What will be needed as a minimum?
Beginners – will need to wear appropriate clothing i.e t-shirt, tracksuit/jogging bottoms and trainers/squash shoes.
As well as what may be loaned from the club, breeches will be needed to fence electric once you have completed your beginners’ course.
We recommend that you talk to our fencing tutors before purchasing any fencing equipment
For more information regarding official rules on sword fencing clothing, please see: Chart of Clothing Rules: British Fencing.
Information and guidance about fencing equipment
Fencing kit includes:
* Safety equipment (Breeches, plastron, chest protector, jacket, glove & mask)
* Equipment required to facilitate electric scoring (Over jackets and cuffs made of conductive material [Lamés], electric wires connecting the weapons and the various target areas to the scoring apparatus (i.e. body wires and mask wires)
Safety equipment in fencing is designed in priority to avoid serious accidents by stopping blades from going through the material and reaching the fencer. For this purpose, equipment is rated in Newton, according to the pressure it can withstand (i.e. how stab-proof it is). Two standard ratings are generally available: 350N or 800N. Strict rules are in place to ensure that fencers wear the level of protection adapted to their situation (see below).
It is important to note that the ratings provided in Newton only refer to the equipment’s safety; they give no indication of the equipment’s capacity to cushion hits (difference between injury and pain…). Some of the lower rated kit is also the thickest and most cushioned (typical club kit is only 350N but very thick). Some of the most expensive equipment is very thin (lightweight), so it feels more comfortable and not so hot.
There are 3 types of weapon (épée, foil & sabre). Epées and foils are built with a spring loaded button at the point and electric wires running in a groove along the blade; although they look similar both electric systems are totally different and parts are not compatible. Blades can break and be replaced for all 3 weapons. The épée & foil wires/points can become faulty and be replaced relatively cheaply without requiring a new blade.
Sockets: all epees use the same type of socket (3 pins); foil & sabre can use either bayonet or 2 pins. In any case, sockets need to match plugs on the body wires.
Adult size = 5 from U15
Children size = 3 (foil) or 2 (sabre/épée) from U13
0 (all weapons) from U10
There is little point in getting a non-electric weapon. The cost saving is generally marginal and use will be limited.
Fencers are required to have spare weapons with them during competition.
Below is a photo gallery of equipment needed for each weapon, (Expand photo for description)
(Unfortunatly we don't fence this (but we do make the swishing sound!!)
Equipment available in the UK is made/distributed by 3 main European companies; this is generally the best quality available and is normally long lasting.
Some online German shops sell Allstar / Uhlman kit much cheaper than UK retailer (but check exchange rate!
Additionally, Prieur (French) and Negrini (Italian) produce good quality equipment but are not retailed in the UK.
Chinese-made and branded equipment is generally cheaper but not so long lasting and is more suited to children who are likely to outgrow things quickly.
It is not advisable to buy Chinese branded épées or foils but sabres can be good value for money.
Main retailers of Chinese equipment in the UK: (Links Below)