The present invention is concerned with a device for carrying particularly, but not exclusively, elongate elements such as skis.
Often when in a ski-resort a skier is obliged to carry his or her skis for a time. A pair of skis presents a cumbersome, if not heavy burden, which is particularly difficult to accommodate in crowded areas of a resort. In such areas the safest way to carry a pair of skis is in an upright or vertical manner.
To assist in retaining skis in a vertical position devices exist already. These devices are however large and cumbersome to carry in themselves even when they are not burdened with skis. Additionally, devices requiring the skis to be secured in more than one place lead to loading and unloading difficulties and discourage an owner from using the device over short distances. What is ideally required is a simple-to-load ski-carrying device which is sufficiently small to be carried in the pocket or otherwise about the skier's person whilst they ski or partake in other activities at a resort which do not require the carriage of skis.
An object therefore of the present invention is to provide a simple to use device for carrying skis in a vertical manner, which is sufficiently small to be carried in a pocket whilst skiing.
According to the present invention there is provided a carrying device comprising a flexible strap and a preferably substantially inextensible loop securely fixed to the strap, wherein the strap is adapted to be worn over a shoulder of a user of the device and an element to be carried may be suspended from the loop.
The loop is preferably made of a flexible material.
Where the element to be carried is a ski, the loop is adapted to extend over the toe binding of the ski. The toe binding of the ski is very close to the centre of mass of the ski and thereby provides a well balanced lifting point for the ski. Hanging the ski by its toe binding ensures that it hangs vertically or substantially vertically in a stable manner. The same is also true of a snowboard.
To accommodate different sizes the strap preferably has means for adjusting its length. Furthermore to make the device more practical and easy to load and unload the strap comprises a releasable fitting.
The releasable fitting may be a snap fastener, male and female parts of which are connected to adjacent ends of the strap. Length adjustment is provided by one element being free to slide along the strap to a desired length when the strap is under no tension and held by the element when the strap is under tension.
Other fasteners possible include the use of a series of press studs, hook and pile fabric fasteners or a belt and buckle provided with a series of holes at the other end of the strap.
Advantageously, the strap is light and waterproof for which reasons a woven synthetic fabric is a preferred choice of strap material.
Additionally, it is preferable if the surface of the material forming the loop is both non-abrasive and provides a reasonable amount of frictional grip when in contact with a surface. A preferred embodiment of the invention accomplishes this by providing a loop constructed from plastics coated steel cable. Alternatively the loop may be constructed from identical material to that comprising the strap.
In one preferred embodiment of the invention the loop may be openable, and is ideally lockable in the closed position. A combination lock is preferably provided.
The strap and loop are preferably joined securely by clamping the two ends of the material making up the loop to a fixed position on the strap. In the alternative embodiment where the loop and the strap are constructed from the same material they may be stitched together.
Most preferably all embodiments of the device are sufficiently small and flexible to be stored in a pocket when not in use.