Last week, I got the chance to chat with Warrior’s Brand Manager, Keith Perera about the new Warrior Dynasty HD Stick Line. Read below for some great, exclusive info on Warrior’s newest line of power-unleashing, mid-kick Dynasty HD Sticks!
The big change this year is all about your new HyperDrive Kick Point. What sorts of R&D (Research and Design) went into making it?
Keith Perera: Our partnership with the leading composites theory lab at a University in the USA has given us access to technology and design systems no other company has access to. This Lab has figured out a way to model composite material shapes/designs in computers and test them in a computer environments before even making a first part. This is a technology that allows for the FEA method. An engineering method that revolutionized the golf business and allowed physicists and engineers to push material and design concepts to the very limits of performance. Many don’t know that this was the real revolution in the golf business and is propelling Warrior to new horizons in technology. The University used these computer models to test load and durability on aerospace and defense composite projects, so hockey sticks was a new challenge to their group that they embraced.
The first stick co-developed with the University was the Covert QR. We then took up the challenge to fine-tune the Dynasty HD line in the same manner. Push the boundaries of performance, power transfer and durability. These methods led to the HyperDrive Engineered Kick Zone. This stick has a clearly defined flex area that will optimize load for any player. The leading “mid kick” stick on the market doesn’t even have a flex zone, the stick is a constant flex through the entire length of the shaft. The University studies showed that the more power that is stored in the stick, the more shot velocity you will get. So we optimized how much a player can load their stick, no matter what flex they use. It’s easy, more controlled flex, give you more power.
What style of play or what kind of player will benefit most from Dynasty’s HyperDrive Mid-Kick Point?
Keith Perera: This is a difficult question. We try not to define the player by position, as other companies have in the past. We feel that we have produced sticks for two very specific sub-sets of the hockey player population. Those who like quick release and those looking for optimum power and shot velocity. Those two shooting characteristics are manifested by Dagger Taper Super Low Kick of Covert and Hyperdrive Mid Kick Zone of Dynasty, respectively. If a player is looking for each feel, we give them the best by designing ultimate performance into those. We optimize and intensify the middle flex zone for a mid-kick player, so they can get the most mid kick feel and performance on ANY shot. Bottom line, If you’re a mid-kick player, you’ll feel that this stick gives you the most mid kick of any stick on the market.
Outside of the HD kick point, what are the other differences between the HD1 and the AX1?
Keith Perera: The HD1 is lighter and more responsive than the AX line. Many of the same stick tech features for durability and weight from a raw material composite stand point are the same between Dynasty and Covert (Etched7, Corner Impact). The 100% carbon thermoset is a new feature on HD that makes the stick material super durable to impact and amazing feel…makes the composite feel very solid by saturating the fibers in toughened
What kind of feedback have you heard from the pro’s?
Keith Perera: The word of mouth in the locker room is really spreading. We’ve always had the best service but now the performance of our sticks are really speaking for themselves. We’re getting players that are huge advocates that are switching back over. Pacioretty, for example, saw how our rep was servicing one of the other players on the team, Emelin. He went up to our rep and told him he wasn’t getting what he needed from the company he was currently using, and asked “why don’t you guys make me some sticks?” We made him the sticks but he was so impressed by how it played that he started talking to other guys in the locker room and that’s how we got Gallager.
Pro’s don’t have trouble generating power on their shots, that’s certainly not one of their problems. Most of their problems deal with control because the pace of play in the NHL is so fast they can’t think while they’re shooting, they just have to shoot. So they look for consistency features so I think Strong Arm is a bigger feature for a lot of pro’s out there. I think that’s different from what most regular hockey players feel. Regular hockey players need help generating more power so that’s where we think the HD works better for regular, non-pro players. Erik Karlsson definiltey noticed it right out of the gate and loved it. He was having some flex issues with sticks he was using before and like I said, he noticed it right away. For him and especially his game, it looks effortless for him but he does put some effort into it but what he noticed is that he just needed to put a little bit of effort into it and he could really get the shot off right away with power. With him being at the point, he’s able to load up the stick very quickly and launch the puck. That’s the benefit he liked about it, Torrey Krug was another guy who mentioned the same thing. I think I’m building a pattern of the guy the HD1 Stick really helps, both of them are defensemen in the NHL that have really strong shots but they’re not Zdeno Chara. That tells a lot to the technology in the HD1 because you don’t have to be Chara to shoot hard. It’s all about swing mechanics and loading up the stick.
What was the inspiration behind the W16 pattern and is it a clone of any of your Warrior Pros patterns?
Keith Perera: We signed Karsslon to a new contract so of course the next question is “What pattern is he going to be?” So the way we looked at it was that we wanted to add to our pattern stable by looking at what holes we had in our lineup. We feel like we’re on the forefront of pattern development, its certainly something we think about a lot and we ask a lot of younger players what they like. The W28 has been a big success for us, the W71 has gained a lot of steam as well. So we wanted to make sure we put out a pattern that wasn’t going to be a fad but it was something that was already established. We identified that a lot of younger players were using the Datsyuk pattern and they wanted to get something comparable to it on a Warrior stick. So pretty much since there is a lot of player’s looking for the Datsyuk, we wanted to make sure we offer it too.
How did the lower price point sticks improve this year?
Keith Perera: A lot the marketing and focus gets thrown towards to the HD1, which the top of the line product but we hear “I would love to get the technology but I can’t afford a top end stick” but the thing that we’ve been doing here at Warrior for a couple of years now that has been resignating with people is that we trickle down our technology throughout the entire line. It’s something that we’ve been really mindful of, we know that a player looking for a $99.00 stick wants to have the technology the top of the line stick has and there’s no reason we can’t give them the same benefits of the new technology. That’s why you’ll see HyperDrive in the name of each model; the HD1, HD Pro, HD3, HD4 and HD5. HD, HyperDrive Technology, is in the entire line of our product.
As you go down the line in product, you get increased weight, difference balance points, different materials that change the stick which is why the $99.00 stick doesn’t feel like the HD1 but you’re still getting the benefit of the technology throughout the whole line. A good example of that is moving down from the HD Pro to the HD3. The HD Pro is a stick that is designed very similar to the HD1, they’re made in the same factory in Mexico. This stick is comes from the specs that we build for a lot of our teams in the CHL (Canadian Hockey League) or at the collegiate level. Those teams get this level of a stick. It’s just about a top end stick but a lot of teams are looking for a little more durability, about the same weight but the pro-level performance. It’s just that these teams don’t have the same budget as NHL teams so they’re not built to the same pro-spec as the HD1. You get more bang for you buck, especially with durabilty with a stick like the HD Pro. Then when you move down to an HD3, it’s still really lightweight with a nice balance point, and of course you’re still getting the HD Technology too. The HD4, which is the $99.00 price point (for the senior version), has been so competitive that you’re finding really solid sticks at this reasonable price. The HD4 is in the weight range as our old Dolomite stick which is pretty amazing because that Dolomite was only a few years out and now this $99.00 stick weighs just about the same.
That just shows the weigh the industry has progressed and became so competitive that you have to put a lot of technology and features in all of your sticks throughout a whole line. The HD5 is a great stick for the opening price point player who wants a sturdy stick that is going to last, it’s dependable and packed with technology like the HyperDrive Kick Point. The same thing goes with the QR Line too, all the way from the QR1 to the QR5, you get the True-1 Construction Process, they both have the Dagger T2 Taper. So just because you’re buying an opening price point or mid price point stick, you deserve technology all the way through and thats the way we see it.
Lastly, can you give us any inside info on the next generation of QR sticks?
Keith Perera: Ooph! I can not comment at this time! Well I do know some stuff and yes it is very exciting but no I cannot comment on it. Like you said, it is an update to the new Covert. I can’t tell you the name just yet but I think you can take a guess at what we’re building off of. Some of the technology and success we’ve already had, it’s really about the leaps and bounds we’ve already made with the University partnership so there’s bigger and better coming for Covert on the horizon.