Buyers Guide for Adults

Many clubs will lend you equipment when you are doing a beginner course, they generally then like you to start purchasing your own so that their kit can be used for new beginners. There are two options as a beginner, the first is to buy individual items one at a time until you have a full set and the second solution is to buy a starter kit.

Starter kits provide great value for money saving you more than 15% from the cost of the individual items. Click here to see our range of starter kits

Our starter kits are available for all three weapons with a range of components suitable for different budgets. They provide a solid basis on which you can build as you progress.

If you decide to buy individual items rather than a starter kit then the following is a list of items we recommend roughly in order of importance:

Glove
Although you can buy non-electric gloves it is almost always worth buying an electric glove with a Velcro cuff. The Velcro cuff allows you to easily connect your bodywire from under your sleeve to an electric weapon. By far our most popular glove is the advanced fencing glove but FIE gloves which have better protection and durability are fast becoming more popular.

Manchette
A cuff made of conductive material that saber fencers wear over a non-conductive glove cuff. This is used for the scoring systems to identify a hit to the forearm. 

Mask
A good quality mask is always one of the first items that you should look at getting; masks are a bit like shoes and bed in over time so that they become more and more comfortable.  There are different masks for each weapon so the first thing you need to do is decide if you need a Foil, Epee or Sabre mask. The next decision if whether to go for FIE or non FIE (350 Newton) FIE masks provide greater protection and come with features such as removable bibs and washable padding. First time buyers will normally be fencing Foil or Epee so we would suggest either the Horizon Foil Mask , the Arena Contour Epee Mask  or if you want the absolute best one of our X-Change Masks (     ) Sizing details can be found on our size chart or if your club uses Leon Paul masks you can check the size in the label or by using the colour coded washers on the top of the mask  yellow = small, blue = medium, red = large, black = X-large.

Jacket
Most Clubs supply back zip jackets the switch to your own front zip jacket makes a huge difference to your fencing experience. Generally most fencers are best off starting with our Phoenix range uniform but for those fencers wanting a bit of extra protection the Team range makes a great long term investment.

Weapon
This is the part that many people are keen to buy first, however it is usually best to wait a few months. Most people start fencing with a traditional “French” grip and most then progress on to use a pistol grip. For children we suggest going for a basic blade but adults who hit harder are better going for an FIE (Maraging steel) blade. FIE blades although more expensive than standard blades last much longer and therefore save you money in the long term. They are also made from better quality steel so they are less likely to take a permanent bend and you don’t need to spend as much time straightening them under your foot between hits. Our recommended and custom assembled weapons can be found here.

Bodywire
In the UK this is fairly straight forward as nearly every foilist uses the bayonet twist and push system for foil, on the continent and in the USA the two pin system is more common. Although a simple part of your equipment they are not all the same, cheap bodywires are often made with inferior parts and cable that will need replacing more often. The FIE now favour the 2 pin system so at high level international fencing events the 2 pin system is used.

Plastron
For non-electric or children’s fencing a 350N plastron is OK however; for a small amount more you can buy an FIE 800N plastron which provide much better protection. In the UK it is almost always best to go for an FIE plastron as it is mandatory for electric fencing. Our lightweight FIE plastron is a real high performance item that is thinner and lighter than anything else available. If you demand the best then this is the one to go for as you can hardly tell you are wearing it.

Breeches
Similarly to jackets breeches come in many different styles. Most people go for ones of the same style as their jacket so that they match!

Shoes
Fencing specific shoes are only essential for advanced fencers but many people by them as they provide better grip and the correct shaped sole. In general the adidas shoes run very narrow so most people need to go a half size up and the Hi-tec ones are wider and Nike are the lightest on the market and in the middle of the width range.

Purchasing for children

Many clubs will lend you equipment when you are doing a beginner course, they generally then like you to start purchasing your own so that their kit can be used for new beginners. Just as for adults you can either get a starter kit and save 15% or more or you can buy kit gradually over time. The order we suggest you purchase kit is the same for children as it is for adults but there are several other things that fencing parents or grandparents struggle with when ordering kit for children. The following information should help to make the process as easy as possible. Remember; if you need help we are always happy to answer questions either by phone or e mail.

 

Essential Information you need before placing an order

Left or Right Handed 
Most items of protective clothing are made to left or right handed people specifically.

Actual Size Measurements 
Protective fencing clothing is not sized in the same way as high street children’s clothing, though we can provide an estimate for the size based on age and height you will need to know the following measurements to be able to order accurately.

Chest - Circumference in inches  
Waist - Circumference in inches
Height - The full height of the child
Head - Circumference of the head around the face
Hand - Circumference of the hand around the knuckles

Weapon size 
Weapons are sized by age, with younger fencers using shorter, lighter more flexible blades. It is important to know what age group your child falls into.

FOIL
Under 10 Years Old - Size 0
10 - 14 Years Old - Size 3 in the UK, size 2 elsewhere in the world
15 Yeas and Over - Size 5

EPEE
Under 10 Years Old - Size 0
10 - 14 Years Old - Size 2
15 Yeas and Over - Size 5

SABRE
Under 10 Years Old - Size 0
10 - 14 Years Old - Size 2
15 Yeas and Over - Size 5