We are a family-owned company with 20+ years of experience in material science.

At Guardian Sports we have a true passion for protecting athletes, and we aim to continually develop technologies that can enhance sports equipment. Our goal remains the same: advance technologies to bridge the gap between the products that athletes deserve/need and what is currently available on the market.

Erin and Lee Hanson started Guardian Caps in 2011 with one goal in mind – innovating equipment to better serve athletes. Their 20+ years of experience owning and operating a material science and technology company enabled them to create The Guardian Cap – now used by over 200,000 athletes nationwide. The purpose of the Cap is to reduce the force of impact upon collision experienced by football and lacrosse players, and to prove that soft-shell helmet technology is superior to that of a hard shell. This project stems from our passion for player safety, foundation in material sciences and the generally accepted physics behind impact reduction.

Our team continues to build the Guardian brand and recognition in the sporting goods industry. In addition to the Cap, we have re-engineered the lacrosse ball by developing PEARL.

The first PEARL was engineered in 2015 to address the greasing issue with rubber lacrosse balls; the Guardian team introduced the American made PEARL X, a greaseless game day ball.

The team expanded the PEARL line in 2018 by creating PEARL NX balls – practice balls that limit rebound, do not grease, and do not affect muscle memory during practice. PEARL NX balls are the same size, weight, and softness as PEARL X official game balls, so players no longer have to practice with a ball that’s heavier, smaller, or harder.

Lastly in 2019, the Guardian team once again innovated in the lacrosse ball market and introduced the PEARL LT textured game ball; the first game-day certified textured lacrosse ball. PEARL LT’s slight texture prolongs its grip and delays the effects of greasing in tough conditions.

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OUR PROCESS

At Guardian Sports our design process begins with concepting that incorporates the multidisciplinary perspectives of our staff, partners, and clients. Since each project is unique, our design process is flexible to fit any need and works with any size company. Our clientele ranges from independent inventors to established brands. Whether you have an idea you want to bring to life, or are looking to add an innovative product to your company’s mix, we have you covered.

Phase 0: Learn

PHASE 0

LEARN

Guardian will schedule a kickoff meeting to introduce all team members, discuss all pertinent information, and provide a Q&A forum for design input. The kickoff meeting will also serve as an opportunity to align overall project/product/design goals and intentions for all parties.

Phase 0: Learn

Phase 1: Concept Development

PHASE 1

CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT

Guardian will brainstorm, ideate, and create a range of design concepts based on the project’s scope. The goal of Phase 1 is to illustrate unique design directions that address project requirements. These include: core functionality, ease of use, distinctive/quality styling, human elements, ergonomics, technical feasibility, among others.

Phase 2: Concept Refinement

PHASE 2

CONCEPT REFINEMENT

Based on the client’s feedback from the Phase 1 review, we will refine the selected concept to reflect all necessary functional and aesthetic changes. The concept will be modified to enhance overall design, ergonomics, feature sets, material selection, finishes, and basic part geometry. This final refinement will allow for full alignment with product goals.

Phase 3: Engineering

PHASE 3

ENGINEERING

Based on the refined concept from Phase II, our engineers will develop the control drawings for the design. Multiple reviews with the client will ensure the technical documentation is aligned with the product requirements and the design intent from Phases 1 and 2.

Phase 4: Prototyping

PHASE 4

PROTOTYPING

Guardian will coordinate in-house/trusted partner prototyping in order to verify and validate the final design concept prior to production. We will work with the client on adjustments until the desired goals are achieved. Additionally, Guardian has partnered access for impact and safety standards testing.

Phase 5: Manufacturing

PHASE 5

MANUFACTURING

Guardian provides complete manufacturing support. We will work with our trusted manufacturing partners to develop the best production strategy based on the project.

OUR WORK

At Guardian Sports we approach each project with a problem-solution-result strategy. Our portfolio displays our product development thought process.

At Guardian we are first and foremost scientists and engineers working to improve sports equipment.

We have several projects that have made it to consumers either through our sales team or through consulting projects.

GUARDIAN CAPS
GUARDIAN CAPS
Problem
Impact from hard-shell helmets
Solution
Padded helmet cover to reduce impact up to 33%
Result
Worn by youth, college and NFL athletes & NFL HeadHealthTECH Challenge I Winner.

U.S. Patents:
10537148, 9907346, 9314061, D701999

PEARL X LACROSSE BALLS
PEARL X LACROSSE BALLS
Problem
Lacrosse balls grease & harden over time
Solution
A ball that stays in spec and doesn’t grease or harden
Result
Safer, better performing ball, and Official Ball of US Lacrosse

U.S. Patent: 9862795, 923727

CLIMBING HOLDS
CLIMBING HOLDS
Problem
Climbing holds that weren’t durable
Solution
Durable, polyurethane rock climbing holds
Result
Aragon Elastomers manufactures 90% of the rock holds in the USA and supplies top climbing hold retailers with the strongest, most reliable and innovative product on the market.
GUARDIAN TURF INFILL
GUARDIAN TURF INFILL
Problem
Current infill options are abrasive, contain dangerous chemicals, and get very hot
Solution
Bio-based, non-abrasive, cooler infill
Result
A US-made, lower cost, cleaner & safer playing surface for athletes
7-ON-7 HELMET
7-ON-7 HELMET
Problem
Impacts in 7-on-7 football
Solution
A lightweight, breathable, and adjustable 7-on-7 padded cap
Result
Licensed to Schutt Sports

U.S. Patents:
10506839 and 10512295

OUR TEAM

Erin Hanson
Erin HansonOwner/CEO
Lee Hanson
Lee HansonOwner
Tony Plagman
Tony PlagmanSales
Mike Crawford
Mike CrawfordSales
Clay Metzger
Clay MetzgerSales
Mike Finney
Mike FinneySales
Kevin Brown
Kevin BrownSales
Caitlin Gouws
Caitlin GouwsBusiness Development
Alexandra Garner
Alexandra GarnerAccounting
Anna Branon
Anna BranonExecutive Assistant