Have you ever hit someone with a duct-taped log before?
Of course you haven’t. No one would ever hit someone else with a duct-taped log. (Well, I did, but I was wearing a chicken costume at the time, so it made perfect sense.) But first-generation LARP weapons (Live Action Role Playing) weren’t much different than taped up logs.
They were supposed to represent swords or axes or maces, but a stick figure looks more like Michelangelo’s David than those things resembled medieval weapons. There was no style, unless of course you were going for third-grade shop-class style. And yes, I realize there was no shop class in third grade. But if there was, I bet they could make better LARP swords than those first generation ones.
Fortunately for us, some really smart people got involved. LARP weapons today are sometimes difficult to distinguish from real ones. In fact, many fight choreographers use LARP weapons in movies. Makes sense, considering that Viggo Mortenson had a tooth knocked out by a steel sword when filming a fight scene in the Lord of the Rings trilogy (seriously!).
The newest LARP equipment is realistic, durable, safe, and beautiful to look at. Some are more beautiful than others, but all are a thousand times better than the taped up PVC pipes that most people were used to.
LARP swords and weapons can be divided into a few categories. There are the artwork pieces—weapons like the Calamacil range—so beautiful that opponents simply fall to their knees and weep, rather than risk damaging them with their heads. These sorts of weapons are usually made from a proprietary rubber that allows for fine details and makes them nearly indestructible, but are typically a little heavier than other LARP weapon, but are comfortable and amazingly durable. The Calamacil LARP swords have no core, but the rubber is firm and rugged.The artwork weapons are relatively new on the scene. Because of their unique construction, they weren’t always accepted at LARP events in the early days. But most major LARP organizers have now approved of their use.
So you have no excuse not to get one.
The next line of weapons are in the high-end comfort range. These weapons—often made by Scandanavian companies—look great, although you typically wouldn’t confuse them with real weapons. They are fast, light and safe, often with compound cores and varying layers of foam. Many in this range, like the Palnatoke swords, contain well-engineered features, like thicker latex coatings and vari-flex tips that prevent breakage. These sorts of weapons are easy to carry, well-balanced, and won’t tire you out after your first battle.
Scandanavian companies often have an excellent selection of weapons – from traditional medieval weapons to high-fantasy elven and warhammer style equipment. Epic Armory is an excellent example of a company with a broad range of genres.
What else is there? Well, there are several Indian-made lines of LARP weapons that are an excellent combination of value, beauty and safety. The Indian manufacturers are getting quite good at making weapons, and they are very careful to stick to the parameters set by organizations like NERO. And some, like the Windlass line, can match the Scandanavian and Canadian companies. In fact, the Windlass LARP line has just come out with a Conan line that is worthy of a Cimmerian.
So, are you ready to make your choice? Have a look at all of our LARP weapons and LARP armor and have it! And don’t forget the silicone spray. Didn’t your third-grade shop teacher always tell you to take care of your equipment?