Title:
Flexible pocket ski carrier
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A ski carrier device for the hands free carrying of a pair of skis. The carrier includes a toe loop for securing the skis near first binding component. The carrier also includes an aft loop for attaching near a second binding component. Shoulder straps connect the toe and aft loops. A skier places his arms through the shoulder straps and adjusts the skis to rest upon his back.



Inventors:
Robinson, Kenton L. (Denver, CO, US)
Application Number:
10/096171
Publication Date:
09/18/2003
Filing Date:
03/12/2002
Assignee:
ROBINSON KENTON L.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
224/251, 224/917
International Classes:
A45F3/14; A63C11/02; (IPC1-7): A45F3/04; A45F5/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CRONIN, STEPHEN K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
AKIN GUMP STRAUSS HAUER & FELD LLP (Houston, TX, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A ski carrier device for hands free carrying of a pair of skis comprising: a toe loop portion for securing said ski carrier to the skis at a location near a first binding component of the skis; an aft loop portion for securing said ski carrier to the skis at a location near a second binding component of the skis; and a pair of shoulder straps connecting said toe loop to said aft loop, wherein a skier places said shoulder straps over each shoulder for carrying the skis.

2. The ski carrier device according to claim 1, wherein said toe loop, aft loop, and shoulder straps are a one-piece construction.

3. The ski carrier device according to claim 1, wherein said ski carrier is constructed of a flexible material.

4. The ski carrier device according to claim 1, wherein said toe loop is adjustable.

5. The ski carrier device according to claim 1, wherein said aft loop is adjustable.

6. The ski carrier device according to claim 1, further comprising a slider for adjusting said toe loop.

7. A method for hands free carrying of skis by a skier with a ski carrier, said method comprising: securing a toe loop about the skis near a first binding component; placing an aft loop about the skis near a second binding component; attaching said toe loop to said aft loop with shoulder straps; and fitting said shoulder straps to the skier and adjusting the skis to rest along the skier's back.

8. The method of claim 7, wherein said securing step includes adjusting the size of said toe loop by sliding a moveable slider along the toe loop.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] Not Applicable.

STATEMENTS REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

[0002] Not Applicable.

REFERENCE TO A MICROFICHE APPENDIX

[0003] Not Applicable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0004] 1. Field of the Invention

[0005] This invention relates to a ski carrier for enabling the skier to easily carry skis with both shoulders. More particularly, the present invention relates to a flexible pocket ski carrier for use with the shoulders to permit hands free carrying of skis.

[0006] 2. Related Art Description

[0007] As will be known to those skilled in the art, it is very tiresome and painful to carry skis over the shoulders while hiking up steep inclines or traversing precipitous paths, particularly when there is heavy snow on the ground or the footing is unsure due to ice and rocks. Carrying bulky skis by hand often causes the skier to lose balance or footing when hiking over uneven terrain. Further, carrying skis on a shoulder causes the skier to twist the torso while hiking, resulting in the shoulders and arms quickly tiring and in the body exerting more energy to carry the cumbersome skis. Moreover, carrying skis over a shoulder reduces balance because the skier must use one hand for holding the skis on the shoulder and the other for carrying ski poles.

[0008] In the past, ski carriers have included devices for skiers to carry skis and poles as a manageable unit over long distances. Typically, these prior art carriers were used to assist with the transport of both the skis and poles from parking areas to the ski areas. In general, these carriers required carrying skis on one shoulder by use of a strap or by hand with a handle device. While such carriers were suitable for walking on relatively flat terrain, when the terrain increased in slope, they failed to perform adequately and often were more difficult to manage than carrying the skis and poles without any device at all. Moreover, the prior art carriers included complex strap or mechanical devices for carrying both the skis and poles together as a unit. Examples of prior art carriers characterized by the shortcomings described above are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,575,412 and 5,762,242.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0009] A ski carrier device for the hands free carrying of a pair of skis. The ski carrier includes a toe loop for securing the carrier to the skis near a first binding component. Additionally, the carrier includes an aft loop for attaching the carrier to the skis near a second binding component. A pair of shoulder straps connects the toe and aft loops. In operation, the skier places his arms through the shoulder straps and adjusts the skis to rest upon his back.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0010] A better understanding of the present invention can be obtained when the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment is considered in conjunction with the following drawings, in which:

[0011] FIG. 1 is an elevational view of the present invention as worn by a skier;

[0012] FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the device of FIG. 1;

[0013] FIG. 3 is a front elevational view of the device of FIG. 1;

[0014] FIG. 4 is an elevation view of the present invention;

[0015] FIG. 5 is an expanded view of a detail of the device of FIG. 4; and

[0016] FIG. 6 is an elevational view of the device of FIG. 4.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0017] Referring to the drawings, FIGS. 1, 2, and 3 show a flexible pocket ski carrier 10 of the present invention as used by a skier S for easily transporting a pair of skis 100. More particularly, as will be described below, the carrier 10 enables the skier S to carry the skis 100 with both shoulders without the skier needing to use either hand for supporting or carrying the skis, leaving the hands free to perform other functions. The carrier 10 is quickly secured to the skis 100 and easily donned by the skier S. Once the skier S reaches a desired location to begin skiing, the carrier 10 is easily removed from the skier S and skis 100, and stowed in a jacket or other suitable pocket (not shown).

[0018] FIG. 4 shows the ski carrier 10 of the present invention without skis 100. The ski carrier 10 is preferably manufactured from a single strip of flexible material 18, approximately seven feet in length, although any suitable length and any number of segments may be used. Preferably, the flexible material 18 is a fabric such as utility one-inch webbing or rock climbing webbing. The material should be of sufficient width such that the weight of the skis when placed on both shoulders does not cause discomfort to the shoulders or “dig in” to the shoulders. In the preferred embodiment, such width is about an inch. The strip of flexible material 18 is secured at its two ends 12 to create a single loop of material 16. Preferably, the two ends of the flexible material 18 are secured by sewing, although any appropriate fasteners could be used, such as buckles, clips, studs, or velcro.

[0019] The single loop 16 is further divided at a securing point 13 to create an aft loop 15. At the securing point 13, the flexible material 18 is fastened together by sewing or by other appropriate fastening means. The securing point 13 is at a location sufficient to allow the aft loop 15 to be of such a size to allow the insertion of a pair of ski tails 106 (see FIG. 6) into the aft loop 15.

[0020] As shown in FIG. 4, a frictional slider 14 is placed onto the single loop 16 to create a toe loop 17. Frictional forces keep the slider 14 secured to the flexible material 18, but can be easily moved along the material to adjust the size of the toe loop 17. As a result of the addition of the slider 14 and the sewing at securing point 13, the original single loop 16 of material is now subdivided into the aft loop 15 and the toe loop 17, with straps 16a and 16b connecting said loops. The straps 16a and 16b become the shoulder straps of the carrier 10 for carrying the skis 100 by the skier S. As can be appreciated, if more than one piece of material is used to construct the ski carrier 10, the straps 16a and 16b could be adjustable by using fasteners such as buckles or Velcro to lengthen or shorten the straps to fit any sized skier's torso.

[0021] Referring to FIG. 5, preferably the slider 14 includes a first opening 14a and a second opening 14b with a rib 14c in between. To create the toe loop 17, the material 18 is inserted through the first opening 14a, traversed across the rib 14c and inserted through the second opening 14b. Preferably, the slider 14 is made of a material such as a metal or a plastic. Further, as depicted in FIGS. 4-6, the openings 14a and 14b should be sized to allow two strips of the flexible material 18 to be inserted when the material 18 is placed broad side to broad side. The slider 14 is adjusted by pulling the flexible material 18 through the two openings 14a and 14b. Alternatively, the slider 14 can be made any suitable design that imparts sufficient frictional forces to the material 18 to prevent slippage during use of the carrier 10. For example, one could use a short piece of compressed copper pipe as the slider 14. The pipe must be of sufficient size to permit the material 18 to pass through it while still providing sufficient frictional forces to prevent undesired movement of the material 18 during use of the carrier 10. As one could appreciate, the slider 14 could also be used at securing point 13 to create the aft loop 15, provided the slider 14 is sufficiently secured to prevent undesired movement of the slider 14.

[0022] FIG. 6 shows the ski carrier 10 secured to a pair of skis 100 and ready to be worn by the skier S. In operation, the toe loop 17 is sufficiently enlarged by sliding the slider 14 toward the aft loop 15. As generally known, the skis 100 include toe bindings 102 and heel bindings 104. The toe loop 17 and the aft loop 15 are slid onto the skis 100 and the toe loop 17 is placed around the skis 100 below the toe binding 102. The slider 14 is then slid toward the skis 100, thereby tightening the toe loop 17 against the skis 100 such that the loop 17 does not slip over the toe bindings 102. Once the toe loop 17 is snugly secured to the skis 100, the aft loop 15 is placed onto the ski tails 106 below the heel bindings 104. Once the skis 100 are secured by the carrier 10, the skier S places one of the shoulder straps 16a over a shoulder and adjusts the skis 100 to rest along his spine (not shown). The skier S then positions his other arm through the remaining shoulder strap 16b. Once on the shoulders, the skier S adjusts the shoulder straps 16a and 16b to equally distribute the weight of the skis over both shoulders (see FIGS. 1-3). Once both shoulder straps 16a and 16b are in place, the skis 100 are securely mounted and the skier can hike and walk on more difficult terrain, using ski poles for balance.

[0023] By virtue of carrying the skis over both shoulders, the carrier 10 will not slide off the skier's shoulder, nor will the skis become dislodged while hiking because the skis will be secured against the skier's back. This allows the skier to carry his skis without involving his arms and hands. This permits the skier to hike steep pitches and cross rugged terrain with both hands free for balancing and performing other tasks without needing to set the skis down.

[0024] The foregoing disclosure and description of the invention are illustrative and explanatory thereof, and various changes in the details of the illustrated apparatus and construction and method of operation may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention.