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!