by Meg Floyd
It’s that time of year again, when families of HEMA practitioners try to figure out what to buy their favorite fencer as a gift. Below are a few ideas for to give your favorite fighter something special, as well as patronizing hard-working HEMA vendors.
1. Synthetic “Like Steel” Blackfencer XL Federschwert from South Coast Swords
Stiff in the bind and offered in a special XL length, the Blackfencer federschwerts are a competitive alternative relatively new to the U.S. market offered by South Coast Swords in California.
2. Joachim Meyer’s 1570 Art of Combat translated by Jeffrey Forgeng
Cost: $55 + shipping from Purpleheart Armoury in the U.S. (European customers should see Amazon.)
This somewhat fabled translation of Meyer’s Art of Combat has long been out of print and basically unavailable, though an occasional used copy would turn up on Amazon for $800+. However, a second reprinting has made Forgeng’s accessible translation of Meyer available again, and copies are rapidly selling out, so get them while they’re hot.
3. Registration to Longpoint 2015
Cost: $125 and up
Longpoint is the U.S.’s largest and premier tournament. I’ve attended every year it’s been around except for 2012, and every single year it’s gotten better. International competitors from Sweden and Finland are regular attendees. This year is also offering a rapier tournament for the first time, as well as a return for sword and buckler for the first time since 2013. In terms of the most bang for your buck, Longpoint is the best the U.S. has to offer for an overall large intense tournament experience.
4. Ladies’ Axel Pettersson Jacket from SPES
This is the type of jacket I fence in, and the only jacket specifically made for women from a HEMA manufacturer that I’m aware of. The shoulder mobility and cut are excellent. There’s a reason you see top level fencers all wearing SPES jackets. They also offer custom jackets if you run outside the normal range or just want a better fit. If you want to spoil the lady fencer in your life, consider purchasing her one of these.
5. Ensifer Feder
Cost: $480 from Purpleheart Armoury (European customers, please visit Ensifer’s main site.)
Durable, tournament standard, and with enough stiffness to thrust well, this is my favorite feder currently on the market, comparable with Regenyei feders. Made by Jan Chodkiewicz in Poland, they were tournament standard feders in the large tournaments from 2011-2013, until tournaments started requiring competitors to provide their own swords.
HEMA News wishes you all a merry Swordsmas and happy training over the coming holiday season. Do you have any other ideas for gifts for your favorite fencer? If you do, let us know in the comments below!