Swinging

Owen Byrne owen@permafrost.net
Tue, 16 Apr 2002 12:22:51 -0300


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United States Patent  6,368,227
Olson  April 9, 2002

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Method of swinging on a swing


Abstract
A method of swing on a swing is disclosed, in which a user positioned on a
standard swing suspended by two chains from a substantially horizontal tree
branch induces side to side motion by pulling alternately on one chain and
then the other.


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Inventors:  Olson; Steven (337 Otis Ave., St. Paul, MN 55104)
Appl. No.:  715198
Filed:  November 17, 2000

Current U.S. Class: 472/118
Intern'l Class:  A63G 009/00
Field of Search:  472/118,119,120,121,122,123,125



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References Cited [Referenced By]

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U.S. Patent Documents
242601 Jun., 1881 Clement 472/118.
5413298 May., 1995 Perreault 248/228.

Primary Examiner: Nguyen; Kien T.
Attorney, Agent or Firm: Olson; Peter Lowell

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Claims

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I claim:

1. A method of swinging on a swing, the method comprising the steps of:

a) suspending a seat for supporting a user between only two chains that are
hung from a tree branch;

b) positioning a user on the seat so that the user is facing a direction
perpendicular to the tree branch;

c) having the user pull alternately on one chain to induce movement of the
user and the swing toward one side, and then on the other chain to induce
movement of the user and the swing toward the other side; and

d) repeating step c) to create side-to-side swinging motion, relative to the
user, that is parallel to the tree branch.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the method is practiced independently by
the user to create the side-to-side motion from an initial dead stop.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein the method further comprises the step of:

e) inducing a component of forward and back motion into the swinging motion,
resulting in a swinging path that is generally shaped as an oval.

4. The method of claim 3, wherein the magnitude of the component of forward
and back motion is less than the component of side-to-side motion.
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Description

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TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to a method of swinging on a swing.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A few basic types of swings have been around for generations. Perhaps the
most common is one that includes a seat suspended between two ropes or
chains that are hung from a tree branch or other substantially horizontal
support. These swings are often found in side-by-side sets of two or three
or more on, for example, a school playground.

Young children often need help to climb onto a swing, and may need a push
(sometimes even an "underdog" push) to begin swinging. Others may be able to
begin the swinging movement on their own by pushing with their feet against
the ground, and once moving may coordinate the motion of their legs and body
in what may be called "pumping" to sustain the movement of the swing. When
swinging in this manner, the user travels along a path as generally shown in
the cross-section of FIG. 1. Another method of swinging on a swing involves
twisting the seat around repeatedly so that the chains or ropes are wound in
a double helix. When allowed to unwind, the swing spins quickly, which can
be entertaining for the user.

These methods of swinging on a swing, although of considerable interest to
some people, can lose their appeal with age and experience. A new method of
swinging on a swing would therefore represent an advance of great
significance and value.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, a method is
provided for swinging on a swing. The swing comprises a seat for supporting
a user that is suspended between two chains that are hung from a
substantially horizontal tree branch. The method comprises the steps of: a)
positioning a user on the seat; and b) having the user pull alternately on
one chain to induce movement of the user and the swing toward one side, and
then on the other chain to induce movement of the user and the swing toward
the other side, to create side-to-side motion. In another embodiment of the
invention, the swinging method may be practiced independently by the user to
create the side-to-side motion from an initial dead stop. These and other
features of the invention are described in greater detail below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic top view of the swinging path of a swing used in
accordance with conventional swinging methods.

FIG. 2 is a front view of a swinging path of a swing used in accordance with
one embodiment of the swinging method of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a schematic top view of a swinging path of a swing used in
accordance with a second embodiment of the swinging method of the present
invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present inventor has created, through experimentation on a standard
swing, a new and improved method of swinging. The swing is of the type
described above, in which a seat is suspended between two chains that are
hung from a substantially horizontal tree branch. As is apparent to those of
ordinary skill in the area of swinging, the chains could be replaced with
ropes, cables, or the like, or the tree branch could be replaced with
another substantially horizontal support such as a metal bar or pole.

The standard swing should be a single swing that is suspended sufficiently
far away from obstructions to make the practice of the inventive swinging
method completely safe. That is, the swing should be suspended a sufficient
distance away from the trunk of the tree from which it suspended, and from
any other swing, building, support, overhead wire, or other obstruction or
threat to safety that may be present.

The standard method of swinging on a swing is defined by oscillatory motion
of the swing and the user along an axis that is substantially perpendicular
to the axis of the tree branch from which the swing is suspended. This
"forward and back" movement has been known for generations, and is
illustrated in FIG. 1. In contrast to the conventional method of swinging,
the present inventor has discovered that much greater satisfaction can be
obtained by alternately pulling on one chain to move the swing and the user
toward that side, and then pulling on the other chain to move the swing and
the user toward that side. This side-to-side oscillatory motion of the swing
and the user is thus along an axis that is substantially parallel to the
axis of the tree branch from which the swing is suspended, and is
illustrated in FIG. 2. This side to side swinging method has the added
benefit that it can be continued for long periods of time simply by
alternately pulling on one chain and then the other. The importance of
sufficient clearance between the swing and any obstructions or threats to
the user's safety is apparent.

The present inventor has discovered certain other improvements in the art of
swinging on a swing, either or both of which can be used in conjunction with
the swinging method described immediately above. The first is that the
inventive swinging method can be initiated from a dead stop without pushing,
and without the user having to contact the ground. That is, the user can
climb onto the swing, and begin from an initial dead stop to pull first on
one chain, and then on the other chain, alternately until the user and the
swing have begun to swing side-to-side in accordance with the inventive
swinging method described herein. This enables even young users to swing
independently and joyously, which is of great benefit to all.

Another improvement on the swinging method described above is the induction
into the side-to-side swinging movement of a component of forward-and-back
motion. That is, by skillful manipulation of the body, the present inventor
has found it possible to add a relatively minor component of
forward-and-back motion to the side-to-side swinging motion, resulting in a
swinging path that is generally shaped like an oval, as is shown in FIG. 3.
It is preferred that the magnitude of the forward-and back motion (shown in
FIG. 3 as being along the Y axis) be less than the magnitude of the side-to
side motion (shown in FIG. 3 as being along the X axis), so that the latter
predominates. In this manner, the motion can be more easily continued simply
by alternately pulling on one chain and then the other in the manner
described.

Lastly, it should be noted that because pulling alternately on one chain and
then the other resembles in some measure the movements one would use to
swing from vines in a dense jungle forest, the swinging method of the
present invention may be referred to by the present inventor and his sister
as "Tarzan" swinging. The user may even choose to produce a Tarzan-type yell
while swinging in the manner described, which more accurately replicates
swinging on vines in a dense jungle forest. Actual jungle forestry is not
required.

Licenses are available from the inventor upon request.