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Gummer12

Warrior Ritual Leg Pads

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Big thanks to JR and Chris from Warrior for hooking me up and letting me give the new Ritual goal pads a spin during the Winterfest Skate. Needless to say I was stoked. Being a long time admirer of Pete Smith’s work, I’ve been itching to be able to strap on a pair of his handiwork. And these didn’t disappoint. First a little background. I’ve been in nothing but Eagle pads since I’ve started. I’m currently in a pair of Sentry 2 Vokoun Pro Return in 34+2 that have a very minimalist strapping setup.

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These Rituals were 34+1.5, and I felt that the thigh rise seemed taller on these than in my eagles. Which was a big plus. If given enough time to break in properly, they’d be just about right for sealing off my 5 hole.. maybe even going up to a +2 would probably be better for me personally. Upon first inspection, I was a little unsure about how ‘busy’ the strapping looked, and I personally am not a fan of nylon buckles. But I do like how Pete incorporates the easy replacement system for those and All of his straps. A really nice unmentioned feature. But nonetheless, I still removed the very top thigh strap and just started at the knee. The Ritual incorporates a thigh board, and I wanted to take it off too, but didn’t want to cut the strings and make more work or upset anyone, so I just dealt and stuck with em. In fact, during play, one actually got up inside my pants, and didn’t feel too bad, so it’s all a matter of personal preference when it comes to whether you keep them or not. There are a couple other Minor mods that I personally would do if I ever get around to getting a pair, but these are purely for Pers. Pref. and nothing to do with performance. (Longer all leather straps, +2 sizing, no thigh board, 3 calf straps, one knee, one boot.. MAYBE one upper thigh strap, but negotiable) The Ritual also incorporates a sliding toe bridge. This was the first I’ve ever gotten to try one. I usually tie a knot 3” from my binding, but I decided to tie these up flush with my boot and give em a shot. Surprisingly there wasn’t Much difference. I could feel my toe a little higher off of the ice when down, but nothing I couldn’t get accustomed to. Now that the pads have been strapped up, time to hit the ice. Upon first Butterfly Slide, first thing I noticed, How Square the face was when down. Lately my pads haven’t been rotating enough and have been getting an angle like \_. But these rotated effortlessly, and sat |_ ever so squarely. The knee stacks were nice and thick and had no issues of falling out over the top as I have had with some of my other Eagles. My one concern I was noodling in my head was how square and big the inside of the toe area looked, and was afraid they’d be a hindrance, but once play started..I never even noticed it. The only thing negative I did notice consistently during play, was that the inside calf wrap (on my right leg only) kept getting stuck between my boot and my cowling. I’m pretty sure I only needed to adjust my strapping tightness or setup or something somewhere and that issue could easily be resolved. Overall the Ritual is a solid pad and is Full of great little features that make it an easily adjustable pad. I highly recommend giving it a serious look to anyone who is currently in the market for a new set of leg pads. I’m currently not, but when the time comes, I sure hope something like these will still be around. Feel free to offer up any questions. Thanks again to JR and Warrior for giving me the opportunity.

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Time of use at writing: 90+days @ 3 x week.

Bought a set of 2012 Ritual Warrior Leg Pads from Ebay from a seller who bought a 36+1.5" and probably needed a 34 and had to sell them in new condition, minus some very sparse puck marks. After having them for a week I listed the 37" Battram Nexus pads I was using and covered my cost making an even trade basically. My oldest son, 11, has been using for a year the Junior model 28+1.5", so I was familiar with them.

I'd been working on being able to do a power push. (butterfly push, some call it a T-push, seems like this maneuver has a lot of names depending on the goalie camp or coach, Mitch Korn calls it a power push at his camp I attended so I'll call it that) This is one of the techniques that many post about, and it's one, once you get it, and "master" the amount of force needed to get to your destination without coming up short or an overshoot, you've got it. In the Battrams, I was always coming up short, just took a lot of force to get there due to the way they often had the forward lean in a butterfly \_. This made it exhausting and I often still found myself doing the ridiculous shuffle to attempt to get to from one side to another to cut off a wrap around. The Rituals, as mentioned in the previous well written review, sat very flush and square, once properly adjusted, and they allowed me to slide effortlessly. The most dialing in on adjustment I had to do was the very protective calf wrap nylon straps. Too tight, and they the face tended to pull to a face down, which goes back to how protective the calf wrap is, too loose and I often had to knock them back into position on recovery. (Every pad or piece of gear is different, there's no strapping method that's going to apply to all, keep this in mind, and make your adjustments on that piece, not what you've always done or heard.)

Once I positioned the straps the way I wanted, (lot of options offered on this in moving around the straps as well as the elastic wrap beside the knee, which can be wrapped around the back of the knee or as I prefer, at a 45 degree angle from the knee stack down to the lateral calf) removed the thigh protectors as I wear separate protection I have attached to my pants, the pads were able to function as intended.

First thing I absolutely loved was the post wedge feature. This allows for a lot of forgiveness in hugging the post and keeping your leg bent more as in a goalie stance. The wedge is a triangular shaped high density pad that extends from the bottom of the knee down the lateral calf. Provides extra protection from the slippery puck sneaking in from the side. Not as useful on the junior model due to actual space covered versus a senior model, but takes a hit every game at least once in my experience. I would recommend any goalie using these also using separate knee and thigh protection, rather than the attached that comes with, as the wedge allowed me to develop a habit of being a little more forward of the post and the standard flap, every pad I've looked at has, beside the knee isn't going to provide adequate protection if your a little too far forward and take one to the side of the knee.

The Nylon straps with plastic buckles aren't looked highly upon by most, and these were a pain to get dialed in and then looping the excess back through and securing it down with hockey tape. Leather straps don't have the extra hassle in adjustment and once you got them set, a sharpie mark is the most you'll have to do to ensure a consistent fit every dress. This was the biggest drawback I found on these pads personally.

The pads do have a leather strap under the boot, the holes are numbered making it easy to be consistent. This strap is also customizable in position under the boot depending on how you prefer it to set over your skate. I preferred my strap sit towards the back of the boot and the buckle center of the boot, tightened semi snug under the heel, which got rid of the mentioned issue of catching on the cowling in the previous review.

Also of note, the pads come with a generous amount of replacement parts for all the straps and sliding bridge.

No issues with the top of the rise catching in dropping down into the butterfly despite the blocky appearance, they slide right past each other and the rise is very firm, haven't had any pucks hit the rise in the butterfly and continue past. This firmness, in addition to being a single break pad, does require some patience in shaping the pad while breaking them in.

The Battrams had a sliding toe bridge but it did not perform as well as the one on the Rituals. The difference was the shape of the sliding disc. The Battrams had a thicker oval shaped slider while the Ritual pads have a thinner circular one. While I do "think" the thicker oval would be more durable in taking a direct impact, I have not had one break yet on either pad, and the Ritual performs better due to less surface and mass equals less resistance from friction. I use the 'Toehook' in addition to the sliding bridge, which incorporates an elastic band to it, on both the Battrams and the Rituals, mostly to allow some flexibility for personal overused joint comfort and to simplify dressing.

The surface of face of the Ritual pad is firm. A puck striking it or caught with a kick went much farther away than the Battrams. Rebound control mastery, being square and proper angle will be less forgiving if you're used to a softer face of your pad. Thankfully the added ease in the ability to slide in a power push helps out when following up.

The pads feels pretty light and the stitching of the Rituals, despite being made overseas, is comparable to most top shelf stuff I've looked at. No fraying or tears on the pads anywhere after 3 months use 2-3 times weekly.

One caution, when buying Warrior pads, make note of their measurement system. That's how I imagine I got these "like new" for 200$. Warrior Ritual pads have a knee to floor measurement as opposed to knee to ankle measurement most brands use. The Ritual pads are equal to other popular brand pads who sport a measurement 2" longer. So if you're ordering online keep that in mind.

I really like these pads, and my 11 year son who started with Reebok Larceny before geating these over a year ago also likes them and started fully dressing himself mid-season as a squirt as the buckles do seem to be easier for kids to dress consistently once dialed in and easy to make minor adjustments as they grow, or as an adult, weight gain or loss. I highly recommend this pad for any age or level of play.

-The Doc.

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