Technology

 

QP Sport believes there is no point in making a sports protection product, unless it is the best it can be.  Why would someone want to wear a protection product or sparring gear that partly works?  In the past, and even now, many sporting protection products are still based on guess work.

We don’t think that’s acceptable in a time when technology can help us to design products we know will work, and meet the needs of users and the sports they are participating in.

So we turn to technology to test and develop the products we offer to sports people around the world.  For us, our use of technology can be expanded into 3 areas.  Design, Protection, and Biomechanics.

Our work in Sports Bra Science has led to patented technology for new sports bra designs that you will see in our products and partners we licence this technology to in future.

 

Technology

Design

Design is the process of creating a product.  That doesn’t mean all products are created equal of course. To truly design a product you must immerse yourself in the world of your customer, and ask yourself what do they want, how to they want this to perform, what do they want it to do, and does it work?

At QP Sport we have always innovated and approached design from this way.  That’s why our EconoGuard chest and breast protector was the first in the world for females in sport way back in 1981.  We have since sold hundreds of thousands of them, and the design (which has been copied but made poorly by others), essentially remains a great design, although we are constantly improving features, like adding a safety ball edge.

We don’t use guesswork or assumptions when it comes to the design of our products.  We engage with sports federations, users, materials experts and industrial designers to help us design the best possible product for its purpose.  We have conducted world first research into the impact forces of Karate strikes and kicks that enables us to design products that work better and feel better for its wearer.

Check out this video of the design process behind our new men’s body protector.

At QP Sport we will always put 100% effort into designing products that are they best in their class on the market.

Protection

It stands to reason that if you are making protection products, then they should work.  But many sports protection products are designed on guess work and assumptions.  Not here at QP Sport.  We have worked with universities and our own laboratory to understand what forces our products are protecting from, and then testing materials to find the composition that gives the desired level of protection, but remains light and flexible, yet doesn’t change the nature of the sport.

All QP Sport products meet relevant CE (European) standards for PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).  In fact, our products were used to develop the CE standards since they preceded the standards. For Karate this is EN13277 and Fencing EN13567. These standards give specific penetration and compression forces that protective products must meet, along with other sizing and protection zone criteria.  The result is a product that can be relied upon to protect its wearer from the forces they might experience participating in their chosen sport.

Many copy products similar to those made by QP Sport do not meet these standards, this is particularly the case in the USA where currently there are no standards for the quality of breast protection products for Karate and Fencing. You can be assured however that the QP Sport products sold in the USA are the same sold worldwide and meet the European CE standards, so are the safest available in the USA.

With advances in sports science, and laboratories for sports science being available, we can now make use of these to help determine what forces are present, and how materials work.  Here you can see testing of a new product filmed with ultra high speed video at Sheffield-Hallam University in Sheffield, UK.  We are aiming to minimise impact to the breast, but use materials that are light weight, thin, and won’t hinder motion of the body. This work informs the design process mentioned above.

At our New Zealand based testing laboratory, we have developed a test cannon that accurately reproduces karate strikes.  Its fun firing the cannon! It’s loud and fast, and allows us to test materials, and compositions and layers of materials.  Check out this video.

At QP Sport we believe any protective product should be designed and tested in this way, so we (and you) know it works.

Biomechanics

Biomechanics (from Ancient Greek Bio ("life") and "mechanics") is the study of the structure and function of biological systems such as humans, animals, plants, organs and cells by means of the methods of mechanics. In our case, it’s really the study of how the human body works, and how it reacts to the forces sport and motion throw at us.

The study of biomechanics has become easier in the past 30 years or so as sports science thinking and tools have developed.  At QP Sport, we work with the leading university in the world on the study of breast biomechanics, or motion of the breasts.  Because our CoolGuard and MaxiGuard products incorporate bras, and replace the use of a regular sports bra, its important they are highly supportive for women involved in sport. At Portsmouth University in Portsmouth UK, we work with Dr Joanna Scurr and her team to test current and new products so we know they are working as well as they can, and will optimise performance for the wearer.

Testing CoolGuard Bra in Biomechanics Lab

We all know that breasts move during motion, and this motion alone causes pain for many women. Some women can not participate in exercise or sport because the pain is so severe.  We have found that our CoolGuard protective sports bra exceeds many purpose designed support bras in motion control performance.  We have also been able to develop prototypes for future products that provide more support than any sports bra currently on the market.  This development is now patented and will form a technology platform for future products.

At QP Sport, our aim is to benefit women’s wellbeing, and allow them to participate in their chosen sport or activity with confidence.  Biomechanics is a tool we use to achieve this, and at QP Sport, we will never put a product on the market that we can’t stand by being the best available, both in performance, and in design.

 
 
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