Title:
Multi-function sports equipment wall hanger
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
In order to provide for storage and display of sports equipment on a finished interior wall (such as on a bed room or den wall), a multi-function sports equipment wall hanger apparatus includes a pair of adjustably spaced apart hangers supported on the wall. Each hanger provides a padded and tapering upwardly disposed nest or recess for receiving an edge portion of a sports board, such as a surf or snow board. The board is retained by its own weight in these recesses and is angulated for advantageous display from an elevated position. Depending below the hangers, a pair of straps provide for suspending a variety of additional support features, including board nest members, suspension members for skate boards, or suspension members for Razor-type scooters. In each instance a spacer feature maintains the sports equipment away from a finished surface of the wall so as to prevent contact of the sports board or other sports equipment with the wall surface.



Inventors:
Dettorre, Ross (Chino Hills, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/356492
Publication Date:
08/23/2007
Filing Date:
02/17/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47F7/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20050006322Retainer for ballsJanuary, 2005Kershaw
20070251905Shelving merchandising systemNovember, 2007Trotta
20040256333Roller retainer for dishwashersDecember, 2004Buhlmeyer et al.
20070251897Foldable filing cabinetNovember, 2007Chang
20090178989MULTI-FUNCTION STORAGE BINJuly, 2009Accuardi
20080314847VENDING SHELFDecember, 2008Colelli
20040178310Self adhesive shower rod and supportSeptember, 2004Marion
20050035074Wall mountable display racks, hangers, and associated display methodsFebruary, 2005Mcgarry
20070272640PORTABLE STORAGE SHELVINGNovember, 2007Garcia
20060237384Track unit with removable partitionsOctober, 2006Neumann et al.



Primary Examiner:
RODDEN, JOSHUA E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Law Office of Terry L. Miller (Mission Viejo, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A multi-function wall hanger and spacer configured for hanging and displaying a variety of sports equipment on a wall while maintaining the sports equipment spaced away from contact with the wall, comprising: a support and spacer member mountable on a wall, said support and spacer member having a pair of spaced apart upwardly curving integral hooks horizontally aligned and extending outwardly from said support and spacer member, said pair of hooks being spaced outwardly from said wall on an integral spacer portion, and said pair of hooks being sized and spaced apart for receiving and supporting a horizontally extending portion of an elongate board-type of sports equipment, whereby said elongate board-type of sports equipment may be supported in an elevated horizontal and outwardly angulated position on the wall and is spaced from contact with the wall by a horizontally spaced apart and aligned pair of said support and spacer members; an elongate flexible strap member depending from said support and spacer member to support a board nest member; said board nest member including a hooked arm defining an upwardly disposed recess for receiving a lower edge portion of a second elongate board-type of sports equipment, said board nest member including a protruding foot portion engaging the wall and maintaining the second elongate board-type of sports equipment away from contact with the wall; and a gravity hook member slidably received along said elongate flexible strap member, said gravity hook member including a hooked arm defining a downwardly disposed recess for receiving an upper edge portion of the second elongate board-type of sports equipment.

2. The wall hanger of claim 1 further including a suspension member attaching to said support member and supporting said elongate strap member, said suspension member including a pair of protruding dove-tail keys received into a matching pair of dove-tail grooves defined on said support member.

3. The wall hanger of claim 2 wherein said pair of dove-tail keys each define one of a pair of through bores, and a pair of threaded fasteners pass through said through bores to threadably engage into a doubler plate received within said support member.

4. The wall hanger of claim 1 wherein said elongate strap member includes a hook member disposed at a lower end thereof, and said strap member engaging said support member, while the hook member supports said board nest member.

5. The wall hanger of claim 1 wherein the hooked arm of said board nest member and the hooked arm of said gravity hook member each define respective ones of a pair of lateral grooves, and a safety strap member removably received into said lateral grooves for retaining an elongate board-type item of sports equipment in support by said board nest and gravity hook members.

6. The wall hanger of claim 1 wherein said gravity hook member includes a slot slidably receiving said elongate strap member, and a locking device for preventing said gravity hook member from sliding along said elongate strap member.

7. The wall hanger of claim 6 wherein said locking device includes a boss defined by said gravity hook member, and a locking lever including a protruding cam surface engageable with said elongate strap member, and said locking lever moving from an unlocked position to a locked position along an arcuate path.

8. The wall hanger of claim 1 wherein said board nest member further supports an additional elongate strap member, and said additional elongate strap member supports an additional board nest member, and has an additional gravity hook member slidably received thereon.

9. The wall hanger of claim 1 wherein said board nest member further supports an additional elongate strap member, and said additional elongate strap member supports a member selected from the group consisting of: a structure for hangingly supporting a skate board, and a structure for hangingly supporting a sidewalk scooter.

10. The wall hanger of claim 9 wherein said structure for hangingly supporting a sidewalk scooter includes a pair of outwardly protruding hooks spaced away from a plate portion by an intervening spacer portion, said pair of hooks being sized and configured to accept and support the handlebar of a folded sidewalk scooter, and an outwardly protruding resilient spacer arm spaced below and centrally of said pair of hooks and being adapted to engage the vertical handle bar support of said sidewalk scooter such as to maintain the handle bar away from the wall and the spacer arm is adapted to extend outwardly from the wall a distance to contact said vertical handle bar support to maintain the folded scooter away from contact with the wall, said spacer arm at a distal termination is provided with an arched receiving tip for receiving the vertical handle bar support therein, and said plate portion defining a view opening interposed between said spacer portion and said spacer arm, whereby said view opening allows a user to place an item of visual interest, such as a graphic design or a photograph behind the wall hanger and adjacent to the wall to be viewed through said view opening.

11. The wall hanger of claim 9 wherein said structure for hangingly supporting a skateboard includes a pair of outwardly protruding hooks spaced away from a plate portion by an intervening spacer portion, said pair of hooks being sized and configured to accept and support an axle of the skateboard, and an outwardly protruding resilient spacer arm spaced below and centrally of said pair of hooks and being adapted to engage the hanging board portion of said skateboard such as to maintain the lower axle and wheels of said skateboard away from the wall, said spacer arm at a distal termination is provided with a curved tip portion for contacting the hanging board portion of said skateboard for resiliently maintaining the lower axle away from the wall, and said plate portion defining a view opening interposed between said spacer portion and said spacer arm, whereby said view opening allows a user to place an item of visual interest, such as a graphic design or a photograph behind the wall hanger and adjacent to the wall to be viewed through said view opening.

12. The wall hanger of claim 1 wherein said support and spacer member is mountable on a wall via an elongate rail member secured to said wall, said elongate rail member defining a rectangular shape in cross section, and said support and spacer member defining a T-shaped notch slidably passing along said rail member.

13. The wall hanger of claim 12 wherein said elongate rail member defines a plurality of detent notches spaced along its length, and said support and spacer member includes a detent member resiliently engaging into and disengaging from said dentent notches in response to movement of said support and spacer member along said elongate rail member.

14. The wall hanger of claim 13 wherein said detent member includes said support and spacer member defining an integral web of plastic material extending internally of said support and spacer member from a wall thereof to said elongate rail member in order to resiliently engage into said detent notches.

15. The wall hanger of claim 12 wherein said rail member is composed of two complementary parts cooperatively defining a self-aligning lap joint therebetween, said lap joint including one of said two complementary parts defining a pair of spaced apart dowel projections, and the other of said two complementary parts defining a pair of dowel holes matching said dowel projections, whereby said two complementary parts are self aligning when engaged with one another via engagement of said pair of dowel projections into said pair of dowel holes.

16. A multi-function wall hanger and spacer configured for hanging and displaying a variety of sports equipment on a wall while maintaining the sports equipment spaced away from contact with the wall, comprising: a support and spacer member mountable on a wall, said support and spacer member having a pair hooks horizontally aligned and extending outwardly from said support and spacer member, said pair of hooks being spaced outwardly from said wall on an integral spacer portion, and said pair of hooks being sized and spaced apart for receiving and supporting a horizontally extending portion of an elongate board-type of sports equipment, whereby said elongate board-type of sports equipment may be supported in an elevated horizontal and outwardly angulated position on the wall and is spaced from contact with the wall by a horizontally spaced apart and aligned pair of said support and spacer members; said support and spacer member carrying a suspension member removably attached thereto; said suspension member supporting an elongate flexible strap member depending therefrom to support a hook member; said hook member engaging and supporting a board nest member, said board nest member including a hooked arm defining an upwardly disposed recess for receiving a lower edge portion of a second elongate board-type item of sports equipment, said board nest member including a protruding foot portion engaging the wall and maintaining the second elongate board-type item of sports equipment away from contact with the wall; and a gravity hook member slidably received along said elongate flexible strap member, said gravity hook member including a hooked arm defining a downwardly disposed recess for receiving an upper edge portion of the second elongate board-type of sports equipment; the hooked arms of said board nest member and of said gravity hook member each defining respective ones of a pair of lateral grooves, and a safety strap member removably received into said lateral grooves for retaining an elongate board-type item of sports equipment in support by said board nest and gravity hook members.

17. The wall hanger of claim 16 wherein said gravity hook member includes a slot slidably receiving said elongate strap member, and a locking device for preventing said gravity hook member from sliding along said elongate strap member.

18. The wall hanger of claim 17 wherein said locking device includes a boss defined by said gravity hook member, and a locking lever including a protruding cam surface engageable with said elongate strap member, and said locking lever moving from an unlocked position to a locked position along an arcuate path.

19. The wall hanger of claim 16 wherein said support and spacer member is mountable on a wall via an elongate rail member secured to said wall, said elongate rail defining a rectangular cross section, and said support and spacer member defining a T-shaped notch the larger portion of which slidably passes along said rail member, said elongate rail member defining a plurality of detent notches spaced along its length, and said support and spacer member includes a detent member resiliently engaging into and disengaging from said dentent notches in response to movement of said support and spacer member along said elongate rail member.

20. The wall hanger of claim 19 wherein said detent member includes said support and spacer member defining an integral web of plastic material extending internally of said support and spacer member from a wall thereof to said elongate rail member in order to resiliently engage into said detent notches.

21. The wall hanger of claim 19 wherein said rail member is composed of two complementary parts cooperatively defining a self-aligning lap joint therebetween, said lap joint including one of said two complementary parts defining a pair of spaced apart dowel projections, and the other of said two complementary parts defining a pair of dowel holes matching said dowel projections, whereby said two complementary parts are self aligning when engaged with one another via engagement of said pair of dowel projections into said pair of dowel holes.

22. A method of hanging and displaying elongate board-type items of sports equipment as well as other items of sports equipment on a wall while preventing damage to the wall, said method including steps of: providing a pair of support and spacer members mountable on a wall; configuring each of said pair of support and spacer members to include a pair hooks horizontally aligned and extending outwardly from said support and spacer member, arranging said pair of hooks to be spaced outwardly from said wall on an integral spacer portion of said support and spacer member, and sizing and spacing apart said pair of hooks for receiving and supporting a horizontally extending portion of an elongate board-type item of sports equipment so that the elongate board-type item of sports equipment is frictionally engaged at an edge portion there of and is supported in an elevated horizontal and outwardly angulated position on the wall and is spaced from contact with the wall; further configuring said pair of support and spacer members each to carry a suspension member extending downwardly and outwardly from the wall;. depending an elongate flexible strap member from each suspension member, and supporting a hook member at a lower termination of each strap member; engaging and supporting a board nest member with each hook member; configuring said board nest members to each include a hooked arm defining an upwardly disposed recess for receiving a lower edge portion of a second elongate board-type item of sports equipment, providing for each board nest member to include a protruding foot portion engaging the wall and maintaining the second elongate board-type item of sports equipment spaced away from contact with the wall; and providing a gravity hook member slidably received along each elongate flexible strap member, said gravity hook members each including a hooked arm defining a downwardly disposed recess for receiving an upper edge portion of the second elongate board-type of sports equipment.

23. The method of claim 22 further including the steps of: providing for the hooked arms of said board nest members and of said gravity hook members to each define respective ones of a pair of lateral grooves, and providing a safety strap member removably received into said lateral grooves for retaining an elongate board-type item of sports equipment in support by said board nest and gravity hook members.

24. The method of claim 22 further including the steps of: providing said gravity hook members with a slot slidably receiving the respective one of said elongate strap members, and providing on each gravity hook member a locking device for preventing said gravity hook member from sliding along said elongate strap member.

25. The method of claim 22 further providing the steps of: providing for said board nest member to further support an additional elongate strap member, and providing for said additional elongate strap member to support an additional board nest member, and has an additional gravity hook member slidably received thereon.

26. The method of claim 22 further including the steps of: providing for said board nest member to further support an additional elongate strap member, and providing for said additional elongate strap member to support a member for hangingly supporting a sidewalk scooter; and configuring said structure for hangingly supporting a sidewalk scooter to include a pair of outwardly protruding hooks spaced away from a plate portion by an intervening spacer portion, providing for said pair of hooks to be sized and configured to accept and support the handlebar of a folded sidewalk scooter, and further providing an outwardly protruding resilient spacer arm spaced below and centrally of said pair of hooks; and providing for said spacer arm to be adapted to engage the vertical handle bar support of said sidewalk scooter such as to maintain the handle bar away from the wall; and adapting said spacer arm to extend outwardly from the wall and is provided at a distal termination with an arched receiving tip receiving the vertical handle bar support therein.

27. The method of claim 22 further including the steps of: providing for said board nest member to further support an additional elongate strap member, and providing for said additional elongate strap member to support a member for hangingly supporting a skate board, and providing for said structure for hangingly supporting a skateboard to include a pair of outwardly protruding hooks spaced away from a plate portion by an intervening spacer portion, configuring said pair of hooks to accept and support an axle of the skateboard, and providing an outwardly protruding resilient spacer arm spaced below and centrally of said pair of hooks and being adapted to engage the hanging board portion of said skateboard such as to maintain the lower axle and wheels of said skateboard away from the wall, and providing said spacer arm at a distal termination with a curved tip portion for contacting the hanging board portion of said skateboard for resiliently maintaining the lower parts of said skate board away from the wall.

28. A wall hanger and spacer configured for hanging a skateboard or foldable scooter on a wall while maintaining the skateboard or foldable scooter away from contact with the wall, comprising: a panel mountable on a wall, said panel having a pair of spaced apart upwardly curving integral hooks horizontally aligned and extending outwardly from said panel, said pair of hooks being spaced outwardly from said panel on an integral spacer portion, and said pair of hooks being sized and spaced apart for receiving and supporting a horizontally extending portion of a skateboard or foldable scooter which is retained by and hangs generally dependent below the pair of hooks with the horizontally extending portion maintained away from contact with the wall by the spacer portion; spaced below the hooks, an integral resilient spacer arm protruding outwardly from the panel a distance for contacting a downwardly extending portion of the skateboard or foldable scooter to maintain all other portions of the skateboard or foldable scooter away from contact with the wall; and said panel defining a view opening interposed between said spacer portion and said spacer arm, whereby said view opening allows a user to place an item of visual interest, such as a graphic design or a photograph behind the wall hanger and spacer and adjacent to the wall, to be viewed through said view opening.

29. The hanger and spacer of claim 28 wherein said pair of hooks are configured to receive therein a wheel mount of a skateboard, and the spacer portion is adapted to maintain the wheels at said wheel mount away from the wall, and the spacer arm is adapted to extend outwardly from the wall a distance to contact a board portion of the skateboard to maintain the skateboard away from contact with the wall.

30. The hanger and spacer of claim 28 wherein said pair of hooks are further configured to receive a handle bar of a folded scooter therein, and the spacer portion is adapted to maintain the handle bar away from the wall and the spacer arm is adapted to extend outwardly from the wall a distance to contact a vertical handle bar support to maintain the folded scooter away from contact with the wall, and wherein the spacer arm is provided with an arched receiving tip on an outer end of the spacer arm for receiving the vertical handle bar support therein.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is in the field of hanging apparatus for supporting articles from a wall or vertical surface. More particularly, the present invention relates to a multi-function wall hanger for sports equipment, such as surf boards, wake boards, skis, snow boards, etc., as well as skate boards and sidewalk scooters, such as the well-known Razor-type of scooter. The apparatus is particularly configured and constructed such as to maintain the hanging sports equipment away from the finished surface of a wall (i.e., such as an interior wall of a home—a wall of a bed room, den, or garage, for example). Thus, storage and display of the sports equipment is facilitated, while also avoiding damage to or marring of the wall which could result from contact by the sports equipment with the wall.

RELATED TECHNOLOGY

Finding adequate space for storage and display of sports equipment such as those mentioned above is a problem in any home or business. Further, some sports equipment such as surf boards, snow boards, and skate boards, for example, include graphics and illustrations which makes the owner particularly fond or proud to own these items, and produces a desire to not only safely store the items when not in use, but to have them on display. Ease of access, and safe, secure storage for these valuable sports equipment items are important considerations as well.

Storage by hanging the items of sports equipment on a wall can be a good solution for those items of sports equipment such as those mentioned above. When hung on a wall, the items are highly visible and easily accessible. To preserve space, it is desirable to store the boards, snow boards, etc., substantially flat against the wall so that the boards, for example, substantially do not extend out away from the wall more than is necessary. But, the resulting proximity to the wall can result in the damage or marring of either the wall surface, or the boards, or both. This especially is a consideration when these recreational equipment are used outdoors and are likely to have dirt, mud, tar or other foreign matter on the surface of the equipment. This foreign matter could possibly soil or damage the wall, if the boards or other sports equipment items were allowed to come into contact with the finished wall surface.

Another consideration is the sometimes fragile nature of the boards and other sports equipment themselves, which are often made of somewhat soft material, and are subject to denting and scratching. So, storing of boards and other sports equipment items in a wall support which does not scratch, dent, or mar the surface of the board or other sports equipment item is desirable.

Similarly, the display of the sports equipment in a convenient location such as on a bedroom wall or den wall is desirable.

Further, it is desirable to have the wall hanging apparatus able to be reconfigured to store a variety of sports equipment by wall hanging.

None of the conventional technology for wall hanging of sports equipment fully meets a user's needs, as well as providing for a multi-function, flexible (i.e., adaptable and adjustable) configuration of the equipment hanging so as to allow a wide variety of sports articles to be stored and displayed by wall hanging in a compact and pleasing display arrangement.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object for the present invention is to achieve one or more of the desired objectives mentioned above, or to overcome or reduce one or more of the deficiencies of the conventional technology mentioned above.

Another object for the present invention is to provide a multi-function wall hanging equipment for sports articles or equipment, such as surfboards, wakeboards, snowboards, skateboards (or other board-type sports equipment), as well as providing for wall hanging of skateboards and scooters.

A related object of the present invention is to provide a double hanger and spacer with a flat plate wall-mount base that has ample flat space, and, an extending hook with an ample flat space for an advertisement, insignia, logo, design, personal statement or other type of visual display.

Accordingly, one particularly preferred embodiment of the present invention provides a multi-function wall hanger and spacer configured for hanging and displaying a variety of sports equipment on a wall while maintaining the sports equipment spaced away from contact with the wall, comprising: a support and spacer member mountable on a wall, the support and spacer member having a pair of spaced apart upwardly curving integral hooks horizontally aligned and extending outwardly from the support and spacer member, the pair of hooks being spaced outwardly from the wall on an integral spacer portion, and the pair of hooks being sized and spaced apart for receiving and supporting a horizontally extending portion of an elongate board-type of sports equipment, whereby the elongate board-type of sports equipment may be supported in an elevated horizontal and outwardly angulated position on the wall and is spaced from contact with the wall by a horizontally spaced apart and aligned pair of the support and spacer members; an elongate flexible strap member depending from the support and spacer member to support a board nest member; the board nest member including a hooked arm defining an upwardly disposed recess for receiving a lower edge portion of a second elongate board-type of sports equipment, said board nest member including a protruding foot portion engaging the wall and maintaining the second elongate board-type of sports equipment away from contact with the wall; and a gravity hook member slidably received along the elongate flexible strap member, the gravity hook member including a hooked arm defining a downwardly disposed recess for receiving an upper edge portion of the second elongate board-type of sports equipment.

Additional objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent in view of the following detailed description of particularly preferred embodiments taken in conjunction with the appended drawing Figures in which like reference numerals indicate like features.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 provides a front perspective view of a pair of wall hangers according to the present invention in a configuration allowing hanging of three items of board-type equipment (such as three snow boards or three surf boards, for example);

FIG. 2 is a rear perspective view of one of the pair of hangers seen in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a front elevation view of one of the pair of wall hangers seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, with the other of the pair of hangers being substantially identical;

FIG. 4 provides a horizontal cross sectional view of the one wall hanger seen in FIG. 3, looking vertically upwardly at the line indicated with the arrows 4-4;

FIG. 5 provides a vertical cross sectional view of the one wall hanger seen in FIG. 3, taken at the line indicated with the arrows 5-5;

FIGS. 5A and 5B are each a fragmentary cross sectional view of a portion of FIG. 5, with FIG. 5A having parts thereof in alternative operative positions;

FIGS. 6 and 7 are respective perspective views, one from the front side and the other from the rear or “wall” side of an alternate configuration of wall hanger having an especially configured hook structure mounted at the lower termination of a depending strap portion for hanging a skateboard;

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary side elevation view of a portion of the wall hanger apparatus seen in FIGS. 6 and 7;

FIGS. 9 and 10 are respective perspective views, one from the front side and the other from the “wall” side of yet another alternate configuration of wall hanger having an especially configured hook structure mounted at the lower termination of a depending strap portion for hanging a scooter;

FIG. 11 is a fragmentary side elevation view of a portion of the wall hanger apparatus seen in FIGS. 9 and 10;

FIGS. 12 and 13 respectively provide exploded front and rear perspective views of a support and spacer component of the wall hangers seen in FIGS. 1-5.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

First considering FIGS. 1-5, 12, and 13 in conjunction with one another, and with attention to FIG. 1 initially, a multi-function support apparatus 10, which serves as a wall hanger for a variety of sports equipment, such as surf boards, wake boards, skis, snow boards, as well as skate boards and sidewalk scooters, is shown in perspective view as it would appear secured to a wall (not seen in the drawing Figures). The wall hanger apparatus 10 includes a pair of laterally spaced apart hanger assemblies, respectively indicated with the numerals 12 and 14 in FIG. 1. It will be noted first of all that the pair of hanger assemblies 12 and 14 when mounted to a wall will preferably be spaced apart by a greater dimension than appears to be the case in FIG. 1. That is, the hanger assemblies 12 and 14 are shown in FIG. 1 more closely together than would be the case when they are mounted to a wall simply for convenience of illustration only.

The lateral spacing ordinarily and desirably provided between the pair of hanger assemblies 12, 14 allows for these hanger assemblies to cooperatively support relatively long articles, such as surf boards. On the other hand, when it is desired for the pair of hanger assemblies 12, 14 to support relatively shorter articles, such as a wake board, or snow board, the hanger assemblies 12, 14 can be positioned closer together. In order to provide for lateral adjustability of the spacing between the pair of hanger assemblies 12, 14 upon a wall, each assembly includes a horizontally extending and elongate rail 16, which is secured immovably to the wall (as by the use of screws illustrated but not referenced in the drawing Figures), and upon which the remainder of each hanger assembly 12, 14 is selectively laterally movable, as will be further explained. It will be noted also that the elongate horizontal rails 16 are illustrated in the drawing Figures with a length convenient for illustration, and that these rails may be of any desired length. So, the invention is not limited to any particular length or proportion for the rails 16.

Because each of the hanger assemblies 12 and 14 are substantially identical, only the hanger assembly 12 is further described herein, with the description of hanger assembly 12 applying equally to hanger assembly 14. It is to be noted (especially in view of the following description) that the hanger assemblies 12, 14 are an assembly of parts, and various combinations of these parts, and of other parts, as will be explained below, can be combined in order to configure the hanger assemblies 12, 14, to hang or support a variety of sports equipment.

Viewing hanger assembly 12, it is seen that the rail 16 is generally of rectangular and partly of T-shape in cross section, and preferably has closed end portions 16a, although the invention is not so limited. That is, the rectangular and T-shaped cross section of the rail 16 preferably does not extend all the way to nor open upon the end portion 16a, and this end portion 16a serves as a stop to limit movement of the remainder of the hanger assembly along the rail. Consequently, as will be further explained, a support and spacer member 18 (hereinafter, simply “support member) which is slidably received upon the rail 16 is trapped on this rail. In order to accomplish the captive support of the support member 18, the rail 16 itself is of concealed two-part construction, with a lap joint (indicated by arrowed numeral 16b in FIGS. 2 and 4—and best seen in FIGS. 12, 13) which is usually concealed behind the support member 18.

Attention now to the support and spacer member 18 (best seen in FIGS. 1, 2, and 13) will show that this member includes an upper wall 18a, a lower wall 18b, and a pair of side walls 18c/d (best seen viewing FIGS. 2 and 13). The pair of side walls 18c/d each define a respective T-shaped notch (indicated with arrowed numeral 18e) into which the rail 16 is slidably received. Further attention to FIGS. 1, 2, and 12 will reveal that the rail 16 has spaced along its length a plurality of detent notches, referred to collectively and indicated by arrowed reference numeral 16c. These detent notches extend from near one end of the rail 16 to adjacent the other end of the rail 16. As is seen in FIGS. 2, 5, and 13 a web 20 of material formed internally of the support member 18 extends from the top wall 18a and from a front wall 18f of the support member 18 to engage into a selected one of the detent notches 16c. The web 20 has a limited amount of resilience allowing it to “snap” or “click” from notch to notch so that the support member 18 can be moved along the rail 16. A user can thus apply lateral force to slide the support member laterally along the rail 16, with the web 20 clicking into and out of successive detent notches 16c until the support member 18 reaches the desired lateral location. This “clicking” of the web 20 into the detent notches lets the user feel when a detent notch 16c is engaged as the support member 18 is moved along rail 16.

When the user has achieved a desired lateral position for the support member 18 along rail 16, the web 20 engages firmly into a particular detent notch 16c. Further, when the added weight of hanging sports equipment is added to the support members 16, the webs 20 will engage yet more firmly into the particular notch 16c so that inadvertent lateral movement of the support members 18 along the rails 16 is prevented. In this way, the user of a support apparatus 10 can select a desired spacing between the pair of apparatus 12, 14 in view of the length of the item(s) of sports equipment to be supported.

Further attention now to FIGS. 1, 5, 5B, and 12, will also show that the support and spacer member 18 includes an outwardly extending angulated hook element, such as a U-shaped hook 22. This hook element 22 can be seen in the drawing Figures to include a pair of spaced apart hook arms 22a. This hook element 22 extends from adjacent the lower extent of the support member 18 at an angle away from the front wall 18f, creating in cooperation with the front wall 18f a tapered opening or nest 24 (best seen in FIGS. 1, 5, 5B, and 12) capable of receiving a wide variety of sizes and types of recreational sports boards (not seen in the drawing Figures). The opening 24 is provided at each one of the hook arms 22a with a cushion member 22b for engaging the surface of a sports board placed into the opening 24. This cushion member 22b provides not only cushioning but a frictional engagement of the arms 22a with the surface of a sports board placed into the opening 24. Thus, the tapered board opening 24 allows a recreational sports board orientated horizontally and substantially on edge with its decorated upper surface toward a view (i.e., away from the wall), to be placed at an edge portion thereof into the opening 24, there to be secure by its own weight and as a result of a friction fit of the board edge portion in the opening 24.

It is to be noted that the support and spacer members 18 are at the top of the assemblies 12, 14, and thus would be rather high on a wall. Because of this and a combination of other factors, including the spacing of the opening 24 away from the supporting wall (i.e., because of the horizontal dimension of the walls 18a/b/c/d—recalling the “spacer” function of the support and spacer member 18), and the angulation of the opening 24 away from the wall, a sports board received into the opening 24 is advantageously angulated and oriented for viewing of its decorated upper surface, and is also spaced apart from contact with the wall by the support member 18.

As is also seen best seen in FIGS. 1 and 3, the hook element 22 also presents a substantially flat exposed front surface 22b (or “display surface”) for receiving a visual display element. For example, a decal or other colorful and interesting graphic may be applied to be viewed at the surface 22b. Particularly, a graphic which matches those on a particularly preferred brand of snow or surf board which will be displayed on the apparatus 10 may be placed on the surface 22b, so that then the support apparatus 10 can be matched to and complement the user's favorite board(s). Alternatively, because the support and spacer members are particularly configured to be manufactured by injection molding of a plastic or polymer, a graphic design may be formed on or in the material of the support member 18 itself at the display surface 22b.

Still viewing FIG. 1 particularly, it is seen that a suspension member 26 engages with and is supported by the support member 18 (as will be further explained below). This suspension member 26 carries a cord-like element, such as a nylon strap 28 depending vertically below the lower extent of the suspension member 26. As is seen best in FIG. 5, because the suspension member 26 engages support member 18 in an outwardly angulated position, the strap 28 (which depends from the lower and outward extent of the suspension member 26) is additionally and desirably spaced from the supporting wall. At its lower termination, the strap 28 carries a hook element 30. And hooked to this hook element 30 is a first lower board nest member 32. This board nest member 32 includes a foot portion 34 having a substantially flat surface 34a, engageable against the supporting wall. Outwardly disposed on the board nest member 32 is a hook member or arm 36 cooperating with the remainder of the board nest member 32 to define an upwardly oriented recess or nest 38 for receiving a lower edge portion of a sports board, such as a surf board or snow board.

Slidably carried on the strap member 28 in spaced juxtaposition to and above the board nest 38 is a gravity hook member 40. This gravity hook member 40 includes an outwardly extending hook portion 42 cooperating with the remainder of the hook member 40 to define a downwardly oriented recess or nest 44 for receiving a upper edge portion of a sports board, such as a surf board or snow board.

Viewing FIG. 1, 2, 5, and 5A, it is seen that the gravity hook member 40 defines a through slot 46 (arrowed on FIG. 2) slidably passing the strap 28, and carries a pivotal locking lever 48 in the position of FIGS. 1, 2, and 5 lockingly engaging the strap 28 in order to retain the gravity hook member in a selected position along the strap 28. Thus, a sports board resting at its lower edge in the nests 38 of the members 32 can be securely retained by engaging the gravity hooks 40 with an upper edge of the sports board, and then locking the gravity hooks 40 in place on the straps 28. FIGS. 2, and 5A show that the gravity hook members 40 include a pair of aligned bosses 50 between which is pivotally carried the locking lever 48, and that this locking lever 48 includes a protruding cam surface portion 52. Thus, in the unlocked position for the locking lever 48, as is seen in FIG. 5A, the cam surface portion 52 is disengaged from the strap member 28, freeing the gravity hook member 40 for selective movement vertically along the strap member 28. Accordingly, by first unlocking and raising the gravity hook member 40 and placing a sports board at its lower edge into the recesses or nests 38 of the nest members 32, the user can then lower and lock the gravity hooks 40 so that the upper edge of the sports board is received into the recess 44. Thus, the apparatus 10 can receive, support, and display a variety of sports boards of widely varying widths in the nest members 32 by cooperation of the gravity hook members 40.

Also, as is seen in FIG. 1, a second strap member 28a is suspended from the nest member 32. This second strap member 28a includes a hook element 54 (substantially a duplicate of hook element 30), hooked into engagement with a lower securement feature 56 of the nest member 32. At its lower termination, the strap 28a includes yet another hook element 58 (again, also substantially a duplicate of the hook element 30). This strap 28a thus hooks to and supports another nest member 32a and carries another gravity hook member 40a. These elements are substantially duplicates of the elements of the same reference number described above, and provide for a third sports board to be hung on the apparatus 10.

In view of the above, it is apparent that the apparatus 10 as shown in FIGS. 1-5, and FIGS. 5A and 5B, is configured to support as many as three elongate board-like sports apparatus. These three board members could be three surf boards, three snow boards, three wake boards, etc., or any desired mix of such elongate board-like sports apparatus. Further, in view of the disclosure above, and the following description as well, it will be apparent that the apparatus 10 is not limited to supporting only three such elongate board-like items of sports apparatus. That is, additional strap elements carrying additional gravity hook elements, and supporting additional board nest members can be added simply by hooking these to the bottom securement features 56 of the bottom board nest members. Also, it will be seen that alternative support elements of alternative and varying configurations may be employed in order to support and display additional types of sports equipment.

Returning to further consideration of FIGS. 1-5 it is seen that the arms 36 and 42, respectively of the nest member 32 and gravity hook member 40 each define a channel or groove 36a and 42a oriented away from the respective recesses 38 and 44. As FIGS. 1 and 5 illustrate, these channels or grooves are able to cooperatively receive (as is indicated by that arrows on these Figures) a safety strap member each indicated with the numeral 60. The safety strap member may be resilient, elastic, and flexible, such as a large O-ring, bungie cord, or rubber band type of member; or this safety strap may be made of a flexible but strong and less elastic material such as nylon strapping. Importantly, the strap member 60 is able to span between the arms 36 and 42 outwardly of any board type of sports equipment supported in these arms, and thus prevents an inadvertent release of the sports equipment.

Also, turning attention now particularly to FIGS. 12 and 13, it is seen that each of the suspension members 26 attach to the support and spacer members 18 by a pair of dovetail-shaped or keystone-shaped protrusions 26a which are received into a pair of matchingly configured grooves 26a defined in the lower wall 18b of the support members 18. In addition, each suspension member 26 defines a pair of apertures 26b passing through the protrusions 26a, and passing a threaded shank portion of a pair of screws 62. These screws 62 threadably engage into a doubler plate 64, which is received into the respective support member 18 adjacent to the lower wall 18b thereof. Further, it is seen that the rail member 16 at lap joint 16b defines a pair of spaced apart projections or dowel features 16d on one of the rail portions. These projections 16d are aligned on opposite sides of the center screw which will secure the rail portions together, and are received into a pair of dowel holes 16e which are defined by the other of the rail portions. Thus, the alignment of the two rail sections which cooperatively define the rail 16 is assured at lap joint 16b.

Turning now to FIGS. 6 and 7, an alternative or second embodiment of a sports equipment hanging apparatus 110 is illustrated. Because the embodiments of FIGS. 6-8, and of FIGS. 9-11 share many features with the first embodiment described above, features which are the same as those described above are referenced in FIGS. 6-11 using the same numeral used above. Further, features which are analogous in structure or function to those described above are indicated with the same numeral used above but having a suffix added. Consideration of FIGS. 6-11 will reveal that the alternative embodiments of these Figures are each configured to allow the hanging apparatus to support both elongate board-like sports equipment, and to also support an item of wheeled recreational equipment. Respectively, these alternative embodiments are configured to hand a skate board, and a scooter type of recreational or sports equipment. So, it follows (recalling FIG. 1) that a user who has a pair of the hanger apparatus mounted to a wall can have one of these configured according to FIGS. 6-8, and the other configured according to FIGS. 9-11, and can then hang a skate board on the first and a scooter on the second wall hanger apparatus.

It will be seen immediately upon consideration of FIGS. 6-8, that the apparatus 110 includes wall-mounted horizontal support rails 16 supporting support members 18, carrying depending strap members 28, board nest members 32, and gravity hook members 40. Thus, the identified parts discussed above with reference to FIGS. 1-5 are the same as those illustrated in FIGS. 6, 7, and 8. However, in order to allow the user of a sports apparatus hanger according to this invention to also support, store, and display an item of wheeled sports equipment, the apparatus 110 includes features as described below.

In FIGS. 6-8, a wall hanger and spacer 110, for mounting wheeled recreational equipment on a wall while maintaining the equipment away from contact with the wall, comprises a panel member 70. This panel member 70 is preferably attached to the strap 28a in the same way as was explained earlier for the support member 32a described with reference to the first embodiment of the invention. However, it will be noted that the wall hanger and spacer 110 is capable of being used by itself. The panel member 70 is provided with a pair of laterally spaced apart hooks 72 and a spacer arm 74 positioned below and centrally between the pair of hooks 72. The panel member 70 also defines a contoured “view” opening 70a, which serves three functions. On the one hand, this view opening 70a reduces the amount of material required to make the wall hanger and spacer 110 without significantly reducing its strength. Secondly, this view opening 70a provides for a display card upon which the wall hanger and spacer is displayed for sale to carry attractive graphics which are visible through this view opening. And finally, this view opening 70a allows a user of the wall hanger and spacer 110 to use a portion of that same display card (for example, a portion cut out of the display card), or a portion of another graphic or design, or even of a photograph (for example, a photo of the user playing with the sports equipment), and to place this photo or graphic behind the wall hanger and spacer on the wall to be viewed through the opening 70a. This feature further adds to the aspect of personalization and display embodied in the wall hanger and spacer 110. This panel member 70 is also mountable to a wall by use of screws or other conventional wall mounting devices, which pass through respective apertures 76 (arrowed on FIG. 6). It is to be noted that the apertures 76 are provided with spacer bosses or spools 78, providing for the panel member 70 to be spaced sufficiently from the wall that the item of wheeled recreational equipment does not touch the wall. Also, this spacing of the panel member 70 from the wall assists in aligning the strap 28a with the panel member 70 so that on the one hand, the strap 28a assists in supporting the panel member 70. On the other hand, the panel member 70 because it is attached to the wall also assists in stabilizing the lower end of strap 28a (and by connection, stabilizes the upper strap 28 as well).

Stated again, the panel member 70 has spaced apart upwardly curving hooks 72 horizontally aligned and spaced outwardly from the panel on a built-up or protruding spacer portion 80 which are spaced apart and configured so as to receive and support a horizontally extending portion of a piece of wheeled recreational equipment retained by the hooks with the horizontally extending portion maintained away from contact with the wall. Particularly, the hooks 72 are configured to receive the axle of a skate board with sufficient spacing away from the underlying wall that the skateboard wheels do not touch the wall. Below the hooks 72, the spacer arm 74 is curved like the end of a bow so that is has an inherent resilience. This spacer arm 74 protrudes outwardly from the panel 70 to contact the board portion of a skate board downwardly of the axle supported in the hooks 72. Thus, the skate board is maintained away from contact with the wall.

Turning now to consideration of FIGS. 9-11, it will also be seen immediately upon consideration of these Figures that the apparatus 210 includes wall-mounted horizontal support rails 16 supporting support members 18, carrying depending strap members 28, board nest members 32, and gravity hook members 40. Thus, the identified parts discussed above with reference to FIGS. 1-5 are the same as those illustrated in FIGS. 9-11. On the other hand, in order to allow the user of a sports apparatus hanger according to this invention to also support, store, and display a scooter type of wheeled sports equipment, the apparatus 210 includes features as described below.

In FIGS. 9-11, a wall hanger and spacer 210, for mounting wheeled recreational equipment (i.e., a scooter) on a wall while maintaining the equipment away from contact with the wall, comprises a panel member 90. This panel member 90 is preferably attached to the strap 28a in the same way as was explained earlier for the support member 32a described with reference to the first embodiment of the invention. However, again, the wall hanger and spacer 210 is capable of being used by itself. The panel member 90 is provided with a pair of laterally spaced apart hooks 92 and a spacer arm 94 positioned below and centrally between the pair of hooks 92. The panel member 90 also defines a contoured “view” opening 90a, which serves the same purpose as view opening 70a, for display of graphics, advertising, or a photograph, for example. This panel member 90 is also mountable to a wall by use of screws or other conventional wall mounting devices, which pass through respective apertures 96 (arrowed on FIG. 9). It is to be noted that the apertures 96 are provided with spacer bosses or spools 98, providing for the panel member 90 to be spaced sufficiently from the wall that the item of wheeled recreational equipment (i.e., a folding scooter) does not touch the wall. Also, this spacing of the panel member 90 from the wall assists in aligning the strap 28a with the panel member 90 so that on the one hand, the strap 28a assists in supporting the panel member 90. On the other hand, the panel member 90 because it is attached to the wall also assists in stabilizing the lower end of strap 28a (and by connection, stabilizes the upper strap 28 as well).

Moreover, the panel member 90 has spaced apart upwardly curving hooks 92 horizontally aligned and spaced outwardly from the panel on a built-up or protruding spacer portion 100 which are spaced apart and configured so as to receive and support a horizontally extending portion of a piece of wheeled recreational equipment (i.e., a folded scooter—perhaps a Razor-type of scooter) retained by the hooks with the horizontally extending portion maintained away from contact with the wall. Particularly, the hooks 92 are configured to receive the horizontal handle bar of a scooter with sufficient spacing away from the underlying wall that the scooter does not touch the wall. Below the hooks 92, the spacer arm 94 is curved like the end of a bow so that is has an inherent resilience. This spacer arm 94 protrudes outwardly from the panel 90 to receive at an arcuate recess 94a the vertical handle bar support or steering stem of the scooter at a location spaced downwardly of the horizontal handle bar supported in the hooks 92. Thus, the folded skate board is maintained away from contact with the wall.

In view of the above, it is seen that a scooter, such as a Razor-type of folding sidewalk scooter, may be folded into its storage or carriage configuration and the horizontal handle bar is hung on the hooks 94 while the spacer arm 94 receives at recess 94a the vertical handle bar support in order to maintain the scooter away from the wall.

While this invention has been illustrated, and described by reference to particularly preferred embodiments of the invention, the invention is not so limited, and no limitation on the invention is implied by such reference, so that no limitation on the invention is to be inferred. The invention is intended to be limited only by the appended claims, which also provide a definition of the invention, giving full cognizance in every instance to equivalents.