Sportsmen who compete in tough sports like football, martial arts, rodeo etc. now can obtain the protection of an athletic cup without the discomfort of a conventional part made of steel or rigid plastic. One key to this concept is a Monprene TPE from Teknor Apex, Pawtucket, RI, USA. While the Spider Guard cup does have a rigid central polypropylene spine, the rest of the cup consists of a ribbed TPE enclosure that is soft and flexible while providing the rubber-like resilience needed to displace, absorb and dissipate the energy from frontal impacts to the PP component. The patented concept was developed by Supreme Athletic Wear founder Brian Kamradt, who is both a design engineer and a martial arts enthusiast.
Kamradt said he selected Monprene for the soft component because it adheres well to the PP substrate and is available in a translucent grade whose clarity further sets the Spider Guard cup apart from conventional products. The TPE component was over-moulded onto the PP spine by Engineered Medical Systems, Inc., also based in Indianapolis. The energy-displacement concept of the Spider Guard athletic cup is similar to that of the plastic "crumple zone on an automobile bumper, which compresses in a collision, displacing and absorbing the energy of impact, according to Kamradt. He intends to apply the concept to other protective gear, such as shin guards, helmets, and shoulder pads.