by: Jean-Sebastien Dorval – Warrior Hockey Protective Designer
When we started the development of the new Dynasty HD line, we knew exactly what were the goals for improvement. The foundation we had built in the last 2 years was solid so all we needed to do was to refine and improve product with proven performance. 2015 is the year where we had the opportunity to work on improving the performance, feel, weight and look.
The 2013 Dynasty AX line introduced to the market some great innovations like the Smart Cap protective system, a hockey-exclusive odor-control liner called Polygiene and a brand-new way of sizing equipment so that all body types found a perfect fit.
2013 Dynasty AX1 Shoulder pad
It is based on these features that the new Dynasty HD line was built. We strived to tweak all the things that made the AX line so great and to turn it into the best protective line in the market. So that’s what we did!
Example of some tech pack drawings made to create the design for one product – every piece of the product is detailed including material selection
Always improve and attention to details
We improved the Smart Cap system, made the pads lighter and more breathable, increased the protection in vital targeted areas while making a true Warrior product: one that’s bold and authentic, that defies the conventions of the conservative hockey market. Another aspect of our protective line that we are really proud of is the attention to detail, the craftsmanship that’s put into all of our products. There’s a trend in the market today to put all the focus on the front of the shoulder pad, on the graphics of the shin pads. We don’t agree! Take a look at our products in-store and you’ll see that we care about every detail and key protection area. From the high-end HD1 all the way to the HD3, we pride ourselves in making the best stuff on the market, whether it’s details in the back of the shoulder pad or the thought put in all the molded parts, liners and logos. A lot of effort has been put in making our pads great all-around with a lot of focus on areas that our competitors overlook.
A view of the back of the HD1 shoulder pad
2015 HD line improvements
So, what did we do exactly? Well, let’s start with Smart Cap. Smart Cap replaces the traditional shoulder, elbow and shin caps that are made of full-molded plastic. Instead, Smart Cap uses a smaller plastic cap that rests on a molded foam gasket, allowing better absorption of the impact. What does that mean? It means that you feel less of the impact because it is absorbed in the foam gasket. It also helps reduce the hard surface impact that your opponent might feel in an effort to reduce injury to both players. While the original Smart Cap was already game-changing, we felt it needed some improvements. We made the foam gasket compound a little less dense, making the caps lighter, more efficient and also more forgiving so that the pads were even more comfortable. The new HD1 elbow pad for example, is much lighter than its predecessor while feeling really comfortable right off the shelf.
Smart Cap Technology is found on shin, elbow and shoulder.
Smart Cap pieces from Shoulder cap – molded gasket with molded plastic cap covered in soft foam (2Way Protection)
Another area of improvement was in making our products more breathable, lighter and at the same time more protective. By perforating some zones as well as using our new VPS ventilated protection, we increased airflow across the pads with added protection. We shared this improvement across the whole line. For example, the HD Pro line uses perforated foams in key areas for a cooler feel and real pro-ready protection in targeted areas. Both the HD1 and HD Pro line of equipment is sold as-is to NHL players. What you find in your local Warrior dealer is exactly what we ship to the pro locker rooms!
Ventilated jacket on HD1 Shoulder pad
Fit is another aspect that we tweaked based on all the feedback we got from the AX and AXLT lines. Again, the foundation was great but we felt we could go even further. So we improved things like the way the HD1 shoulder pad back gusset works. Look at the back of the HD1 shoulder and notice the red gusset; it may look simple but it does an incredible job. By separating the top and bottom of the pad, we managed to create a shoulder pad that’s super protective but that feels like it’s not even there. We refined everything, from the size of the elbow’s bicep pads to the patterns of the thigh guard and calf wrap on the shin pads to ensure optimal fit and protection during the whole game.
IST stretch gusset allows pad to be secure and move with the player
One of the key carry forward innovations was our intermediate sizing! We’re the only manufacturer in the industry to offer intermediate protective equipment. It allows the player to achieve the best fitting protective equipment possible. Better fit means better protection. Intermediate sizing is designed for teenage players in full-contact leagues who need superior protection but smaller volume. Intermediate sizing offers the same protection level as our senior/Pro products (as opposed to Jr equipment which is dialed down a little) but in a slimmer fit. The high-level teenage player now has a choice for better fitting and pro protection-level equipment rather than less-protective junior equipment and senior pads which does not fit properly. Think of that teenage player who is 5′10″ but only weighs 150lbs. They need equipment with length, but not girth. Our sizing study for fit was guided by the Dreyfuss anthropometric database – scientific human body measurement database by age for North America.
Image of our sizing chart
We’re really proud of our new Dynasty HD line. It represents all the know-how that Warrior has acquired in making hockey protective equipment. We feel confident that when you put on a Dynasty HD product, you get the most protective, mobile and comfortable gear on the market at every price-point. That’s the essence of Warrior Hockey; bold, authentic, defiant and unapologetic while relentlessly striving for ultimate performance. We’re sure you’ll like it as much as we do.
Dynasty HD1 Complete Line
Dynasty HDPro Complete Line
Dynasty HD3 Complete Line