What happens to old fencing gear? Where does it go?
Fencing equipment isn’t forever
Though it’s oftentimes expensive, fencing equipment isn’t something that lasts for an extended of amount of time.
- Sometimes kids outgrow their old fencing gear.
- Sometimes fencers upgrade to better gear.
- Sometimes fencers just quit fencing.
- Sometimes a piece of gear is the right size but just doesn’t quite feels right anymore and so fencers go find another brand.
- Sometimes a fencer gets new gear for a birthday or holiday present.
There are literally dozens of reasons that a fencer, child or adult, would need to get rid of fencing gear. This equipment is incredibly specialized, and athletes are always looking for just the right gear to help them get that edge in their fencing. And yes, sometimes people just decide that fencing isn’t for them and they give up the sport altogether.
All of that adds up to mean that fencing equipment isn’t forever.
The leftover gear might not be used up, though! There can be a lot of life left in fencing gear that’s been used before. There are lots of benefits to older fencing gear – it’s been broken in and can be softer than new fencing gear. Fencing gear is generally expensive because it’s high quality, at least the vast amount of brands are high quality. These things are meant to last for years, to carry on with a fencer over a long period of time. Most fencing gear, the lame and the cords, etc. can be patched and repaired to extend their use.
The more that you give to your fencing gear, the longer it will last and the better it can be. That goes for used equipment too – older fencing gear isn’t forever, but it’s still very much useful and desired!
What to do with your old fencing gear
Ok, so you’ve got some old fencing gear. For one reason or another, you’ve found that you’ve got some equipment that you can’t use any longer, but that still has some serious life left in it.
The good thing is that there’s not just one option for you! There are lots of things that you can do with your old fencing gear. The trash bin is not the best option!! Instead of just throwing your old gear away or stuffing it in the attic, here are some things that you can do to make the most of your fencing gear.
Donate it to your fencing club.
Donating your old fencing gear to your fencing club will allow it to have a large life beyond that will help many, many people. Your fencing club will know who needs it most. They can take care of it and treat it well so that it can be given to the best possible person.
Donate it to someone who’s just starting
If you know someone who is just starting out in fencing, but who doesn’t want to invest in the equipment just yet, and the fencing equipment is the right size for them, then donating it to them is a good idea. Sometimes people just need a bit of a head start in order to get going in fencing!
Donate it to a community center with a fencing program
Community center fencing programs are always on the lookout for good quality equipment to help new fencers learn. This is a great place to donate your fencing equipment.
Donate it to a school fencing club
A school fencing club can definitely use good quality equipment. Donating your fencing equipment to a local school fencing club means that it gets on to people who can use it!
Sell it if it’s in good condition
If the gear, no matter what it is, is in a condition that you would buy it for yourself, then by all means explore selling it. You can try eBay, craigslist or even posting signs at your fencing club. There’s nothing wrong with recouping some of the cost of your gear! Then you can invest it in some new gear or lessons. You probably invested some good money into your fencing equipment, and it’s totally fair for you to recoup some of that expense.
Donate it to a charity
If you donate your used fencing equipment to a non-fencing related charity, then odds are that it’s not going to go to good use. The Goodwill or the Salvation Army or Habitat for Humanity won’t know what to do with it! The FIE (International Fencing Federation, a governing body of the sport of fencing) created an initiative called “Donate Your Fencing Gear” to help clubs in developing countries. Ask your local fencing authority (e.g., your Division) how it works and where to bring your old fencing equipment.
Keep items of sentimental value
As a mom I keep some items of special sentimental value for me, such as first lame with my son’s name stenciled on it, my daughter glove signed by Olympians and World Champions, and some others. If you have similar items that are valuable for you – definitely keep them as your family memorabilia. Your kids will be thrilled to discover them years later.
Throw it away
If that lame is absolutely ragged or if the cord is broken totally beyond repair, it’s ok to throw it away. Don’t pass on equipment to someone else if it’s well past prime. It’s just not going to be useful! You don’t want to pass your problem on to someone else. So if you’ve got fencing equipment that’s really just broken, it’s ok to let it go.
If you or your child’s fencing equipment isn’t something that you need anymore, there are SO many options that you have for getting rid of it in constructive and useful ways. Again, fencing equipment is made to last, so let it last! Even if you can’t use it anymore, there’s someone out there who probably can. All you have to do is find the right place for it to go.
One of the great things about the fencing community is the incredible goodwill that we find between fencers. Fencing equipment often goes through many hands and helps many fencers!
How about you? What are some things that you’ve done with fencing equipment that was used up and past it’s prime? Let us know in the comments!