If you buy a suitcase these days, it will likely come with those little built-in wheels that let you pull it along behind you. Most people, in fact, would probably feel cheated if they ended up with luggage that they had to carry everywhere. Well, Connecticut-based inventor Joanna Lach is hoping her SkiCart product will do for downhill skis what those little wheels did for suitcases. The device attaches to the back end of a set of skis, so those skis can be pulled from the car to the slopes, instead of having to be hefted in the user's arms or perched on their shoulder.
The SkiCart installs on a single ski (you don't need to be able to wheel a set of skis on both sides, do you?), via a twist-on/off mounting system. An included Velco strap holds the top ends of the skis together, and doubles as a handle.
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The wheels have a stainless steel axle and bearings, in order to help them stand up to the snow, slush, gravel and general abuse that they will undoubtedly experience. The body of the device is made from a flexible plastic, that is said to maintain its resilient qualities from a temperature range of -40ºF (-40ºC) to 140ºF (60ºC).
Although it does easily come off of the ski, it is designed not to get in the way while skiing, if left on. It adds 100 grams (3.5 oz) of weight.
Lach has already had a successful small commercial run of her product in Europe, but is now looking towards a larger-scale rollout in the U.S. She is currently raising funds for expanded production on Kickstarter, where a pledge of US$35 will reserve you a SkiCart of your own, when and if complete funding is achieved.
Interestingly enough, Joanna isn't the only person to think of this idea. Australia's Gino Campagnaro is developing a similar system that consists of two base plates, one of which goes on each ski. One of those plates contains a retractable smooth wheel, for going over pavement, while the other has a retractable spiked wheel, for tackling the snow and ice.
The video below shows the SkiCart in use.