What is LARP ?
LARP stands for Live-Action Roleplaying. It is a game where players dress and equip themselves as characters from past historical periods, fantasy worlds, science fiction or even post-apocalyptic settings. These characters play out adventures and stories by acting out scenes and encounters through performing actions like fighting and engaging in social interactions with other players. Very often such games are played outdoors.
Regardless of the game setting, each LARP game features costumes, equipment, instruments and weapons that are used in order to successfully complete each scenario. Since many such games feature melee and ranged combat, rules and specialized weapons have been created for such activities.
The most popular combat systems used in LARPs are based on a simple locational hit system. All players have established body locations like: main body, arms and legs. Whenever a player is struck they are considered wounded in that location and can no longer use it. Of course, this makes body hits to be avoided if a player wants to win a fight. This style play encourages dynamic role-playing to avoid needless fighting and pushes players to develop effective parrying and striking techniques.
It is important to note that combat scenes are held in strictly determined areas under the surveillance of LARP officials to ensure fair play and safety.
Weapons used in Live-Action Roleplaying
There are different types of weapons available for LARP combat scenes: boffer, latex and foam.
Boffer weapons are the least expensive and most accessible weapons. They are usually made by LARP participants, often right before an event, from common materials found in hardware stores. They are typically constructed by wrapping some sort of form of padding, like closed-cell foam pipe insulation around a solid core such as a PVC tube. Additional foam can also be added to make thrusting tips or weighted heads to create various forms of medieval era weapons like swords, maces and axes. In order to make the weapon more durable and lend it a finished appearance, the foam is then generally covered with duct tape or the equivalent, cloth, or with a latex coating. The durability of such weapons is limited by the skill of the maker and the quality of the materials used.
Latex weapons are more complex to manufacture and some specialized workshops and companies have started selling them although the specialized materials can be found in hardware and crafts stores. The process consists of cutting pieces of a foam-like substance that are then cut and glued to a solid core. To give the weapon a better finished look, the weapons are coated with a layer of latex and painted.
Although more realistic-looking than boffer weapons, they very often retain a toy-like appearance. Furthermore, such weapons are much denser than traditional buffer weapons and are not typically constructed in a way to permit safe thrusting attacks. That’s why some LARP organisations do not allow the use of latex weapons in their events. In spite of the high density, the weapons are also often too light to provide a realistic combat experience, limiting the efficiencies of parries, swings and thrusts, reinforcing the toy-like feeling of such weapons.
3. Foam : Calimacil's Choice
Mostly manufactured by specialized workshops and artisans, these weapons are made by molding specially developed foams around a flexible core (often made of fibreglass or graphite rods). They are the next evolutionary step in LARP weapon design and offer many advantages over the other types of weapons.
For instance, they offer spectacular realism due to the very precise sculpting and molding of the weapon and balanced weight that is part of their designs. They also offer unparalleled durability against extreme combat conditions and harsh weather condition. Finally they are among the safest weapons, marrying sufficient rigidity to provide excellent handling and excellent flexibility to provide the highest degrees of safety.
Players seeking superior foam weapons most often choose those created by Calimacil because they bring together the most sought out characteristics: extreme durability, amazing realism and an astounding range of models, including customizable ones.
Calimacil’s weapons are made to endure repeated attacks and parries without damage or losing their properties or shape. With the foam’s capacity for impact absorption and its physical characteristics, more realistic blades and weapon heads can be made. Furthermore, the tips of our swords are reinforced with composite material to prevent the core from punching through, thus increasing its safety and durability.
For more information about our technical caracteristics, visit this page.
Calimacil is a leader in LARP Swords
Calimacil is a Canadian company based in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. Bringing together a multidisciplinary team of passionate artisans, artists and scientists, they strive to produce the pinnacle of foam weapons to surpass its imitators in durability and realism. But that’s not all! Calimacil has designed their whole range of products to be absolutely maintenance-free, weather resistant and without any trace of latex, known to cause allergic reactions in some people.
We are dedicated to pursuing research and development to create the absolute best LARP weapons on the market, including a range of customizable weapons. Many LARP organizations have adopted Calimacil’s products and we have now become a reference in the LARPing world.
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