Olympics Foil Blades More Flexible?

Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by verticalslicer, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. verticalslicer

    verticalslicer Rookie

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    Apologies in advance for what is likely a noobish question. I'm watching men's foil videos on YouTube from the 2012 Olympics and, just observing how their foil blades seem to bounce and spring around they appear to be made of a lighter, more flexible material than what I'm used to at my club. They also appear more shiny than what I'm used to at my club. The Olympain's blades look to have an almost chrome finish to them where as my weapon has a dull finish and is rather stiff. Honestly I couldn't tell you what kind of foil I have. I just ordered one through my club and they ordered something that's probably intended for beginners.

    Is this a difference between a beginner and a more advanced level weapon material, or is it something else?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgJy92YFWDw
     
  2. mrbiggs

    mrbiggs Podium

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    No, the blades are the same. In fact, high-level fencers often prefer stiffer blades. The fencers are just stronger and faster which makes the blades look more flexible.
     
  3. verticalslicer

    verticalslicer Rookie

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    Haha, I was afraid someone was going to say that. I have such a long way to go. Thanks for the reply, I appreciate it :)
     
  4. tbryan

    tbryan Podium

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    FYI, I think that has a lot to do with the lighting at the Olympics and some world cups. As long as your blade isn't covered in rust, it's probably shiny enough that it would look similarly bright if you filmed it with strong top- or front-lighting and a relatively dark background.
     
  5. Greybeard

    Greybeard Rookie

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    A new blade is shinier too. Be careful or the FIE will make some sort of rule for glare or how shiny your lame can be so light won't reflect off it and bother your opponent. And then change the rule after everyone has purchased new stuff. Not like that's ever happened before.
     
  6. the ancient one

    the ancient one DE Bracket

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    Also the most commonly used video cameras do not take the whole picture at once. They scan a series of lines and because the blade has moved a little between each line the apparent curvature of blade over the whole picture frame is distorted.
     
  7. edew

    edew Podium

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    Chances are, the Olympians' blades are stiffer than the ones you use. Fencers generally prefer a stiffer blade as it affords them better control (kind of hard to control the tip when a little movement will cause the tip to flop around all over the place). They're also stronger and better at manipulating the blade so that a quick simple motion would make a very large arc for a flick.

    But generally, they use BF FIEs or Vniti FIEs. That they're FIEs and not non-FIE could be the sole difference between their blades and yours. It's not as though there's a secret Olympians' forge that makes blades only for them and not for the rest of us.
     
  8. KD5MDK

    KD5MDK Moderator

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    Given the number of blades that are illegally stiff, it wouldn't surprise me if blades which have to go through full control are more flexible than the average blade of a competitive fencer.
     
  9. neevel

    neevel Armorer

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    Probably not. What's going on is, the competitors are specifically selecting for the stiffest blades in vendors' stock. Out of this unrepresentative sample from the entire production run, some of the blades will be over the limit, but the ones that pass will still be right at the allowable limit for stiffness.

    Note that this also means that you shouldn't assume, based upon hearing about a lot of blades failing at WCs for stiffness, that there's a problem with the entire production run.
     
  10. KD5MDK

    KD5MDK Moderator

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    My definition of competitive fencer in this conversation may be more narrow than yours. I am assuming almost all of them are picking the stiffest blades you can find.
     

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