Sport Fencing Equipment Used
Sport Fencing Equipment
How to Choose Fencing Equipment
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Sport Fencing Equipment Used
Whoever designed the modern fencer’s uniform must have been a genius in the line of Valentino Garavani. Nowhere is the modern athlete more fashionably dressed than on the piste, such functional and yet so fashionably smart the fencer’s uniform is. No wonder then that the uniform has been made part of at least one Double O-Seven movie and a Mercedes Benz ad. But there’s more to fencing equipment than only the all-white ensemble. The modern fencer’s basic sport fencing gear consists of the following:
Nobody gets skewered or sliced into two in a fencing bout, all three weapons – foil, epee, sabre – having their points blunted or foiled, and, while touches are scored using the sabre’s blade, this will not cut. Still, accidents might happen, making it prudent to have protective clothing just the same.
The basic 350NW uniforms are more than sufficient for fencers starting out. These are either made of cotton or synthetic material, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Cotton, while less expensive, is heavier and warmer, making the lighter synthetic ones preferable, if you can roll with the higher price. Should you opt for the synthetic jacket, choose one made of ballistic nylon.
Fencing jackets are tight-fitting, long-sleeved, high-collared affairs usually extending below the groin and fastened on the side opposite the weapon hand. They come with a padded underarm protector and, for the ladies, round, padded breast protectors.
In medieval Europe jousting knights would spar wearing elaborate headgear often ornamented with their lady’s favor, a scarf, for instance. These days we don’t have that anymore, but we have more-- the modern fencer’s mask which, at its sexiest, covers not only the face but much of the head and the neck as well, its black color giving a very nice contrast with the all-white uniform and shoes. It comes with a padded bib.
Of course, the wire mesh mask is there also for protection of the head, neck, and face so choose a mask that’s generously padded, won’t press on the top of the head or chin, and fits snugly without constricting. It must be able to withstand around 25 pounds of force. There are standard (or non-FIE) masks, and these are good enough for purely fencing use, but you might opt for FIE internationally- rated and approved models for the extra protection and glam.
Only the weapon hand is gloved, the other is bare. The glove is worn on the weapon hand and covers it up to around halfway up the forearm with extra padding on the backhand. Non-electric gloves are less expensive, but you might want to have the glove with a Velcro cuff used in electric fencing. Connecting your body cord to your electric weapon is that much easier with a Velcro cuff. Gloves are available in small, medium, or large sizes. If you want, you can have one that fits your size for a little extra, money well-spent, all for a better fit.
The popular ones are knickers worn with above-the-calf white socks.
Perhaps the most debated article of clothing is the shoes for the simple reason that there seems to be no universally-accepted, uniform fencing shoes, each seasoned fencer having his own favorite. The variety is indeed amazing. It can range from shoe brands especially made for fencing all the way to racquetball shoes, aerobics shoes, and, hold your breath now, golf shoes with spikes and all! And perhaps for good reason. Fencers place premium on lightness, support, and traction. Fencing footwork can be very demanding, even more demanding than perhaps basketball or soccer, and any foot covering which delivers these features would be welcome. Some fencers prefer tennis shoes while others wingtips. Even futsal (indoor soccer) shoes are commissioned. Here are brands mentioned in forums: Onitsuka Tigers, ClimaCool Feathers, Asics Gel Rocket III racquetball shoes, Hi-tec Scimitar, PBT Fortuna Low Tops.
Aside from the basic equipment, there’s a whole lot more you’ll find useful in fencing stores. You might break a blade and would need a spare blade. You might need tools to enable you to test your blades and fix your own. Or you might simply want to upgrade to more glamorous brands. After all fencing is one such glamorous sport.