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View Full Version : Technical Inprovements to win Gold in 2012?



Barry Paul
-19th August 2008, 07:31
What improvement in personal equipment used by fencers could we concentrate on to help G.B. fencers win Gold in 2012?

Swords Crossed
-19th August 2008, 08:20
we have lightweight lame's and lightweight weapons, would lightweight masks work (without compromising on safety, of course)?

hokers
-19th August 2008, 08:29
Some sort of force field? :D

Some method of influencing the coin flip for priority in the extra minute?

I know people talk about that extra 2% but I think we need to work on other things, like qualifying teams rather than anything equipment specific. That said, if you could make everything 10% lighter I'm sure you would have a few interested customers.

fa266
-19th August 2008, 09:18
Not sure if this is what you mean ...but I would say increased use of video replays - perhaps we could start using them in the finals at some domestic events? Obviously we would need competent referees to make the this work. I think a combination of the two would help GB fencing a LOT. I learn a lot from good refereeing and I am sure spectators also would through the use of video.

Marcos
-19th August 2008, 09:32
video

this is a cool idea

for use in big domestic events as fa mentions, and for the squad to have available in training


but

I find the best piece of equipment we have in the club is a ball. Nothing like a game of footie or basketball to get everyone in a good mood and relaxed

mendacious dog
-19th August 2008, 10:16
A sabre glove where the leather part wont conduct when sweaty? We’ve all been there and lost hits because of it! Presumably some kind of improved demarcation between the lame section and the leather bits would be needed (I’m claiming the IP and 10% of any profits :whistle: - but I may settle for a free prototype).

Sabre visors that really stretch the absolute limit of what is allowed for surface area? I seem to remember that there was at least one hit in the Olympic L4 that didn’t register as it tonked into plastic instead of metal. Minimise that target area!

Bodywires with ultra-low electrical resistance? Turn those occasional glancing, non-registering swipes into real hits perhaps? Similarly, lames that hover just at the point of electrical failure to stop the other guy doing the same. Admittedly it would be expensive to use long-term as you would have to replace them every month, but for one competition?

Hmmm – it sets you thinking. Although its morally (and probably legally) completely wrong, I wonder if anyone has ever rigged up a sabre lame with an ‘elastic’ bit in the sleeve. When the lame is tested in weapons control or you are stood still and your opponent tests on you it all works fine – but when you stretch out your arm to make the hit the elastic bit very slightly unconnects the weapon arm lame sleeve from the rest of the jacket – rendering stop-hits etc impossible as it no longer conducts. Wonder how much they would retail for on the fencing black market?!

:dogs:

Woof

Spider5
-19th August 2008, 10:27
Better consistency in blade properties - particularly stiffness.

More reliable foil tips, LP tips are inherently prone to white lights after some use because of their design (material clogging up tip from friction of grub screws on the point). Historically the continental tips were better designed but the barrels were made of a material with the strength of baking foil. However, that seems to be improving, so come on LP!

Better sweat wicking in the mask and better air flow performance to reduce mask humidity and to improve removal of CO2.

Stretchy lames that fit the body better but still allow movement.

Non-corroding centre screw in the foil/sabre body wire bayonet end. This often requires sanding to clean it.

TomA
-19th August 2008, 10:33
Wonder how much they would retail for on the fencing black market?! If you could get it approved for competition I would be impressed. :whistle:

On the subject of kit, I'd like to see Leon Paul style (ie, weight!) epee blades where the bend is closer to the tip - would help with flicking from long-distance. Not sure if the Kolobkov does this or not, but both the basic LP epee blade and the LP maraging blade tend to bend in the middle - which I always find means I have to get in much closer for flicking than with other swords.

Having said that, I'm not a top fencer, this may be a completely useless development for people who know what they're doing with them :D

miker
-19th August 2008, 11:06
Agree with the previous comments: improve electrical integrity.

More robust tips that don't increase resistance in a week. (gone back to Allstar).

Better materials in bodywire parts (less corrosion == less resistance).

Deal with sweat => cross-conductivity between off & on target (gloves, masks etc).

These all make the difference of (anyway) 3-4 hits in a domestic competition.

Swords Crossed
-19th August 2008, 12:22
Better consistency in blade properties - particularly stiffness.

More reliable foil tips, LP tips are inherently prone to white lights after some use because of their design ... Better sweat wicking in the mask and better air flow performance to reduce mask humidity and to improve removal of CO2.

Request permission to add these to my shopping list. :)

wingnutLP
-19th August 2008, 12:25
More reliable foil tips, LP tips are inherently prone to white lights after some use because of their design (material clogging up tip from friction of grub screws on the point). Historically the continental tips were better designed but the barrels were made of a material with the strength of baking foil. However, that seems to be improving, so come on LP!

Better sweat wicking in the mask and better air flow performance to reduce mask humidity and to improve removal of CO2.

Stretchy lames that fit the body better but still allow movement.

Interestingly we have done all of these recently.

The point problem was in the end not dirt build up. It was a process called galling (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galling) which occurs when two stainless surfaces are in contact. They sort of friction weld and produce a non conductive layer. We switched to stainless screws dure to a spec sheet error we have now switched back to carbon steel plated screws and the problem has gone. At the OG's richard was using a titanium nitrided point with all silver plated electrical connections.

The new mask padding in the x change mask is much better in terms of air flow.

At the OG's richard was actually wearing a stretch lame too! They are no good for regular use as they rip after a few weeks but we custom made him a few for the games. Unfortunately the adidas/allstar jacket had to be about 3 sizes too big to fit his shoulders which negated some of the effect of the tight stretch lame.

JohnL
-19th August 2008, 12:45
When I fenced, I was always convinced that Romankovs foils were 1/2 the weight of mine and of superior balance. It was obvious that he couldn't possibly do what he did with his foil if it was the same as mine.

I made the mistake one day of picking up one of his foils and discovering that it was heavier than mine. It was a major disappointment for me but changed my thinking. I clearly needed to worry less about the weapons and concentrate more on my abilities.

I don't believe that LP can do much with regard to improving the equipment, but it should be made available to the top fencers free of charge to ease the financial burden. I'm not suggesting that LP just give it away (hey, they run a business) but British fencing should pick up the tab.

This should be done not only for the elite fencers but for the young fencers who show promise. We lose any amount of young talent because either they or their parents can't afford the costs associated with fencing.

FoilyDeath
-19th August 2008, 12:57
[QUOTE=wingnutLP;201792]At the OG's richard was using a titanium nitrided point with all silver plated electrical connections.

QUOTE]

I have absolutely no idea what that means, but I want one.

On a more on topic note, affordable wireless fencing. It won't directly affect results, but if it succeeds at reducign setup time and repair costs, it could significantly improve fencing across the country.

Marcos
-19th August 2008, 13:09
JohnL
totally agree, hence my point about the best piece of equipment being a football



equipment for gold

a slightly cynical question might be would this equipment be limited to the GBR team?

If given to our competitors, then where is the advantage?

I'm sure I saw LP kit on the WS podium this year :)

hokers
-19th August 2008, 13:10
A sabre glove where the leather part wont conduct when sweaty? We’ve all been there and lost hits because of it! Presumably some kind of improved demarcation between the lame section and the leather bits would be needed (I’m claiming the IP and 10% of any profits :whistle: - but I may settle for a free prototype).


Did you ever see my patented "plastic glove under the normal glove" technique for preventing this? Uses those plastic gloves you get at petrol stations, but is seriously disgusting very quickly.


Interestingly we have done all of these recently.
At the OG's richard was actually wearing a stretch lame too! They are no good for regular use as they rip after a few weeks but we custom made him a few for the games. Unfortunately the adidas/allstar jacket had to be about 3 sizes too big to fit his shoulders which negated some of the effect of the tight stretch lame.

Did you ever find out why Martina's lame was rejected?

wingnutLP
-19th August 2008, 13:18
Did you ever find out why Martina's lame was rejected?
Size I believe but I have only heard that through RK.

Spider5
-19th August 2008, 14:58
Interestingly we have done all of these recently.

The point problem was in the end not dirt build up. It was a process called galling (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galling) which occurs when two stainless surfaces are in contact. They sort of friction weld and produce a non conductive layer. We switched to stainless screws dure to a spec sheet error we have now switched back to carbon steel plated screws and the problem has gone. At the OG's richard was using a titanium nitrided point with all silver plated electrical connections.

The new mask padding in the x change mask is much better in terms of air flow.

At the OG's richard was actually wearing a stretch lame too! They are no good for regular use as they rip after a few weeks but we custom made him a few for the games. Unfortunately the adidas/allstar jacket had to be about 3 sizes too big to fit his shoulders which negated some of the effect of the tight stretch lame.

I wondered why Richard looked like he was wearing Usein Bolt's fencing jacket. Did many of the other sports have mandatory equipment forced on them by sponsorship deals? Seems like an unfair pain in the backside to me but I guess LP will be the sponsor for fencing in 2012...

Intrigued about galling. However, silvery grey gunk build up has been an issue in LP tips for as far back as I can remember fencing electric. You can also see that after some months the grub screws become worn with little notches in them. That material has to go somewhere. So the titanium nitrided points and all silver connections will be on sale at which Open? :whistle:

Interested to hear JohnL's experience and I agree about the equipment for elite fencers. They should concentrate on technique, tactics and strategy and let someone else worry about titanium nitride coated wotsits. I think the best thing that fencing manufacturers can do is make kit that is as bomb proof and consistent as possible. I can't see huge technical leaps forward allowing a step change in results unless something like a carbon fibre blade can be made to work and is allowed by the rules. However it would be good to be proved wrong on that one.

Red
-19th August 2008, 15:07
I think it's a Team GB thing rather than sport specific so it might be difficult to use an LP jacket in foil or epée.

tigger
-19th August 2008, 15:08
I agree with the last few posts...to win medals we need better fencers, not better kit! Unfortunately (unlike cycling, rowing etc) changes to the kit will not create a step-change in performace

How do we get more, better fencers is the question facing us (but for 2016 and beyond, not for 2012).

wingnutLP
-19th August 2008, 15:33
I think it's a Team GB thing rather than sport specific so it might be difficult to use an LP jacket in foil or epée.
Yep, adidas sponsor team GB it is a seperate issue that is out of LP's hands.

wingnutLP
-19th August 2008, 15:36
Intrigued about galling. However, silvery grey gunk build up has been an issue in LP tips for as far back as I can remember fencing electric. You can also see that after some months the grub screws become worn with little notches in them. That material has to go somewhere. So the titanium nitrided points and all silver connections will be on sale at which Open? :whistle:
New screws on the way that will hopefully not wear.

Available... some time.

Spider5
-19th August 2008, 16:28
I agree with the last few posts...to win medals we need better fencers, not better kit! Unfortunately (unlike cycling, rowing etc) changes to the kit will not create a step-change in performace

How do we get more, better fencers is the question facing us (but for 2016 and beyond, not for 2012).

A long term view to be applauded. There is a danger that 2012 will become an obsessed about number like 1966 (1967 if you're Scottish) that actually isn't that helpful. The eco types have grasped the concept of sustainable development, why can't higher level GB sports* administrators?

I was reading about the cyclist Rebecca Romero, apparently she is so driven she literally has to be held back from training and it took quite a lot for her coach to convince her that selectively not training can be beneficial for performance. Finding and retaining young people with that attitude and the correct coordination for fencing is probably the key.

Easier said than done if the accepted wisdom is that it takes at least 10 years with top level coaching and the very best fencers start around 10-12 years old or younger. Presumably it means starting kids at say 8 so potential can be spotted early. So, lots of schools programs around the country would help....

* I didn't say BFA or EF or SF administrators so don't assume I did.

Rob.Leicester
-19th August 2008, 17:46
I'd like to go a different way with my suggestions. I say why limit yourself exclusively to equipment used on the piste. Why not branch into things used for training to improve people's base skills, equipment for footwork, getting the right engarde. I can't think of any suggestions myself because I'm a simple foilist who pokes stuff, but would it be possible to explore directions into training. Examples would be equivalents of stuff used in other sports, like tackle pads and scrummaging frames for Rugby. Lots of sports include things like these which simulate the basics and allow people to perfect them in a controlled way.

Sorry if this is a bit of a wall of text to read.

Cyrano5
-20th August 2008, 09:25
Something that seems missing from all suppliers as a training aid is a 3-D lunge pad. Particularly important for epee. I don't know if you have ever seen 'by the sword' but they had the perfect solution.

Lunge pads are obviously very useful for developing muscle memory and stamina for a particular attack- however as they are flat the current design is of limited use.