Would this be safe as a base?

Hi all!

I have been looking for ages for a magic rod to use. I found a seller on Etsy who could provide me with something I could paint up how I like, but I’m not 100% it’s safe and I could use someone who is more experienced to give me a second opinion.


I am not a weapon-checker (well, no-one is on the internet), but I am fairly sure that the listed item wouldn’t meet safety standards as it appears to have a wooden (pine dowel) core. From the wiki:


A quick look at that makes me think it’s in the US ‘boffer’ style, where they wrap duct tape around upholstery foam.

I think it’s important to recognise that there are some very definite regional styles, based on the preferences of the earliest clubs in that area. These lead to a different set of safety-features, a different visual style and a different set of handling characteristics.

  • The UK preference is more what you would call ‘latex’ weapons, which are mostly bought from professional crafters. I believe that holds true for most European LARPs too. A fibreglass core is wrapped in a much firmer foam and then covered with a latex skin which is painted.
  • The US ‘boffer’ style tends to be home-made and has a far less rigid set of rules; they take a basic core which might be PVC pipe for example, add some foam, then wrap the whole thing in tape. Some people try to make it as sword-like as they can, but you’re leaving a lot more to the imagination. I am told that the more realistic-looking latex weapons are picking up popularity, but boffers are the norm.
  • Canada has a very famous event called Bicolline. Like the UK and Europe, they tend toward more realistic-looking weapons, but their safety-rules are quite different and allow far more thrusting (which is banned for most weapons in Empire). Bicolline players will often use Calimacil weapons, which are a little more expensive, a little more durable, but they are heavy (often to the point of being unbalanced) and do not follow UK safety guidelines.

The Empire wiki does have a (short) list of weapon-suppliers → HERE ← and everyone has their preferred manufacturer. Half of them do bespoke designs if you ask nicely.


In general, it’s not worth buying LRP weapons online. Especially if you step outside the list of recommended traders provided on the Empire wiki, it’s very easy to waste your money on something you’ll be forbidden from using.