[FOIL] Flicking Blades

Discussion in 'Armory - Q&A' started by usuChakra, Feb 5, 2007.

  1. usuChakra

    usuChakra Rookie

    Feb 5, 2007
    What causes a blade to be good for flicks. Is it use or age? Make? Do they make blades flimsy for flicks?

    I've seen blades advertized as 'flicking' blades. Yet i have a few old ones good for flicking as well.

    I bought 3 blades from a retailer and they all felt different from stiff to flicky.

    If they make flick blades, are they easier to break? more expensive? or worth it?
  2. mrbiggs

    mrbiggs Podium

    Mar 25, 2004
    Yes, yes, yes, usually, sometimes, it depends.

    Some blades get more flexible with age.

    Different manufacturers make blades of different flexibilities. Uhlmann non-FIE blades are pretty stiff, for example, while Vnitis are fairly flexible. However, they often vary a fair amount, and I'm sure that someone on the forum has had experience with those specific blades contrary to mine.

    Some companies do make them flimsy for flicks. I've never really used one, so I can't speak on the issue. However, I can tell you that with the new timings, if you need to get a special blade to flick, it's probably not a very high percentage action. Whatever floats your boat, though.

    I think that more flexible blades tend to be easier to break than a similar blade that's less flexible. However, with the same examples I used earlier, a Vniti will last two to three times an Uhlmann non-FIE (in my experience).

    They can be more expensive. Usually not significantly.

    They're worth it if you want one.
  3. Linkthealmighty

    Linkthealmighty Rookie

    Nov 5, 2005
    Eugene, Or
    I'll stand by Vnitis. I've used one for almost a year now and it's still in pretty good shape. It's flicky enough that one of my club mates called it rubber once. The only issue I have with it is that with the timing changed I try to use straight attacks more often than flicks and during the straight attacks I sometimes find that the tip isn't where it was supposed to be (although maybe it's just my lack of talent). Anyway, for a blade that flicks Vniti will do it. I have heard that they do vary from run to run so you might want to pick one out in person if you can. I've also heard bad things about the LP Flickmaster but I have no first hand experience, except that last I looked they're very expensive.
  4. erooMynohtnA

    erooMynohtnA Podium

    Mar 13, 2006
    Madison, WI
    Blue Gauntlet makes a very whippy blade. I don't know whether flexible blades last longer than stiff blades, but the BG "soft" (more flexible) blades lasted longer than the BG "medium" (less flexible) blades.

    Prieur also makes very flexible FIE blades.
  5. CvilleFencer

    CvilleFencer Podium

    Jan 24, 2003
    Charlottesville VA
    As stated, there is usually some variation in the flex of a blade. Some makers are more known for this than others. BF blades tend towards stiff as do StM, although those loosen up with time. Vniti, Preiur, and Absolute blades tend to come in a wide range of flavors, you just have to find one you want or deal with a vendor you trust. LP blades run towards flicky, but LP has a system for their high end blades where you can ask for the "flick rating" number of the blades you like. That makes it really easy to get a consistent blade that has the right amount of flex for you.

    All that being said, flicking is just another tool in the box. If you can flick well already, you can flick with almost any blade. If you can't, chances are there are other things you should be working on to begin with. For every bad flick that gets a light because your blade is stupid whippy, you are going to have twice as many touches not register due to the new timings. At least thats my opinion on it. I don't know your experience level, but I see a lot of newer fencers who are convinced they can flick like an A if they just get a whippy enough blade... :rolleyes:
  6. Rabid Monk

    Rabid Monk DE Bracket

    Mar 4, 2005
    I thought flicking blades were being phased out?
    Appearantly not.

    All the flicking blades I've seen had a thinner cross-section than the normal (same width, for lateral strength), with more mass concentrated toward the grip than the tip.

    As for their breakability, I'm a little confused as to how a flexible blade would break more easily than a rigid one.
    Assuming both are properly heat treated, the flexible one should be somewhat less susceptible to fatigue stress and breakage.
    Or do I have the wrong of it, and the greater flexibility (and therefore deflection) offsets the added resistance to such fatigue?
  7. Dr Epee

    Dr Epee Rookie

    Dec 11, 2006
    Usually, it's a matter of finding the individual blade that's good for you. In a given batch of BF blades there will be some very stiff ones and some rather whippy ones, and some in between. If that criterion is important to you, you're probably better off not buying your blades by mail order.
    I agree with Cville. The new timings didn't take away the flick, they just took it away from the casual practicioner who will probably learn to be a better fencer without it.

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