Whether or not you have your own practice starter kit, it’s helpful to know about maintaining and buildings a weapon.
If you want to skip the description, watch the video! https://youtu.be/rm7K5pVya0U (Audio is a little off, I’ll try to fix)
Your Practice Weapon
Unlike a competition weapon, a practice weapon doesn’t require a whole lot of maintenance. But a couple things may require some maintenance.
The plastic tip: The plastic tip will not have the lifespan of your weapon. It will either break or become lost all together. This is an easy fix. We have spare tips at the All-American Fencing Academy. But we also recommend having your own bag of tips, a bag of 10 tips is inexpensive. (https://www.absolutefencinggear.com/shopping/product_info.php/products_id/219/cPath/24_31)
Replacing the tip is easy. If the broken tip is still on the weapon, just pull it off. If it’s gone completely, then there’s nothing too worry about. Just take the new tip, we recommend adding a drop of super glue inside, and slip it onto the blade tip. We usually wrap a little tape around the tip and blade which seems to help longevity.
The grip: The other part that requires occasional maintenance is the grip. It will occasionally become loose. The grip should move at all in relation to the blade. We have tightening tools on every strip to tighten your weapon whenever you need to. There’s a nut called a pommel inside the grip that needs to be tightened.
But having a tightening tool in your kit is helpful. A tightening tool is basically a 6mm hex wrench.
Absolute Fencing Gear sells a tightening tool that we use: https://www.absolutefencinggear.com/shopping/product_info.php/products_id/566/cPath/56
But like we said, a 6mm hex wrench will do the job: https://www.amazon.com/Bondhus-15910-L-Wrench-ProGuard-Barcoded/dp/B005NT1F02/
Repair or Build A New or Extra Weapon
Weapons will break eventually. There will be no stopping that. Having extra blades is helpful to be able to have a spare when a weapon does break. Blades (not the whole weapon) are very cheap. The cheapest is $17 which is sufficient for class.
Watch the video for how to put together a weapon, but you don’t need to have all the parts! If you have a broken weapon, you can reuse the parts. If you are building a completely new weapon, we have all the parts you need, we’ll give to you, to customize and build your weapon.
There are different sizes for the blades. Ask your coach which blade you should get.
#5 Blade (standard blade size): All students ages 13+
#2 Blade: Y12 fencers. Who is in the Y12 age group? Generally if you’re in my youth class, you’re in the Y12 age group. It is deteremined by birth year.
View this chart for your age group: https://www.usafencing.org/age-classification-eligibility
Secondly, blades can be bought either pre-cut for pistol grips or uncut for french grips. We typically always buy an uncut french grip blade and cut it ourselves.
The last part of the video, Coach Gerhard does a Google Autocomplete about fencing! Enjoy!