Title:
Ski helmet adornment kit and method for accessorizing a protective helmet
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A kit and method for accessorizing a protective helmet, particularly for snow skiers. The kit includes paired hook and loop attachment panels for respective attachment to the outer plastic shell of a skier's helmet and to one or more decorative accessories.



Inventors:
Hageman, Robert (Austin, TX, US)
Application Number:
10/847888
Publication Date:
11/24/2005
Filing Date:
05/18/2004
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/171, 2/209.13
International Classes:
A42B1/24; A42B3/04; (IPC1-7): A42B1/24
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LINDSEY, RODNEY M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DAVID G. HENRY (Waco, TX, US)
Claims:
1. A kit for decoratively adorning a protective helmet comprising: a first hook and loop attachment material panel; adhesive material for attachment of said first hook and loop attachment material panel to the outer plastic shell of a protective helmet; a decorative accessory; and a second hook and loop attachment material panel, configured for reversible engagement with said first hook and loop attachment material panel, and securely attached to said decorative accessory.

2. The kit of claim 1 wherein said decorative accessory is a plush animal figure.

3. The kit of claim 1 wherein said decorative accessory includes streamers.

4. A method for reversibly accessarizing a snow skier's helmet comprising the steps of: selecting a snow skier's protective helmet; selecting a first hook and loop attachment material panel; selecting adhesive material suitable for attachment both to said first hook and loop attachment material panel and to the outer plastic shell of said snow skier's protective helmet; selecting a decorative accessory with a second hook and loop attachment material panel, configured for reversible engagement with said first hook and loop attachment material panel, securely attached thereto; adhering said first hook and loop attachment material panel to the outer plastic shell of said snow skier's protective helmet using said adhesive material; and engaging said second hook and loop attachment panel of said decorative accessory with said first hook and loop attachment panel.

5. The method of claim 4 wherein said decorative accessory is a plush animal.

6. The method of claim 4 wherein said decorative accessory includes streamers.

7. A method for reversibly accessarizing a snow skier's helmet comprising the steps of: selecting a snow skier's protective helmet; selecting a first hook and loop attachment material panel; selecting adhesive material suitable for attachment both to said first hook and loop attachment material panel and to the outer plastic shell of said snow skier's protective helmet; selecting a decorative accessory; selecting a second hook and loop attachment material panel, configured for reversible engagement with said first hook and loop attachment material panel; securely attaching said second hook and loop attachment material panel to said decorative accessory; adhering said first hook and loop attachment material panel to the outer plastic shell of said snow skier's protective helmet using said adhesive material; and engaging said second hook and loop attachment panel of said decorative accessory with said first hook and loop attachment panel.

8. The method of claim 7 wherein said decorative accessory is a plush animal.

9. The method of claim 7 wherein said decorative accessory includes streamers.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of The Invention

The present invention relates to protective helmets and decorative accessories therefor.

2. Background Information

Snow skiing is self-evidently a very popular sport in America, and around the world.

As with many activities with mass appeal, particularly ones with a significant participation level of children, teens, and young adults, often, a sense of style, “making a personal statement,” or standing out in the crowd becomes an end unto itself. Similar phenomena is apparent in the ways in which teens in particular adorn their automobiles, their school backpacks, and, to some degree, even themselves.

Aside from choice of clothing, goggles, or perhaps skis themselves, options for setting ones self apart in a crowd of people are limited. Just about everyone is wearing essentially the same protective clothing and equipment and is using either skis or snow boards. In the following discussion, any reference to “skier” refers also to “snow boarder.”

In the past, a recreational skier's decision of what to wear on their head depended upon the weather and not safety. If it was nice and sunny, they might wear nothing at all, or maybe a ball cap. These methods offered little protection to the skier. If it was cold and windy, a toboggan, jacket hood, or some other colorful protective device would be worn to keep wind and snow from ears and hair, and, in the event of a fall, somewhat protected the skier from minor damage. Some toboggan designers began offering multiple designs with radical colors to differentiate skiers.

As skier safety became more important because of injuries/death to some prominent recreational skiers, protective helmets became more widely used and accepted. These helmets provided protection from not only the weather, but also from impact with the ground, rock, or trees in the event of an accident. Many parents even required their children to use them as a condition to ski. The use of protective helmets across age and skill levels has steadily grown. Many of the helmets have vent holes to keep the head cool, are of lightweight construction, and are essentially black or different shades of gray.

One marketer of head apparel has developed a selection of thin “stockings”/“toboggans” that cover the entire protective helmet to provide some degree of differentiation to the individual skier. These “colorful stocking covers” have three significant drawbacks when used over the slick protective helmets: First, the covers collect snow and ice and become heavy, and when the snow melts, this water drops into the helmet; second, the covers block the vent holes from letting air circulate; and third, when the skier, who generally wears goggles for eye protection, after a “run” customarily puts the goggles up on his/her helmet, the ice/snow on the helmet cover is deposited on the inside of the goggle and is a safety and comfort distraction to the user.

Preliminary market research indicates that there is a desire on the part of the youth/young adult snow skier to adorn themselves as to stand out in a crowd, particularly if variety, ease of use, flexibility, and design choices are available.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In view of the foregoing, it is an object of the present invention to provide a kit and method by which snow skiers in particular can decoratively adorn themselves.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a kit and method for adorning a ski helmet with user-selected accessories.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a kit and method for adorning a ski helmet with user-selected accessories in such a manner as to provide initial and subsequent flexibility in adornment selection.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a kit and method for adorning a ski helmet with user-selected accessories, the use or practice of which involves not the slightest compromise of safety or operation of the helmet itself.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a kit and method for adorning a ski helmet with user-selected accessories, the use or practice of which prevents the common problems of 1) water absorption and leakage into the helmet itself from collected snow/ice; 2) vent blockage and resultant poor air circulation in the helmet itself; and 3) the depositing of ice/snow on the inside of goggles through contact with the helmet.

In satisfaction of these and other related objectives, Applicant's present invention provides a kit and method for adapting any conventional protective helmet for reversible attachment of decorative accessories (small stuffed animals, pig tails, college pennants, for example) to the exterior thereof. A kit of the present invention provides hook or loop fastener material components with suitable adhesive properties or accessories, and a variety of decorative accessories with complimentary hook or loop fastener material for reversibly attaching the accessory to a helmet, once in the helmet portion of the hook and loop has been property affixed.

The use of hook and loop fastener material in the present context provides, not just flexibility, but a measure of safety in use as well. Were there to be any situation in which rigid connection of the accessory to the helmet would present a safety hazzard (another individual grabbing the accessory and risking injury to the wearer, for example), the accessory would simply and harmlessly tear away. Yet, the attachment is sufficiently robust as to avoid most instances of accidental loss.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a ski helmet with one hook type fastener panel attached, and two alternative decorative accessories made with the loop fastener for reversible attachment to the helmet.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

With reference to FIG. 1, the finished product of the kit and method of the present invention is identified generally (in exploded perspective format) by the reference character A. A ski helmet 1 is not considered part of the kit itself, but is the item to which the kit components are applied when practicing the present method.

The kit of the present invention includes one or more hook and loop (VELCRO) fastener panels 10, with at least one of the two complimentary materials (hook or loop) being provided with adhesive (either separately, in a tube or bottle, or as already attached to the panels, and not shown in the drawings). The adhesive is suitable for substantially permanent attachment to the outer shell of a conventional, hard plastic helmet 1 and, if not already part of the attachment panels, to such panels.

The kit further includes one or more decorative accessories 12 to each of which are attached complimentary fastener panels 14 (hook constituency, if a loop panel is provided for attachment to helmet 1, or vice versa). Fastener panels 14 will be of dimensions substantially like those of fastener panel(s) 10 attached, for provided for attachment, to helmet 1. In the preferred embodiment, the hook portion of the Velcro will be approximately 2 inches round and will stick to the helmet. The matching approximately 2 inch round loop of the Velcro will be either sewn, glued, or attached by other conventional means, to the adornment.

The method of the present invention will also encompass the addition of fastener panels 14 to existing decorative accessories, such as one or more stuffed animals, streamers (not shown in the drawings), or other suitable objects already owned by a user or otherwise acquired, attachment of the complimentary fastener panel 10 to a helmet 1, and reversible, alternative attachment of accessory(ies) to helmet 1 as desired.

Although the invention has been described with reference to specific embodiments, this description is not meant to be construed in a limited sense. Various modifications of the disclosed embodiments, as well as alternative embodiments of the inventions will become apparent to persons skilled in the art upon reference to the description of the invention. It is, therefore, contemplated that the appended claims will cover such modifications that fall within the scope of the invention.