EPEE FIE blade for flicking

Discussion in 'Armory - Q&A' started by i11i19, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. i11i19

    i11i19 Rookie

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    I am looking to buy a high end complete EPEE FIE weapon that would be best suited for flicking.....
    which blade would be recommended as the most flexible and the price does NOT matter.....
     
  2. Purple Fencer

    Purple Fencer Podium

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    Keep in mind that there is a limit to how flexible a blade can be. The ability to land a flick is more dependent on technique than the bending properties of the blade, although blades DO loosen up over time.
     
  3. Gav

    Gav Moderator!!

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    In fact it's not really about flexibility it's about technique.

    You can flick successfully with any blade so long as you have good technique.
     
  4. shlepzig

    shlepzig Podium

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    You can flick with just about any blade on the market. As PF said its more about technique and timing. I incorporate a lot of flicks into my game and have found my timing and technique to be the determining factors in whether a flick lands or not. That said, there are some blades that make it easier than others (more forgiving of minor flaws in technique). Stiff blades like the Blaise Frere (BF) take a bit more effort to throw the tip around the guard and that may result in greater wind-up creating opening for your opponent to pick around the wrist (there are some folks who are very good at this).

    My favorite blade for flicking is the Leon Paul Classic style. The newer profile they have incorporated into the foible makes it a little less flicky, but still pretty reliable. The new SR-71 blade is harder to flick than the classic. The classic style is light and flexible with a bending profile more towards the foible. The bend towards the foible means you can get the tip to whip more closely around guard and land closer to the wrist, the tactical advantage is that you do not need to commit your action deeply and have a better opportunity to immediately remise the attempt to flick. The original profile of the blade was flatter along the foible than the current incarnations, making the blade bend even more in the foible than it does currently. The new profile does make it more accurate for traditional actions.

    Some people espouse the Vniti as the premier flicking blade as it is very flexible (probably too much so). I have tried a couple and did not like them personally. Although the blade is very supple, I find it has too much spring moment (too much reciprocating mass in the blade causes the period of oscillation to be longer, does that make sense?) This causes the tip to move too slowly as it follows the action. I just couldn't get a good idea how to get the tip to be in the right place at the right time. The popularity of the Vniti means that people do get a good feel for the action of the blade.
     
  5. i11i19

    i11i19 Rookie

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  6. Superguy

    Superguy Guest

    BF white, BF blue, any BF FIE really. If price doesn't matter then only use FIE BF blades.
     
  7. shlepzig

    shlepzig Podium

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    A blade made by Blaise Frere purchased from Leon Paul will be essentially the same as a BF blade purchased from anywhere else.

    I don't find the BF blades optimal for flicking, I find them on the stiff side for easy flicking with a flex point more towards the middle than the foible. You can flick with them fine, but your time and technique will have be spot-on. The weight and stiffness of the BF is considered optimal for conventional epee actions (such as picks, opposition and beats).
     
  8. Alex_Paul

    Alex_Paul Podium

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    For the record blades don't become more flexible with age and use, they they become softer and more curved making thenm feel more flexibe.

    If you measure the flexibility of a blade (how much a given weight deflects it) then it stays constant from when new to just before it snaps.
     
  9. StevePirates

    StevePirates Made the Cut

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    In thee olden dayes when I was a serious competitive fencer, I was a flicker. So, as I am gearing back up, I wanted to get something a bit flicky. I wound up ordering one BF blue (which I always used to use) and one of the LP SR71s. The SR71 has a really nice balance of stiffness and flex for flicking. The BF is as stiff as I recall, but the SR71 is really responsive without the spaghetti noodle feeling from the original V (which I'd tried but not preferred in those prior ages).

    All in all, I think the SR71 has a great balance for flicking (although I confess I prefer the uhlmann pistol grip over the LP). Once I get the tang canted, I think I'll be able to flick-party like it's 1999.

    On that note (and pardon the hijack) if I understand right the SR71 is two piece with a separate tang.... any special considerations I need to keep in mind while canting?
     
  10. Purple Fencer

    Purple Fencer Podium

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    None different from canting any other type of blade. The major section's the blade itself...a flat sheet, folded into the V shape. The 2nd piece is the tang with the wedge that brings the groove up to the shoulder....that's welded in, IIRC, and I doubt you couldn't make that separate unless there was a flaw in LP's manufacturing, which isn't likely.
     
  11. StevePirates

    StevePirates Made the Cut

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    Thanks!

    ....we now return you to your regularly scheduled thread.
     
  12. misha

    misha DE Bracket

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    BF Epee blades come in such a variety that all of the above sounds very strange.

    You can have a very stiff BF that may not pass official test because it is too stiff
    or you can have a very flexible BF that may not pass official test because it is too flexible

    It all depends on a batch or even individual blade


    .
     
  13. Purple Fencer

    Purple Fencer Podium

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    More accurately, it depends on the worker and if he got some the night before he made that blade....
     
  14. StevePirates

    StevePirates Made the Cut

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    Are you thinking that if he got some, the blades the next day are limp and flexible? But if he did not, the blades are stiff... and for some reason a little blue?
     
  15. Tomas N

    Tomas N Podium

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    That's a really interesting bit of information. How do you define "soft"?
     
  16. shlepzig

    shlepzig Podium

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    My limited personal experience has been that the Blaise Frere blades are pretty consistent (I have only been through 4 of them). The casual feedback I have gotten from other individual fencers has also that they are pretty consistent in their quality and behavior. Certainly there will be some variation, but consistency has been one of the reasons why it is such a highly regarded blade.

    The only major complaint I have consistently heard regarding the BF blades is that they have a short lifespan.

    There have been recent rumors about changes in quality due to a change in management at the forge. I have not heard anything in regards to recent batches of blades.
     
  17. shlepzig

    shlepzig Podium

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    I think they are defining it long the lines of materials science.

    Softness of a material is its tendency to plastically deform (bend and stay bent, like a pipe-cleaner) compared to its tendency to elastically deform (bend and spring back, like a, uh, spring).

    Along the same lines brittleness is the tendency to break rather than deform (either elastically or plastically).
     
  18. wahrman

    wahrman DE Bracket

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    I suspect few will agree with me but my favourite flicker is the Stm FIE. Once they settle, they become great flickers for me at least.
     
  19. twisterfencing

    twisterfencing Podium

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    Just a quick note on the below comment: Leon Paul BF

    Just so that you know, anyone that wants to spend 30,000 euro or more for blades from BF, for $350 US, you can get a stamp or laser engraver set up to have your logo put on the blade at BF just like Leon Paul, or Allstar or Uhlmann or anyone else. I promise, they will take your money.

    They do not make specific blades for one sales agent or the other. When an order comes in, and its set to have a logo on it, they grab the blades and off to the logo stamper or engrager they go. It really is that simple.

    Now, for flicking: If you really want a soft blade, and dont really care about perrying, try the non-fie LP standard blade. Its light, soft and have been told by many fencers that last a while. Try the non-fie one first before bitting the bullet on the fie one. Next question is most likely going to be about the sr-71, its way too stiff in my opinion for what you are asking for.

    Have fun!

    Gary Spruill





     
  20. Mr Epee

    Mr Epee Rookie

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    As others have noted, technique has a loud say in this discussion. For example, I could probably put the light on in the small of your back with a Chinese point duct taped to a length of 3/8" rebar and a make-shift french grip fashioned out of bailing wire. Probably? Who am I kidding, of course I could. Fact: I have flicked Kolobkov in the foot.

    That said... you're after a weapon. A real real good one. It's an honorable goal.

    A lot goes into putting 'the perfect weapon' together, and most top fencers find their way through extensive trial and years of experimentation. The blade itself is obviously a key component, but other physical components like handle, guard, socket, nuts, washers, points, etc also factor into the feeling of the weapon. Beyond that, there are are a ton of things - most obviously the cant of the tang, but also trimming the handle, break-in, etc.- that effect how a weapon feels and determines what you can do with it.

    Putting really good weapons together is a craft - and, frankly, most 'complete FIE weapons' suck out of the box.

    Here's the greatest suggestion ever on the subject: Write to one of your fencing heroes and offer to buy one of their lightly used weapons. Alternatively, they could just build a new one for you. For a weapon built from premium quality components, you're looking at roughly $150 - so I'd tack an extra $50 (more if you're able and feeling generous) on for the setup/tuning. Now that I think about it, that's kind of a great bargain. Especially if you think about it in terms of a signature product AND a nifty piece of sports memorabilia.

    If you don't know anyone yet, let me know and I can point you in a few directions.
     

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