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Fencing Equipment

What you need and where to find it


Can you "eye spy" all the parts of a competitive fencing uniform?

Fencing equipment info...

Fencing gear is divided into two categories. The protective gear (in white) is universal and can be used for all three weapon forms (foil, sabre, or epee). This can be rented from WAY. ...and the electronic scoring gear, often seen in silver color with a name on the back. Typically, parents buy this after the first trial month when we know what weapon form the student will study (approx $200).

Let's break down what you need from head to toe so this WAY you can buy with confidence moving forward. The following list includes everything you will need for competitive fencing in the USFA. It should be noted that online retailers sell starter "kits" with everything you need.

Before we start, you must order based on your fencers hand, be it right or left. Be careful to order correctly. We also recommend buying one size up since they will grow into it. Use the sizing charts or call the outfitter directly to ensure you have the correct sizes. It can be confusing with European sizes for both mens and women.

Mask- Weapon specific. Most notably in foil the mask MUST have a conductive bib.

Chest plate - FIE rated chest plates are required for both boys and girls in foil and epee but not sabre

Underarm protector (Plastron) - The half jacket is universal and required. Cotton or nylon ok.

Jacket - standard fencing jacket is universal. Buy ONLY a front zip jacket. Stretchy nylon material is more comfortable and will last longer.

Lame - required for foil and sabre. This is the silver vest or jacket that conducts the electrical signal when an athlete is touched. Upgrade and order with your last name and country of pride on the back.

Glove - You need only one for your sword hand. Weapon specific especially in sabe where the glove must be rated FIE (a higher standard of protection)

Knickers - standard fencing pants are universal. Stretchy nylon material is more comfortable and will last longer.

Long socks - covers from shoe to knee. Does not have to be fencing sock specifically.
Sneakers - initially any sneaker will do but as your skills build, so will need for a competitive fencing shoe.

Body cords wire - Weapon specific. Two are required to compete in competitions. Buy only translucent type. In foil these should be of the "two prong" style.

Mask cord - Two are required to compete in competitions. Buy the more expensive type. They will last longer.

Your weapon, blade and grip of choice - Weapon specific and must be electrical (not practice types). Two are required to compete in competitions. Some of the options you will need to know when buying an electrical weapon:

1) Blade sizes are determined by age category.
Y8 = #0 blade size
Y10 = #2 blade size
Y12 and above #5 blade size

2) In foil and epee you should upgrade to GERMAN tips on your blades. We do not fitx french tips in our shop.

3) Grips vary but as a general rule I like french grips for Y8 kids and all others visconti "pistol" style grips.
Again size does matter.
Y8 - french is one size fits all which is fine
Y10 - XS
Y12 - XS typically unless over 5' 4" and then go to a small
Y14 - Small
Cadet - Small to medium
Junior - small to large (depends on the size of the fencers hand

Likely to order the wrong stuff
Will be glad you did this

Don your armor with one of these outfitters

Online retailers:
Way of the Sword equipment rental (Below) Does NOT include electrical scoring gear.

https://www.absolutefencinggear.com/ (solid products and fast delivery)

https://www.needablade.com/shop (smaller operation with good prices on just blades)

https://www.blue-gauntlet.com/ (solid products and fast delivery)

https://www.leonpaulusa.com/ (arguably the best products in the world)

Help is on the WAY

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