The Club provides equipment for all beginner classes. Students who sign up for a team should, at a minimum, purchase their own weapons and body cords. Our experience, however, is that students who take fencing for any period of time will want their own jacket, mask, and glove.
For competitions, each fencer will need a complete set of equipment. For local beginner tournaments, it may be possible to borrow some of the club’s equipment, but it will be available on a first come basis and you should talk to the head coach about availability.
If you purchase equipment, the “complete set” includes the list below. Beginning fencers (and most intermediate fencers) do not need the more expensive “FIE” equipment. FIE stands for Federation Internationale d’Escrime, which is the worldwide governing organization for amateur Olympic fencing. Only FIE-approved equipment may be used in international competitions and, in general, FIE equipment offers a greater level of protection
1. 2-3 Electric Epees. If you are fencing in Y10, you will need junior blades (also known as #2 blades); all other fencers use senior blades (also known as #5 blades). If you will only be fencing Y10 for one year, you should be able borrow junior blades from the club (ask the head coach). When ordering your blades, ask for “German” wiring, tips and sockets. Most Windy City fencers use this system and this allows interoperability and eases repair problems. Unless you have been specifically told otherwise, you should order “French” grips.
2. 2 Body Cords.
3. Jacket. If you fence in an SYC, NAC, or Summer Nationals (consult the Competitions Page for information on these tournaments), your name and country must be printed on the back of your jacket. Your last name needs to be in all capitals and the print must be dark blue. Propaganda Printing, 3327 N Lincoln Avenue, is familiar with team printing.
5. Plastron (an underarm protector).
6. Socks. Fencing socks are available but soccer socks work too. White is the standard color, although some fencers wear multi-colored soccer socks. The socks should come up to the bottom of the knickers. Most directors will not let you fence with exposed skin and it’s better to be safe than sorry.
7. Plastic chest protector. A chest protector is required for girls at all national tournaments and some regional and local tournaments. It is not required for boys, but they can wear one. If you choose to wear one, it is a good idea to practice in it a few times to get used to it.
10. Shoes. Fencing shoes are available, but they aren’t necessary. Indoor soccer shoes and volleyball shoes are good for fencing and they are cheaper and easier to find. Regular gym shoes will work too.
How do I get equipment?
You can order equipment online. There will be vendors at some of the larger tournaments, but usually you will need to order your first set online. Two good places to start are www.blade-fencing.com andwww.fencepbt.com. Club members have had good experiences with the service of these companies. There is a larger list of vendors available on the USFA website. If you have questions about equipment, many parents have experience ordering equipment and you can consult with them at practice.