We strongly believes that kids who have their own gear are more committed fencers.
We have a few sets of gear that we loan to brand new students for their first
class or two, but after that we expect students to acquire their own gear. There
are a couple of ways to do it:
To purchase new gear:
(the closest fencing supply store is in San Francisco. You can go up there -info
below -or you can order on line from our preferred supplier)
The Fencing Post. www.thefencinwst.com Phone:
800-459-7207. These folks are in southern California. It is complicated to order
on line. They do welcome telephone calls, though. Once the site pops up on your
screen, you must click on "Foil" in order to enter the site. This is what you
will need to order, however:
1. Mask (click on "Uniforms" on the left hand menu). You'll need a number
CMCH Foil/Epee Mask. They are $59. For sizing, you must measure around the head,
starting at the top, going over one ear, under the chin, up over the other ear,
and stopping at the top of the head. There is a chart under "Sizing" on the left
hand menu). Please don't just get the largest helmet, thinking your kid will
grow into it. Other than the glove, the mask is critical fora good fit, otherwise
your kid will have a hard time moving his head around if the mask is too large.
2. Jacket (click on "Children's Uniforms" on the left hand menu). You'll
need a CUOl Practice Jacket for either boys or girls. They are $38. The girl's
jackets have a pocket in the front to insert chest protectors. We have chest
protectors available for use, but you may want your own in case your fencer fences
at home, or I'm not available to loan them out. Girls, however, are shy about
using chest protectors. They're usually not necessary, unless your girl is extra
sensitive, or finds herself getting bruised a lot. Competitive women fencers
always use chest protectors. As far as sizing of jackets is concerned, this c
is where this website is deficient. There doesn't seem to be a way to figure
out sizing for !c kid's jackets. I can't really direct you because the jackets
seem to vary in size. I would .c'~' suggest you call the Fencing Post and discuss
jacket size with Saul, the proprietor.
3. Foil (click on "Foil" when you arrive at the home page). You'll need
a complete standard foil. They are $33. Get number FF104F JL. This specifies
a "French" grip rather than a pistol grip (what Courtney requires his new fencers
to work with). For kids -under 4' 1 0" get the #2 blade. This is a slightly shorter
blade that will enable shorter ~ fencers better agility. Taller kids can get
the standard length #5 blades. You must also specify right or left-handed. The
blades on foils sometimes break, and when they do, you need replace just the
blade part, not the complete weapon.
4. Glove (click on "Unifomls" on the left hand menu). You'll need a number
CGOI Foil Standard glove. They are $13.50. Again, sizing is critical here. There
is a sizing page that discusses how to measure for the correct glove size. It
involves measuring loosely around the open palm (don't include thumb). I would
get a half size larger than that (but not a whole size, glove sizes get big pretty
You'll get a 20% discount ordering on line, or if you have to break down and
call them on the phone (which I think is necessary considering how badly their
site is configured), you will still get the 20% discount if you tell them you
are a member of Courtney Blackburn's club.
Total estimated price for a complete starter set (including discount):
$115 (but don't forget there will be a shipping charge).
The closest fencing store is American Fencer's Supply up in San Francisco. They
are located at 1180 Folsom Street. The phone number is 415-863-7911. I would
call them first because their business hours are a little strange. Also, be prepared
to spend a lot more for gear there than from the Fencing Post.
There are opportunities-to buy used gear piecemeal thr0Ugh Ebay. Once in a while
you will get good deals by bidding on things. Be wary of shipping costs. Also,
I've seen brand new equipment (such as masks) be auctioned off there (sometimes
with the "Buy it Now" feature) at good prices.
Once in a while, kids who drop fencing will have complete sets of gear to sell.
Those sets get snapped up fast. There is always a market within our club for
used gear. This is why I suggest kids get their gear new, because in the event
they get out of fencing, the parents can always sell their gear immediately to
someone new coming into the club, so they are able to recoup some of their initial
investment. A complete set of used gear is easily sold for $75. Also, once in
a while a kid will grow out of a short foil or smaller jacket, and those can
be purchased as well.