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Fencing Kit

Specialist equipment is required to fence safely. Following is a look at what kit you need to begin with, and what kit is required long term. If you have any questions about kit and what you need specific to your experience and level of fencing, please speak to your coach or the club armourer.

Please also check the British Fencing and Scottish Fencing websites for further details about the current minimum fencing kit safety requirements.

When we talk about kit we often refer to the fencing whites, safety equipment and electric equipment.

Due to the difference in target areas, different weapons have different requirements for electric equipment.

As a result of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, and after consideration of British and Scottish Fencing guidelines, the EFC Committee has concluded that it is now compulsory for anyone regularly fencing with us to own at least basic kit (glove, breeches and mask), effective immediately. There is an expectation that this also extends to owning full kit in due course.

The only exception to this is for those joining us for one of our organised coach lead Beginner Courses, where kit will be provided.

Any use of club kit is done with the knowledge that it is communal and has been used by an unrestricted number of fencers, and is therefore entirely at your own risk.

Where do I start?

How do I know what kit I should buy first? After having acquired compulsory basic kit, as a general rule of thumb if it touches your skin you will probably want to own it!

EFC are very fortunate to have a good relationship with Allstar Uhlmann Scotland, who offer our members a 10% discount and free delivery on purchases made directly with them. There are of course several other very reputable kit providers online, and you are encouraged to shop around and check clearance lines to find the best deal for you.

There is also a strong second-hand market on Facebook, Ebay and Gumtree. But we strongly advise before committing to purchase, that you check the current minimum safety standards are being met.

To keep your kit in good condition, regular washing and basic maintenance of your kit is always recommended. Our armourer can advise you on weapon care and also offers a competition-ready weapon check service for a small fee, please catch him at the club for further information.

Basic Kit

The compulsory basic kit comprises of a well-fitting glove (specific to your weapon), breeches and mask.

A single thick protective well-fitting fencing glove is important to ensure your hand is protected and your grip of the weapon is secure. A loose glove can rub and irritate the hand causing blisters.

Those fencing sabre will require an 800n glove with an electric lame cuff, otherwise a basic 350n non-electric glove is suitable for most beginner foilists. But if you are unsure what glove is right for you, please check with a coach or our armourer before you purchase.

Breeches are a thick protective half leg pant finishing below the knee, with suspenders to ensure they stay in place during movement. 350n breeches are suitable for most fencers and are available in child, men and women's sizes, for a left or right-handed fencer. It may be a requirement for some competitive fencers to wear 800n breeches, please check the safety standard required for your needs before purchase.

Masks are designed to protect the head and neck, it is important that they fit snugly and don’t move around when you fence. Mask requirements are different depending on your weapon, please check what mask type is suitable for your needs before you purchase.


For anyone regularly attending one of our Open Sessions, the compulsory basic kit requirements also extends to include your own electric weapon(s) and wires.

Our Armourer very often has reconditioned weapons available at a significantly reduced rate, if you are interested please speak with him directly to discuss your requirements.




Full Kit

It is compulsory for all fencers to have their own basic kit extending to full kit in due course. Full kit comprises of the basic kit detailed above plus a plastron, optional chest-protector and jacket. This can also be described as Fencing Whites plus Safety Equipment. 

Anyone fencing at our Open Sessions or those who have been competing for more than one year will also be required to acquire electric equipment as part of their Full Kit, this comprises of lame specific to your weapon, wire requirements specific to your weapon and weapon(s).

A plastron protects the underarm and chest, and looks like a half jacket worn over the optional chest-protector, or your base-layer clothing. It comes in either 350n, 800n, and left or right-handed, or is often reversible. Please check the safety standard required for your needs before purchase.

The chest-protector is a requirement for all female fencers, and is optional for males. It is a moulded plastic guard for the chest area, worn under the plastron.

The jacket is often a heavy thick protective garment available with a side or back zip. It protects the upper body and neck. They are available in 350n, 800n, child, unisex, left or right-handed, and more expensive lightweight options. Please check the safety standard required for your needs before purchase.

The lame is a conductive jacket indicating the on-target area for electric fencing. It is only required in foil and sabre.

Electric wires are specific to your weapon. A bodywire attaches the fencer’s weapon to the reel, and for foil and sabre also to the lame. A headwire attaches the fencer’s mask to the lame but is only required for sabre or where a foilist is using a mask with a lame-bib.

Electric weapons are specific to your discipline. An epee has a triangular blade for thrusting and scoring with the tip, and a large guard to protect the hand. A foil is modern version of the court sword, with a flexible blade for thrusting and scoring with the tip. A sabre is a flexible triangular blade with a blunt point for thrusting and slashing, scoring with the tip and blade edges.

Our Armourer very often has reconditioned electric weapons available at a significantly reduced rate. If you are interested please speak with him directly to discuss your requirements.

Open Session Fencers

If you regularly attend one of our Open Sessions, the compulsory basic kit as detailed above (glove, breeches, mask) extends to include your own electric weapon(s) and wires.

What else might I need?

Specialist fencing shoes are expensive, and generally it is only committed competitive fencers who will stretch to buying them. A court shoe for sports like handball or badminton are a very good option and very reasonably priced. Please be aware that running shoes and Converse High Tops are not suitable for fencing use.

Long socks are compulsory for all competitive fencers, and fencing socks are designed to give extra support, and padding in the shin area. However you don’t need to have specialist fencing socks, a long pair of football or hockey socks will do the job. Just make sure they stay up, and are long enough to go under your breeches, so no skin is visible as you fence and move around.

Kit bags come in many shapes and sizes. When you are starting out and only have basic kit to carry about, a standard rucksack is more than adequate. Once you have acquired full kit you may want to consider purchasing a specialised kit bag, or supplement your rucksack with a weapon bag or scabbard, using a length of plastic plumbing tube will also help to further protect your blade while in transit.

Club Kit

Priority for use of club kit will be given to those joining us for one of our coach lead Beginner Courses.

For anyone else there is a limited amount of club kit, and the club cannot guarantee that we can meet the specific needs of every fencer. Therefore it should not be assumed that your personal kit requirements will always be accommodated.

Any use of club kit is done with the knowledge that it is communal and has been used by an unrestricted number of fencers, and is therefore entirely at the fencer’s own risk.

 

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