Just as a lack of money shouldn’t get in the way of progress (through crowd funding websites), paralysis should not get in the way of an independent lifestyle. Two Seattle locals, Darin Donaldson and Billy Price, have teamed up to create an adaptive ski glove to help skiers (without full hand functionality) to operate an outrigger. It’s the brainchild of avid skiier Billy Price, whose 1996 fall from the third story of a building led to paralysis, and the need to hold onto the outrigger while sit-skiing.
Having worked on the concept for fifteen years, Billy and Darin want to share it with the world, using Kickstarter, one of the best crowdfunding websites for innovative ideas. Billy’s insulated ski glove has a simple design, including a tube around which the fingers are wrapped. After it’s zipped closed, the glove is set over the outrigger peg and through the cuff. A harness with three Velcro straps make sure that the hand is attached to both glove and outrigger. Creeping snow and cold is discouraged by a protective outer shell, which fits over both the glove and harness.
While the project is still in prototype form, both Darin and Billy have a long history of friendship and the ability to overcome challenges. After rehabilitation therapy, Billy was able to finish a mechanical engineering degree at the University of Washington, and currently works for the Federal Aviation Administration. Darin also graduated from the University of Washington, with a Business Administration degree. He has honed his experience in product development and design, through both small and large companies.
Contributions have poured in from more sources than just top crowdfunding sites. Seattle-based Outdoor Research offered support and glove fabric, so that Billy’s ski glove could become ready for production. Adam Gunn created the Billy’s goat logo, multimedia producer Ty Kelly made the ski gloves come alive by photograph, and even Pearl Jam pitched in with the use of their hit song, “Given to Fly”.
Crowdfunding rewards can be poured on contributors who want more tangible rewards than just good karma (the $3 level). The Green Circle contributors of $10 can set their four hot chocolate mugs on quality coasters featuring the motivational Billy’s mountain goat, and put their postcards on the mantle for encouragement. Pledges of $25 get a Billy goat t-shirt plus coasters, while Tree Line supporters ($35) have a baseball hat thrown in, just in case the Mariners are having a bad year. For $50, you can ward off the cold with a matching sweatshirt, while the $200 contributions are good for a set of Billy’s gloves and all the accessories (coasters, t-shirt, baseball hat, and sweatshirt). Permanent recognition as a Founder on the website, and and four quality pint glasses, can be yours for $500 at the Après-Ski” Reward Level – along with the accessories. That is, as long as you can get to Kickstarter in time.
While the color of the gloves will be gray, there’s nothing bland about the design or the dream. Get on to Kickstarter today – the funding goal ends on December 23rd.