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Info for Parents

So, your child participates in fencing, you are getting more and more information about this sport, weapons, uniforms and start thinking about the equipment needed for you child, but now what?

Jacket: As a part of clothing, it must be comfortable and flexible. As a matter of functionality, it must be durable enough to provide a protection. Synthetic fencing jacks are the best and they are light-weighted and flexible, providing a greater range of motion.

Breeches: Pretty much the same with breeches. They should fit, but still allow stretching in the crotch so as not to impair lunging.

Mask: The mask is also for protection so be sure to choose one that has proper padding, does not press on the top of the head or chin, and fits you child comfortably. Put the mask under your arm and squeeze the sides closer together if the fit seems a bit too loose. Pull the sides of the mask slightly apart with your hands if the mask seems a bit too tight.

Glove: Gloves come in a variety of material from cotton to washable leather. Look at some of the gloves the other competitive fencers wear and ask questions about their choice. Make sure that the one you choose is not too tight and that the sleeve of the jacket will fit into the glove’s cuff.

Foil: The foil is designed for thrusting. The blade is very thin, with a blunted tip. Foil blades are flexible enough to bend upon striking an opponent, in order to prevent injuries and their flexible nature permits the modern foil fencer to attack an opponent from seemingly impossible angles.

Epee: French for “sword,” this weapon is thrusting as well, but has a stiffer, V-shaped blade, has a larger bell guard, and is heavier. Epee is the only weapon in which the entire body is the valid target area and in which there are no rules of “right of way”.

Sabre: The sabre is designed primarily for cutting. It differs from the other modern fencing swords, the epee and foil, in that it is possible to score with the edge of the blade. For the other two weapons, valid touches are only scored using the point of the blade.

Besides the basics, there are very many other items and parts that your child might need and we can provide for you. These consist of everything from spare blades and parts to replace broken gear, to component upgrades, premium uniforms, club tracksuits and tools.

Blades: Adult fencers use No. 5 standard size blade. Kids under 12 need to use No. 0 or 2 blade. The No. 5 blades are 87, 5 cm long, whereas No. 2 is 80 cm long and No. 0 for kids under 10 are 75 cm long. We carry No. 2 blades for youth fencers, however please check with the coach.  It’s worth to remember that even the top fencing blades break! Don’t scold your child when they break their weapon in practice or competition. Blades break, especially the cheaper blades in the hands of fencers who are still learning the proper techniques and distance keeping. When a blade breaks, you can replace just the blade – you don’t need to purchase a complete new weapon.

Competing

After your children have been practicing for some time they may be ready to hit the strip and compete. Tournaments vary in size, strength and restrictions on who can enter. Please note that most competitions require an entry fee somewhere between $30-50 depending on the organizers. In all cases, your child’s coach is the best reference to determine when and where your child is ready to compete.

Equipment required

So, your child has the skills, the attitude and the desire, but before he or she can step up to the strip, take time to double and triple check that you have all of the tournament necessities before you go to the venue. While you may have your own additions, the following makes a good checklist:

Clean full fencing suit in good condition. The jacket should overlap breeches 10 cm.
Mask free from rips, tears, holes or dents.
Glove and underarm protector that is also is called a plastron.
Females are required to wear a plastic chest protector or caps.
Tall socks that overlapped with the bottom of the breeches.
Fencing or some kind of athletic shoes with low heels and soles.
At least 2 working body cords. At least 2 mask cords for foil or sabre.
At least 2 working weapons.
For foil and sabre fencing: an electric jacket in working order.
Fencing bag to carry all the above.

Have fun!

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