Does FIE gear weigh much more than 350N?

Discussion in 'Armory - Q&A' started by anton_fairfax, Mar 2, 2017.

  1. anton_fairfax

    anton_fairfax Made the Cut

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    Hi there,

    I'm a novice fencer, and I was about to order an FIE uniform, mask etc. I currently have a 350N outfit from Absolute Fencing, but I found the idea of the lightweight Leon Paul FIE gear appealing (the x-change mask, apex uniform etc, apparently 37% lighter than others), however someone at my club mentioned that the FIE gear is quite heavy due to the increased protection, and that even though it's described as lightweight compared to other FIE gear, it will still be heavier than my current AF 350N gear.

    I can't seem to find any weight info on masks or jackets for any brands so I'm wondering if anyone can give me advice on how the LP FIE gear will compare (in weight, comfort, feel etc) to AF 350N gear, and is the difference very noticeable? And I guess the follow up would therefore be, for training/club purposes where FIE isn't required, would the 350N stuff be easier to fence in if its lighter than the FIE?
     
  2. dcchew

    dcchew Podium

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    The newer higher end FIE uniforms are made of lightweight materials. Whether it will improve your fencing at your current experience level is debatable at best.

    If I were you, I'd invest my money in quality weapons, lames, and body cords. There's nothing like a properly assembled weapon with quality components. Other than private lessons, that will improve your fencing more than a lightweight uniform.
     
  3. anton_fairfax

    anton_fairfax Made the Cut

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    Ah yes, I'm sure that's true! I wouldn't expect the better uniform to improve my fencing, I was actually thinking that heavier clothing might actually be WORSE or at least less comfortable, so I wondered if the FIE gear would feel like a step backwards in comfort and lightness from the 350n stuff. Obviously I have to adjust to an intense physical activity with relatively heavy safety gear, and I'm just looking to minimize the discomfort, so I found the idea of the "lightweight" stuff appealing, but it could be actually heavier than what I currently wear...
     
  4. neevel

    neevel Armorer

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    With Leon Paul uniforms, it depends on the model. The Apex uniforms are lightweight, while the Team uniforms are fairly thick and heavy. Understand that the FIE homologation specifications are mainly concerned with resistance to penetration, not padding. So, while both models meet the FIE standards for penetration resistance (800 N with the dynamometer probe specified in Annex A, Section 3 of the Material Rules), the Team uniforms will offer more protection from blunt force and bruising, while the Apex will be much lighter and more flexible but at the expense of padding (I own both, so I speak from experience).
    Uhlmann/Allstar have a similar setup with their FIE uniforms: the World Cup/Athens models are heavier and provide more padding, while the Olympia/Startex models are much lighter and of all-stretch material.

    So, being FIE homologated has no particular bearing on how heavy a uniform is, although the lightweight, stretch fabric FIE uniforms will generally be more expensive than the heavier ones.

    In comparison to the Absolute 350 N uniform you have, the LP Apex will be lighter and more flexible while the LP Team will be noticeably heavier.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017
  5. posineg

    posineg DE Bracket

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    The difference might be a pound... but the real issue is what you described as physical activity. Focus on your training and conditioning and you will gradually become accustomed to the weight, gain strength, speed and better lung capacity.
     
  6. DangerMouse

    DangerMouse Podium

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    Neevel has it right. To add to that, I have gear including the AF non-FIE stretch, Cartel FIE, PbT Superlight, and LP Team FIE. The LP Team is by far the thickest and heaviest and the Cartel FIE is the thinnest and lightest. Despite that, the PbT Superlight is the most comfortable and the AF non-FIE and LP Team are the least comfortable. Of course, all of this is my opinion.
     
  7. bobb121

    bobb121 Podium

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    I get FIE for the safety not weight. Now I just need to find something that fits me in the shoulders off the shelf.
     
  8. anton_fairfax

    anton_fairfax Made the Cut

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    Thanks for the feedback everyone, I've decided I'll buy the LP Apex uniform (because, why not?) with the caveat that better performance will come from focusing on improving my skill and fitness, not by buying better/more expensive uniforms :) .
     
  9. mfp

    mfp Podium

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    Why not buy the LP Apex *uniform*? Well one reason might be that while the Apex jacket is pretty nice, the cut of the Apex knickers/breeches is pretty horrible. I wear my LP Apex jacket with LP Team knickers.
     

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