Acceptable Shield Materials?

I know the rules mention a little about shield materials, but I’m a new LARPer and know little about suitable materials. As it stands it’s much easier for me to make my own shield, but I only have wood available to me. Is a full wooden shield suitable, or will I need some sort of padding around it?

Foam is the way to go. While it is possible to use wood you would definitely have to pad it.

I don’t make weapons myself but I do use a homemade one constructed in foam by a friend, it is possible!

Have a look and see if there’s some words of wisdom in any of these conversations: Search results for 'wood shield' - Empire Forum

Thank you for replying, I see wood isn’t really usable. I shall save up for the materials to make a foam and latex one.

It really is much, much better to buy a shield from a proper larp weapons manufacturer. They take a lot of punishment which may damage a hand-made version, and a shield can do a lot of damage if made of unsuitable materials and you catch your opponent wrong.

I see. The only reason I’m not going for a premade one is the fact that I can’t verify quality, I’ve had bad experiences with that before.

Also, I cannot seem to find any 40 Inch round shields on the internet, the biggest I can find is 30.

You will be able to buy a large selection of well made shields from sellers at the event, at the very least Irregular Props, Light Armouries, Saxon Violence and Skian Mhor will all be selling shields at the event and you’ll be able check them out before you buy.

Irregular Props say they do 36" shields for £115 on their FB page and I think some of the others will have shields approaching that size. 40" is very large for a LARP shield, you might want to look at contacting the makers direct for a custom order.

If you’ve never made a shield before I would certainly recommend buying your first one as there’s no guarantee that the one you made will pass weapons check. If you’re interested in making shields then I’d also see about chatting to the weapons check team for some tips when they’re quiet and don’t have a queue.

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Thank you very much

You can use wood, my shield is wooden-cored and has passed several weapon checks. You need a thick facing of soft foam (I believe my mate uses insulation foam mats?) and then the edges need something thicker (not sure what he uses but there’s two layers in there). If you want a boss this should be built up out of several layers of slightly tougher foam so it doesn’t break immediately. The whole thing is then covered in cloth and stapled to the edges, tight enough that it’ll provide a little extra resistance.

He and I like to test our shields by smacking ourselves in the foreheads with them and seeing if it hurts. So far it’s been a good marker but he does keep getting concussions…

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For the time being a wooden-cored shield is allowed, but that might change.
says that currently “you will able to use shields with a rigid former at Empire,” but “they may be removed as an option in future years. Therefore if you are making or buying new shields we strongly recommend you use a foam and latex shield.”

Regardless of what you make it out of, you should definitely read all of that section of the wiki page: it has additional details about the safety-requirements for shields.

Almost all shields at the game are flexible: spineyrequiem’s is a rare exception.


Should probably get the concussions checked out, thank you

It’s more that one of the girls in my local group doesn’t really know how to pull her blows. Also he just seems to be weirdly vulnerable to them. No worries!

so for larp shields I have fallen in love with saxon violence, their website seems to be dead however… facebook wins Redirecting...

I have a 30" viking round shield from them and I really like their construction.

They do have a shop at empire most events. I love the halberds they make.