ski rack fails

Sadly getting great pictures of ski rack fails would involve me making a dangerous situation worse by taking pictures instead of having both hands on the steering wheel to avoid a dangerous situation.

Bar none the worst fail I saw was coming out of Glenwood Canyon on highway 70 last year.  A car with a snowboard in a ski roof rack had the rack open on the highway where the speed limit is 75 MPH.  Guess what happened?  The snowboard smashed through the rear window of their car, then smashed through the front windshield of the car behind them then got run over by a third car while multiple other cars severed every which way to try to avoid the carnage.  I can't tell you for sure why the rack opened up---maybe it wasn't locked, maybe it wasn't locked all the way down because there was ice in different parts of it, maybe a plastic part failed, but holy shit when your roof rack opens up on the highway bad stuff happens.  I wonder if the end result will make it into a Farmers insurance commercial.

This type of roof rack failure is not a one in a million event.  Leaving many ski areas there are electronic billboards asking IS YOUR ROOF RACK LOCKED?  I saw another case of this happening this year at the infamous traffic circle in Aspen.  The rack had popped open and the driver was driving into the break down lane with one hand while the other was trying to hold onto his skis.  No idea how he managed to catch them in time, and while he seemed to avoid disaster it sure didn't look like fun.

During my Gravi tour I ran into this roof rack situation in a Beaver Creek parking lot.


Not sure what happened here.  They only installed one of the two rack attachments and they only attached the one rack in one spot not two.  I guess you could call that a job 1/4 done, but I can tell you for sure the paint job on the roof was not happy nor any skis they might have tried to transport.  

Also feedback I got during my Gravirax tour was that those big steel boxes on the back of the car sometime result in broken back windows.


The above image is of a particular dangerous set up, but all those boxes allow for skis to shift back and forth a couple of feet and that gives them room to crack the window.  If you talk to enough hotels using boxes to transport skis you start to hear stories about skis breaking rear windows.  Guess what?  When you are in the transportation business and one of your cars is unusable until you get the rear window replaced and that replacement is gonna take weeks you are having a bad week.  Also helping your customers pick glass out of their hair is no fun.

We at Gravirax like to keep it simple.  Gravity keeps the skis in place.  We keep opportunities for user and product error to a minimum.  And we over design our racks.  Please remember tips down and baskets up.

Got a good ski rack fail story---please share.