by Kirk Allen – Warrior Goalie Product Manager
Each time you step on the ice you aspire to raise your level of play. And because of your drive to be your best we’ve set out to design gear that will elevate the performance of every goaltender that uses it.
Designing anything is basically an exercise in problem solving. To effectively solve problems you need to simplify them down to root causes. In order to design the best performing equipment, we’ve boiled goalie gear down to the elements we’ve explained below: Maximized Coverage, Responsive Stability, Unrestricted Mobility, Speed (Slide/Weight).
Maximized coverage is simple. It means taking full advantage of every square inch of blocking surface you are allowed. A quarter inch can be the difference between a routine save and the game winning goal against. You might assume that all equipment built to the maximum NHL legal specs is basically equal from a coverage perspective, but think about this:
Does your trapper naturally open as wide as it could? If no, you are sacrificing coverage.
Is your boot tapered? Does your pad under/over rotate? Every time this occurs, you open up holes along the ice and lose coverage. We call this Tilt Loss.
Building gear to what most goaltenders call “NHL legal specs” does not mean it will maximized coverage during play. Having a trapper that is fully open and leg pads that have zero tilt loss define what maximized coverage is.
Your gear should be an extension of you. It should respond with your movements and be always positioned correctly without you having to think about it or adjust it. When a pad over rotates, it is not stable. When it wobbles and needs to be tapped back into place after transitions, it is not stable. Gear with the responsive stability feature will effortlessly remain in control while you move through your entire range of motion.
Any time a piece of your equipment restricts or prevents your fullest range of motion, it is decreasing your speed and power, and causing you fatigue.
Trapper and blocker cuffs and wrist straps that don’t interfere with your C&A or impede your wrist’s natural range of motion means faster hands, and gloves that are squarer to the puck.
Pads that rotate without resistance reduce fatigue and make you faster. Another key characteristic of leg pads is the degree to which they allow or interfere with your ability to keep skate blade contact with the ice. We call this characteristic Blade/Ice Interface. Pads that facilitate skate blade contact with the ice at even the most extreme angles without causing slip-outs give you more power, control and mobility.
If your equipment is lighter, you will be quicker. If your pads slide more easily, you’ll get there faster. Light weight + easy slide = fast equipment.
These key elements of goalie gear – coverage, stability, mobility, slide/weight – can be summarized even more simply in these infographics:
The combination of all these elements fulfills the concept “GET SQUARE. FAST.”
When designing goalie equipment it often comes up that if you want one performance characteristic then you have to give up another. For example, some might say in order to gain coverage you’ll have to sacrifice mobility. Or, to create lightweight gear you will lose stability. This implies an acceptance of compromise. We don’t like compromise. We identify the performance characteristics that will Elevate YOUR Game to the highest level and set out to deliver all of them.
This requires real, performance driven innovation.
In our next blog we’ll explain the features of the Ritual G3 line and how they’ll help you GET SQUARE FAST to Elevate YOUR game.
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