Fencing is a combat sport where two opponents use special swords to attack and defend themselves.
The physical fitness, precision, and strategy this sport requires cement its legacy as one of the most engaging sports in the world. However, consumers need the proper equipment to guarantee their safety during this sport.
This article will explore five amazing pieces of fencing equipment consumers will constantly demand in 2024.
What’s the state of the global fencing equipment market?
In 2022, the global fencing equipment market was valued at US 1.027 billion. Experts predict that the market will grow to US $1.392 billion at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.4%.
Increasing participation in recreational sports and activities is a major influence on the market’s growth. More fencing clubs are springing up in response, and there is a growing demand for equipment.
North America is also the dominant regional market, owing to the increasing use of advanced technologies.
Fencing equipment: 5 trends to leverage in 2024
1. Fencing masks
Fencing masks protect the fencer’s face from face and head injuries. In fact, it’s mandatory equipment for anyone hoping to enter the fencing ring.
Manufacturers make fencing masks from mesh materials, allowing consumers to breathe comfortably and see opponents clearly—and it doesn’t sacrifice protection either. Depending on the rules of the fencing game, consumers may need three different types of masks: saber masks, epee masks, and foil masks.
Saber masks are covered in conductive material to activate electrical signals for the game’s scores. They’re also the most expensive fencing masks, and they tend to wear out faster.
On the other hand, foil masks come with a replaceable electric bib that, when combined with jackets, transmits electrical signals that determine game scores. These masks are generally less expensive than saber variants.
Lastly, epee masks use white fabrics to cover a non-conductive metal net. They’re also the most affordable fencing masks available today.
Throughout 2023, there has been a 20% search interest boost for fencing masks. Searches have grown from 4,400 in September to 5,400 in November 2023, proving that more people are interested in this equipment.
2. Fencing gloves
Fencing requires wielding the sword in various tricky and skillful ways. But it’s possible to do any of this with bare hands for a long time—it’ll cause injuries and bruises. For this reason, fencing gloves are one of the most important pieces of equipment.
Fencing gloves must protect the user’s dominant hand, so manufacturers make them from strong, durable materials that can withstand scraping from fencing swords. For utmost safety, fencing gloves are designed to fit the wearer’s hands perfectly to prevent excess material from getting in the way during the competition.
They also come with a scoring area on the palm that referees can use to determine points during the competition. Fencing gloves averaged 1,300 monthly searches in 2023—a smaller but dedicated audience.
3. Body cords
Fencing employs an electric system to help tally scores, with body cords being a crucial component. This fencing equipment is vital for electronically signaling touches made by the sword. Interestingly, foil and saber fencers need electric jackets and use similar body cords.
Body cords feature two different-sized prongs attached to the weapon area, while a third wire connects to the fencer’s lamé. Since fand saber games differentiate between on- and off-target touches, connections to the valid target area are necessary—and body cords do just that.
On the other hand, epee body cords have two sets of three prongs connected by a wire. Consumers plug one side into their weapon and connect the other to the reel.
4. Fencing swords
There is no fencing without fencing swords. Like fencing masks, they also come in three types: foil, epee, and saber. Foil swords are light and flexible. They have a small bell guard that consumers can thrust at the opponent’s torso. Epee swords look similar, but they are heavier and have a longer bell guard.
Saber swords are more distinctive than the other two. Unlike the others, these swords don’t have bell guards. Instead, they feature more curved handles, making them more effective for slashing and thrusting.
Fencing swords are also made with different materials. Foil and epee swords are typically made of steel, while sabers are made of the more flexible maraging steel. The lengths of fencing swords also vary, mostly depending on the fencer’s preferences.
These pieces of equipment are the most important for fencing, so it’s no surprise that they’re the most popular. According to Google Ads, fencing swords enjoyed a 30% increase in one month, rising from 40,500 in October to 60,500 in November 2023.
5. Fencing jackets
Fencing jackets protect fencers’ torsos from their opponent’s sword thrusts, preventing any injuries from the quick stabs. Since they play a vital protective role, manufacturers craft them from strong, durable materials that can withstand the impact of a fencing sword, including cotton, nylon, and kevlar.
Cotton is naturally soft and breathable, making it the most comfortable material for fencing jackets. It’s also inexpensive, making cotton fencing jackets perfect for beginners or fencers on a tight budget. However, these jackets are not the most durable.
Conversely, nylon is synthetic, but stronger and more durable than cotton. Nylon fencing jackets are more resistant to puncture and come with water-resistant properties—a very important feature for foil and saber fencers that may have blades tipped with electricity. However, such jackets may not be the most breathable in hot or humid conditions.
Kevlar is another synthetic fiber that makes excellent fencing jackets. They’re five times stronger than steel but are lighter and more flexible. In addition to the main fabric, fencing jackets may feature padding or inserts made from foam or rubber.
These paddings/inserts can help absorb the impact of blows, especially when combined with weaker materials like cotton.
Fencing is an incredible sport that requires skills and agile movements. More importantly, fencers need the best equipment to enjoy maximum performance during the sport. The best part is that fencing equipment is available for all sizes and ages, opening the market to even more consumers.
While there are various types of fencing equipment, fencing masks, gloves, jackets, swords, and body cords are the top trending ones, mostly because they are essential to the game.