Weight Testing-How low you go?

Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by patrickj.dumas45, Sep 13, 2018.

  1. patrickj.dumas45

    patrickj.dumas45 Rookie

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    I received my first competition yellow card last weekend for bringing out my foil that didn't pass the weight testing. I have never been in a big tournament before and did not know there would be weight testing. I replaced the spring after the pools no big deal.
    But a buddy at my club then asked me to lighten his Epee tip some as it seemed to take a lot to depress it, well over 750 grams. I managed to push the spring together some, cleaned the barrel etc and it is significantly lighter but I am not sure how close to the limit should you try to get your tips.
    I assume that the higher level fencers are more sensitive to tip pressure and would be able to benefit from making the tips as light as possible. What do you see in real life?
     
  2. keropie

    keropie Podium

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    I used to set my foils to pass epee weight. Just hit the other guy, right? Epee fencers often try to ride the edge, but it depends on the fencer. Also be aware that there is a tolerance for the weights, so setting the top exactly at 750g will fail on stone weights.
     
  3. jkormann

    jkormann Podium

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    You might want to do a search on the forum for this, I know it's been discussed many times before.
    Google: "site:fencing.net weight"

    My personal is to use a weight, plus two quarters. I don't recall who suggested it, or what the weight of the two quarters is, but it's worked so far.
     
  4. SJCFU#2

    SJCFU#2 Podium

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    According to the U.S. mint a quarter should weigh 5.670 grams (presumably that's brand new, but I'm not sure how quickly coins loose mass due to material wearing off), while a nickle should weigh 5.000 grams.

    For reference, the tolerance for a 500g foil weight is +/-2 grams, and for a 750g epee weight it's +/-3 grams.
     
  5. Allen Evans

    Allen Evans Podium

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    When i was in my 20's I was a fanatic about making my epees trigger at a specific weight. The resulting obsession probably kept me off the streets and saved me from a life of crime, but in the end didn't score me that many more touches, looking back.

    Instead, I've found that making sure my epees have as smooth a travel as possible is much more important than setting them to 760 grams.
     
  6. keropie

    keropie Podium

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    A general feeling I've heard conveyed second hand from many, many coaches is that the time you spend to fiddle with your equipment (not make sure it's in good repair, but fiddle with) is much better spend becoming a better fencer.
     
  7. DangerMouse

    DangerMouse Podium

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    I absolutely hate how much this idea is thrown around. There is no possibility of training 24 hours/day in most locations and, even if there was that option, over training is problematic. As long as you fiddle with your equipment outside of normal training hours, then this idea that you should be training instead is stupid.
     
  8. jdude97

    jdude97 Podium

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    And all the training in the world doesn't help you if you can't actually go down the strip and hit your opponent in competition since your equipment doesn't work. A teammate of mine cost himself the opportunity to complete the upset of a lifetime because his body cord fell out of his saber twice as he was about to score the likely winning touch.
     
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  9. neevel

    neevel Armorer

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    Keeping the tip clean and smooth is far more important than setting it up to be right on the edge of tolerance for weight and shims. The 750 g + plus two quarters (which comes out to ~760 g) is a fairly standard suggestion; with experience you'll develop a sense of how much force you apply with your fingers to the weight to get it to depress represents a safe tolerance vs. too-close-to-the-edge. For shims, my default is to set the tip up to fire at a 0.3 mm shim. You can get the Negrini fan shim which has several sub-0.5 mm thicknesses to set up the firing point, or for a cheaper option just get a set of metric spark-plug gap shims from an auto parts store or off of Amazon.
     
  10. keropie

    keropie Podium

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    To me, things like body cord retention, smooth tip operation, and reliably passing weight (I fence foil, so I don't worry about shims, but sure, reliably passing shims as well), and tip tape condition are all 'normal maintenance.' The idea of trying to dial down to 754g or something like that, that's where fiddling exists. So for me and foil, I was always just fine with it being around 700g (no one really accused me of having a light hand). But I didn't measure it, I just really stretched the spring the first time it failed weight.
     
  11. Mac A. Bee

    Mac A. Bee is a Verified Fencing ExpertMac A. Bee Podium

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    Not worth it @$0.10. Whilst preparing for this weekend's tournament, did that to my primary weapon and my backup's was "on the hairy edge." Primary failed after pool's bouts and backup failed at last DE's start. Reinforces why one should have three.
     
  12. brtech

    brtech Podium

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    There was some research done some time ago (that I can't find again) that measured the force of valid epee hits. It was probably done with elite fencers, but it's illustrative. There wasn't a valid hit that was under 1KG, and most were considerably more. Anyone trying to get their weight near the limit is wasting their time. Yellow cards for too low weight is real. Missing points for too much weight doesn't happen in the real world.
     
  13. Purple Fencer

    Purple Fencer Podium

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    Dan told us at 05 Armorer's College that the average epee hit was 3 kg.
     
  14. Zebra

    Zebra Podium

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    Does that mean that below-average fencers hit with 1 kg or less? [grin]
     
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