The following is Five Rings suggested best deal for going from zero equipment to NAC competition ready in foil. 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 $500.00 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 foils, TWO body cords, mask cords. 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 400.00 plus shipping.
The new Deluxe 11-Piece Competition Foil Set offers complete gear needs for a fencer. Besides the protective gear, it comes with 2 Electric foil weapons and 2 bodycords to meet the competition requirement.
This set includes Removable Foil Mask w/Inox bib, CE 350 N certified Comfort Series Jacket, Pants, and plastron (Options to change to Elite Stretchy jacket, pants, and plastron), Advanced Washable glove, Front Zipper Foil Lame, two Advanced Gold Electric Foil Weapon complete, two Advanced transparent bodycord, and Advanced Fencing Bag that carries everything.
Option for you to choose plastic chester protector if needed.
This set also offers option to choose 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.
The kit above has two foils, two body cords and mask cord. The rules say you must have two at the strip. My experience says more more more.
This is a link to the model foil that comes with the kit. Having all of your blades built identically means that they’re all “winners.” This blade, with all
components, is $57.00. Ready to compete with.
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.)
There are two types of wrenches necessary to tighten a pistol grip epee. An “inside” wrench, which is just an allen key, so the hardware store will provide, and an “outside wrench,” which is a much more difficult thing, as even thin wall sockets from the hardware store won’t fit. So, get an “outside” wrench just to have.
But! You find yourself in between bouts with a questionable weapon. A minimum kit to diagnose and repair (and assure that you’ll pass the next test)
A test box: ($15)
A weight: ($24)
A shim: ($19)
A jewelers screwdriver (variable. The good ones are expensive)
A regular screwdriver (sourced locally.)
Or, for a little bit less than the above, separately, you can get a kit, in a nice bag, that you can also put your wrench in. You can save a buck on the wrench by including it in the kit. You can get the screwdriver in the kit, too. It’s pricey, but it’s also quite good. Don’t get the screws etc. with the kit. That’s not a good deal. (Kit: $52, shim, weight, test box, case. +$5 includes outside wrench. $8 includes jeweler’s screwdriver. I recommend both. )