Fencing has the reputation of being a very expensive sport, but that is only partly true. Screen material is quite expensive to purchase initially, but fortunately wears out very slowly due to its very high quality. If you don't outgrow your equipment (in height or size), fencing equipment will easily last ten years. This means that fencing does not have to be more expensive than other sports, where you have to do expensive equipment maintenance (sometimes several times) during the year. For example, if you consider that a fanatic tennis player needs several rackets and has to re-string them very regularly, while the fencer purchases equipment once and is done, then the costs of fencing are not too bad. Only the first purchase is expensive.
In addition, the equipment remains reasonably valuable. A child who has grown out of clothing has rarely worn that screen equipment. Just inquire about the possibilities at the association.
What to consider?
Buying a equipment you have to consider a few things. Do not to have to buy all at ones. The club can lend you some gear but expects you to collect your own gear in a reasonable time.
Considering the price of equipment choices can be made based on age and training intensity,
Considering quality and safety:
There are main qualities fencing equipment: "Training quality (CE 350N)" and Tournament qualityCE: 350N)"and "competition quality FIE (CE2: 800/1600NCE2: 800/1600N)". The difference between these two depends on the amount of Newton pressure (ie. force) a piece of equipment can withstand. The training quality is cheaper and less strong, the competition quality is stronger and more expensive.
Our general advice is for children (U12) that do not participate in tournaments but only at club trainings to buy CE-quality. Because in general they are not heavy or strong that quality is suffice and considering their rate of growth it is more affordable to buy cheaper gear. Children (U12) that do not enter competition, to buy CE-quality, because that quality is suffice.
In case of adults or children entering competitions we advise to buy CE2 equipment.
Where to buy?
There are a couple of big and great manufacturers o fencing equipment (Ulhmann, Allstar, Leon Paul & PBT). The difference in these manufacturers boils down to fitment or thicker/thinner fabrics but not in safety.
There are plenty of vendors in the Netherlands and abroad. At La Rapière we have good experiences with Lieffertz from Cologne
- Lieffertz (German webshop)
- Fechter-online (German webshop)
- Leon Paul (Britse webshop)
- PBT Fencing (Hungarian webshop)
- Negrini (Italiaanse webshop)
- Prieur (Franse webshop)
Second hand webshops
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