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JR Boucicaut

Warrior Dynasty HD1 - stick9

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Let me start off by thanking JR, Warrior & MSH for the opportunity to do a LTR, my first.

Product: Warrior Dynasty HD1

Curve: W03 Henrique (compares to CCM P19 Nugent-Hopkins)

Flex: 75

Grip: No - Clear with textured edges

About Me:

Height: 5'-9"
Weight: 165
Position: Wing/Defense

Playing Time:

Twice a week, 1 might of pickup, one night of men’s league.

Recent Sticks:

CCM Tacks, Bauer MX3 pro-stock, Bauer X:60 pro-stock, Reebok RibCor, Easton Mako (first generation)

First Impressions:

I was a Warrior guy way back, I went from Innovative Inno 1100 shafts to the very first Warrior stick, the Warrior Starsky, eventually switching to Dolomites. Warrior lost me when they started with the Spyne blades, I just didn’t care for them. This is the first Warrior stick I've used since those Dolomites. I was anxious to see what Warrior have to offer these days.

Out of the box, the HD1 is visually striking, clean lines, understated graphics and subtle textured edges (diamond shaped features shown below). Hard to capture all that in one photo, here's a small glimpse.

DSC_0350_zpswhsxiaca.jpg

I opted for the W03 Henrique pattern since it's close to what I am currently using (CCM P19). As you can see in the picture, the two are pretty much identical. Nice little plus since CCM has replaced the P19 with the more aggressive P29. This style of pattern is a more all around general open faced mid curve. It offers decent puck control and works well for a variety of different shots.

CCM P19 Left, Warrior W03 Right

DSC_0347_zps1xkmclin.jpg

In comparison to my other sticks, something about the shaft felt different. I thought maybe I got an INT stick by accident. I realized after cutting it to length what I was noticing was the shaft geometry. The HD1 is a more rounded convex shape as opposed to the boxy concave shafts of its competitors. Here is the Warrior HD1 (Left) along side Bauer's MX3 (Right). It's not a drastic difference, but enough for you to notice. It's a very comfortable, natural feel.

DSC_0356_zps3qtnzwky.jpg

As for the weight, I don’t have access to a scale and the interweb has no info on the HD1’s weight. It feels on par with my other sticks and it’s pretty well balanced when cut down a few inches. It seems a little stiffer than my other sticks, but not by much and that may be by design.

Overall, the look, feel and features of the HD1 are impressive. But when it comes to sticks, it’s all about performance and durability.

On ice feedback and peer comments will follow later in the week.

Edited by stick9

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With two games in the books and some decent peer feedback, it’s time for an update.

Initial On Ice Impression:

The transition from CCM’s P19 to Warriors W03 was seamless. No altering of mechanics or technique needed, just go and shoot. The flex seemed on par with CCM and Bauer of similar rating, maybe a slight bit stiffer. The stick performed well for both slap & wrist shots. Once the shaft was loaded the release was fairly quick. If I focused on proper form I could pick corners and clank the crossbar with wrist shots from the blue-line. Passing and puck feel was very good. Hard passes were easily settled, no bouncing or pingyness. The shooting was good and all, but I really think puck feel may be this sticks greatest asset. I found placement of the bottom hand seemed to be pretty forgiving with this stick. There is an area void of graphics, Warrior calls this their “HyperDrive Engineered Kick-Zone”. As long as my bottom hand was within this area, I was good. The matte finish and textured edges provided ample grip in all situations. Curious how that will wear over time though.

Peer Feedback:

We have a lengthy warmup at pickup so I offered it out to a number of different players of varying levels. All feedback was positive. Here are the comments that stuck with me - “shoots really nice, puts the puck where you want it”, “really good puck feel, I like it”, “wow, this thing is light”. The rest where you run of the mill “nice stick, thanks”.

Having not used a Warrior stick in some time, I was a little bit concerned about its durability. When the stick work got a little nasty, I swapped the HD1 out for my Tacks. No real reason other than the trust factor. I’d do that same with any other brand. It took a few good hacks, no visible signs of damage.

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Four more sessions down, time for another update.


Not having used a Warrior for some time, my biggest concern coming in was durability. I was a bit careful with it initially. To me, that’s not the proper way to approach a LTR. I needed to just use it like I would any other piece of gear and see what happens. The stick has held up very well to the hacks & whacks and general abuse of mens league hockey. Lots of shooting, some shot blocks and even a few face-offs. There was one play where I expected to look down and see the thing in two pieces. No visible signs of fatigue or distress, just the normal scuffs.


Shooting wise, the HD1 continues to impress. I feel I need to recant my previous statement that slap-shots have a slight edge over wrist-shots. Slap-shots are still good, but wrist-shots are the clear winner here. The shaft loads up so easily shooting is almost effortless. I notice a significant increase in shot velocity compared to other sticks. I’m a little surprised, being a mid-kick stick and all.


So far, I’ve really enjoy using the HD1.

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Three month update.

I’ve been using the HD1 almost exclusively for about three months now. This is about the point where I notice sticks going soft or losing their “pop”. In that regard the HD1 is really no different. It's still a decent playing stick. the drop-off in performance isn't enough to get me to switch it out.

Wear & Tear:

The stick has held up very well….impressively well actually. While it has softened up a little, it’s still structurally sound. There is something going on with the top side of the blade (see pic 1). I can’t tell if it’s starting to give way or it’s just some sort of outer layer chipping away. The blade itself shows normal wear, no noticeable splitting on the toe or heel (see pic 2).

Pic1

IMG_0041_zpsphmcggwu.jpg

Pic 2

IMG_0040_zps2fo0c2zq.jpg

Performance:

Puck feel is still decent. Shooting wise, it still has some pop. However, some of those things that separated it from other sticks are no longer as evident as they once were. It not as forgiving as it once was. My technique has to better to yield a similar result.

One of the things I liked the most about the HD1 when I first got it was the shaft shape/geometry. After using it at length, I don’t really enjoy as much. I find my bottom hand rolling over towards top. This is not immediately noticeable when holding the stick due to it's rounded geometry, as it’s still fairly comfortable in your hands. For most things, it's not really an issue. I can still make and recieve passes fine. Shooting is where it becomes an issue. I have shanked a couple of shots and had a few more flutter off the blade. For context, the corners on the MX3 are very distinct and the convex shaft geometry forces you into the proper hand position.

Overall:

So far so good. The HD1 has performed like most other top end mid-kick OPS. It’s help up reasonable well over the course of the review, though I do feel it’s lost a little something along the way. I’ll have another update in a few months or sooner if something catastrophic happens.

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I had written a 3 month update, but I am sad to say that update is now a final review. My Warrior Dynasty HD1 gave way Wednesday night.

I had been noticing a drop off in performance over the past few weeks. Shots had less pop to them and accuracy was all over the place, passing and puck feel was still pretty good. I had inspected the stick on multiple occasions thinking maybe it was cracked, no signs of cracking, just normal wear and tear. I tried twisting the blade, flexing the shaft, even pushed straight down on the toe of the blade, again no indication of any sort of structural damage. I had even switched it out a few times due to its lack of performance.

The break itself happened in warmups of a pickup game. My first shot from the point was dreadful, no pop and way off target, but no audible or visual signs of damage. The blade gave way on the very next shot. Breaking it during pickup allowed me to get some really good pics of it right after it broke. Strange place to break. I suspect it was already cracked in this area which would explain the drop off in performance. I can’t pinpoint a single even, but I heard that “crunch” sound a few times.

PICS

IMG_1482_zpsp8ycgfiy.jpg

IMG_1484_zpsksx9mlle.jpg

IMG_1487_zpsaisqw0xu.jpg

IMG_1489_zpsfdt0u3d8.jpg

Final ratings:

Blade

Great puck feel, really good shooting and passing. However, it was the blade that finally gave way, so points off there. Nice selection of patterns. If you’re fan of CCM’s Nugent-Hopkins (no longer offered), Warriors Henrique is an exact clone.

Points were deducted because it was ultimately the blade that failed.

6.5/10

Shaft & Flex

The geometry of the shaft made it very comfortable (Straight Sidewalls and Rounded Corners) too comfortable time. Improper bottom hand position wasn’t immediately noticeable and led to poor shooting technique.

Flex was smooth and true to its listed rating as compared to other manufacturers. It loaded up quite easily with a quick and powerful release.

The matte finish with ProTex Grip texture is a nice touch. I’ve never been a fan of sticky grip coatings, I use them because I really have no other choice. I much prefer this type grip.

8/10

Weight & Balance

Weighing in at 432 grams, the HD1 is on par with other high end sticks. It was nicely balanced, again on par with other high end sticks. Cutting it to length did not appear to have any adverse effects on the overall balance of the stick.

8/10

Durability

In my experience, this is where the HD1 fell short. I received the stick in mid-August, using it exclusively twice a week since it arrived. Nothing out of the ordinary in terms of usage or abuse. As I outlined above, I believe the blades integrity was suspect before it actually failed. I expect a little more than three months out of a top end stick and I've gotten more out of the HD1’s direct competitors.

4/10





Intangibles

Warriors Dynasty HD1 is a fantastic shooting stick with excellent good puck feel. It’s light and well balanced. Warrior’s matte finish with ProTex Grip is a decent option for players who don’t like sticky grip coatings, a rare find these days. These are two key areas where the HD1 separates itself from other sticks I have used.

Conclusion

I really enjoyed using the Dynasty HD1. I was genuinely bummed when it broke, I really liked the way it played. Durability aside, I’d put the Dynasty HD1 ahead of my original Tacks stick, which is one of my all time favorites. Durability is a factor for me when buying sticks and at this price point I feel I should get more than 3 months out of a stick. Maybe there was a single event that caused the damage which led to its failure, maybe that same event would have caused any other stick to fail as well, who knows.

Overall score – 6.63/10

I want to thank JR, Warrior and the rest of the gang at MSH. It’s pretty cool to come home and find gear at your door with people waiting to hear what you have to say about it.

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