Seeking clarification of arrow rules

Good evening!

After thinking about it for a long time, i think i am ready to throw myself into larp. From the first look, i think i want to play an archer character, but the weapon checking FAQ on the website confuses me slightly in its terminology in terms of arrows.

My father makes bows and arrows (our garage is a bowmaking workshop), and i myself am an accomplished bowman. I do however realise that this does not translate exactly into the larping world, and im finding it hard to find exact specifications for larp-safe arrows i can understand. I know that the points must be removed, and foam added to the end to make them safe. However, i dont understand what a “blocker” is, as described in the FAQ, nor what it means when it says it must collapse fully. If anyone could explain these two points to me, i would be greatly appreciative.

I am really looking at making my own. I do know the “golf heads” are allowed and commercially available, but i was hoping to make something that was still allowed and a little cheaper. My dad has agreed to make me a set of larp safe arrows, and if we have to use those heads, the cost would be about £65-70 for a dozen. But i would like to try and get that cost down slightly XD

thanks for the help

Personally, I would advise just buying golf-ball style heads. You’ll get much better performance in terms of accuracy and range, and probably better safety. At least for your first ones, it’s worth spending the money to get it done right, then doing it yourself, messing it up in some way, and (good) having your arrows fail weapons check, or (much worse) injuring someone.

£65-70/dozen is already a bargain, and you’ll likely have very nice arrows to go with it.

However, just for informational purposes. The general way larp arrows are built is to have a rigid stopper (e.g. a 2p coin) built into the head to distribute the impact, so that it can’t possibly pierce into a target. This rigid disc is placed directly over the shaft of the arrow, and then foam is built up around it on each side. The face typically is constructed of two types of foam - a more rigid closed-cell foam, and then an open cell face. This face is what needs to be able to fully collapse, and so an arrow will fail if you have e.g. contained this with another material so it can’t compress properly.

Please note, as I said, that I’d strongly recommend just buying the golfball heads. They’re relatively cheap, and significantly better than heads you’re going to be able to build yourself, especially as your first go. In addition, they’re safer.

We can supply you with golfball heads or advice on making flatheads. Cheapest option for a one off is to pop golfball heads on basic fibreglass shafts. Please get in contact if you’d like advice or to talk through options.

If you really do want to make your own though, here’s a page with a photo of a decent hand-made one that has been cut open:

Also some less good ones with comments on what is good and bad about them:
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The heads on those pages are mostly from makers other than IDV, and I believe the comments on them are reasonable.

PD has banned the arrows from IDV Engineering, but used to allow them.

Quantitative details matter: IDV’s heads are a fairly similar shape and style of construction to the “golfball” ones mentioned above that are allowed. The IDV ones are a bit heavier, they’re perhaps a bit less soft, and the IDV blocker (or stopper or pressure-distrubutor) is a bit wider and harder. In my experience, being hit with an IDV feels like a heavier thump than most arrows. A hit from a golfball arrow (or most other decent arrows) feels lighter but with a slightly sharper poke. (Once I got someone to shoot lots of each of three types at me from a fixed short distance.)