Whitchurch Fencing Club

Acquiring your own kit

After completing your Beginners Course, you may be wondering about purchasing your own kit.

Firstly, as a recent beginner, you are welcome to use any kit available in the Club, when not required for use by new beginners.  However, in the long run you will probably wish to acquire your own kit.  This can be expensive, and you wish to earmark something as a “birthday present” from a relative, or friend.

In terms of prioritising what you buy, it is probably best to acquire a mask, jacket, glove and plastron (and breast protector, if female) first, as these are safety items and are essential, and a sword and breeches later.  You will however also need a body wire, if fencing electric.  Please remember that breeches are essential for fencing electric.

Fencing suppliers
Some well known suppliers are :
      Allstar Uhlmann UK
      Blades Brand UK
      Leon Paul

Two other options worth mentioning are
    i)  Leon Paul invariably have a stand at the Welsh Open, each November, in the Welsh Institute of Sport, Sophia Gardens, and
    ii) ebay, via the internet.

Club discount
The Club enjoys a small discount on purchases from some of the major fencing suppliers.   Please consult a Club official for further information.

Buying second-hand
If buying second-hand, or using equipment passed on from family & friends, you must bear in mind that safety is paramount.  Fortunately injury in fencing is rare - however as almost all serious fencing injuries are caused by broken blades, do not use any equipment which is damaged, or has visible signs of wear and tear, or rusting. Note that masks should have an elastic (or similar) back strap.
Important - make sure that any equipment purchased has a proprietary label, specifying its standard in Newtons (eg 350N, or 800N), as explained below.

BFA standards *
Over the years the standards for fencing equipment have tightened, and the BFA have stipulated the following, in terms of ability to withstand the force of an opponent’s blade, as measured in newtons (N), the international unit of force. Equipment from all reputable suppliers will have its strength in newtons clearly marked on it.

It is advisable only to use equipment of the correct standard, in order to obtain maximum protection.

Jackets Plastrons Breeches Mask
Fencing / practicing with non-electric weapons 350N 350N Trousers with openings / pockets zipped/ closed 350N
Fencing / practicing with electric weapons 350N 800N 350N 350N
International (etc) competitions 800N 800N 800N 800N

* Information believed correct at time of writing – please see the BFA web site for full details.

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