Before You Buy
Foil fencers need a mask with a conductive bib. Epee fencers do not need the conductive bib. Try on several masks as the club to get an idea of your size. Vendors also typically have detailed sizing information online. An inexpensive mask is fine for younger fencers who are still growing. Adults and competitive youth fencers may want to buy a more durable (i.e., more expensive) mask.
Mask Cord ($7-10)
This connects your mask to your lame for electric scoring. Recreational fencers need one mask cord; competitive fencers must have at least two.
Body Cord ($15-35)
This connects your weapon to the scoring equipment. Foil fencers buy two-prong foil cords. Allstar/Uhlmann brand is recommended but not required.
There are many options with foils, so if you are in doubt, check with Coach Eric before buying. Competitive fencers need at least two weapons.
This is the metallic vest used for electric fencing. When buying, choose men's vs women's (kid sizes are often unisex) and right-handed vs left-handed. Try some lames at the club to get an idea of your size. The younger and newer to fencing you are, the cheaper you can go. Adults and regularly-competing youth fencers should consider buying a higher quality lame for durability. For serious competitive fencers, it is a good idea to have an inexpensive practice lame and a higher-quality competition lame.
Bags are extremely durable, so buy one for the long term. AFC recommends a rolling/wheeled bag with separate sections for weapons and uniform (prevents rust on both)
Regular members (i.e., not adult beginner or summer camp program) fencers are provided a glove with their registration. You can buy gloves at the club for $12, or choose a different style of glove online.
Regular members (i.e., not adult beginner or summer camp program) fencers are provided a jacket with their registration. If you are buying your own online, try some club jackets to determine your size. Children's jackets are typically unisex; for adults and larger youth fencers, there are men's and women's options. You will need to specify left-handed vs right-handed.
Knickers are required only for competition; sweatpants are fine for training at the club. The club has knickers to lend for kids who compete only occasionally, but competitive fencers should buy their own.
Chest Protector ($25-40)
Mandatory for females of any age; optional but recommended for younger male fencers. Important update for 2018: a new rule requiring a soft fabric, foam, or EVA covering for all chest protectors means that AFC's current stock of chest protectors no longer meet competitive regulations. Unfortunately, our female fencers must now purchase their own. Take care to buy a protector that meets the new 2018 covering requirement!
Underarm Protector/Plastron ($15-100)
A safety item that is required for competition.
A Note About Shoes
Nike and Adidas both make shoes specifically for fencing; they are expensive and are probably only worth it if you are a serious competitive fencer. In general, any indoor-court shoe with a low sole is perfectly suitable for fencing. Volleyball and racquetball shoes are a good choice.