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Warrior Ritual GT2 Pro Custom - First Impressions and Review


ZeroGravitas
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Hello world.

Out with the old. In with the new.

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These posts will be my first impressions of the Warrior Ritual GT2 leg pads, catcher and blocker, as well as a full review in the near future.
Warriors made some tweaks to the GT2 line; I'll try to take pics to show the changes they've made.

Leg Pads

My pad history:
Koho 590
RBK Premier 2
Brian's Focus
CCM Extreme Flex 1
Passau Stolz
Warrior Ritual GT1

And now... the Warrior Ritual GT2.
The GT1 was probably my favorite pad I have owned to date. Super light weight, super durable, with a very modern design. It sealed the ice so well and was super responsive on my leg. The knee cradle was nice and stiff, leading to me feeling very stable in the 'fly. An issue I had with a previous pad was that the knee cradle didn't feel very attached to the pad itself. It had too much give and wiggle. With the Warriors, the knee cradle is pretty solidly integrated into the pad. However, the big issue I had was with the single break and the internal core. It broke down a little too quickly, in my opinion. I'm about 5'11" and 175 pounds - not a big guy - and the thighrise got a little floppy. I never stored the pad upside down or mashed them under a table to break in, but they broke down anyway. Check out the video below; I can flex the pad (too easily, IMO) with just one hand, with very little strength - I'm essentially just lightly tapping the pad.

There were situations where I could feel the thigh flex when I'm down in the butterfly because of taking a shot off the 'rise. It was an issue that really bugged me with the pad, so when the RGT2 was announced, I hoped Warrior would reinforce the pad like they did with the G4. And they did. I opted to go with no break in the external roll to try to keep the breakdown to a minimum.

My specs:
35+1.0
No external break (stock is a single break)
Weave on the inside edge.

According to my luggage scale, the pad weighs approximately 4.2 lbs, or 1.9 kg. Note that this is with the skate lace still attached, the knee cradle flap still attached (which I will remove) and the retail tags also attached. Basically, this is the weight of the pad straight out of the box.

So what's new with the GT2?
Warrior has added HyperComp material to the thighrise, added their 360 ActiveDrop leg channel, and some minor changes to the new cradle, including the availability of an adjustable knee strap.
The pad still comes with skate lace toe ties as a stock option, but their Active Response straps are included with the knee pads, which don't seem to have been updated. Warrior's got some upcoming knee pad offerings that are different from what comes with the pad. The new retail knee pads look dead sexy, too, compared to these plain-jane gray knee guards.

Note the three gray colored tabs at the top of the GT2 (left pic). Those are the adjustment points that you can clip your strap into.
With the GT1 (right pic), you had no other options if you wanted to attach your strap across the knee.

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Warrior has some changes to the knee cradle. They've added some padding to the cradle and to the back face of the pad itself. Along with slightly enlarging the knee cradle, this should help with stability and properly landing into the cradle with each and every butterfly.

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Below is a picture of the knee cradles, side by side. I didn't break out the tape measure, but the GT2 cradle is slightly longer, but I believe the width is about the same.
An eagle-eyed board member, @Teezle, pointed out that the GT2 (and G4) knee went to a design with binding while the GT1 and G3 pads had bindingless designs.
I hope the GT2 design will last. The Warrior GT1 in this pic had been used approximately twice a week for maybe fourteen months and there is no evidence of wear there. It looks almost brand new, to the point that I've been getting chirped online for getting new pads when it looks like I've only had the GT1s for a month!
And now Warrior has made weave available for both G4 and GT2! It looks amazing and if you opt to get it on your pad, it definitely adds a premium look and feel to your gear.

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Warrior has also changed the way the top of the pad is finished. Previously, they had nylon extend all the way to the top of the pad. Now, they finish the top with jenpro/weave. I think this is a change for the better. Some people, including myself, have seen a little bit of wear at the top of the pads from rubbing with the other pad in the stance or in the butterfly. The nylon wasn't as resistant to abrasion as, say, jenpro would have been. Some nice attention to detail here.

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The calf wrap and boot remain the same, and these are both among my favorite features of Warrior's pads.
The big calf wrap is really durable. Unlike other brands that use elastic, which eventually stretches out and loses its consistency, the big wrap stays consistent and the velcro is still going strong.
The bindingless boot design by Pete Smith, first seen on his Smith 5000 goal pad seems to be indestructible. Check out my post in the classified for some pictures of the boot area after 100+ skates. It looks almost brand new. The pads I had prior to these Warriors, which all had binding in that area, would always get chewed up and leave material exposed. Not so with the Warrior.

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Overall, the gear looks and feels amazing. The design is great, not only is it innovative, but its also incredibly durable.
The craftsmanship is excellent, too, but anyone who has picked up Warrior gear has seen and felt that.

It's getting late and I'm tired of trying to sound like I can talk pretty.
I'll try to write about the glove and blocker tomorrow. I'll be skating with these babies too, so no promises on getting that up.

Edited by ZeroGravitas
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Reserved for glove impressions.

Good god. I've typed my impressions in here twice, uploaded pics, and ended up closing the tab and lost everything. Oh well, this third time is the charm.

Catcher

My glove history:
Some Mission catcher
RBK Premier 2 Pro
Reebok Revoke Pro Zone
CCM Extreme Flex 1 Pro
Kenesky Custom

And now - the Warrior Ritual GT2.

For a while, I was not a fan of Warrior gloves. Fiddling with them in the store, I could never get them to close comfortably on my hand. Changing the liners could alter the feel slightly - I liked the 60 degree liner the most, which would factor into my decision on which break to get here. There were, however, aspects of the design that I did like. The bindingless construction, with no eyelets and lace on the perimeter of the glove, was very cool to see. From a durability standpoint, the lace and binding are often one of the first things to go because of all of the contact with the glove on the ice. I also liked the clamshell design of the backhand. It feels much more protective than the traditional backhands you see on nearly every other glove manufacturer.

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 My specs:
Senior size (intermediate is an option at custom)
Regular core (a stiffer, more protective practice core is an option at custom)
Double tee (which is stock. A single tee is available at custom)
60 degree break (75 is retail stock. 60 degree and 90 degree breaks are only available at SR custom. No intermediate option!)

Also attached is a video of the closure out of the box. Pretty good!

What's changed over the previous GT1?
The thumb angle, break angle, a double tee instead of a single tee, and Hypercomp reinforcement in the palm.
Like the GT1, the palm/liner is NOT removable in this. You'll be stuck with whatever you buy.

I was very surprised when I pulled this out of the box. The closure felt great. Really, really great! It was definitely different from the G4 and the GT1. The new thumb angle made the closure feel much, much more natural to me. With the G4 and GT, it felt like my thumb was being forced back when I tried to close the glove. But with the new thumb angle, it feel like I can leverage the strength of my thumb in closing the glove. If you like the 590 break, the Warrior 60 degree break feels very close. 

I had never used a double tee until now. I agonized a little bit over it when thinking on my specs for the order. I eventually thought, "Screw it", and went with the double tee. I've skated twice with the catcher and the jury is still out. I miss the responsive THWAP and feeling/hearing the puck smash into a big, single tee, but a highly visible pocket has come in handy a couple times, too.

Oh. And this catcher is crazy lightweight, too. I weighed it with my digital luggage scale (who knows how accurate that thing is), and it returned a weight of 1.9 lbs or 0.85 kg.

The glove required no break-in before I skated with it. I opened and closed it maybe 50 times in the two to three days before my first skate at pick-up hockey and it was ready to go. No adjustments whatsoever. It felt great, and I hope it maintains this consistency over time.

Edited by ZeroGravitas
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Reserved for blocker impressions.

Blocker:

My blocker history:
Some Mission blocker
RBK Premier 2 Pro
Reebok Premier 3 Pro
Reebok Revoke PZ
CCM Extreme Flex 1
Kenesky Custom

And now - the Warrior Ritual GT2.

Notice a theme in my blocker history? If you guessed Lefevre, you'd be right. With most things, I'm a "if it isn't broke, don't fix it" guy. And that summarizes my philosophy towards blockers. A Lefevre blocker had everything I could want. It was durable, well-made, with lots of protection for the fingers and a nice, beefy sidewall. They were a little heavy, but hey, can you get all of the previously listed qualities and still be light weight? Hnnn...

Blocker specs:
Large palm (Large is stock, I believe. Medium, Xtra Large and Intermediates are options at custom too. Maybe an option with retail palms?)

That's it. No real customization options for the blocker.

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What's different from GT1?
Hypercomp reinforcement in the blocker board and sidewall and adjustable index finger protection.

Like the original GT1, the blocker palm CAN be removed and you can move the palm higher or lower depending on your preferred position. I left it at the stock, middle position.

It feels a little tighter and snugger to the back of my hand than the G4 did off the rack, and I like it. It's super lightweight - digital luggage reported 1.9 lbs, same as the GT2 catcher, oddly enough.

I don't have much to say here. It's a great blocker. It seems to tick all the boxes I felt the Lefevre blockers ticked - and it's lighter weight. I had no problems playing a game with this on. No trouble whatsoever with finger protection interfering with my stick. Subbed in a game last night and shut out the other team. 

Edited by ZeroGravitas
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Reserved for a full review down the road.

Alright, this is my second time typing the review. Here's hoping I don't mis-click and blow it all up again.

I've had my set for about 2 months, but only had the opportunity to skate in them approximately 10 times, but during that time, I think I've gotten a good feel for the equipment to share some additional thoughts.

During that time, I took delivery of a set of CCM Extreme Flex 4 pads and gloves, and that will color this review somewhat.

So, without further ado, here we go!

Catcher

My GT2 catcher has a game-ready palm. And I feel it is one of the few gloves out that truly means it when it says game ready. It was usable out of the box for the first skate and after just a couple sessions, now feels buttery soft, in terms of closure. Even with a game ready palm, it feels plenty protective.

One thing I noticed with this catcher is the palm. Tapping it with your knuckle generates a "thunk thunk" sound, which sounds (and feels) as if there is a layer of plastic in the palm. Any know if Warrior does put plastic there? Compared to something like a CCM catcher, which feels more like traditional foams, the palm of the Warrior is definitely stiffer and feels more protective, despite being incredibly easy to close.

Another thing I noticed about the palm, is the design.

Warrior (on the left) placed a sort of half-cylindrical piece of foam in the hinge of the palm. I haven't noticed other companies doing this. CCM (on the right) leaves that space open. I like Warrior's idea - it eliminates the flat space, gives a little more protection, and has zero impact on the glove's closure. We're all goalies and we know getting nailed in that crease can be painful.

Sorry for stealing the green circles, @TheGoalNet, but it showed up really well against the red gloves!

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The pocket on this catcher is pretty huge.
I've attached a (very) un-scientific picture of the Warrior (left) and the CCM (right). Note how deep and how much space is available in the GT2 pocket vs the EF4 pocket. Yes, the CCM is new (2 skates), and the breaks are different (Warrior 60 degree, CCM 75 degree), but I think it's pretty interesting.

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Part of my break-in process is working and closing the pocket around my Sher-wood Goal Trapper Shaper - basically a softball - but definitely bigger than a puck.
In the pictures below, you can see how well the Warrior closes around the ball - that's because the pocket is so deep and wide. Meanwhile the CCM has a bit of trouble. Please note that I can close the CCM glove around the ball - but I have to squeeze hard and use my other hand to help close it up. The Warrior can easily close over the ball.

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Overall, the Warrior GT2 catcher is pretty solid. It is very lightweight and very protective. The bindingless design on the outer perimeter of the catcher should help with durability. I know that outer perimeter binding and lace was the first thing to go on my old CCM EF1 catcher. The bindingless construction should help delay that.

But not everything is perfect in Warrior-land. While I very much like the clamshell design of the exterior backhand, especially compared to CCM's basic overlaying of nylon and foams, I feel the inner glove section needs some work.

Here's a picture of the backhand of the glove and the anchoring system. Warrior on the left and CCM on the right.

With the CCM, you're locked in there. Your hand does not move unless you want it to.

But with the Warrior, your hand isn't anchored in place as well. This is something I noticed right off the bat. When I put the glove on, I try to get my fingers and hand as deep into the glove as possibly to get a good grip. But as I open and close the glove, my fingers and hand slowly start to slip backwards out of the glove. As a result, the glove is always shifting on your hand and it happens each time you flap it open or shut and you manually have to move your hand back into the depths of the glove. Tightening the straps helps to some degree, especially the finger straps, but I'm still noticing it even when I crank it.

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Lastly - and this is nitpicky - I don't like the gap in the backhand closure. I don't like seeing my hand and I don't like that my hand isn't covered by some sort of strap system like it would be with a Lefevre glove.

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Too long? Didn't read? Glove is great. Maybe Warrior will tweak the backhand for a more consistent fit and feel. That's the only knock against it, in my book.

Blocker

I don't have too much to say here. It's been very solid. Nice beefy rigid sidewall. Comfy palm, though it is just a smidge large for my taste.

Rebounds don't zoom off this as fast as I would expect with the Hypercomp face. I wonder if maybe Warrior should add some stiff foams/plastics to the backside of the blocker to increase the stiffness/COR. Squeezing the foams on the side of the board and on the palm-side and they feel kind of squishy. Tweaking the foam layout might add a little spiciness to the rebounds.

I haven't messed with moving the palm around. I am very much a set-it-and-forget-it guy.

Overall, like the catcher, a quality product from Warrior.

Leg Pads

With the RGT2 and G4, the lines are blurred between Warrior's two line ups. Both feature pads with a single break in the internal core. Both feature Hypercomp reinforcement in the thighs. Both have 360activedrop, the same strapping systems and similar knee cradles. The only big differences that I can think of are the thinner outer roll (G4), Airslide (G4), boot taper (GT2) and torsional flex (GT2).

These pads feel a little different on the leg compared to my RGT1. Maybe its the ActiveDrop or the slightly larger knee cradle, but they don't feel as responsive or as connected to my leg as my GT1 did. I suspect the slightly large cradle, along with my angling of the strap down (instead of across) causes my knee to land a little differently in the cradle - a little further away from the pad and maybe a little lower. I have not yet tried strapping across the knee to see if that fixes anything.

The GT2 is thought of as a hybrid pad, but it doesn't really play like one. With the Hypercomp material in the pad and no external break, they're somewhat stiff and probably play closer to a G4 than a retail GT2. The rebounds seem to come off a little bit livelier than GT1, though that could be because these pads are new and my frame of reference are my GT1s which I've had for over a year.

With weave in the landing area, they definitely feel like they slide better than regular jenpro. Plus, you get that neat "zwee zwee" sound as you're pushing when you're down.

Another issue I'd had with these pads is material durability. There's been some wear in the corners of both leg pads - you can see some pictures elsewhere in the thread. I have no idea as to what is causing it. The pads are the exact same size as my GT1s (35+1) and those were worn for over 100 skates and have no wear whatsoever. The only difference I can think of is jenpro (GT1) vs weave (GT2). The wear started showing up about 5 or 6 skates in and this is a pro-level pad! I've put some Shoo Goo on it, but that does not suppress my irritation.

---

I guess that's it.

Thanks for reading my book report.

I didn't really proof read this so please let me know if anything is unclear and I'll be happy to revise.

Quick plug - my old GT1s and matching Kenesky gloves are for sale. Peep the User Gear forum. Let's make a deal!

Edited by ZeroGravitas
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55 minutes ago, Korppi32 said:

After watching that video it is little harsh to say that your pad is broke down. I would say it´s normal for super light weight but still flexible pad. But maybe no break pad is better for you. 

I think it's more apparent if you had the pad in your hand. You can feel the break at the thigh wobble in your hand when you grip it. I didn't expect it to become that flexible.
And you're right, maybe a no break pad is better for me - which is what I got on the GT2 and the upcoming EF4 - externally at least. Can't specify the internal break on the GT2 and can't get no internal breaks on the EF4.

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7 hours ago, Lucky Pucker said:

Great initial review - but just to clarify: which is the NEW set again...? :P

Interesting that you're in a 35 +1; I'm also 5'11", and find my 34+1 are too big.

Look forward to hearing about your first skate with the whole family!

Height is irrelevant.  I'm 5'11".  I'm in a 34+1.5.  I was playing with a guy who is 6'2".  Also in a 34 inch pad.  Why?  His height is all torso.  short legs.  

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13 minutes ago, jeff da goalie said:

Height is irrelevant.  I'm 5'11".  I'm in a 34+1.5.  I was playing with a guy who is 6'2".  Also in a 34 inch pad.  Why?  His height is all torso.  short legs.  

Oh, I know that; by commenting on this, I thought I was intimating a re-affirmation that you can't deduce leg pad size from height, but I may have missed the mark there.

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8 hours ago, Lucky Pucker said:

Great initial review - but just to clarify: which is the NEW set again...? :P

Interesting that you're in a 35 +1; I'm also 5'11", and find my 34+1 are too big.

Look forward to hearing about your first skate with the whole family!

Yeah, the sizing is a little odd.

Both Warrior and CCM use FTK. Warrior is on the left below, and CCM is on the right.

Warrior's measurement for a 35 inch pad could put you in a 33 or 34 CCM.

Personally, I'm a 33 CCM. That's what I wore for my Koho 590 and RBK P2. I had a 34 E-Flex 1, and that was a little big in the knee.

I had the opportunity to demo a GT1 in 34 and 35 before I bought them, and the 34 was definitely a little small, and that led to some rotation issues. The 35, meanwhile, felt perfect.

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Oddly, having tried on both a 34" and 35" CCM I liked the way the 35" fit.  Based on the fact that I'm a 35 in Warrior or Brians, I fully expected to be a 34 in CCM but it just felt like it was a tad short at the knee.  I guess the moral of the story is try gear on whenever possible!

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I usually take measurements near the outer roll. Take the measuring tape and put it  by the crease area where the boot and shin meet. Start from there and measure to the end of the boot. That should give you the measurement.

On my old G2 it was 7-1/2” length.

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2 hours ago, Bell31 said:

I usually take measurements near the outer roll. Take the measuring tape and put it  by the crease area where the boot and shin meet. Start from there and measure to the end of the boot. That should give you the measurement.

On my old G2 it was 7-1/2” length.

Like this?

IMG_20190406_225039.jpg

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On ‎4‎/‎5‎/‎2019 at 12:43 PM, Puckstopper said:

Oddly, having tried on both a 34" and 35" CCM I liked the way the 35" fit.  Based on the fact that I'm a 35 in Warrior or Brians, I fully expected to be a 34 in CCM but it just felt like it was a tad short at the knee.  I guess the moral of the story is try gear on whenever possible!

Weird. I'm a 35 warrior and had to go to a 34 CCM premier 2. Maybe because I don't play with a boot strap and have long toe ties? (1.5-2")

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the updates.  Unfortunately there's not much commonality between our choices in catch gloves for me to take a guess at how well the GT2 will work for me.  One thing I know I'll like is the weight.  I just weighed my VE8 Pro Carbon for kicks and grins and it came in at 2 lbs 4oz.  I thought that glove was noticeably lighter than my GNetik 2 but measuring the Gnetik alongside the Vaughn it's only 2oz heavier.   Trying them on side by side I realize that the difference I'm feeling is mostly weight distribution.  Combining shaving almost 1/3rd of a pound off the glove with the great weight distribution I've seen on every Warrior catch glove I've tried on has me really excited to see how I do with this puppy. 

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Interesting to see your floppy issue. How do you think the new material in the GT2 will hold up compared to the GT1?

I’m having the same issue with my G3 but it seems much worse than on your video. Without much effort I can bend the thigh rise 90 degrees. Im playing with those pads for a little over two years now, 4 times a week on average. I remember when I first got them they were super stiff. Now they’re just floppy. The last couple of weeks I had a couple of shots where my stick wasn’t in front of the five hole, the puck hit the thigh rise and it just opened like a revolving door. 

I’m thinking about buying new pads and switching from the G3 to the GT2, as I don’t have a super wide butterfly and the design of the GT will be the better choice. Am I thinking right or not @Kirk3190?

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