If you’re about to get started fencing, then you’re probably wondering what gear you need to be able to practice and spar. While most fencing clubs offer use of their beginner gear for the term of the introductory class, once you start going to practice on a regular basis, you’ll want to get your own set of gear.
Fencing Gear for Basic and Intermediate Classes
The first things that you’ll want to have are a glove, mask, and foil. (Or an epee or saber depending on the focus of your class or club.) The fencing gloves provided by most clubs are used and therefore have a certain amount of “funk” to them. Spending $10 to $12 on a new glove that is entirely your own is a good practice. It’s also good to spend the $50 on a new fencing mask that only you will wear. (Head lice, anyone?) The mask and glove are intensely personal items and are the most likely to stink more than the club fencing jackets – which are usually washed more often.
Once you have your own glove and mask you may want to go ahead and get a foil. That will be your own personal fencing sword and allow you to practice on a wall target at home.
Most fencing equipment suppliers (like Fencing.Net) offer Starter Kits which include the glove, foil, fencing mask, and a front-zip jacket for one low cost. This is a great buy if you’re just taking the beginner class or graduating to the intermediate class where the focus is on basic technique and partner drills.
Once you’re past the intermediate phase, you may be getting into electric fencing, at which point you’ll want to get outfitted with the equipment that you need for sparring using the electric scoring gear.
Besides the basics, there exists a whole host of other pieces and parts which fencing equipment suppliers can provide for you. These consist of everything from spare blades and parts to replace broken gear to component upgrades, premium uniforms, and tools to help you test and fix your own gear.
You can find more out at Fencing.Net’s Fencing Equipment Buyer’s Guide.
What about shoes?
Fencing.Net has already written a great Comprehensive Guide to Fencing Shoes, so go and read that article for the lowdown on shoes. If you want the summary before heading there, it’s as follows: indoor court shoes (volleyball, raquetball, squash) are good basic fencing shoes. Only spend the $120+ on good fencing shoes once you’re fully committed to the sport.