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Contoured variably tensionable soft membrane ride surface for ride attraction

Image Number 3 for United States Patent #7547255.

A ride surface for water ride attractions and the like is provided. The ride surface is fabricated from a reinforced membrane material tensioned over a supporting framework. The tensioned membrane ride surface serves the dual role of providing structural support for water flow and riders thereon while at the same time providing an impact safe surface that is non-injurious to riders who may fall thereon. The tensioned membrane can be adjusted actively and/or passively in order to accommodate different and varied ride experiences. Optionally, the shape of the membrane ride surface can be changed either dynamically or passively by special tensioning techniques and/or by using auxiliary support structures such as air bladders, pressure/suction, foam supports or/or the like.

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