Title:
Devices and Methods for Carrying and Storing a Surfboard
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A device for carrying a surfboard comprises an elongate base strap having a first end, a second end, a front side, a rear side, and a total length L measured the first and the second ends. In addition, the device comprises a first elongate extension strap having a fixed end coupled to the rear side of the base strap at a point P1 and a free end including a ring. Further, the device comprises a second elongate extension strap having a fixed end coupled to the rear side of the base strap at a point P2 and a free end including a ring. The base strap includes a first pair of attachment members positioned on the front side of the base strap, and a second pair of attachment members positioned on the front side of the base strap.



Inventors:
Alexander, Howard J. (Crosby, TX, US)
Application Number:
11/850381
Publication Date:
03/06/2008
Filing Date:
09/05/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B63B35/79
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HELVEY, PETER N.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HOWARD J. ALEXANDER (HIGHLANDS, TX, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A device for carrying a surfboard comprising: an elongate base strap having a first end, a second end, a front side, a rear side, and a total length L measured the first and the second ends; a first elongate extension strap having a fixed end coupled to the rear side of the base strap at a point P1 and a free end including a ring; a second elongate extension strap having a fixed end coupled to the rear side of the base strap at a point P2 and a free end including a ring; and wherein the base strap further comprises a first pair of spaced apart attachment members positioned on the front side of the base strap between point P1 and the first end, and a second pair of spaced apart attachment members positioned on the front side of the base strap between point P2 and the second end.

2. The device of claim 1 wherein the base strap further comprises a first non-slip pad disposed on the rear side of the base strap proximal the first end and a second non-slip pad disposed on the rear side of the base strap proximal the second end.

3. The device of claim 2 wherein the first non-slip pad is positioned at a distance d1 measured from the first end, and the second non-slip pad is positioned at a distance d2 measured from second end, wherein each distance d1 and d2 are between 10% and 25% of the total length L.

4. The device of claim 3 wherein the distances d1 and d2 are substantially the same.

5. The device of claim 3 wherein each non-slip pad comprises virgin rubber.

6. The device of claim 2 wherein the first pair of attachment members are adapted to be releasably coupled to each other, and the second pair of attachment members are adapted to be releasably coupled to each other.

7. The device of claim 6 wherein the first pair of attachment members comprise mating Velcro® sections and the second pair of attachment members comprise mating Velcro® sections.

8. The device of claim 2 wherein the base strap, the first extension strap, and the second extension strap each comprise ballistic nylon webbing.

9. The device of claim 2 wherein each ring is a D-ring.

10. The device of claim 2 further comprising a shoulder pad coupled to the base strap between the point P1 and the point P2, wherein the shoulder pad slidingly engages the base strap.

11. The device of claim 2 wherein the first and second ends of the base strap each comprise folded and sewn corners adapted to be advanced through one of the rings.

12. The device of claim 2 wherein the first pair of attachment members are positioned between the first end and a distance D1 measured from first end, and the second pair of attachment members are positioned between the second end and a distance D2 measured from the second end, wherein the distances D1 and D2 are between about 15% and 35% of the total length L.

13. The device of claim 12 wherein the distances D1 and D2 are substantially the same and are each between about 20% and 30% of the total length L.

14. A method for carrying a surfboard having a front end, a rear end, and lateral side edges comprising: (a) providing a surfboard carrying device including: an elongate base strap having a first end, a second end, a front side, a rear side, and a total length L measured the first and the second ends, the base strap including a first pair of spaced apart attachment members positioned on the front side of the base strap between point P1 and the first end, and a second pair of spaced apart attachment members positioned on the front side of the base strap between point P2 and the second end; a first elongate extension strap having a fixed end coupled to the rear side of the base strap at a point P1 and a free end including a ring; a second elongate extension strap having a fixed end coupled to the rear side of the base strap at a point P2 and a free end including a ring; (b) forming a first loop with the first elongate strap and the first end of the base strap; (c) forming a second loop with the second elongate strap and the second end of the base strap; (d) positioning the front end of the surfboard through the first loop; and (e) positioning the rear end of the surfboard through the second loop.

15. The method of claim 14 wherein (c) comprises: inserting the first end through the ring of the first extension strap; positioning the ring of the first extension strap between the first pair of attachment members; folding the first end back onto the base strap; and coupling the first pair of attachment members to each other face-to-face.

16. The method of claim 15 wherein (d) comprises: inserting the second end through the ring of the second extension strap; positioning the ring of the second extension strap between the second pair of attachment members; folding the second end back onto the base strap; and coupling the second pair of attachment members to each other face-to-face.

17. The method of claim 14 wherein (d) comprises positioning the first loop about the front one-third of the surfboard and (e) comprises positioning the second loop about the rear one-third of the surfboard.

18. The method of claim 14 further comprising positioning the portion of the base strap between the points P1 and P2 over the shoulder of an individual.

19. The method of claim 14 wherein the base strap further comprises a first non-slip pad disposed on the rear side of the base strap proximal the first end and a second non-slip pad disposed on the rear side of the base strap proximal the second end.

20. The method of claim 19 further comprising positioning the first non-slip pad and the second non-slip pad about one of the edges of the surfboard; and positioning the fixed end of the first elongate strap and the fixed end of the second elongate strap proximal the other edge of the surfboard.

21. The method of claim 20 further comprising extending each extension strap along a first side of the surfboard extending between the lateral side edges, and positioning each ring along the first side of the surfboard.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims benefit of U.S. provisional application Ser. No. 60/824,494 filed Sep. 5, 2006, and entitled “Strap for Carrying and Storing Surfboard,” which is hereby incorporated herein by reference in its entirety for all purposes.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not applicable.

BACKGROUND

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates generally to surfboards. More specifically, the invention relates to a method of carrying a surfboard.

2. Background of the Invention

The sport of surfing is a unique recreational activity in that it requires the convergence of complex conditions involving wind, water, current and human coordination. The goal of which is riding a wave, or hydroplaning along the face of a breaking wave on a surfboard. The sport has spurred the development of its own subculture within the population. The participants in this subculture are known to travel great distances in order to compete, socialize or find the perfect wave.

Favorable conditions for surfing exist only in limited locations. Some of these locations require relatively long distance portage of the surfboard by foot along uneven ground, over sand dunes or down rock faces. Since surfboards are generally rigid, elongate, and relatively bulky when carried by hand, portage by foot can be difficult. Surfboards are conventionally carried under one arm, or balanced atop the head while hiking to a beach or other remote surf spot. Such approaches may negatively effect the carrier's balance, and further, may leave the surfer unable to use his or her hands to carry other articles, for balance, or to prevent injury during a fall.

Devices have been developed to aid in personal transport of the surfboard. One conventional device of carrying a surfboard is a surfboard carrying bag. However, surfboard bags provide noticeable added weight and often require the surfer to handle the bag with at least one hand. Since surfboards are relatively bulky, heavy objects, carrying a surfboard in a bag by hand can be straining, particularly over longer portage distances. Further, carrying the surfboard bag with at least one hand denies the surfer the use of that hand for other uses such as balancing or to break an inadvertent fall.

Another conventional device for an individual to carry a surfboard is a wheeled surfboard carrier. Although such wheeled carriers support the entire weight of the surfboard, they are typically unable to traverse uneven ground or descend steep rock faces. Further, wheeled carriers provide undesirable bulk and weight that must be carried around with the surfboard.

Over the shoulder slings have also been used as a conventional device for an individual to carry a surfboard. Most slings tend to be draped relatively close to the surfer's body and connected to the surfboard in the central portion of the surfboard. As a result, the portions of the surfboard extending from the sling away from the surfer define relatively long moment arms, especially when carrying a longer surfboard (e.g., 10 foot surfboard). When these large surface area moment arms are placed in a gusty, windy environment as is typically favorable for good surf, unpredictable and sometimes de-stabilizing torques are generated and transferred to the surfer. In addition, many conventional slings employ rigid metallic or plastic buckles that add additional bulk, and contact the edges of the surfboard carried therein. Contact between such rigid buckles and the surfboard can lead to scratching and even damage to the edges of the board, particularly when employed in uneven terrain and sanding environments.

Moreover, many conventional devices for the personal portage of surfboards are not configured to carry multiple surfboards simultaneously, and further, comprise materials that tend to prematurely breakdown or degrade in the relatively harsh conditions experienced during surfing. In particular, devices employed to carry surfboard typically experience exposure to moisture and water, sand, and UV radiation. For instance, some conventional surfboard carrying devices employ neoprene rubber pads to frictionally engage the surfboard. However, neoprene rubber has a tendency to prematurely degrade after repeated frictional use in the relatively harsh surfing environment previously described.

Consequently, there remains a need in the art for apparatus and methods for comfortably and safely carrying at least one surfboard. Such devices and methods would be particularly well received if they provided enhanced durability, reduced bulk, and reduced likelihood of scratching or damaging the edges of the surfboards carried therein.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF SOME OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

In accordance with at least one embodiment of the invention, a device for carrying a surfboard comprises an elongate base strap having a first end, a second end, a front side, a rear side, and a total length L measured the first and the second ends. In addition, the device comprises a first elongate extension strap having a fixed end coupled to the rear side of the base strap at a point P1 and a free end including a ring. Further, the device comprises a second elongate extension strap having a fixed end coupled to the rear side of the base strap at a point P2 and a free end including a ring. The base strap further comprises a first pair of spaced apart attachment members positioned on the front side of the base strap between point P1 and the first end, and a second pair of spaced apart attachment members positioned on the front side of the base strap between point P2 and the second end.

In accordance with other embodiments of the invention, a method for carrying a surfboard having a front end, a rear end, and lateral side edges comprises providing a surfboard carrying device. The surfboard carrying device includes an elongate base strap having a first end, a second end, a front side, a rear side, and a total length L measured the first and the second ends, the base strap including a first pair of spaced apart attachment members positioned on the front side of the base strap between point P1 and the first end, and a second pair of spaced apart attachment members positioned on the front side of the base strap between point P2 and the second end. Moreover, the surfboard carrying device includes a first elongate extension strap having a fixed end coupled to the rear side of the base strap at a point P1 and a free end including a ring, and a second elongate extension strap having a fixed end coupled to the rear side of the base strap at a point P2 and a free end including a ring. Further, the method comprises forming a first loop with the first elongate strap and the first end of the base strap. Still further, the method comprises forming a second loop with the second elongate strap and the second end of the base strap. In addition the method comprises positioning the front end of the surfboard through the first loop. Furthermore, the method comprises positioning the rear end of the surfboard through the second loop.

Thus, embodiments described herein comprise a combination of features and advantages intended to address various shortcomings associated with certain prior devices. The various characteristics described above, as well as other features, will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art upon reading the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments, and by referring to the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a detailed description of the preferred embodiments of the invention, reference will now be made to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a front view of an embodiment of a surfboard carrying device;

FIG. 2 is a rear view of the surfboard carrying device of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 3 is a front view of an individual carrying a surfboard with the surfboard carrying device of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The following discussion is directed to various embodiments of the invention. Although one or more of these embodiments may be preferred, the embodiments disclosed should not be interpreted, or otherwise used, as limiting the scope of the disclosure, including the claims. In addition, one skilled in the art will understand that the following description has broad application, and the discussion of any embodiment is meant only to be exemplary of that embodiment, and not intended to intimate that the scope of the disclosure, including the claims, is limited to that embodiment.

Certain terms are used throughout the following description and claims to refer to particular features or components. As one skilled in the art will appreciate, different persons may refer to the same feature or component by different names. This document does not intend to distinguish between components or features that differ in name but not function. The drawing figures are not necessarily to scale. Certain features and components herein may be shown exaggerated in scale or in somewhat schematic form and some details of conventional elements may not be shown in interest of clarity and conciseness.

In the following discussion and in the claims, the terms “including” and “comprising” are used in an open-ended fashion, and thus should be interpreted to mean “including, but not limited to . . . .” Also, the term “couple” or “couples” is intended to mean either an indirect or direct connection. Thus, if a first device couples to a second device, that connection may be through a direct connection, or through an indirect connection via other devices and connections.

Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, an embodiment of a surfboard carrying device 10 is shown. Surfboard carrying device 10 comprises a base strap 20, a pair of extension straps 30, and a shoulder pad 40. In general, carrying device 10 is configured for the personal portage of one or more surfboards and for the storage of one or more surfboards.

Base strap 20 is an elongate strap extending between a first end 20a and a second end 20b. Base strap 20 has a total length L measured between its ends 20a, b, and a width W measured perpendicular to length L. The length L of base strap 20 is substantially greater than its width W. Thus, as used herein, the term “elongate” may be used to refer to an object having a length substantially greater than its width. The length L and the width W of base strap 20 may be varied depending on the a variety of factors including, without limitation, the size (e.g., length, width, and thickness) of the surfboard(s) to be carried, the number of surfboard(s) to be carried, the amount of weight to be carried, etc. For example, base strap 20 may be made longer to accommodate longer surfboards. For most conventional surfboards having lengths between five feet and ten feet, base strap 20 preferably has a length L between about ten feet and twenty feet, and a width W between about one-half inch and three inches. In this exemplary embodiment, base strap 20 has a length L of about thirteen feet, and a width W of about two inches.

In general, base strap 20 may comprise any flexible material with sufficient strength to support the weight of at least one surfboard. Examples of suitable materials include, without limitation, fabrics, mesh materials, composite materials, or combinations thereof. However, base strap 20 preferably comprises a durable material capable of withstanding repeated tensile forces coupled with exposure to moisture, sand, and UV radiation. Due to its durability, general availability, and reasonable cost, base strap 20 is preferably made from ballistic nylon webbing.

Referring still to FIGS. 1 and 2, in this embodiment, each end 20a, b comprises a folded and sewn corner that limits fraying of base strap 20 at ends 20a, b, and facilitates the insertion of ends 20a, b through other components during use of device 10. The folded corners are preferably sewn with marine thread for enhanced durability. In addition, base strap 20 has a first or front side 21 best shown in FIG. 1, and a second or rear side 22 opposite front side 21 shown in FIG. 2. A pair of mating spaced apart attachment members 24a, b are provided on front side 21 of base strap 20 proximal first end 20a, and a pair of mating spaced apart attachment members 26a, b are provided on front side 21 of base strap 20 proximal second end 20b. Attachment members 24a, b are preferably positioned between first end 20a and a distance D1 measured from first end 20a, and attachment members 26a, b are positioned between second end 20b and a distance D2 measured from second end 20b. Distances D1 and D2 are preferably between about 15% and 35% of total length L, and more preferably between about 20% and 30% of total length L. Further, distances D1 and D2 are preferably substantially the same. In this embodiment, distances D1 and D2 are each about 25% of the total length L.

Attachment members 24a, b are adapted to be releasably coupled together, and attachment members 26a, b are adapted to be releasably coupled together. In particular, attachment members 24b, 26b are adapted to receive mating attachment members 24a, 26a, respectively. Consequently, members 24b, 26b may also be referred to herein as “receiving sections”. By folding base strap 11 back onto itself at a point between attachment members 24a, b, attachment members 24a, b may be brought together and connected face-to-face. Likewise, by folding base strap 11 at a point between attachment members 26a, b, attachment members 26a, b may be brought together and connected face-to-face. In this embodiment, attachment members 24a, b and 26a, b comprise mating Velcro® strips or sections, respectively.

As best shown in FIG. 2, base strap 11 further comprises a pair of non-slip pads 25, 27 on rear side 22. Non-slip pad 25 is position on rear side 22 at a distance d1 measured from first end 20a, and non-slip pad 27 is positioned on rear side 22 at a distance d2 measured from second end 20b. Distances d1, d2 are each preferably between 10% and 25% of total length L of base strap 20. Further, distances d1, d2 are preferably substantially the same. In this embodiment, non-slip pad 25 is disposed on rear side 22 substantially opposite receiving section 24b on front side 21 (i.e., at about the same distance from first end 20a as receiving section 24b), and non-slip pad 27 is disposed on rear side 22 substantially opposite receiving section 26b (i.e., at about the same distance from second end 20b as receiving section 26b).

As will be explained in more detail below, non-slip pads 25, 27 are positioned to frictionally engage an edge of the surfboard carried with device 10. The size (e.g., length, width, and thickness) of non-slip pads 25, 27 may be varied as appropriate, but are preferably sized to sufficiently engage the surfboard and restrict relative movement therebetween. In this exemplary embodiment, each non-slip pad 25, 27 is about twelve inches long, about two inches wide, and about one-eighth of an inch thick.

In general, non-slip pads 25, 27 may comprise any suitable flexible material capable of conforming to the shape of the surfboard and frictionally engaging the surfboard (i.e., materials with a high coefficient of friction). Examples of suitable materials include, without limitation, rubber, polyethylene, polyvinyl or any other non-slip material. More specifically, non-slip pads 25, 27 preferably comprise a relatively soft material with a reduced tendency to scratch or abrade the surfboard it engages, and a durable material capable of withstanding repeated frictional engagement of the surfboard and exposure to moisture, sand, and UV radiation. To enhance durability under such harsh conditions, each non-slip pad 25, 27 is preferably made from virgin rubber.

Referring still to FIG. 2, a pair of extension straps 30 are coupled to, and extend from, rear side 22 of base strap 20. Each extension strap 30, also referred to herein as “extension leaves”, is an elongate member including a fixed end 30a coupled to base strap 20 and a free end 30b generally distal base strap 20. Fixed end 30a of one extension strap 30 is attached to base strap 20 at a point P1 proximal first end 20a, and fixed end 30 of the other extension strap 30 is attached to base strap 20 at a point P2 proximal second end 20b. Points P1, P2 are preferably located at a distance of about 20% to 40% of total length L from ends 20a, b, respectively, and more preferably located at a distance of about 30% to 35% of total length L from ends 20a, b, respectively. Further, points P1, P2 are each preferably disposed at substantially the same distance from ends 20a, b, respectively. In this embodiment, points P1, P2 are located at about 33% of total length L from ends 20a, b, respectively.

Free end 30b of each extension strap 30 includes a ring 33. Rings 33 may be coupled to free ends 30b by any suitable means. In this embodiment, each ring 33 is a D-ring, although rectangular or annular rings may also be employed in other embodiments. As will be explained in more detail below, during use of device 10 each end 20a, b is passed through the proximal ring 33 and advanced therethrough until each ring 33 is positioned between attachment members 24a, b and attachment members 26a, b, respectively. Then ends 20a, b are folded back onto base strap 20 to engage mating attachment members 24a, b and to engage mating attachment members 26a, b, respectively, thereby forming a loop on either end of base strap 20 through which one or more surfboards are disposed and supported.

As will be explained in more detail below, during use of device 10, extension straps 30 are positioned along the sides of the surfboard(s) carried, and support at least a portion of the weight of the surfboard(s) carried. The size (e.g., length, width, and thickness) of extension straps 30 may be varied as appropriate, but are preferably sized to sufficiently hold and support the surfboard(s) carried, and to position rings 33 away from the edges of the surfboards during use of device 10. The length of each extension strap measured between ends 30a, b is preferably between six inches and eighteen inches. In this exemplary embodiment, each extension strap 30 has a length measured between ends 30a, b of about twelve inches and a width of approximately two inches.

In general, extension straps 30 may comprise any flexible material with sufficient strength to support the weight of at least one surfboard. Examples of suitable materials include, without limitation, fabrics, mesh materials, composite materials, or combinations thereof. However, extension straps 30 preferably comprises a durable material capable of withstanding repeated tensile forces coupled with exposure to moisture, sand, and UV radiation. Due to its durability, general availability, and reasonable cost, extension straps 30 are preferably made from ballistic nylon webbing. Since base strap 20 and extension straps 30 each comprise ballistic nylon webbing in this embodiment, fixed ends 30a of extension straps 30 are sewn to base strap 20 at points P1, P2. In particular, marine thread is used to sew extension straps 30 to base strap 20, thereby enhancing the durability of the connection in the harsh surfing environment.

In general, each ring 33 may comprise any suitable material with sufficient strength to support the weight of at least one surfboard. Examples of suitable materials include, without limitation, polymers, metals and metal alloys, composites, or combinations thereof. Each ring 33 is preferably sufficiently durable to withstand the relatively harsh surfing environment without corroding or prematurely degrading. In this embodiment, each ring 33 is made of plastic.

Referring again to FIGS. 1 and 2, shoulder pad 40 is coupled to base strap 20. In particular, shoulder pad 40 slidingly engages base strap 20 and is generally positioned in the middle of base strap 20 between points P1, P2. In this embodiment, shoulder pad 40 is disposed around base strap 20 such that shoulder pad 40 is free to slide along base strap 20. During use of device 10, shoulder pad 40 is positioned over one of the shoulders of the individual carrying device 10, thereby providing a relatively comfortable, adjustable, padded surface between base strap 20 and the shoulder.

In general, shoulder pad 40 may comprise any suitable flexible material capable of conforming to the shoulder of the user of device 10 and providing a padded surface between base strap 20 and the shoulder. In particular, shoulder pad 40 preferably comprises a relatively soft, padded material that is sufficiently durable to withstand the relatively harsh surfing environment without corroding or prematurely degrading such a as plastic or rubber material.

Referring now to FIG. 3, an individual 60 carrying an exemplary surfboard 50 with carrying device 10 is shown. Surfboard 50 has a leading end 50a, a trailing end 50b, lateral edges 51, a first surface 52 extending between edges 51, and a rear surface (hidden in FIG. 3) extending between edges 51 opposite first surface 52.

During use of device 10, first end 20a is passed through ring 33 of the proximal extension strap 30. End 20a is advanced through ring 33 until ring 33 is generally positioned between attachment members 24a, b, and further, slidingly engages the portion of base strap 20 between attachment members 24a, b. Then end 20a is folded back about ring 33 toward base strap 20, such that mating attachment members 24a, b face and engage each other. Attachment members 24a, b are then pushed into engagement with each other thereby coupling attachment members 24a, b and forming a forward loop 70. Likewise, second end 20b is passed through ring 33 of the proximal extension strap 30. End 20b is advanced through ring 33 until ring 33 is generally positioned between attachment members 26a, b, and further, slidingly engages the portion of base strap 20 between attachment members 26a, b. Then end 20b is folded back about ring 33 toward base strap 20, such that mating attachment members 26a, b face and engage each other. Attachment members 26a, b are then pushed into engagement with each other thereby coupling attachment members 26a, b and forming a rearward loop 71.

Referring still to FIG. 3, forward loop 70 is passed around leading end 50a of surfboard 50, and rearward loop 71 is passed around trailing end 50b of surfboard 50. In particular, forward loop 70 is positioned around the forward one-third of surfboard 50, and rearward loop 71 is positioned around the rearward one-third of surfboard 50. In this manner, surfboard 50 is supported generally proximal its ends 50a, b, thereby tending to reduce the moment arms defined by the ends of board 50 extending beyond loops 70, 71.

In this embodiment, surfboard 50 is oriented within loops 70, 71 with one edge 51 oriented upward, the other edge 51 oriented downward, first surface 52 facing away from individual 60 and the rear surface facing, and at least partially contacting, individual 60. With surfboard 50 sufficiently positioned through loops 71, 72, loops 71, 72 may be slightly tightened to securely grip surfboard 50. Loops 71, 72 are tightened by disengaging attachment members 24a, b and disengaging attachment members 26a, b, respectively, pulling ends 20a, b, respectively, and then re-attaching attachment members 24a, b and attachment members 26a, b, respectively.

When surfboard 50 is secured within loops 70, 71, non-slip pads 25, 27 each conform around and frictionally engage the lower edge 51, thereby restricting relative movement therebetween. In addition, points P1, P2 are generally disposed proximal the upper edge 51. Thus, in this embodiment, no rigid or bulky members contact or engage edges 51. Extension straps 30 lie substantially flat against surface 52 and extend from points P1, P2 proximal upper edge 51 across a portion of first surface 52, but do not extend to lower edge 51. Thus, each ring 33 is positioned along front surface 52 between edges 51, but do not engage edges 51. Consequently, retention of surfboard 50 in this manner reduces the potential for rings 33 to scratch or damage edges 51.

The weight of surfboard 50 is transferred to base strap 20 via rings 33, extension straps 30, and attachment members 24a, b and 26a, b. In this embodiment, the middle portion of base strap 20 generally between points P1, P2 is positioned over the shoulder of individual 60. In particular, shoulder strap 40 is slide along base strap 20 such that it is positioned between the shoulder of individual 60 and base strap 20, thereby padding the load of surfboard 50 and enhancing the comfort of device 10. Although surfboard 50 is positioned along the side of individual 60 and base strap 20 is disposed over the shoulder of individual 60, a variety of other orientations of the surfboard (e.g., surfboard 50) and the base strap (e.g., base strap 20) relative to the individual employ device 10 (e.g., individual 60) are possible. For instance, in other embodiments, individual 60 may position base strap 20 about the head and neck so as to transversely support the surfboard (e.g., surfboard 50) in the front of the torso of individual 50. As another example, the base strap may be disposed over the head and neck, and over the shoulder of the individual on the opposite the surfboard.

For longer-term storage of one or more surfboards, the middle portion of base strap 20 may be hung over a peg or support member having sufficient strength to support the weight of the surfboard(s), as opposed to an individual's shoulder. This allows the surfboard to be securely stored. When the user desires to transport the surfboard, he or she may remove device 10 from the support, and position the middle portion of base strap 20 and shoulder pad 40 over his/her shoulder. It should be appreciated that it is not necessary to remove the surfboard from device 10 in order to transport the surfboard after storage.

It should be appreciated that each component of device 10 (e.g., base strap 20, extension straps 30, shoulder pad 40, non-slip pads 25, 27, etc.), except rings 33, preferably comprise flexible, relatively lightweight materials. Although rings 33 may be rigid, rings 33 are generally smaller, less bulky, and lighter as compared to most conventional buckles. Consequently, embodiments of device 10 offer the potential for a surfboard carrying device particularly adapted to be rolled up into a relatively lightweight, compact configuration for storage of device 10.

While preferred embodiments have been shown and described, modifications thereof can be made by one skilled in the art without departing from the scope or teachings herein. The embodiments described herein are exemplary only and are not limiting. Many variations and modifications of the system and apparatus are possible and are within the scope of the invention. For example, the relative dimensions of various parts, the materials from which the various parts are made, and other parameters can be varied. Accordingly, the scope of protection is not limited to the embodiments described herein, but is only limited by the claims that follow, the scope of which shall include all equivalents of the subject matter of the claims.