Review: Edhellen Armoury

by Marinda Darnell

A sword is a sword, or is it? For the average person, who knows little about weaponry, there is little difference from one blade to the next except for looks. When looking at prop weaponry and actual usable boffer swords, there is more to be taken into consideration. The folks at Edhellen Armoury have made an art of the production and mass sale of these weapons.

During the GAMA Trade Show 2005, I happened to stumble upon a corner booth in the back of the exhibit hall. In the Edhellen booth, there were men in kilts, handling these great looking weapons. I could not resist stopping to say hello, and walking away with two of their products to test.

Edhellen has two main product lines; the LARP replica latex weapons, and the foam boffers. The latex replicas are imported from Europe, and far surpass any latex replicas available previously in the US market. Prices are extremely reasonable for these durable weapons from the Basic Dagger to the Knight's Long Sword and even for the Asian Wakizashi.

Eric and Elisa sparring While the latex LARP weapons look great, it was the foam boffers that caught my attention. When I first saw them, I thought of my 2-year old nephew, and how it would be a great way to introduce him (without his mundane parents realizing it) into the world of gaming and fantasy. Upon further inspection of the boffers, other ideas came into my mind, such as a convention LARP where we could actually whack things with them. After talking to the gentlemen in the booth, I agreed to give the Long Broad Sword and the Short Broad Sword a try.

Over a nice, sunny weekend in early June, I took the swords to another Lady Gamer's house, and we proceeded to try these out on our victims, err volunteers. The overall quality of the weapons was never really in question. They are all very sturdily built, and unless used negligently, they will hold up under a lot of wear and tear. Since March, my nephew has been terrorizing the house, dogs, cats, yard, and human occupants of my house with the Short Broad Sword. If he could not damage the sword significantly, then only heavy use by an adult would. (Please note, young children should not play with the foam boffers except under adult supervision). During the adult testing trials, the first thing that was noticed is that the pommel is slightly too small in circumference to avoid eye injury. While no one was hurt during our trials, we all have had some experience with sword use either in NERO, fencing, or some other type of sport. The other item that we noticed was missing was a cross hilt. It was virtually impossible to do most strikes with out incurring what would be considered a hand injury in most arenas. Upon further investigation, I was very happy to see on the Edhellen website that special orders can be done, and that includes two styles of cross hilts, both relatively inexpensive. Of the two major complaints about these swords, one was taken care of by a trip to the website, and the other is remedied with care and safety equipment.

Overall, the durability of the weapons was fantastic. Even after heavy usage, there was no crushing or flaking of the foam, and no weakness exhibited in the handle. The covers are removable, easily washed, and replaced. The blades remained strong even with heavy use.

If you are looking for a great prop weapon or a foam boffer check out Edhellen. The quality and price of their products are top-of-the-line in the US. They can't be beat.

Durability Testing

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