We have put out many gift guides for fencers in the past, but for 2020 we have had to rethink how we approach gift giving and holiday shopping. The needs are not the same for fencers as they have been before, so to give the right kinds of gifts, we need to think about where things are right now.
There is not a need for the usual travel equipment, obviously. Fencers also aren’t decorating backpacks or looking for bumper stickers to show their fencing pride. The needs this year are more pressing perhaps than in years past, both because we need the extra boost and because we just have different needs.
Though there is hope that things will get back into the direction of normal in, fencers must prepare to continue to train with social distancing protocols into the foreseeable future. That makes this a wonderful time to give practical gifts to make that training easier! These little boosts are incredibly meaningful right now, and for the fencer in your life, a thoughtful and useful gift can make a major difference. Both the thought and the practicality count!
Here’s our 2020 pandemic guide to fencing gifts!
1. Fencing cloth face mask
Show your fencing pride with a fencing cloth mask! Wearing a mask is an effective way to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, and masks have become a way to express who we are. This fencing cloth mask from Zazzle is fun, but you’ll find tons of designs with fencing all over their site. You could also purchase fencing fabric and make your own!
Wherever you go for your fencing cloth face mask, it’s a way to show pride as a fencer. Any fencer would love one or two of these for the holidays.
2. Bluetooth wireless headset/earbuds
One thing that every fencer is doing right now is online training. We cannot get away from Zoom, and it’s become a reliable way for our fencers to keep going.
A wireless bluetooth headset can make training in fencing easier to hear and quieter in a busy household. Wireless is important because it lets the fencer get up and move around without losing the audio. We want to make sure that any wireless headset has a low profile so that it can fit inside a fencing mask if need be. Wireless earbuds are a good way to ensure this, and be sure to consider earbuds specifically designed for sport use.
3. Hanging, refillable hand sanitizer bottles
Many fencers are returning to in-person training, and that means hand sanitizer is a priority.
We recommend looking for refillable, leakproof hanging bottles that are easy to attach to a fencing bag or even a belt loop. You can find these in lots of colors and lots of places, but they are perfect for fencers who are training in person. Even if your fencer isn’t training in person right now, they will be eventually! The best part is that these are refillable, which is better on the wallet and on the environment.
4. Hand Sanitizer Bracelet
One newer idea that’s recently out is the hand sanitizer bracelet. It refills with a little bottle using any kind of hand sanitizer that you prefer. Something different which might not be practical for use specifically during fencing practice as it could get in the way, but would definitely be a good idea for general use. After all, we are in this together.
5. Wide angle web camera or zoom lighting
The more the fencing coach can see, the better they can give instruction during private lessons and online fencing classes. A wide angle webcam is a perfect way to improve online fencing lessons.
This is one of those fencing gifts that doesn’t just help with fencing, but all around during the pandemic. For young fencers who are taking online classes for school or adult fencers who are zooming a lot for work, this gift is one that will help out in a multitude of ways.
You might also look at zoom cameras that have built in lighting, or even additional lighting like is used in films. These are often inexpensive, but as the days get shorter and online fencing lessons are sometimes after dark, the lack of light can become a real issue. Even if you have the regular lights on. The better the fencing coach can see you, the better you can learn fencing! Another simple gift that is practical for fencing and beyond.
6. A cuddly fencing blanket
Staying at home this winter will mean lots of time to cuddle under warm blankets, and what better blanket to cuddle under than one with a giant, fuzzy fencer on it!
What’s great about this gift idea is how it helps us to feel close to fencing even when we’re bingeing our favorite swordfighting films or watching those comfort holiday movies. There’s more downtime that usual without competitions during the winter months, so let’s still think about fencing! Any fencer would love to have a blanket for their room or their couch.
7. UV light sanitizer
Cleaning fencing equipment is no small thing, but if a fencer is taking in-person lessons, it’s incredibly important to maintain the weapon and the gear while also sanitizing it. A UV light sanitizer is one way to do this without getting the weapons in particular wet all of the time with cleaning, which can damage them.
One caveat here is that these are not approved by the FDA, but there is evidence that they work in some capacity. We would think of them as an extra layer of protection, not as the primary way to clean fencing gear
8. A fencing notebook
There are so, SO many reasons for a fencer to keep a fencing journal. It’s something that we’ve written about before, and now it is more important than ever.
During these long months of the pandemic, it’s harder than ever to keep track of progress and to see how growth is going. Logging that information in a fencing journal can be a big part of helping a fencer to continue to stay invested in the sport they love.
For the holidays, a cool fencing notebook can become a way to stay in touch with that journal idea. It’s a fantastic gift for a fencer!
9. Exercise dice
This is a fun and easy gift for fencers who need to mix up their workouts but also want to keep things fun and light. Cross training and warming up are both important, and with our home workouts things can get a little stale after all this time.
With these exercise dice, your fencer just has to roll them and do whatever the dice say for however many reps or however long they say to do it. What a fantastic way to mix things up!
10. Water bottle
Staying healthy means staying hydrated, and everyone loves a good reusable water bottle. We have to remember that social distancing and mask wearing are our keys in fighting COVID, but staying healthy through exercise, good food, and hydration is also part of our responsibility.
11. High quality jump rope
During home fencing training, a jump rope is a major necessity (in our classes definitely!). A high quality jump rope is a wonderful gift for a fencer who is training at home. It’s also used in in-person fencing classes, where school jump ropes aren’t an option any longer due to social distancing.
12. Yoga mat/carrier
Another piece of equipment that fencers are using of their own now is a yoga mat. For in-person or home training, a fencer has to have their own instead of sharing one at their club.
A great gift for a fencer is a good quality yoga mat and an easy to use carrier for those home or in-person fencing lessons. This is a great upgrade for a fencer who already has equipment of their own, but maybe it’s gotten a lot of use this year or maybe they have been carrying around their yoga mat without a carrier.
13. Motivational wall art
We are all pushing ourselves now during the pandemic to keep on going. It’s a challenge some days, but we have to push to make it happen!
Motivational wall art is a gift that will keep on giving for fencers who have been training at home or in socially distanced clubs for months. These don’t have to be fencing specific, and there are lots of great options out there so that you can find something that resonates with the fencer in your life.
Some of us need a gentle call forward, some of us need a big push, and some of us need something to laugh at to keep our hearts light and our swords up!
14. Fencing home target
There are a ton of options out there for fencing targets at home, including plenty of ways to make one yourself if you’re handy and want to do something handmade for the fencer in your life. This is not only a practical gift, but it’s also a highly motivational one. It’s easier to get up and get going when you’ve got a fencing target in your space, because who can resist the urge to get up and practice fencing when that target is just tempting you?
Another option is a fencing dummy, which can come from a wide variety of sources as well. A dummy is the closest thing to a human fencer that you can get at home!
15. Online fencing lessons
The great thing about online fencing lessons is that a fencer can train from their home with social distancing in mind. Both fencing classes and private lessons are held online in many clubs, and the best part is that a fencer doesn’t have to train with a coach who is nearby.
This pandemic can be an opportunity for fencers to grow forward in their training with online lessons. Online private lessons specifically can provide one-on-one mentoring for fencers who otherwise would not be able to get that kind of attention. Purchasing a set amount of fencing coaching for a fencer can be a powerful holiday gift!
This year, the holidays are taking on a different feel than they ever have before. Everything is taking on a different feel than it has before. What does not change is the care that we have for each other or the need to celebrate together, well together relatively as we are staying socially distanced.
Whatever you get your fencer this holiday season, we know that they will appreciate the support that they get from you! More than anything, what we need is to give each other support.