This is a review of Reebokís P4 Blocker and Glove, and Warrior Ritual Senior leg pads. More than that, itís an excellent reason to use your LHS demo program, and make sure you try on before you buy.
I have had my mind made up about getting a new set of Warrior Rituals. I told my wife once I trimmed my weight down to 190 pounds I was going to order a new set (started at close to 230, and Iím down to 201). Iíve read all the reviews, seen the videos, and was totally excited about this new gear.
September 3rd found me at The Hockey Shop in Surrey. Theyíre the store I ordered my current set of 7600ís from.
I was talking to the manager and asking for some help with the customization options. I explained I was still 4-6 weeks away from ordering, but wanted the info on some different options I wasnít sure about (palm materials, cuff wedge type, finger length, blocker palm offsets, stuff like that).
I should clarify that Iím not rabid about any particular brand. Iím familiar with Vaughn so I tend to gravitate towards their gear, but I wear a hodge-podge of stuff from different brands and donít preclude gear based on manufacturer. If two pieces of gear are equal in all other qualities, but one is made in Canada and one is made in China, Iíll get the Canadian made one even if itís a few bucks more. But, it has to be as good or better than the made in china option.
I was standing at their giant wall of Blockers and Gloves trying on different Warrior blockers and gloves, and not loving them. For no reason I tried on a Reebok P4 Blocker and glove, and was blown away by them. I read another reviewer describing them as fitting like a glove (sounds weird, I know), and they do. So comfortable!
Now I have a problem; Iím here to source out the Canadian Made Warrior Ritual equipment Iíve already decided to buy. Not the Chinese made Reebok gear. But this Reebok gear is so much more comfortable than the Warrior gloves, and frankly felt better made.
Chad (the manager) and I discuss this new development. He tells me he has a demo set I can take home and try. I explain Iím from Courtenay, and canít bring it back any time soon. Now problem, I can keep it for a couple weeks, and if no one is looking to try it, he doesnít mind if 2 weeks stretches into 3.
Okay, so now Iím starting to wrap my head around getting a matching colors set of P4 Gloves and Ritual pads. Chad tells me he can let me demo the pads, too. He returns from the back rom to explain he doesnít currently have a set of 36Ē set of demo pads. Not a problem, though, he grabs a brand new set of ritual pros off the wall, and tells me they are now demos.
I leave that store soooooo happy!
Two days later Iím on the ice for drop in.
Blocker and glove Ė as best as I can tell, the blocker and glove both have the Sure-Grip palm. Glove has the 1 piece cuff and the 60 degree break with a pro-palm. Blocker seems pretty standard.
Both pieces have been used about a dozen times already, so they are already fairly broken in (but nothing crazy). Compared to my 7600 gloves the trapper seems to suck up pucks better, the blocker is more comfortable, and both feel better with the my chest and arm protector. The C/A is a Reebok Pro (the retail version), which may be why.
Again, I canít stress how comfortable both the blocker and glove are. I never thought a catch glove could feel this great.
The pads are a bit of a disappointment after the 1st day.
Chad warned me the pads may actually over-rotate on me. I did the straps up a little more snug than I usually do on account of this, and used the toe laces with the sliding bridge (I donít use toe ties on my 7600s). I only put 2 knots in the laces after the bridge for this ice time.
As you can see from the pictures these pads only have a break below the knee. On account of my narrow butterfly I figured Iíd order pads with breaks above and below the knee. My velocities are 37+1, these rituals are 36+1.5 (I sized myself according to warriors sizing chart, and my knee is perfectly in the knee lock). As you can see, the Velocities are at least an inch shorter despite being the larger sized pad.
I tried the velocro knee lock straight across, as well as angled down to the calf wrap; neither made a huge difference in terms of rotation, but the latter was more comfortable. Due to the size and straightness of the pads I felt awkward any time I wasnít in my stance, including falling over myself a couple times.
As others have described in previous reviews these pads slide ridiculously well, especially on fresh ice. By contrast, I find my 7600s have more resistance on fresh ice, but are more consistent as the ice gets chopped up. After 1 hour and 15 minutes, the rituals were getting more resistance than my velocities would have.
I wasnít super impressed with these pads after the 1st day. My knees hurt on account of the toe ties, but Iíve added a couple inches of slack, and will retest tomorrow. I had the boot strap in the forward most spot, and I will move this back for tomorrows ice time. I will also be wearing the pads a little looser to see if I can get the pads to better rotate. I do actually like the thigh wraps, and find them similar enough to my Vaughn thigh wraps there was no real difference.
Like I said at the beginning of this, I had fully made my mind up to buy these pads. Having had them today, I'm a bit disappointed, but will still take another 4 or 5 ice times to see I can get used to them and / or make them work for me.
At this point, I suspect that before I actually order a new set of gear, I'll be asking Chad to demo a set of P4 leg pads, as well.
To close todays chapter, Iíll add that these pads donít work very well with a grit sumo bag; the calf wedge makes them stick out really far from the bag, and the strap locations make them sit high on the bag.
More to com after tomorrows skate.