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Great Invention Idea? It's a Bird! It's a Plane! No, It's You!!!

As many of you no doubt know, we here in Colorado are blessed with some of the best skiing on earth. Unfortunately, great skiing has a tendency to leave the winter enthusiast with an insatiable desire for more thrills. Some of these people, perhaps even readers of this column, have tried to satisfy their need for more fun by engaging in activities like heli-skiing. But what if you could subtract the heli part from the equation?

United States patent 4756555 issued in 1988 is for a Wing Apparatus for Skiers. And United States patent 7097134 issued in 2004 is for a Wing Device for Sporting Activities. Frankly, it seems to me the USPTO issued two different patents for practically the same invention, which leads me to wonder if anyone is actually looking through these patent applications? What do you think?

Winged Skier 4756555Winged Skier 4756555

Anyway, quite simply, the inventions resemble a hang-glider or hand-glider. The apparatus consists of two very large wings attached to a skier's body with a harness. Patent 4756555 , the older of the two patents, reveals its age with its more primitive steering design: each wing has a handle resembling a joystick the skier uses to maneuver the wings (hopefully). As a skier descends from the top of a mountain the wings work to create an aerodynamic lift and the skier literally flies down the slope!

Patent 7097134 has the same wings attached to a harness design, only the user slides his arms into the wings through a corresponding sleeve, allowing him to become one with his avionic fantasy. Unlike the previous patent, 7097134 is supposedly compatible with all sorts of sporting activities. I don't know if this is true or not, but I sure would have liked to have had a set of these wings back in the day when I was forced to play dodge ball in gym class!

Winged Skier 7097134Winged Skier 7097134

Next time you're out west enjoying the beautiful weather and the incredible snow, why not strap one of these babies on? You can drop me a line and thank me for the recommendation. Then again, if you really want to thank me you'll let me hop on your back, martini glass in one hand, sandwich in the other, and give me a lift all the way to the California coast!

Elizabeth Valeri
Funny Patents Writer
InventorSpot.com

Comments
Mar 4, 2008
by Anonymous

With razor sharp edges!

The other skiiers will love that...

Mar 5, 2008
by Elizabeth Valeri
Elizabeth Valeri's picture

Razor Sharp

One can only hope skiers wearing these wings actually know how to ski!

Elizabeth Valeri
Patents Writer
InventorSpot.com

Mar 6, 2008
by Anonymous

Ski Wings

This is absurd. When I skied the Alps in the years before Global Warming was a common phrase, I used to see skiers with a regular hand glider take off easily from a run and glide over the mountains to their delight. I don't think the glider was any different than what's on the market. It always amazed me how easily they could take off as long as they were on a steep enough slope so they could gain some speed. It looked awesome. I wonder whether that sort of thing is legal in Colorado.

G

Mar 6, 2008
by Elizabeth Valeri
Elizabeth Valeri's picture

Dear G

Although I currently reside in Colorado I don't know if that "sort of thing" is legal here. Be sure and come back and let us know if you find out. Thanks for reading! 

Elizabeth Valeri
Patents Writer
InventorSpot.com

Mar 9, 2008
by Anonymous

There's a much better

There's a much better invention my german teacher showed me. They have a paraglider type sail and when they go fast enough/take a jump they sail for a while and they continue skiing. Pulling on some sort of straps, the youtube video showed it seemed they had a lot of control.

Mar 9, 2008
by Anonymous

Sorry, that shouldn't be so

Sorry, that shouldn't be so judgmental.

"Seems much better" might be more appropriate.

Mar 9, 2008
by Elizabeth Valeri
Elizabeth Valeri's picture

Much Better

I'm going to check out the YouTube video in a minute.  Sounds pretty cool.  (There is something similar for parasailing that lifts a person right out of the water then back down again.)  As for your very sensitive apology for possibly passing "judgment" in your earlier comment, suffice it to say that "better" is subjective.  Besides, sometimes things really are better!  Smile

Elizabeth Valeri
Patents Writer
InventorSpot.com