw: A snowboard with two unnecessary handles...
4. Two Handled Snowboards

With two handles and a set of bindings this seems to be a snowboard designed for control-freak master puppeteers, a very niche market. 

Snowboard with steering control – 2004 
12 - snowboard, 16 - front of snowboard, 18 - back of snowboard, 26 - just behind the front of snowboard, 28 - just in front of the back of snowboard, 37 - the most frontish bit of the snowboard possible, 38 - the furthest you can get from 37 , 14 - towards the back of snowboard, but not all that far back, more towards the middle, but not the middle itself, just behind that.

27 - The Running Man

To see how these two-handled snowboards roll, here's a video from another patentee, Yibb Boards, the Netherlands biggest contribution to snowboarding, featuring lots of straight airs and hotel foyer music.

The universal sign that you've just invented a crap snowboard is if you've also just developed a surprising and uncontrollable desire to listen to easy listening jazz.

2. Hangboards
While we're busy bodging together sports hows about the incredibly unlikely combination of hang gliding and snowboarding?
Someone decided to go full Heath Robinson on this shit, and amazingly this contraption is now available as the Hangboard.

“Wait till you see the next story, its about something that we’re pretty sure will take the extreme sports world by storm.”
That video was from three years back and the extreme sports world is still bracing itself for the storm.

In the patent application theirs also a design for a seated hangboard, which if it's possible, makes even less sense. Hangboard are clearly not big fans of making sense...

Site highlight: This guy has an truly immense head.

1. Catwalk Sticks?
In the past few days I've come across at least a dozen separate patents all trying to corner the market in snowboard poles. It makes you question the validity of patents when you can apparently patent a stick. At least three of these things are now available to buy at surprising high price points. However the winner in this cul-de-sac of snowboard design, and the winner of the worst snowboard idea ever patented is...

Catwalk sticks for propelling a snowboarder – 2000 
Cutlery propelled snowboarding

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  1. This ridiculous "snowboard brake" could've easily made the top ten:

  2. The Articulater you show here is not the same as the site with the Real
    Articulater Snowboards invented by me in 96.many has tryed to copy it
    There's was only 50 ever made an I have all of them here.some were lost.
    I Ride them every year,best place on earth to ride-fthe backside
    Blackcomb Canada


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