Advice to Parents about Purchasing Fencing Equipment
Introduction: When purchasing equipment for a new fencer, in most cases, you are looking at buying only a small number of items and want to pick the ones with the most bang for the buck.
The best place to start is to prioritize the following criteria:
- low cost: You want to make a small commitment to the sport, but don’t want any large ticket items sitting around the house if your child moves on to another sport. (consider glove, body cord, and shoes. Clubs can help resell used equipment ).
- safety / hygiene: There are not typically problems with club equipment being dirty. However, some fencers really don’t want to wear something another person has sweated in. Also, there are higher safety rated jackets than what clubs provides. (consider jackets, sous-plastrons, masks – international standard or not).
- flash: Some equipment has a lot more appeal to a young fencer than others. A sword trumps a glove in this regard almost every time. The electric jacket can also look great at a tournament. (consider an electric sword, or an electric jacket, possibly with their name across the back).
- availability: You may be looking for the items that will get the most use or are in highest demand among the shared equipment. This will change from season to season, but will be the most satisfying purchases for some parents. (consider electric jackets or practice masks).
Once you have an idea of what type of equipment you are looking for, it is easier to find something that meets your needs. It is also much easier to have a discussion with a coach about specific items.
Shipping costs: Suppliers of fencing gear are not local, so shipping must normally be considered unless you are travelling to a major fencing tournament where suppliers are present. Shipping fencing equipment across the Canada/US border can be problematic, as they are quite strict with tariffs and some suppliers are simply not interested in the hassle. Canadian suppliers are often more expensive for a variety of reasons. Shipping costs can be reduced by organizing a group order with a club. That way, everyone shares in the costs.
Adapted from article by Jim Stevens
Distributors in Eastern Canada & USA
Local: Renforth Fencing Supply in Rothesay Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
IMEX SPORT in Longueuil, Quebec http://www.imexsport.ca/index.php/en/
ALLSTAR OTTAWA http://www.allstarottawa.com/
FLECHE FENCING INC, Toronto http://www.fleche.ca/
BLUE GAUNTLET in New Jersey http://www.blue-gauntlet.com/
Absolute in New Jersey http://www.absolutefencinggear.com/
PBT in North Carolina http://www.fencepbt.com/
NOTE: You can find numerous other fencing equipment suppliers via internet.