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Special thanks to Travis Speck for lending me his Brians’ blocker to do the comparison. Check out his YouTube channel below.
Usage time: 4 months
Blocker History: Simmons 994 Blocker, Warrior Messiah Blocker, Smith 6000 Retro Blocker, Reebok Larceny Pro, Simmons 997, Vaughn 7600, Warrior Ritual G2 Custom Pro. I always wanted to try Warrior Ritual G1 pads and when the G2s came out I was very interested. I found a pair of pro return Ritual G2s in my size with a very stiff thigh rise…they were my dream pad and were a pro return set that had to come with a blocker.
Initial Thoughts: Every time I went to a hockey story I tried on the Ritual G2 gloves. They fascinated me with their customization options and unique design. At a far glance this blocker looks pretty similar in basic shape to my old Reebok Larceny, but putting it on felt completely different, and looking closer the blocker (especially in white) had a marshmellow man look to it. I put it on instantly noticed its light weight and I felt the glove felt weird and almost unbalanced in my hand. I blame that on how light this blocker is compared to my old Reebok Larceny. Since it is a big issue for me I instantly noticed the lack of finger tip protection on the G2 blockers.
Fit: Warrior did an absolutely amazing job designing this blocker to make it the best fitting blocker on the market. With different palm sizes and adjustable velcro allowing you to move the palm location up and down and to tighten the finger connections you can keep configuring the velcro to make it ideal for you. The one velcro wrist strap is attached to the board of the blocker and is separate from the removable palm, this keeps your wrist tight to the blocker itself and not the velcroed in palm. The top of the hand padding keeps your hand snug in the glove and my wrist strap is barely tight because of this and is as loose as possible. I never feel like the blocker is falling off and my hand feels well locked into place. Just like the Vaughn 7600 blocker the Ritual G2 keeps your hand snug all the time. 10/10
Comfort: Compared to the Vaughn 7600 blocker I most recently reviewed this Ritual G2 does not feel as tight. With that said I believe this to be the most comfortable blocker I have ever worn. The palm when brand new is made up of extremely soft leather all along the backhand, fingers and palm. My older palm still feels extremely comfortable and soft. While you can feel it hardening up during play it returns to being soft and feeling very new. The backhand pillow is my favourite of any blocker I have worn, even being more comfortable than the fantastic Vaughn 7600. The seams inside this blocker are all extremely well made and not noticeable at all. There are large pillows for protection all along the thumb and sidewall and this creates a very soft environment for your hand. Finally the attachments to the finger protection is a very welcome innovation and addition. With other gloves I always felt you could feel the fingers (that were attached to the finger protection), but with this glove the attachments are in the middle of the fingers and they pull the finger protection in a natural motion along with the natural bending of your fingers. If you tighten these straps as much as possible you can feel the pull like other gloves, but with adjustability allows you to find a comfortable tightness for these straps. The Warrior Ritual G2 glove is the most comfortable glove I have worn, topping my latest favourite the Vaughn 7600. 10/10
Protection: While this blocker is extremely light it feels like a tank right away. The sidewall is firm and solid and every protection piece does its job VERY well. The finger protection is very solid all around except for the lacking fingertip protection. The finger protection is made up of very solid and thick foams. The index finger protection is a thick hard foam with another thick slightly softer foam sitting in between the even thicker side sidewall protection. When holding a stick pucks that ramp up never make it to your fingers and get stuck or deflect off one of the 3 solid pieces guarding your fingers. The removable palm also has built in soft pads on the outside of the pinkie finger and the outside of index finger. This helps absorb shocks from pucks or sticks hitting the hard surrounding foams raising comfort and protection. The entire side wall is velcroed in straight and is made up of a thick medium density foam which helps absorb impacts so your hands don’t feel the vibrations or impacts of hard shots to the sidewall. There is also a nice and soft pillow all along the thumb area to again add in protection and comfort. The thumb design was something I wasn’t sure about before using in a game as it is made different than other blockers I have worn. After taking pucks to it and not realizing my insecurities were quickly swatted away as the soft pillow all along the thumb and the hard foams encasing it and your thumb do an excellent job of dispersing impacts and keeping your hand safe. Now for the disappointing part, the fingertip protection of this blocker is basically non-existent. While the finger protection bends downwards it never fully covers your fingertips and leaves you exposed. In my relatively short time playing with this glove I have been hit multiple times with sticks digging for pucks or pucks while I am in the paddle down position. The lack of this feature is pretty strange since the Ritual G1 Custom Pro included fingertip protection. I really wish Warrior designed a velcro system on the finger protection that allowed for adjustable and/or removeable fingertip protection. The Brians’ Gnetik II blocker featured in the pictures below is the best fingertip protection I have ever seen, and I hope other brands find ways to protect our fingertips like Brians’ has. This blocker is so close to being absolutely perfect for me, but the lack of fingertip protection to me is a big issue (see my Simmons 997 review). 7/10
Weight: While I again don’t have a scale to actually measure the weight of this blocker, it certainly feels like the lightest glove I have ever worn. I feel it is just as well balanced as the Vaughn 7600 if not better. 10/10
Durability: There is absolutely no nylon binding on this glove that a stick could rub against. Other brands have jenpro sewn over the nylon binding but for the Ritual G2 the binding is actually made of jenpro itself and thus increasing the durability and reducing the possible wear spots. The palm on this glove has discolouration and has gotten crustier compared to the Vaughn 7600 Nash palm that I used for a pretty similar amount of time. With that said it has no signs wear and is still extremely comfortable. There is also no outer binding that could rub against the ice in the paddle down position like the Vaughn 7600 had. The one issue I had was with my original palm where a hole developed on my index finger where a seam came undone. That palm was in a prostock glove that was created before the retail G2 blockers were in production. My replacement palm has different features and better stitching. If I have any issues with the new palm this score will change and the review ill be updated, but as of now it is perfect. 10/10
Performance: Just like the Vaughn 7600 blocker this Warrior Ritual G2 blocker took no time in getting used to it. First game I used it I immediately felt comfortable in it. With an adjustable blocker palm that allows it to be placed higher or lower allowing different palm positions users should have little to no adjustment period when switching to this blocker. I find myself making more saves with this sidewall than ever before because of its completely flat design and because of how solid it is. With the great balance and weight I also find myself making more reactive saves with this blocker than even the very well performing Vaughn 7600. Compared to the heavier Reebok Larceny this blocker does an excellent job making you forget there is anything on your hand and my performance is even better than the excellent Vaughn 7600 blocker I reviewed before. 10/10
Conclusion: Warrior and Pete Smith really created a wonderful product in the Ritual G2 Custom Pro blocker. The innovative customizable features are very welcome and really help making this glove as comfortable and best fitting as possible. The protection is great and weight and balance makes this my favourite blocker I have ever worn. With that said it really disappoints me that it has non-existant fingertip protection (something which evidently is addressed in the G3 blocker). While this blocker is so close to being perfect in my books, I really can’t wait to see what the G3 has in stock for us. I would absolutely recommend the Ritual G2 blocker, but if fingertip protection is a big deal for you I’d suggest looking elsewhere, and the Brians’ Gnetik II blocker shown below has the best designed fingertip protection that I have ever seen. 8.5/10
Great Sidewall protection
Good layering of protection to stop pucks from ramming your fingers when they ramp up the stick. Notice the lack of nylon bindings, great for durability.
Showing the seal of the stick and the index finger protection.
Comparisons between the Brians’ Gnetik II Pro Blocker which has the best fingertip covered I have ever seen.
Brians’ pinkie is again protected better than the Warrior’s, but I have had no issues with the Warrior on the outside pinkie portion.
Again showing the differences and how well the wrapping protection works on the Brians’.
Very wide cuff with extremely comfortable back hand pillow padding. The leather material is extremely soft.
Thick side wall protection and the sidewall stays perpendicular to the blocker face through the use of velcro.
Very solid and thick thumb protection while still allowing mobility.
The connecting velcro that holds the blocker palm in place.
Very innovative finger protection adjustment where you can adjust how close and tight they fit to your fingers. Instead of being connected at the tip of the fingers they are attached in the very middle removing the feeling of your finger tips being pulled upwards when you close your hand.
Very soft grey leathers create a very comfortable and welcoming glove. I find the grip to be good when wet and dry.
The retail removable palm has extra padding pieces on the outside of index and pinkie finger.
The original Pro Return removable palm.
Little to no wear on the palm of the original palm used for 4 months.
Protection: Unfortunately the extra index finger protection that sits on the stick that is to stop pucks ramping up into your fingers is not adequate enough to really protect your index finger and thumb. The first time this happened a puck got stuck in between my stick and the index finger protection on the blocker, my hand was in considerable pain and the muscle between the thumb and index finger was swollen and I felt uncomfortable pain for a week. I thought this was caused by the index finger protection being velcroed in an incorrect position, but it happened multiple times after that when I made sure that piece was connected in the proper position. I also learned that the retail version of this glove doesn’t even have this piece of index finger protection… I have also started feeling shots directly off the face of the blocker because the backhand foam has broken down. This is the first blocker I have ever felt shots on when I stopped them right on the face. 5/10
Durability: With all of the innovative features and lack of nylon binding I figured this blocker would be amazing durability wise and it was for a while… then another hole opened up on the finger seam from poor stitch quality. It is a simple fix but shouldn’t be happening this early in the glove’s life and twice in less than a year. My other big issue with the durability is the foam in the backhand of the removable palm. Like I mentioned in the protection part above, because this foam broke down I started feeling shots off the face of the blocker which was and has been very uncomfortable.There is no way this foam should break down that fast. I have since added the foam from my first replaceable palm on top of the foam in my second replaceable palm. The foam breakdown and the rip in the fingers on the palm is completely unacceptable. 3/10
Conclusion: The performance and feel of this blocker really has me torn. I absolutely love how it plays and the side wall and innovation is really a good thing where Warrior deserves credit. But the breakdown of foams and lack of protection is pretty mind boggling to me on their top of the line product. It seems to me if I kept the stock foam and palms I’d be going through them every 5 months just to ensure I don’t feel pain and the fingers don’t have their seams ripped apart. The performance is amazing and because of that I am kinda torn and hesitant to move on from the blocker, but as it stands I cannot recommend the purchase of any Warrior Ritual blocker and I am unhappy with this product. 5/10