I wasn’t really thinking of posting a blog about the lower of the three Ritual ranges. The reason being that I felt it wouldn’t be a fair review given I’m used to top end sticks and to compare 95% carbon sticks to 45% would result in inaccurate views.
However a stroke of good fortune meant that I was forced to try the lower ranges and the results were incredibly surprising.
Normally when I lend my personal top end stick to a player that I’m coaching, in order to show the difference a stick makes either in quality or length, I end up taking their stick and using it to coach. The stick I find in my hands is normally not particularly great and one that I would expect to break if I were to use it at maximum power.
So today I leant my Specialist Origin 95 to a player that I was coaching, which meant that I had to use a Ritual Response 45. Despite being a Ritual, priced at £109 and being only 45% carbon I wasn’t keen on 90 minutes of holding back whilst I played and coached.
I walked over the circle where the 1st team keeper was standing looking all smug wearing his Obo kit, asked if he was ready and took aim bottom right. Normally I like to give the ball a good whack, however, conscious of the stick I had in my hands I hit at about 75% force and the ball screamed into the bottom corner. It was a total surprise to generate so much power, so I hit several more and each time the same result.
This quality of this stick does not deserve such a low price tag. The performance from this stick is what I would expect from a mid to high range stick costing £150+ and I’m stunned you can purchase this stick at such a small amount.
Although the power was right up there, I could feel a little bit of flex and know that I can hit significantly harder with my Specialist 95, however, any junior player would never notice the difference between the two.
Parents need not spend serious amounts of money on a stick for performance, this stick is simply awesome and a stick I would recommend to anyone who can’t; or doesn’t want to spend large amounts of money on a new hockey stick.
As for game play I struggled with the bow of the stick, but that was purely due to personal preference of the bow the stick has. I like a good strong bow to flick with, so for people who prefer a less exaggerated bend then the Response is for you.
I swapped after a while to the Specialist Origin 45 and the power was equally impressive, but provided me with the bend that I have gotten used to over the years. I used the stick for the game and had no issues with first touch or ball handling.
Either stick would be an amazing buy, just chose the bow that suits your purpose.
The Velocity 45 is a compromise of the straighter Response and the maximum bowed Specialist, so there is a stick and a price range for everyone.