I’ve been kicked directly in the nuts before, and it sucks. I’ve seen it happen to even the best. I’ve seen a 170-pound ball of muscle take two shots to the groin in one match. His name is Matt Hughes. And he should’ve won that fight.

But it’s tough to be the same fighter when your gonads are stuck in your stomach. Most cups can’t withstand the full force of a well-timed kick, and I have friends whose cups have even been cracked. No recovery time is enough in that situation. Georges St. Pierre is an incredible UFC fighter, and I’m sure he didn’t want to take the Welterweight Championship from Hughes with a TKO — as in two kicks to the nuts and you’re knocked out.

It was almost six years ago when I left the bar that night infuriated for my favorite fighter. I admire Hughes not only because he can boast more UFC wins than any other guy, but also because he enters the ring wearing a simple t-shirt and trunks with Hank Williams Jr.’s “A Country Boy Can Survive” flowing across the arena. He doesn’t show up to the ring with a fresh tan and pretty boy smile. He just brings his Hall-of-Fame dominance that ensures he is the man amongst a bunch of legitimately badass men.

And I must admit, I didn’t expect to leave the bar that night thinking about the best ways to protect a pair of testicles, but I just thought there had to be a better way to absorb the shock from a misdirected kick to the groin. I guess this is when I had an epiphany, the moment I pieced together a game plan that would later come to life as Nutshellz®.

Fortunately, I have a relative who builds racecars. The bodies of these cars are molded out of carbon fiber; the wheel wells and engine compartment are made from Kevlar. During a visit to the racecar shop, I learned that Kevlar takes any given shape when wetted with resin and hardened. That’s useful knowledge for someone trying to engineer the world’s strongest cup.

From this fabric, I made the rigid part of a protective cup with a molding tool that I created. Kevlar was one of the first ballistic fabrics that modern war fighters and police used in protective vests. For them, the chest is the most important area of the body to protect. It only seemed natural that this material could also protect the groin region for athletes and soldiers around the world.

As an incredibly strong synthetic fabric, Kevlar, when stacked together, can absorb the shock of a gun’s bullet by spreading the impact across, say, a bulletproof vest. The impacting object compresses into the Kevlar, which bends with the force of the impact, essentially catching what could be a bullet.

It was through countless hours of research on body armor that I found an even stronger fabric to complement the Kevlar portion: ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE). The material is an engineered plastic that provides for stronger intermolecular interactions and the highest impact strength of any thermoplastic presently created. Nutshellz® purchases this fabric from DSM Dyneema, who in turn sends rolls of the material to be cut and molded using a high-tonnage platen press under heat and pressure. A multi-axis water jet cutter then cuts the parts more intricately.

We laminate the Kevlar and UHMWPE together before sticking them into a resilient comfort surround that further dissipates the shock of an impact to the groin. Whereas a roundhouse kick to the nuts can actually shatter some plastic cups, this cup won’t crack if you shoot it with a pistol.

It’s safe to say St. Pierre’s kick has met its match.


Jeremiah Raber

Owner & Founder, Nutshellz®, LLC.

Nutshellz® is manufactured in the Midwest region of the United States. BEWARE: Our product is expensive because the strongest materials in the world are being used to protect your family jewels. Please understand that the manufacturing costs are significantly higher than competitors and that, at Nutshellz®, we care first about the cup wearer. We can assure you that Nutshellz® will not crack when faced with a hard hit from an opponent.