You do not need to buy any kit to fence with us; we have our own equipment which you can borrow for training sessions and tournaments.
Whilst fencing is generally considered to be an expensive sport, it’s not that expensive compared to some. We do not suggest that you go out and buy everything at once, but if you can afford it then having your own kit is nicer than having to use club kit, and frees up club kit for other members.
We do urge you to speak to one of the more experienced fencers at the club (or ask for advice on our Facebook group) before buying kit.
Things to note when buying kit
When buying your own kit you will be faced with two options: a range branded FIE and a standard range. The FIE range is only really needed for competing internationally, and so we believe you should generally go for the standard range (with the exception of plastrons – see below). The FIE range is rated to a higher level of safety than the standard kit and is generally of higher quality, but the standard kit is perfectly safe.
These are necessary for women. Men don’t need them, although they are available.
When buying a plastron, make sure it is marked as being FIE standard, which means the plastron is rated to 800N. This is the only piece of kit that needs to be stamped by the FIE at any level of competition, and we will not be able to allow you to fence on the electrics at the club if your plastron is not marked as such.
This depends on which weapon you will be fencing. We start all our novices on foil, so we’d suggest getting a foil mask, since you can also use this in épée. If you’d like to give sabre a go then we have sabre masks you can borrow, but should you choose to take sabre more seriously we’d recommend you get one yourself.
Here some would suggest paying the extra for an FIE blade. These blades generally last longer as the steel they are made of is manufactured to a higher standard. The cheaper blades from a good company will do if you are a novice or intermediate fencer. Whatever the weapon, make sure you buy the electric variant; there’s no point buying your own weapon if you can’t use it in competition.
Below are a list of companies selling fencing equipment and advice on how their products match up.
This is the main kit supplier for the UK and USA and is based in Hendon, London. They supplied some of the kit for the UK Olympic teams. Their kit is very good and very durable, whilst at the same time is probably the most expensive after Allstar.
This is the main kit supplier for the rest of Europe and some of the European Olympic teams. It is probably the most expensive here in the UK as a result of taxes, but their kit is also very good quality; as good, possibly in some cases even better than Leon Paul.
Their prices are a little cheaper than both Leon Paul and Allstar, and their kit is perfectly fine for club use and all competitions. Most of the kit we have at the club is from Blades Brand.
PBT’s kit is of very good quality, pricing wise, a little cheaper than Leon Paul and Allstar. Fantastic customer service (he’ll throw in a discount here and there too ;) )
Sword Price Fighters
This is the cheapest of all the kit companies. When buying kit, make sure that you buy their ‘competition range’. You get what you pay for with Sword Price Fighters.
Fencing With Fun
This company used to produce for Allstar and their kit is very good and very durable. It is also priced in Euros, so if you time your purchase right you could be paying a lot less for it.