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Nate

Custom Chest Protectors

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Hey everyone,

Well I'm starting a new business, custom umpire equipment. I'm working with local companies near me and I'm using only the best materials to make my equipment. First I will create my own chest protector line from "off the shelf" designs and "custom" equipment down to the 1/8th of an inch. Then work on shin guards, and finally clothes.

My question is how much would you all pay for custom equipment that fitted you like custom jacket? I won't be giving out what materials I will be using until I get the prototype completed and the patent processed. That should hopefully be done by this January.

Also any suggestions on what kind of features you like on CPs would be great! As I'm trying to combine best features from all different types of CPs on the market and putting it into one.

Nate

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Price depends on what level of protection. We would have to see a prototype first. Be careful of patent infringement.

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Price depends on what level of protection. We would have to see a prototype first. Be careful of patent infringement.

Yes, I've been researching the patents.. I'm not taking key features really.. just how they work.

For instance, I love my WV Gold, but the shoulder pads are too big on me. I actually plan on putting smaller shoulder pads on it from the WV Classic I aquired.

I really like how the shoulder pads are on the WV Platinum, but the chest protector itself is horrible.

I like how the new K1 has a mesh backing, but the the protector itself is horrible.

I like the clean look that the new GerryDavis protector has, but it sucks in protection.

What I will be using is the same thickness of padding for the chest protector as the WV Gold. And that's the only thing that it will have in common with it. I'm designing my own shoulder cups that are strong, protective, but won't look bulky what so ever. The chest protector itself will "mold" to your body. It will not need a break in time, it will be ready to wear. I am also going to do something different for the material surrounding the padding, it may be a little costly, but will look good and feel GREAT. I also plan on using clips like on a backpack for he straps instead of the hook designs the WV's have. I find the clips to be easier to 'snap' in when getting dressed after a couple long days of games.

My only challenge will be keeping the price reasonable. But my plan isn't to make money, but create the best CP out there for umpires to use.

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Good luck Nate! As MST said be careful of infringement. From what I understand virtually any hard shell protector will run the risk of infringement from Joe West's patents. Hence no more Douglas or Riddell.

But there is always room in the market for good products, so go for it and keep us posted on how it goes.

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Unless Nate is planning to recreate a CP based on another's design AND market and sell it, I dont' think there's much worry about patent infringement.

And Nate: you think the Platinum CP is "horrible"? ;)

Wow. There's a freighter full of umpires who would disagree with that.

I'm one of them. What makes you think it's "horrible" ?

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Unless Nate is planning to recreate a CP based on another's design AND market and sell it, I dont' think there's much worry about patent infringement.

And Nate: you think the Platinum CP is "horrible"? ;)

Wow. There's a freighter full of umpires who would disagree with that.

I'm one of them. What makes you think it's "horrible" ?

Agreed. And, I have to ask the same question about the K1.

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Well that's just my opinion. I'm a very skinny guy so the platinum doesn't fit me well at all and te K1 looks like a box on my chest.

Nate

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Well that's just my opinion. I'm a very skinny guy so the platinum doesn't fit me well at all and te K1 looks like a box on my chest.

Nate

Well Nate, if you're skinny, and those CPs simply don't fit you, so why not just state that?

Claiming that they're "horrible" is a bit disingenuous. I don't know about the K1, but I would lay odds that the Platinum is one of the best selling CPs out there. The fact that it doesn't fit you doesn't make it "horrible". (Maybe it just fits you 'horribly'... ?) But that's not the CPs fault.

Edited by BrianC14

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Ill stick with Brian on this argument. I too am not a fan of the platinum, as stated many times I wear the Gold and swear by it. However, through personal experience, I will say the K1 is "horrible". I dont know if its the one I had or if its just the CP in general but to me it was not much better than the soft "shell" protectors I used to have... at almost double the price point.

Nate, I would be more than interested in checking out your CP. I missed out on having a Carlucci (sadly he passed before I could come up with a decent savings plan or my Gold fell apart... which ever came first). Also, once you have a prototype or two, I would be more than willing to put it through its paces for you and returning feedback.

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Well Nate, if you're skinny, and those CPs simply don't fit you, so why not just state that?

Claiming that they're "horrible" is a bit disingenuous. I don't know about the K1, but I would lay odds that the Platinum is one of the best selling CPs out there. The fact that it doesn't fit you doesn't make it "horrible". (Maybe it just fits you 'horribly'... ?) But that's not the CPs fault.

Brian, Nate has stated on here in various posts that he didn't like the Platinum because he was skinny. As soon as he said he was building a custom I knew why.

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My only challenge will be keeping the price reasonable. But my plan isn't to make money, but create the best CP out there for umpires to use.

The very best Custom Umpire equipment was made by the late great Cece Carlucci....you can google his name for details.....

carlucci02bfdb_400.jpg

It was expensive but all those who have a custom made carlucci protector swear by them.......the drawback is that the cost for a custom made protector is far above what a high end "off the shelf" costs.....

Edited by Stan W.

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The very best Custom Umpire equipment was made by the late great Cece Carlucci....you can google his name for details.....

carlucci02bfdb_400.jpg

It was expensive but all those who have a custom made carlucci protector swear by them.......the drawback is that the cost for a custom made protector is far above what a high end "off the shelf" costs.....

Actually I thought that most of his protectors with the plastic shell went from about $220 to $270? Thats not much more (especially with some of us shelling out $200+ for a mask) than what some of the top flight CPs run for.

Honestly though... its the one piece of equipment I wish I had sprung for when i could have.

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I've read about cece's CPs. And I heard they were the best as well. I hope that when I create my cp, it will be the best as well.. And I will keep you all updated on the progress.

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nate,

i would love to see a prototype. if you can customize some gear and do so while not compromizing the protection level of the WV gold or platinum, well that would almost definently get my sale (of course for a resonable price).

Keep me posted...thanks.

Matt French

frenchblue

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nate,

i would love to see a prototype. if you can customize some gear and do so while not compromizing the protection level of the WV gold or platinum, well that would almost definently get my sale (of course for a resonable price).

Keep me posted...thanks.

Matt French

frenchblue

As I said, same here. Cant wait to see the proto-type and if its a good protector, I can always used a replacement for my Gold.

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One thing I would suggest is in your prototype, make the protector longer than most hard shells. That's one complaint I have heard is taking occasional shots in the stomach. Where I scissor, I get more than most.

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You don't need, nor want stomach coverage down to the belt. You do need all of your ribs covered in your normal stance. My platinum is just a hair short on my 6'1" skinny frame.

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I've read about cece's CPs. And I heard they were the best as well. I hope that when I create my cp, it will be the best as well.. And I will keep you all updated on the progress.

Why don't you contact Mrs. Carlucci and see about carrying on with Cece's work? You obviously have the desire. Perhaps she'd cooperate with the right guy. The son, from what I understand, has no interest.

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And for what it's worth:

I have now given both the Platinum and the Gold some serious use. The Gold is more protective and the Platinum's a little more comfortable (I'm 6'0'' and 205 lbs.). They are both about as good as a corporate brand chest protector can be.

But yours will have a lot more character. It worked for Carlucci.

All the best!

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Good luck Nate.  I’m somewhat new to this site. I have been reading about guys doing mods to their gear. I have never  thought about customizing my gear before.  Sounds weird and interesting at the same time.  Would love to see the prototypes. 

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This post is 9 years old...

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