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POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Chute Trainers, LLC out of Pocatello was recently granted a patent for a sports training device it designed.
The product is chutes to go on sporting equipment like bats or golf clubs.
Rory Erchul, the owner and CEO, said it's taken about two years and a lot of money to finally get the patent. But even before it was patented, Erchul said he's been selling the chutes all over.
Currently, they are sold in 20 retail stores across the U.S. They're also sold online. Erchul said they've even sold several overseas.
"And that natural wind resistance is just enough to fire and target the fast twitch muscle fibers, which is where the speed comes from," Erchul said. "So you swing this about six to ten times, you take it off the end of our golf club and you swing away. On average, people swing five to ten miles an hour faster."
Because the chutes are less than five ounces, it doesn't really change the weight of the bat or club. When extra weight, like weight doughnuts, are added for warm up, it throws off the timing of the swing and doesn't actually help the athlete. The chutes work differently. They only create resistance, which forces the athlete to gain more speed to fight the resistance. More speed equals more force which equals a greater distance.
Erchul said so far, customer feedback has been satisfactory.
"So far, everything has been very positive and just getting this patent, which has been a long and difficult journey sometimes, is really just the icing on the cake for us," Erchul said.
He said even the Gate City Grays have tested the equipment and purchases some of the bat chutes.
Erchul said so far, the golf chute has been the most popular because it was their first design. He said Kathy Jensen and Ben Alexander, two PGA professionals, have even endorsed the product.
Erchul said the chutes can also be used in physical therapy and rehabilitation for athletic injuries.
So far, the company has tested, and is using, chutes for bats, golf clubs and throwing. It's currently testing chutes for hockey and lacrosse.
Erchul said he and his wife are local and they want to support and encourage local business. So all of the company's products are made close to home in Blackfoot.
He said he's hoping to get the word out and get some chutes to more semi-pro and pro athletes or teams to try.
He said a lot of people don't really understand how the chutes work. But once they try it, they seem to love it.
"Everybody gets this "Oh wow" factor," Erchul said. "After they take it off and they swing and they feel like the club is barely in their hands and they swing a lot faster, it's pretty impressive and it's fun to watch people have that experience with this product."
Erchul said the cost for a golf chute is about $29.95 and the larger ones, like bat and hockey chutes, are $39.95. More information can be found on the company's website.