by Source For Sports Goalie
The new Warrior Ritual G4 pads and gloves are a testament to the “Warrior way” of producing goal gear.
When it comes to goalie gear, Warrior has always done things in their own way. From forgoing NHL licensing fees to put that money into research and development, to using their social media platforms to highlight their customer's new setups, Warrior has found its own means to create some of the most advanced gear on the market and promote it to the masses without leveraging NHL talent. Their latest set of gear, the new Warrior Ritual G4 pads and gloves are a testament to the “Warrior way” of producing goal gear. Packed full of new innovations and delivering the quality and performance Warrior gear is known for, the new Warrior Ritual G4 gear is sure to inspire many goaltenders to switch to Warrior gear. I had a chance to try out the Warrior Ritual G4 gear for a few ice times to truly get the feel of them, and I can tell you that the Warrior Ritual G4’s are like nothing you’ve ever felt on the ice.
Warrior Ritual G4 Pads
I noticed something about these pads before I even took them out of the box they were shipped in. When I first picked up the box I genuinely wondered if Warrior had forgotten to ship me both pads, but of course, they were both there, that’s just how light the G4 pads are. At 4 pounds for a 34+1.5” pad, the Warrior Ritual G4 pads are the lightest pads coming to market in 2018. Getting them out of the box, there are a lot of striking features about the new Warrior Ritual G4 pads. First this I noticed was the new Airslide feature on the pads. The inner gusset has ridges to limit how much of the pad touches the ice in your butterfly, reducing friction and helping you slide further and faster with less effort.
The next important feature on the pads is the strapping system and its simplicity. The Warrior Ritual G4 Pads have a total of three “straps” to secure it to your leg. At the boot, there is the Active Response Strap system that allows you to secure your pad to the toe of the skate, the heel of the skate, or both. Next, there is the Velcro calf wrap, and finally, the knee strap that can be fastened straight across the knee or further down the leg for great knee mobility. The other noticeable change in the G4 pads is in the leg channel. Warrior has developed their new 360 Active Drop leg channel that allows the pad to hang lower to the ice in your stance, reducing your five-hole while helping your pads drop to the ice quicker.
While I was already impressed with the new Warrior Ritual G4 pads taking them out of the box, I was blown away when I got them out onto the ice. Once again I was shocked by the weight of the pads, as it felt like I wasn’t wearing pads at all, which took a but of time to get used to but makes you noticeably quicker on your feet right away. Speaking of making yourself quicker, the Airslide ridges on the inner gusset of the pad make your butterfly slides insanely quick. The reduced surface area of the pad touching the ice in your butterfly means that regardless of the ice conditions, you can get from post to post with a small push, meaning if you’re on choppy ice late in the third period you’ll still be able to slide across to make that big game-saving stop. The G4 pads also feature a layer of Warrior’s Hypercomp material in the face, which produces hard rebounds and helps the pads keep their lightweight without compromising protection or sturdiness of the pad.
Warrior Ritual G4 Glove
Like they did with the G4 pads, Warrior put a lot of effort into making the Ritual G4 glove the lightest glove available. Warrior used their Hypercomp material in the palm of the glove to add greater protection without adding weight, and their bindingless design also helps to shed weight while increasing the durability of the glove.
The most impressive thing about the new Ritual G4 glove is how easily it closed right out of the box, as soon as I put my hand in it I felt like I had been wearing it for months as I could open it fully and then snap it closed with complete ease. Getting it out onto the ice, the first thing I noticed about the Warrior Ritual G4 glove was the wrist mobility it allowed. No matter how you want to hold your glove (I go with fingers out, pocket up if you were wondering) the G4 glove will comfortably let your hand squared up to the puck.
Another aspect of the Warrior Ritual G4 glove I really like was the pocket depth. The way the palm is constructed along with the sheer depth of the pocket itself makes pop-outs almost impossible, so when you make a big glove save you won’t have to worry about the puck popping out on you and then having to make a save on the rebound. The Warrior Ritual G4 glove is also completely customizable; by removing the palm liner inside the glove, you can customize the break angle to change it from the stock 75 degree, and where your hand sits as well as the palm size in the glove to make the G4 glove fit exactly the way you want.
Warrior Ritual G4 Blocker
The Warrior Ritual G4 blocker is also light as a feather with the same calibre of protection and performance as the glove and the pads. The Hypercomp material in the face of the G4 blocker gives it greater rigidity over time and helps fire rebounds further away from your net. Like the G4 glove, the Warrior Ritual G4 blocker gives you complete wrist mobility, letting you angle your rebounds wherever you want, and giving you greater control and dexterity when handling the puck.
On the ice, the blocker delivers top quality performance and protection. The bindingless design and construction make it easier to transition into a paddle-down position and follow the play with your paddle down. The reinforced sidewall completely protects the inside of your hand while not altering how you hold your stick in your stance or you butterfly, and Warrior’s new customizable index finger protection can be moved wherever you want or removed entirely depending on your personal preference. Just like the glove, the blocker palm can be completely customized to fit your game. Whether you want to move the palm down the face of the blocker, up the face of the blocker, or you want to swap out the palm entirely because your hands are too big or too small for the stock palm, the Warrior Ritual G4 blocker can be customized to fit your game perfectly.
Simply put, I fell in love with the new Warrior Ritual G4 gear. From it’s extremely lightweight to the Airslide ridges that got me across the crease with a slight push, everything about the performance of this pad is ideal. The Airslide ridges are a perfect example of how Warrior does things differently with their goal gear. Instead of developing a new material to help with sliding like Bauer’s C.O.R. Tech Skin, CCM’s SpeedSkin, or Brian’s OptiSlide, Warrior decided to alter the physical shape of the pad to produce a better sliding pad and trust me it works. As far as the glove goes, I’ve always been a fan of Warrior gloves but the combination of the glove being so light and so easy to close all at once makes this glove easily one of the best around. While I know that “a blocker is a blocker,” the new Warrior Ritual G4 blocker gives you the best of protection, mobility, and rebound control to get you punching pucks into the corners. I truly believe that the new Warrior Ritual G4 set will convert a lot of goalies who previously never gave Warrior a chance, and if you’re looking for proof look no further than recent Warrior convert Shannon Szabados in her new Warrior Ritual G4 gear playing for the Canadian women’s team at this year’s Olympics.
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