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  • Reebok P4 Gloves and Ritual Pro Pads

    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.

  • #2
    After another 2 hours on the ice today i have the following observations about the glove and blocker:

    -The Sure-Grip palm on the glove keeps it in place even when your drenched in sweat.

    -The pocket on this glove gobbles up pucks far better than my 7600 glove.

    -I took a really hard slap shot off the one piece cuff, and no issue at all.

    -I took a puck off the finger protection, and it didn't hurt. It was a fairly hard wrist shot from a decent player, and I definitely had a better out come than the last time that happened with my 7600 blocker (when I lost the end of my finger nail).

    I changed up the strapping on the pads, and it did improve my experience, but not enough to make me rush out and order a pair. I'll post details and pictures tomorrow morning.


    • #3
      This afternoon will be my last skate in the Warrior Ritual Pads, and I'll have to make a decision on whether order a modified version of the pad, or just move on to another pad.

      Yesterdays skate did go better than the first day, and all told I've got about 4 hours in these pads. I've heard others say it took a couple skates to fully acclimate to them, so we'll see how this afternoon goes.

      A couple more notes on these pads, and some more pictures.

      You can see here the thigh wraps compared side by side with the Velocity wraps on my 7600s. I had it in my head that I would order new ones if I got a pair of rituals, just based on the amount of negative things I've read about the ritual guards, but I'm just fine with them. There may be slightly less area on the ritual guards, but I've had a half dozen pucks bounce around in my five hole while in the butterfly, and I never had any stingers.

      The number of pucks hitting my knees, and a lot of my difficulty with this pad is that there is no upper break, so if someone is skating by tight to the crease, I can trip them with the huge thigh rise on these.

      Another look at that massive thigh rise. The pad on the left is a 36+1.5 ritual, and on the right is my 37+1 velocity 7600.

      This is the landing area on the ritual, I find it a lot firmer than my velocities, to the point that it actually made my knee a little sore after 2 hours on the ice in one stretch.

      This is the leg channel on the Ritual followed by the leg channel on my 7600's. Notice how much more wide open it is. I think that how these pads don't feel as connected to my leg as the Vaughns is due to this leg channel width. This will come down to preference, I apparently prefer a tighter leg channel.

      And finally the boot showing the adjustable boot strap. If I end up ordering this, I would be inclined to get a second boot strap and ditch the toe ties.

      Sometime this weekend I'll post my thought after the final skate, and whether I'll be looking to pull the trigger on a new set of Rituals, or just keep shopping...


      • #4
        Wow. A LHS with demo pads. Where is this magical land you inhabit?


        • #5
          Originally posted by Didthatgoin View Post
          Wow. A LHS with demo pads. Where is this magical land you inhabit?
          I know, right! I was shocked when they offered them to me, because frankly I'd never heard of that before.


          • #6
            It's a poor workman who blames his tools...

            So, it looks like I'm working on the most poorly written review the GSBB has ever seen.

            In spite of a poor end to this mornings skates, these pads are growing on me, despite a bunch of weird things they seem to do. I'm beginning to think that a pair with a break above and below the knee may end up being a pretty awesome pad for me, albeit with a shorter thigh rise.

            Apparently mentioning what I felt was an adequate thigh wrap only jinxed myself. About 30 minutes into the skate I took a shot of my knee that hobbled me for the rest of the skate (I'm still limping this afternoon). If I do pull the trigger on a pair of Rituals, I will do as so many other reviewers have mentioned, and get rid of the wraps in favour of Vaughn wraps or actual knee pads.

            Today I was also finding the knee straps were creating what cyclist's refer to as hot spots; I could feel the friction starting to chafe on the outside of my knee. This is probably a strapping issue I can adjust to remedy, and it's worth noting I wear actual hockey stocks which likely worsens the chafing.

            Having the boot straps moved back and the toe ties knotted a bit eliminated my knee issue.

            I've decided to keep the demo pads for a few more days next week, and see if I can get back to back skates, maybe try rituals for one skate and my good ol' 7600's for the second.

            Anyone who owns these pads and wants to tell me what I'm screwing up to prevent myself from falling in love immediately, feel free to chime in. I still feel the biggest issue I'm having is the thigh rise, and the lack of a second break.

            I find these pads have slightly livlier rebounds than my Vaughns, and I don't seem to have any problem sending them to the corners.

            Here are a couple photos illustrating how my narrow butterfly fairs in these pads, as well how I think I took the puck off the knee.

            Last edited by cvskates; 09-08-2012, 12:14 PM.


            • #7
              Loosen up the knee lock and/or strap a bit. Based on your pic, your knee is buried into the pad, and your pants are pushing the top outward. Let up on the tension, and your knee should fall on the flat of the knee block, and it won't cause the chafing on the back of your knee (that's friction, pure and simple).

              If you want a tighter calf feel, the calf lock can be strapped a bit tighter so the wings wrap closer to your leg. You are better off controlling the pad through the calf than through the knee.

              Also, use knee pads instead of the thigh guards - imho, everyone's thigh guards inhibit pad rotation by their very nature. It looks like the thigh guard is also contributing to forcing your knee toward the face of the pad instead of allowing it to fall onto the landing gear.
              Last edited by bc30; 09-07-2012, 05:59 PM.


              • #8
                I think your evaluation on getting a smaller thigh rise and a double break is correct. In the butterfly pic above, the thigh rises are touching, but your legs and knees are nowhere close to one another. I don't believe you have to have your thighs jammed together in every save, but to make a save in the butterfly above, you have nothing behind the thigh rise to stop the puck.

                It may also be the fact that new pads are super stiff. I had difficulty breaking in my Vaughn 7900s at first. Mostly because I've never had new pads before, and I think I was being too gentle on my pads to try to break them in.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by bc30 View Post
                  Loosen up the knee lock and/or strap a bit.

                  Also, use knee pads instead of the thigh guards
                  Thanks for those points; I'll give 'em a shot on Monday (assuming me knee is well enough to skate )


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by RollrGoal View Post
                    I think your evaluation on getting a smaller thigh rise and a double break is correct.
                    I think that's where most of my problems are coming from (that and what BC30 said). That pic was just for illustration, when I butterfly on the ice my legs don't get quite as much flare.

                    After re-reading Chakal's review I really feel it's the 2nd break I'm missing more than anything. His butterfly looks good even with the +3.5 for the same reason I have problems with the single break; an annoyingly narrow butterfly.
                    Last edited by cvskates; 09-07-2012, 07:53 PM.


                    • #11
                      A good review! Thanks for posting!

                      While I have used Vaughn pants in the past, I've found that they tended to push the outside of the pad downward on me with a narrower butterfly such as you have. I switched out to the NHL Reebok pants and was a-ok after that but I still had to gut a bit of those as well. The inside leg cradle on the Vaughn pant is thick and pushes the outside of the pant over the pad.

                      That being said, I am not a fan of this pad. There are some neat design things on them that are great for adjustability but just not for my style of play, either. From where you are sitting in the pictures, you definitely need something with a double internal break to help with how they face and fall when you are playing.


                      • #12
                        I must say, I got to hold my first set of Warriors the other day at my local sporting goods store and was not overly impressed. They seemed to compare to the set of Powerteks...


                        • #13
                          Great review!

                          It sounds to me like you are happy with your 7600s, so why change?
                          If you want new pads why not just get some new vaughns?
                          Just a thought.


                          • #14
                            That's what my wife says!

                            Like I said, I was using the gear as motivation to trim down (and it worked), and with all the great reviews out about the rituals I thought they'd be awesome.

                            That is a good thought with new Vaughn's. As much as I like them, the Reebok gloves are way better, at least in my eyes.


                            • #15
                              Its not too uncommon to use Reebok gloves and Vaughn pads. Look at Schneider and Varlys old sets.