Title:
Multiple use ski trainer and the like
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A training device is provided. The training device includes a harness having a belt, handle, and a storage compartment. The storage compartment provides storage for a leash or the like that a trainer uses to instruct a student. The present invention also provides garments. The garments include a belt and handle for use with training in activities where it would be beneficial to grasp a student during training.



Inventors:
Streeter, Jeffrey (Boise, ID, US)
Streeter, Julie (Boise, ID, US)
Application Number:
10/830658
Publication Date:
10/27/2005
Filing Date:
04/22/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/00; A63B69/18; (IPC1-7): A63B69/18
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
FERNSTROM, KURT
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ROBERT FROHWERK (MERIDIAN, ID, US)
Claims:
1. A ski training device, comprising: a belt, the belt having a front side and a back side; at least one handle coupled to the belt; at least one pouch coupled to the belt; and at least one leash storable in the at least one pouch and releasably coupled to the belt, whereby the at least one handle and at least one leash can be used by an instructor to teach a student.

2. The ski trainer of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of shoulder straps.

3. The ski trainer of claim 2, wherein the at least one handle is coupled to the back side of the at least one belt and extends between the plurality of shoulder straps.

4. The ski trainer of claim 3, wherein the at least one pouch is coupled to the back side of the belt proximate the at least one handle.

5. The ski trainer of claim 1, wherein the at least one pouch is coupled to the back side of the belt.

6. The ski trainer of claim 1, wherein the at least one leash is releasably coupled to the belt on the front side.

7. The ski trainer of claim 2, wherein the at least one leash is releasably coupled to the belt proximate each of the plurality of shoulder straps.

8. The ski trainer of claim 7, wherein the at least one leash is releasably coupled using a fastener selected from the group consisting of corresponding hook and pile material, corresponding male and female snaps, corresponding snaps and loops, or corresponding zippers.

9. The ski trainer of claim 1, further comprising a releasable fastener to assist in donning and removing the ski trainer.

10. The ski trainer of claim 10, wherein the releasable fastener is selected from the group consisting of corresponding parts of a buckle, of corresponding hook and pile material, corresponding male and female snaps, corresponding snaps and loops, or corresponding zippers.

11. The ski trainer of claim 1, wherein the plurality of shoulder straps include at least one releasable fastener, the releasable fastener is selected from the group consisting of corresponding parts of a buckle, of corresponding hook and pile material, corresponding male and female snaps, corresponding snaps and loops, or corresponding zippers.

12. The ski trainer of claim 1, wherein the at least one pouch further comprises a personal hydration system.

13. The ski trainer of claim 12, wherein the personal hydration system comprises: a bladder residing in the at least one pouch; a mouth piece; a tube extending between the bladder and the mouth piece; and a deformable valve between the bladder and the mouth piece.

14. The ski trainer of claim 1, wherein the at least one pouch is a backpack.

15. A ski training device, comprising: a belt, the belt having a front side and a back side at least one buckle coupled to the front side; a plurality of shoulder straps, each of the plurality of shoulder straps coupled on the front side and the back side; at least one cross support coupling the plurality of shoulder straps; at least one handle coupled to the back side such that the at least one handle extends between the plurality of shoulder straps; at least one pouch coupled to the back side proximate the at least one handle; and at least one leash, the at least one leash being storable in the at least one pouch and being coupled to the at least one leash, whereby an instructor can use the at least one handle or the at least one leash to assist a student.

16. The ski trainer of claim 15, wherein the plurality of shoulder straps each comprise at least one buckle.

17. The ski trainer of claim 15, wherein the at least one pouch further comprises a personal hydration system.

18. The ski trainer of claim 17, wherein the personal hydration system comprises: a bladder residing in the at least one pouch; a mouth piece; a tube extending between the bladder and the mouth piece; and a deformable valve between the bladder and the mouth piece.

19. The ski trainer of claim 15, wherein the at least one leash is releasably coupled to the belt.

20. The ski trainer of claim 19, further comprising: a plurality of loops, the plurality of loops corresponding to the plurality of shoulder straps such that at least one loop is coupled to the front side proximate the plurality of shoulder straps, and wherein the at least one leash is releasably coupled to the plurality of loops by a corresponding plurality of snaps.

21. A garment, comprising: a front side; a back side coupled to the front side; a plurality of sleeves coupled to at least a portion of the back side; at least one gap provided between the plurality of sleeves; a belt residing in the plurality of sleeves and extending across the at least one gap; at least one handle, the at least one handle coupled to the belt and extending across the at least one gap.

22. The garment of claim 21, where the garment is selected from the group consisting of a jacket, a pullover, a life preserver, a wet suit, a snow suit, and a gymnastic suit.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to ski training devices and, more particularly, a ski trainer that combines a handle and leash with a storage compartment.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Learning how to ski can take several years of practice. Typically, one becomes a better skier the younger one begins. However, teaching youngsters (a.k.a. students) to ski is difficult for most parents, guardians, or ski instructors (a.ka. teachers). In particular, teachers want to control students when they first begin learning how to ski, but wants to provide increased freedom as the student progresses.

One type of harness, more typically associated with skating, includes a harness that had a fixed handle or handles across the back of the student. The handle allows the teacher to hold the student during training exercises and prevents the student from falling or traveling to fast. Further, because the teacher is in close proximity to the student, the teacher can provide specific instructions to the student. Finally, the harness allows the teacher to more easily lift the student into a chair lift. Harnesses of this type are more completely explained in U.S. Pat. No. 5,619,955, issued on Apr. 15, 1997, to Nelson, titled HARNESS GRIPPING AID FOR TANDEM RIDERS; U.S. Pat. No. 6,125,792, issued on Oct. 3, 2000, to Gee, titled SHOULDER HARNESS WITH SUPPORT HANDLE; U.S. Pat. No. 6,338,699, issued on Jan. 15, 2002, to Veitch, titled CHILD SPORT ACTIVITY TRAINING DEVICE; and U.S. Pat. No. 6,361,478, issued on Mar. 26, 2002, to Giancaspro, titled TRAINING HARNESS, all incorporated herein by reference.

Although the harness and handle provides some ability to control and teach a student skiing technique, its use is limited as the young skier typically outgrows the harness and handle arrangement. Thus, most ski training aids involve a control leash. The leash is connected at one end to the student, and the teacher holds the other end. Using the leash, the instructor can control the student's speed and provide pressure (via pulling on the leash or leashes) to assist the student in turning and stopping. Leashes of this type are described in more detail in U.S. Pat. No. 4,424,040, issued on Jan. 3, 1984, to Buchheister et al., titled SKI TRAINING HALTER, incorporated herein by reference. While using the leash allows superior teaching to the handle, above, it is more difficult to assist youngsters into and out of chair lifts and the like using the leash.

Thus, it would be desirous to provide a ski training device or the like having both a handle and a leash.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a ski trainer. The ski trainer includes a harness for a student to wear. The trainer includes a handle and a backpack or storage pouch attached to the harness. The handle can be used to grasp and lift or assist a student. The storage pouch contains detachable leashes that provide the instructor the ability to teach the student.

The present invention further provides specialized garments. The specialized garments include a belt and handle assembly. An instructor would use the handle to grasp a student when it would be useful in training a student.

The foregoing and other features, utilities and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following more particular description of a preferred embodiment of the invention as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

The present invention will be apparent upon considering the following detailed description of embodiments of the invention, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. Like reference number in the drawings are generally used to describe like components.

FIG. 1 shows an embodiment of a ski training device consistent with the present invention;

FIG. 2 shows a hook and pile material;

FIG. 3 shows a snap;

FIG. 4 shows a zipper;

FIG. 5 shows a storage compartment from FIG. 1 in more detail;

FIG. 6 shows a hydration system that may be stored in storage compartment of FIG. 5; and

FIG. 7 shows an embodiment of a garment consistent with the present invention;

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring now to FIG. 1, a multiple use ski trainer 100 will be further described. While described with specific regard to ski training, one of ordinary skill in the art will now recognize that the present invention could be used for alternative sporting activities, such as, for example, swimming, skating, and the like. Although some alternative examples will be provided, those examples should be considered exemplary and not limiting.

As shown ski trainer 100 includes a harness 102. Harness 102 comprises a belt 104, a pair of shoulder straps 106, and one or more cross supports 108 between shoulder straps 106. Belt 104 is releasable coupled using buckle 110 or other releasable connector. Buckle 110 is described in more detail in U.S. Pat. No. 4,150,464, issued on Apr. 24, 1979, to Tracy, titled BUCKLE and U.S. Pat. No. 4,171,555, issued on Oct. 23, 1979, to Bakker et al., titled BUCKLE, both of which are incorporated herein by reference. Shoulder straps 106 may also include a buckle 110 to snap closed on the front side 120 of trainer 100. Buckles 110 are optional and could be replaced with a solid, adjustable belt and solid, adjustable shoulder straps, but it is believed buckle 110 facilitates donning and removing trainer 100.

Buckle 110 could be replaced with other releasable connectors, such as, for example, corresponding strips of hook material 202 and pile material 204, similar to VELCRO®, or snaps having corresponding male parts 302 and a female parts 304, or a zipper 402 (See FIGS. 2, 3, and 4). Of course, various combinations of the releasable devices could be employed.

Finally, a leash 112 is releasably coupled to loops 114 on the front of ski trainer 100. Leash 112 is shown ending in a snap 116 that releasably latches to loops 114, but leash 112 could be coupled using any of the coupling devices identified above as well, such as, for example, buckle, hook and pile material, or a male and female snap. Instead of being releasably coupled, leash 112 could be permanently coupled using adhesives, stitches, thermal bonding or the like. Leash 112 could be a single loop of material between the connections or two separate stands of material as desired.

As best seen in FIG. 5, a handle 502 is coupled to the back side of trainer 100. Handle 502 could be coupled using a number of methodologies, but it is believed stitching provides the best strength. Handle 502 could, however, be coupled to belt 104 using adhesives, hook and pile strips, thermal bonding, or the like (as shown in the FIGS. referenced above). A storage pouch 504 also is coupled to ski trainer 100. Storage pouch 504 provides storage for leash 112, but could be used for a number of alternatives, which will be explained further below. Pouch 504 could have a closure device, such as, for example, flap 506 to allow access to the inside 508 of pouch 504. Flap 506 may be releasably coupled using the attachment mechanisms described above, or using a drawstring 510.

As shown in FIG. 5, pouch 504 is relatively smallish to provide a storage compartment for leash 112. But pouch 504 could be a full backpack type of storage compartment. Generally, the size of pouch 504 would be based, in part, on the size of the student being taught. Larger students could have larger pouches 504 capable of holding, for example, gloves, hats, and the like. Larger pouches 504, more like a backpack, could hold, for example, a personal hydration system 600, shown in FIG. 6. Personal hydration system 600 typically will include a bladder 602 stored in pouch 504 to hold water, a mouth piece 604 to allow a user to drink, a tube 606 running between bladder 602 and mouth piece 604, and a pressure value 606. Pressure value 606 would only allow liquid to flow when pressure is applied. Such pressure could be from the mouth of the student or pressure from a sucking action. U.S. Pat. No. 5,816,457, issued on Oct. 6, 1998, to Croft, titled HYDRATION System, incorporated herein by reference, describes one type of personal hydration system 600.

Referring now to FIG. 7, the backside of a garment 700 is shown. In this case garment 700 is a vest, but as one of ordinary skill in the art would understand on reading the disclosure, garment 700 could be any number of styles, such as, for example, a jacket, a wetsuit, a life preserver, or the like. Garment 700 could be a pullover or jacket style garment. Jacket style is intended to indicate a garment that is put on like a jacket and has a closure system on the front, similar to a zipper, snaps, VELCRO®, laces, or the like.

Wrapped around a portion of a waist 702 of garment 700 are tubes 704. Tubes 704 could be attached to garment 700 using any conventional means, but tubes 704 are shown stitched to garment 700 using a stitch 706. Running through tubes 704 would be belt 104. Belt 104 would have buckle 110 as explained above and not re-explained herein. A gap 708 exists between opposing portions of tubes 704 exposing a portion of belt 104 on the backside of garment 700. Handle 504 extends from gap 708 to allow use of garment 700 for ski training, as explained above, or other activities, such as, for example, if garment 700 was a wetsuit or life preserver, handle 504 could be used to assist in teaching swimming.

While the invention has been particularly shown and described with reference to embodiments thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various other changes in the form and details may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.