A Blog of All things Ayrtek Cricket

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I suspect like me the answer is no, it’s just a piece of kit we learn about from an early age. If you’re anything like my 5 year old they start off thinking it’s a mask, then very quickly learn it’s not!

It’s one piece of kit we hope is never called upon for use, however any of us that have ever been hit there are glad we’ve got one on when it is. At amateur level we face bowling that can reach some decent pace at the higher playing levels, however I’d imagine none of us are facing 95mph+ on a regular basis. This is why a vast majority of Pros opt for wearing 2 boxes. This surely can’t be comfortable during a prolonged innings or when running.

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We’ve all heard the horror stories of splitting plastic and pinching parts as a result of the impact. The ventilation features, similarly to helmets, are an area of weakness and can lead to failure as a result. Internally there maybe a thin layer of material between the box and our prized assets.

With material advancements and highly effective impact foams such as @d3olab it presents the perfect opportunity to really look at moving things forward and investing in the safety of an area of neglected. Why do we spend hundreds on bats, pads, gloves, bags, helmets but only the price of a couple of pints of protecting our penises?

There’s been some pretty high level incidents that have led to players needing testicles removed as a result of blows to their groin. The new product aims to reduce the severity of impact and injury to this area. By utilising an anatomically shaped cup that’s been made deeper than others on the market, then integrating an internal layer of high impact D3O foam inside of it. A silicone surround reduces movement whilst wearing the product to hold it in position for both comfort and protection. #ProTekYourPlums #GroinGuard #DesignWithPurpose #ProtectedByD3O #TeamTek

So this product came about because of a message from a Pro at Surrey who was after something that offered a low-profile protective solution. Wearing a more traditional chest guard was bulky, and restrictive and drew attention to the fact it was worn by other bowlers looking to clear out the tail.
Given my existing partnership with D3O and its use in the Hybrid Sweatbands, we looked at products available within their range that would be suitable for the task demanded from it as a product. Feedback from Pro players was that the strapping methods used by other chest guards were irritating and meant that the product moved around a fair bit when running/batting.

This led me down the route of looking at a compression top type product that could house the protective panel to pull it tight to the body to flatten it to the body and adhere to the low profile request that drove the project, to begin with. Whilst flicking through a copy of Widen Magazine I noticed a new innovative compression top being marketed by a UK-based company that would add to the products list of benefits and we struck up a partnership to begin R&D work to get something produced.

Impact testing was carried out under lab conditions to test the concept against other existing chest guards to give confidence that it was up to its task at Elite level. We worked with a textile company to come up with some designs that added a pocket to the top and through an existing contact we managed to get some onto the England players for the 2021 Ashes in Australia.

Now marketing a product that’s not visible isn’t easy when it’s designed to be low profile at only 11mm thick!

So I thought id start a little blog to give customers (or potential customers) some insight into what Ayrtek Cricket is all about, where we have come from and where were looking to go as a business.

I say we, well its really I, as im now a one man entity having purchased the cricket side of the business from my own parent company back in 2016 to run as a solo venture. Having spent the last few years for the main business looking at applications for the patent that I wrote outside of the cricket market.

Hopefully this blog and its posts gives you some idea of what drives me as a Sports Equipment designer with a degree in Sports Technology.