The following is Five Rings suggested best deal for going from zero equipment to NAC competition ready in saber. Bottom line, executive summary.
If you lose (or never had) absolutely everything, and needed to compete next week at a sanctioned event, it’ll cost around $600.00 to get everything I recommend below. A lot of us started getting bits and pieces over the years. First enough to just practice safely in the club. Then a bit more to do practice bouting in the club with electrical scoring. Then finally adding the required bits and pieces needed for a tournament.
Bought all at once. It looks a bit daunting. But it is, in hindsight, less (adjusted for several decades of inflation… ) than I spent in my first two years with buying the wrong stuff and trying to save money.
Absolute has a “complete” kit that gets you all the uniform parts needed, electric lame, plus two sabres, two body cords, mask cord. With the plastic chest plate, which, given the way the game is played today, is a really good idea for men, and required by the rules for women. The kit will run around 484.00 plus shipping.
The new Deluxe 13-Piece Competition Sabre Set offers complete gear needs for a fencer. Besides the protective gear, it comes with 2 Electric Sabre weapons, 2 bodycords and 2 mask cords to meet the competition requirement.
This set includes an Electric Sabre Mask, CE 350 N certified Comfort Series Jacket, Pants, and plastron (Options to change to Elite Stretchy jacket, pants, and plastron), Absolute Sabre glove with the built in lame cuff, Front Zipper Sabre Lame, two complete Elite Gold Electric Sabre Weapon, two Advanced transparent bodycords, and an Advanced Fencing Bag that carries everything.
Option for you to choose plastic chest protector if needed.
This set also offers the option to choose an Elite Stretchy Series uniform. All uniform/lame sizes are in US size, please refering to “Sizing help” if you need to determine European Size. Female size up to size 52 only. Please double check your selections before submitting the order.
Absolute fencings socks: 10.00 a pair. Get several pairs. This is a great deal. Soccer socks might or might not be long enough, and the good ones
are more expensive than this anyhow.
Fencing shoes. You’ll need a pair. Here’s a link to the page that lists them. There’s a $75 option, and two $79 dollar options. Some fencers like high top shoes for extra support and protection. Any shoe on that page will serve, but I prefer shoes that are affordable enough to be replaced annually. A new low end shoe is better than a 3 year old high end shoe.
Sabers are dirt simple. You get two with the above kit. Get spare blades, and an allen key. And you’re set to swap a new blade for a broken one in about 3 minutes.
A spare bodycord is $20.00.
A spare mask cord is $7.50.
A spare glove is a good idea. It didn’t used to be, but now the rules say that gloves will not be permitted if they have holes in them. So, if you get a hole in your glove during one event it could be noticed, and you’ll be asked to replace it. (BTW, a sewing kit might be in order here, too.)
You’ll need an allen key. Buy it at the hardware store.