It can be overwhelming when trying to choose a weapon for a LARP event. There are multiple aspects for you to consider. We hope to help walk you through the process of choosing your LARP weapon. To begin with, the main aspect for any LARP event is safety. This is especially true of the weapons wielded at said event. Thus, weapons physically wielded against another individual will be foam weapons. There are other items that may be at a LARP event that will not be foam, but those items are not expected to come in contact with another individual. LARP groups will usually keep the weapons available for contact combat restricted to the types of materials and constructions mentioned in this post. They may even restrict the options further than what we discuss below, so make sure that you check with your group first to find out what they allow.
Type of Weapon
Perhaps the easiest decision when it comes to choosing a LARP weapon is the type of weapon you want to wield. For example, do you want to wield a sword against your enemy? Or do you prefer to carry a polearm? There are many options. Beginning with swords, there are more traditional-looking swords, and then there are ones with more of a fantasy style. They can feature a two-handed grip such as a longsword, or they can have a single-handed grip. Which one you choose depends on your desired fighting style and aesthetic.
There are also polearms. These weapons can vary from single- or double-headed axes to maces and even flails. They also may have one- or two-handed grips. If you choose a weapon that only requires a single hand such as a sword or axe, you may wish to carry a shield in your off hand. We offer a variety of LARP shields. They come in different colors, shapes, and styles. There are also LARP daggers, throwing knives, and props. These weapons fit many different characters and personas.
Brands of LARP
While we offer many different brands at Medieval Collectibles, there are certain brands that feature a variety of LARP weapons. Epic Armoury, Mytholon, and Calimacil are our three most popular brands when it comes to LARP. These brands have the largest number of LARP weapons for you to choose from. Our selection of Epic Armoury and Mytholon includes other products in addition to LARP weapons, but our selection of Calimacil products focuses specifically on LARP weapons. When it comes to the hardness of the foam that they use, Epic Armoury uses the softest foam of the three. Calimacil uses the hardest foam out of these three brands. Their construction of their LARP weapons will differ, which brings us to the next topic.
Types of LARP Construction
When it comes to LARP weapons, there are two main types of materials and constructions for you to choose from. The two main types of foam are EVA foam and polyurethane foam. Calimacil exclusively uses a type of injection-molded polyurethane foam for their weapons called Calimacil foam. Polyurethane foam tends to be durable and weather resistant. It also tends to be harder than EVA foam. EVA foam will often, but not always, have a latex coating. Latex and latex-free foam are filters that we use on our website to help you choose which you prefer as this will affect the maintenance more than just the type of foam alone.
Also, it should be noted that some weapons may be a combination of both EVA and polyurethane foam. For example, Epic Armoury has a line of weapons called the Stronghold weapons. These weapons have polyurethane handles and latex-free blades that are made of a proprietary EVA foam called Epic Foam. Epic Armoury specifically designs these weapons to require less maintenance than weapons made from latex foam. This brand also offers a line of weapons called Ready for Battle that consists of latex foam weapons that are priced for beginners to LARPing. These latex foam weapons have the same quality construction as any of their other weapons.
Weapons made from latex foam will need to be kept lubricated with maintenance silicone. We offer maintenance silicone in our DIY and Maintenance section of the LARP area of our website. If allowed to dry out, the LARP weapons can crack and become less durable and useable over time. Latex-free weapons will not require as much maintenance as a latex-foam weapon, but you should still look after it with proper storage and usage. It is advisable to store your LARP weapon away from sunlight and heat. If your weapon is latex foam, ensure that you keep it lubricated and do not let it dry out or it may crack. Also, weapons such as swords should not be left standing on their tip as this can damage them.
In addition to the type of foam, there are two main construction styles when it comes to LARP weapons: those with and without a central core. Many weapons have a fiberglass-rod core. These rod cores will often feature Kevlar tips that give them greater durability. This central core provides strength to longer weapons such as swords. However, not every weapon has one. The two main types of LARP weapons that lack a core are shields and throwing weapons. With shields, it makes less sense to have a central core based on their wider shape. However, with throwing weapons, it is for safety reasons that they lack a central core. Throwing knives, daggers, and other props for throwing have coreless constructions so that they cause less damage if inadvertently thrown at sensitive areas such as the face.
Besides the different types of foam and internal construction, there are weapons that may feature small sections of other materials as well. This mostly occurs with polearms and swords. They may have leather or suede grips. Beyond the grips however, they are entirely foam with or without a core. Shields will have leather straps on the back for carrying. Beyond the use of leather or suede, it is rare for a LARP weapon to have a material besides foam and a fiberglass core.
We hope that this post helps you when you are choosing your LARP weapon for your next event. There are many factors to consider beyond what fits your character. With the information laid out here, pick your weapon and enjoy your LARP battle. Again, please remember to check with your local organization first to determine what they allow.
Video Guides for LARP Brands!
Check out some guides we’ve put together below that highlight different LARP brands we carry and the lines of weapons they have to offer.