LARP Swords, Foam Swords and Sparring Swords Swords

What is LARP

LARP stands for Live Action Role Playing. It is a game that consists of grown people dressing up in costumes and smacking one another with foam swords. I know, it sounds odd Ė like something your high school assistant principal gets busted for -- but trust me, itís actually quite cool. Players create their own character personnas, fashion some sort of a costume for them, equip themselves with LARP swords, and proceed to have adventures with other chracters at LARP events. These adventures often involve fighting non-player characters, which are people who help run the event. This is not to be confused with non-playa characters, which are characters who donít have a lot of luck with the ladies
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What are LARP swords?

There are a number of different types of LARP swords. These include Boffers, which are usually little more than PVC pipes and foam, often taped up. While this probably seemed like a good idea at the time, it really has the coolness factor of a Dodge Diplomat painted in Bondo. Fortunately, a revolution in LARP Swords -- is overtaking the game. Now, LARP swords are often made with carbon-fiber cores swathed in foam, coated with latex and painted gloriously. Some swords, like the ones made by Palnatoke, of Denmark, feature an enormous array of features, including two different harnesses of foam and tips that curve gracefully instead of folding over during thrusts (making them ripe for breakage). Others, like Calamacil in Canada, use an almost indestructible foam rubber with no latex coating. These LARP swords are capable of amazing amounts of detail and are generally a little heavier than the traditional foam swords, providing more realism. Others like Iron Fortress, Windlass and Eagle Flex have their own strengths and price points. The total failure of the Tofu LARP series and the mayonnaise based MayARP has led to both being outlawed in almost all LARP events.

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Strongblade Cool LARP Person Interview
René Vendte of Epic Armory
Images from Mythodea LARP in Europe, sponsored by Epic Armoury. All images ©Iron Fortress. Click to enlarge.

René Vendt is the CEO and head of sales for Epic Armoury International, of Denmark, one of the most exciting LARP companies in the world. Epic Armoury, although relatively new on the scene (they started making LARP equipment in 2006), has come out with an incredible array of LARP equipment. Their name has become synonymous with style and quality. If it's possible to be synonymous with two words, which, on reflection, probably is not. But if it was, that would describe them perfectly! Ahem. Anyway, here's an excerpt from our conversation with René:

Strongblade: Can you talk about some of your latest products?

René Epic Armoury releases new products every month. We have an ongoing product development and we see the whole range of products improving by every new release. The latest development is our dark metal finish [on armor]. We have developed a whole new technology for treating the metal armour pieces, and we have named it Epic Dark Metal. The surface is ruffled like it has been dug down for a hundred years, but the strength of the metal is unchanged. The colour is a matte warm grey, nuanced, beautiful Dark metal tone, and it gives the items a whole new look that just clicks. (editor's note: look for this on very soon!)

Strongblade: What makes your products different than others on the market?

René We aim to meet the requirements of our customers, and to make available to you what is not easily found else where. Therefore our assortment will show many different themes and styles within the product groups; foam weaponry, metal armour, leather items, camp gear and a selection of character accessories such as belt, bags, thieves tools and much more.
The Epic product range offers both simple basic products for the young or newly started role-player, shopping for their first set of equipment. This is the Ready for Battle line. But we also design gear for the experienced player who really cares about quality, and rely on his equipment in combat.
Our brand is based on loving the hobby, and we are proud to present a team of employees that works and develops for sharing the products with players around the world. Thatís why we say that Epic Armoury is made by role-players for role-players.

Strongblade: When the zombies finally rise from their grave and begin roaming the countryside searching for human brains to feast on, what is your plan of action?

René Every time we find our selves in this messy situation, we take them out 1 to 10.

Strongblade: Is there anything else you would like to say about LARP of your company?

René Role-playing originally came from the US. It has developed in a lot of different ways over the past 25 years. We are a Danish based company, and our employees are a mix of role-players with a business background. We would love to see some our European aspect of the hobby which we love and cherish, being accepted in to the American LARP culture. [In Europe} we love the nice settings and most campaigns are trying to keep the players in game at all times. We see the costumes as a very important part of the setting, and the swords are almost never Duck tape weapons anymore.

The different campaigns do not se each other only as a competing rivals, but also a way of trying different settings and games. We are playing in a campaign here in Denmark called Ezendo, but we always travel to other campaigns like Conquest and other games. It is just like going to different festivals and concerts together.

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