Our company "Billy's" (aka "GetBillysGoat" and "BillDon") is made up of two Seattle locals: Darin Donaldson and myself, Billy Price. Our focus is on products that empower independence. This KickStarter Campaign focuses on our adaptive ski glove.
After breaking my neck from a three-story fall in October of 1996, I became paralyzed from the chest down and lost the ability to use my fingers. I grew up skiing and wanted to continue the sport.
In December of 1997, I was back on the ski slopes as a sit skier. The following winter I purchased my own sit ski and outriggers (ski poles for sit skiers); however, the problem of effectively holding onto my outriggers still remained. I bounced brainstorm-solution-ideas off my father who acted as my hands to sew the original design concept together.
After my first day of skiing with the new garage-tech-glove-prototype, it was immediately apparent that we were on the right track. My skiing vastly improved simply by having better control of my outriggers. Thus began the journey to get the prototype market-ready so others could benefit as well.
After fifteen years, we are finally here!
-- What is the product? --
We invented a ski glove that enables those with limited to no hand function to use outriggers for skiing. In the disabled skiing community those who can not walk either use a mono-ski or bi-ski to get down the hill. In either case the skier will use outriggers to assist with balance and initiation of turns. For those who have limited hand function or difficulty holding their outriggers, we have invented a safe and easy solution.
Our product solution is made up of three components: The first component is an insulated glove that incorporates a tube which you wrap your fingers around before zipping closed. The glove goes through the outrigger cuff and over the outrigger peg.
The second component is a harness that consists of three Velcro® straps, numbered "1", "2" and "3". The straps secure the hand inside the glove and the glove onto outrigger.
The final component is a protective outer shell that goes over the glove and harness. The shell prevents snow from interfering with the Velcro® plus adds additional insulation for warmth.
The three components to the system: Glove, Harness and Outer Shell allow those with limited to no hand function to safely and effectively use outriggers while skiing.
-- Why are we on KickStarter? --
Our glove solution will benefit all disabled skiers with limited hand function who use outriggers. There is no solution like ours that currently exists on the market. We have our prototype developed. Now we need help with the initial capital to fund our first manufacturing run. Without the help from KickStarter, these gloves will literally not get onto the hands of those in need.
My skiing was revolutionized by these gloves and we want others to have the same experience.
-- How can you help? --
Pledge and spread the word! This page is being sent to lots of folks, but will never reach everyone without your help. Please pass the KickStarter link along to your friends and family or others who will benefit from our glove or wish to provide support through our apparel.
We have eight reward levels listed and detailed along the right side of this page. Additional illustrations are shown below. "The Gloves," as indicated in the "Double Black Diamond" level, are the actual ski gloves, harness, and outer shell shown above and in the video. Note: the delivered gloves will be gray, not light brown like our prototype.
Risks and challenges
Have there been challenges? You bet. Our ski glove solution shown above, in the video and on our website is the cumulation of an arduous fifteen year dream.
In October of 1996, I began a new life as a quadriplegic, but found myself back on the ski slopes soon after. We put together a rough ski glove so I could hold my outriggers and continued through the years to tweak and improve the design - slowly getting closer to manufacturability. In 2012, through the overwhelming generosity of a local Seattle outdoor apparel company, our glove solution finally became market ready. Now it is up to you, Kickstarter, to help us get the gloves in the hands of those in need. We have a local manufacturer lined up - we just need the moolah to pull the trigger. We have come too far to stop now.
Our only risk (if you wish to call it that) is simply the size of our audience. Yes our glove is a somewhat specialized piece of equipment designed specifically for a narrow audience, but consider the following per the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) from 2012: It is estimated that there are approximately 273,000 persons in the United States alone that have a spinal cord injury. Within that group approximately 18% have a cervical level of injury preserving enough arm function to benefit from our glove - 18% of 273,000 equates to nearly 50,000. Between the United States and Canada there are 600+ ski areas and 100+ Adaptive Ski Programs. Our glove solution has the potential to positively impact multitudes of people. KickStarter, please help us move our dream forward.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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