BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Applicant claims the benefit of provisional application 60/654,780, filed Feb. 22, 2005.
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to a wet suit valet assembly for drying out a diver's or surfer's wet suit after use.
2. Description of the Prior Art
Wet suits are typically used by scuba divers and surfers in the pursuit of their activities. The wet suits are normally fabricated from neoprene or other suitable rubber-like material and are designed to form fit to the upper torso and arms and the legs of the individual to maintain body temperature when surfing or scuba diving in waters of lower temperature. Additional wet suit pieces can include a balaklava for the head, gloves for the hands, and socks for the feet, all fabricated from the same type of material, i.e. neoprene or other suitable rubber-like material. The wet suit preserves the body heat for the individual allowing them to enjoy their past time for a greater period of time. In fact, in the design of wet suits, it is preferable that a small film of water be allowed to penetrate the wet suits and to form a film layer between the surfer or diver's body and the inner surface of the wet suit. This thin film layer further enhances the ability of the wet suit to maintain the warmth of the anatomy and prevent the loss of body heat.
When the surfer or diver has finished his pursuit, the wet suit is typically removed and the neoprene or rubber-like material is thoroughly wet. It is then necessary to dry the wet suit before it is again utilized. Still further, the dampness of the wet suit through use, can also lead to the development of an odor associated therewith, caused by mold or bacteria. The sooner the diver or surfer's wet suit is dried after use, and the more thoroughly it is dried, prevents the development of a moldy-like odor and also lengthens the life expectancy of the wet suit by preventing premature rotting.
In the past, wet suits were laid in the bath tub to dry or spread out on a flat surface to dry and in some instances, attempts were made to hang them from a clothes line. None of these drying methods are truly effective in that they normally require an extended period of time to effect the drying. The reason it takes so long for a wetsuit to dry is because the individual sections will close up when removed from the body.
Still further, when a diver or surfer utilizes his wet suit at a location proximate the surfer or diver's home, the surfer or diver can utilize the aforesaid drying methods, despite their ineffectiveness. However, most divers and surfers vacation in order to pursue their past time, and living in a hotel or motel room for a week or two during vacation further aggravates the ability to completely dry the wet suit between uses.
- OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION
Applicant has developed a wet suit valet in the form of a tree stand which is collapsible so that it can be stored when not required, yet sturdy enough to be erected and support the various elements of the wet suit in an appropriate orientation to enhance drying. Still further, Applicant's wet suit valet in a collapsed mode allows it to be transported by the diver or surfer on vacation so that it can be utilized in the motel room or hotel room bathroom to be erected and support the various elements of the wet suit.
An object of the invention is to provide for a novel wet suit valet for drying wet suits utilized by surfers and divers.
Another object of the present invention is to provide for a novel wet suit valet which is collapsible.
Another object of the present invention is to provide for a novel wet suit valet which when erected resembles a tree stand having various interconnected branches for the support of the various elements which comprise the wet suit.
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
A still further object of the present invention is to provide for a novel wet suit valet which can be connected to a source of hot moistureless air which can circulate within the wet suit valet and ventilate from the wet suit valet to the inner surfaces and outer surfaces of the wet suit elements hung on the wet suit valet.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
A wet suit valet having a fixed or collapsible base member and a fixed or collapsible vertical post member extending upwardly from the base member, the vertical post member when extended having a plurality of apertures for the receipt of a plurality of outwardly extending arms oriented to support the elements of a surfer or diver's wet suit in an expanded orientation to expedite the drying thereof. The vertical post and arm can be of tubular form with perforations in the tubular walls to all for hot air to be introduced into the structure to circulate about and within the wet suit.
These and other objects of the present invention will become apparent, particularly when taken in light of the following illustrations wherein:
FIG. 1 is a front planar view of one version of a diver's wet suit;
FIG. 1A is a front planar view of another version of a diver's wetsuit;
FIG. 1B is a front planar view of a surfer's wetsuit;
FIG. 2 is a planar front view of the wet suit valet;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the wet suit valet;
FIG. 4 is a front planar view of the valet illustrating one possible arrangement of the wet suit articles positioned thereon;
FIG. 5 is a front planar view of a second embodiment of the wet suit valet; and
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a third embodiment of the wet suit valet.
FIGS. 1, 1A, and 1B are planar front views of a surfer or diver's wet suits. The surfer or diver may wear all of the elements of the wet suit or depending on conditions, wear selective components of the wet suit.
The wet suit 10 includes a torso portion 12 which covers the arms and upper torso of the surfer or diver and a leg portion 14 which covers the waist and legs of the diver. Additionally, depending upon conditions, the surfer or diver may wear a pair of neoprene boots 16, neoprene gloves 18, and a balaclava-like head portion 20 which covers the head and neck of the surfer or diver. In some instances, the torso portion and the leg portion 12 and 14 are separate elements and in some circumstances, they are formed as a one piece element, in either instance the torso portion is formed with a zipper 22 up the front. The elements when taken as a whole, protect the surfer or diver from the cold temperatures of the water while either surfing or diving.
Since the elements of the wet suit are made of rubber-like material or neoprene, they absorb water when used and it is necessary to dry the wet suit between uses in order that the surfer or diver does not become immediately chilled upon putting on the wet suit. The wet suit valet serves for this purpose.
FIG. 2 is a planar front view of one embodiment of a wet suit valet 30 and FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the wet suit valet 30. The wet suit valet 30 consists of a base member 32 which engages a substrate such as a floor, deck, shower stall, bathtub, or the like. Extending upwardly from the base member, is a substantially vertical support member 34 which has a plurality of angularly outwardly extending arms 36.
Formed at the top end 38 of support member 34 is a cross member 40 which preferably is disposed in a plane offset from the vertical support member 34. In this configuration, the various elements of the wet suit 10 may be hung for drying (See FIG. 4). One pair of outwardly extending angular arms 36 could be utilized for supporting the boots 16 of the wet suit by sliding the ankle portion of the boots 16 over the angularly outwardly extending arms 36. Another pair of the angularly outwardly extending arms 36 could be utilized for supporting the gloves 18 of the wet suit by sliding the interior of the gloves over the arms 36. Cross member 40 could be utilized for hanging the torso portion 12 of the wet suit for drying. If the torso and leg portion 12 and 14 of the wet suit were of one piece construction, then the shoulder portion could be extended over the cross member 40 and the wet suit could hang downwardly there from in one piece. If the torso portion 12 of the wet suit and the leg portion 14 of the wet suit were of two piece construction, then each portion could be hung from an opposing end of cross member 40 for drying. The balaclava-like head portion 20 of the wet suit could be positioned on the upper end 38 of vertical support member 34 for drying if it was a separate element of the wet suit.
In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3, the surfer or diver could position the wet suit valet in a bathroom, in a bathtub, in a cellar or on an open deck or other suitable location in order to dry the wet suit.
The embodiment of the wet suit valet illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3 could be of integral fixed construction or could be designed such that the various elements of the wet suit valet, i.e. arms, cross member, base member and vertical support member, could be disengaged and dismantled for storage when not in use.
FIG. 5 is a front planar uiview of a second embodiment of the wet suit valet 30A. In this embodiment, the wet suit valet 30A is constructed of tubular members, preferably plastic, and is essentially of the same design as the wet suit valet disclosed in the first embodiment as illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3. In this second embodiment, the tubular members are interconnected such that they provide for a tubular passageway for the introduction of air to augment the drying process. Vertical tubular support member 34A has positioned proximate its lower end, and proximate the base member 32A, an inlet conduit 33A whose inner dimension allows for optional air delivery device 31A. Angular arms 36A and cross member 40A are of tubular construction and their throughbores are in communication with the throughbore in support member 34A. The ends of arms 36A and cross members 40A and support member 34A are open. In this embodiment, the various elements of the wet suit are positioned as described with respect to FIGS. 1, 2, 3, and 4. A hair dryer 31A in communication with an electrical outlet is then positioned with its nose or outlet portion inserted into inlet 33A and turned on. In this configuration, the hair dryer forces hot air into tubular support member 34A and upwardly and outwardly on angular outwardly extending arms 36A in order to force hot air into the interior of the boots and gloves. The hot air is also forced upwardly and into cross member 40A and out the opposing ends of cross member 40A in order to force hot air into the upper torso portion 12 of the wet suit 10 and upper end 38A into the head portion 20A. The terminal ends of support member 34A, angular arms 36A and cross member 40A may also include apertures or perforations 41A to facilitate the drying process. In this configuration, the hot air forced into the tubular passageways of the wet suit valet enhances the drying process and decreases the time for drying. The embodiment as illustrated in FIG. 5 could be constructed of PVC or ABS type pipe of a suitable diameter.
FIG. 6 illustrates a third embodiment of the wet suit valet specifically designed for traveling. Surfers and divers oftentimes vacation at locations which offer facilities for them to pursue their avocations. In such instances, the surfer or diver will not take the surfboard or diving gear with them, but rather rent them at the location. However, since the wet suit used in surfing or diving is dimensioned to the particular surfer or diver, he will in all likelihood take his own wet suit to the vacation location. The embodiment illustrated in FIG. 6 is a wet suit valet 30B which is easily foldable and stored, yet easily erected so as to allow the surfer or diver to take the wet suit valet 30B with him on his vacation. In this configuration, the various elements of a wet suit valet 30B are configured as collapsible elements. Vertical support member 34B would be comprised of several separate sections having a bungee-like cord 35B extending there between within the sections. If each section is pulled apart from its adjacent section, the vertical tubular support member can be collapsed into a series of elements with a bungee cord extending there between for storage. By pulling the elements apart aligning them and allowing the bungee cord to compress in a bias mode, the various elements can be formed together to form a vertical support member 34B. The vertical support member 34B thus described would be formed with various apertures 37B along its length in order that the various angularly outwardly extending arms 36B and cross member 40B could be inserted therein. The bottom end of vertical support member 34B would have apertures 39B such that a plurality of horizontally oriented arms 32B could be inserted thereby forming a base. In this configuration, the wet suit valet could be constructed of various elements, each of which would have a length of approximately 12 inches. The longer elements could be secured together by the bungee cord element extending there between and the sorter elements such as the outwardly extending arms 36B would merely be frictionally engaged within the apertures preformed in elements of the vertical support member. In this configuration, a surfer or diver could pack a wet suit valet in his luggage for travel without taking up substantial room, yet be able to assemble the wet suit valet without tools in his hotel room or vacation premises in order to allow for the enhanced drying of the wet suit between uses. The wet suit valet of embodiment 3 could also be formed with a flexible loop 41B at the upper end of support member 34B to allow wet suit valet 30B to be hung from a shower nozzle in a bathtub. In all three embodiments of the wet suit valet, it is the purpose and desire to expose as much surface area as possible of the wet suit elements to the ambient air to enhance and accelerate the drying process. The travel version will be designed to accommodate a standard hotel hair dryer to circulate air within the unit.
While the present invention has been described with respect to the exemplary embodiments thereof, it will be recognized by those of ordinary skill in the art that many modifications or changes can be achieved without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Therefore it is manifestly intended that the invention be limited only by the scope of the claims and the equivalence thereof.