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Fencing Equipment and Suppliers


What is a fencer without a sword?! Having your own fencing gear is a more comfortable, safe and hygienic option than the beginners' range you might use at the club - with it you'll enjoy fencing more! It will also allow you to fence when ever you feel like it: at home with friends, visiting other venues or even other countries! And of course your gear will play a crucial role if you decide to enter a competition.

Simple rules:

1. Fencing gear lasts long. The jacket you'll buy today will be with you in 10 years time. Therefore buy good quality rather than cheap - and enjoy it!

2. If you're confused with the variety of (blades, grips, gloves) offered by a supplier - phone them and ask for details. No one else will know their range as good as themselves. People who run fencing shops are usually enthusiasts who'll be happy to guide you!

3. Do not buy your fencing gear on ebay unless as collectibles! Things found on ebay are often too old and do not answer today's safety standards. (Not to mention other unforeseeable details: one student bought on ebay a sabre with an epee blade!)

What you'll need:

fencing unifromfencing unifrom

Jacket, breeches, weapon, glove...
What's missing?
 
Basics
Every fencer will need: Mask, Jacket, Glove, Breeches (ideally with long socks), Chest-protector (obligatory for women) and the Weapon (see below). Underarm protector or Plastron which goes under the main jacket is also advisable. If you fence only steam (non-electric) foil you might get away without having the breeches. You'll probably also want a bag which would hold your tools of trade.

Weapons
Adults fence with size 5 weapons while children might require size 2 or 0 depending on the age. French and pistol grips are available in foil and epee - please check with your coach what's the best for you.

Electrics
If you fence using electric scoring you will also need the electric version of your weapon and the body wire. Plus for Foil you'll need a foil lame' jacket (the conductive jacket to go over the normal one) and for Sabre: sabre lame' jacket, electric mask and electric glove, and jacket to mask wire.

Shoes
Dedicated fencing shoes offer extra protection to the heal and to the inside of the foot. They can be substituted with cross trainers or other squash type light weight shoes.

If you compete...
You'll need at least two working weapons and body wires plus, if you're taking part in an official international tournament, your equipment should answer the standarts of the FIE (Federation Internationale D'Escrime) and you name should be written in big impressive letters on your back!


Equipment suppliers


There are two shops in London: Leon Paul in Brent Cross and Duellist in Isleworth. Another supplier to mention is Allstar - Uhlmann with the shops in Staines and Scotland, they're reasonably reliable in terms of internet and telephone orders. All offer 10% discount to our club members from the advertised prices.

You probably would want to try the kit on before buying it. Leon Paul has a good selection of uniforms which they make themselves at their factory next door.

Good epees are made by Allstar Uhlmann and Hungarian PBT, also the top end of Leon Paul range can be recommended. Leon Paul would be good as well for foils, sabres, jackets, masks and lame jackets. Duellist often has good deals on gloves, lame jackets and other items.


List of equipment suppliers

Leon Paul

PBT

Allstar - Uhlmann

Duellist

GoFence

More (International suppliers)


Got your kit already? Check it regularly!


Masks and particularly the electric versions of weapons, suffer from tear and wear. The better you fence, the higher become the speeds and the more impact is made on and by your weapon. Every fencer should pay attention to the weapons and protective gear they use and check them regularly. This will ensure that the tip of your sword does not come off suddenly in the middle of the bout and that the mesh of your mask does not weaken under the stress of the repeated friendly blows. Long time ago swords were given their own names - today they still require a bit of human attention.

Learning how to deal with the faults in electrical weapons is a good idea if you ever want to compete and there is a wealth of advice on the internet. Here is for example Leon Paul's armourer's section: http://www.leonpaul.com/armoury/armoury_home.htm or fault finding and repair manual from the Greenwich University http://www.greenwitch.u-net.com/fencing/armour.htm#arm1.2