Do you know where your towel is?
A fencing towel is about the most massively useful thing an international fencer can have.
Partly, it has great practical value – you can wrap it around yourself for warmth as you wait, patiently, for your next DE bout;; you can lie on it on the cold, tile floors of the gymnasium, inhaling the sweet scent of victory…while you wait for your next DE bout; you can nap under it under the flickering fluorescent lights of the venue, while you wait for your next DE bout; use it to fan yourself after a hardfought semi-final (while you wait for your next DE bout); wet it for use as a weapon when you wouldn’t want to sully your blade on an unworthy opponent; wrap it around your head to ward to off noxious fencing-related fumes, or to protect your anonymity when heckling a referee; you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.
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More about the importance of a towel:
More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a scrub (Scrub: beginning, inexperienced fencer) discovers that a more elite fencer has his towel with him, he will (perhaps) automatically assume that he is also in possession of screwdrivers, shims, weights, test boxes, hex key, pommel nut, extra screws, Gatorade, powerbars, etc, etc.
Furthermore, the scrub will then happily lend the experienced fencer any of these or a dozen other items that the fencer may have accidentally “lost.” What the scrub will think is that an man who can fence the length and breadth of the strip, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still know where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.