How to take care of latex weapons?
You bought a latex weapon that you always dreamed about? You want for it to serve you for as long as possible? It’s easy!
All you need to do is to follow the rules below.
Attention: Most of the tips shared here are for swords, but they can also be easily applied for other weapons and equipment.
1. Do not lean on the tip of the weapon!
First of all - never, ever lean on the thrust of the sword (that’s the sharp tip at the end). This is the most delicate part of it and the one that’s the hardest to repair at the same time. Do not shove the sword into the ground and don’t put it aside standing on the tip.
2. Do not hold the weapon by the end of the pommel!
We don’t grab the sword by the pommel (the end of the handle). It may give us a couple of inches of range more, but fighting like that we will rip it off very fast. Additionally - it looks pretty lame ;)
3. Do not hit on the edges!
You should also avoid hitting your weapon into hard and sharp edges of various items. This is one of the reasons why we secure the edges of shields and armors.
4. Do not put your weapon under a belt!
It’s always good to invest into a holder or a sheath for your sword [link]. Putting the sword directly under your belt not only makes you look quite unprofessional - it also could give your weapon various abrasions. The cheapest holder [link] costs only 20 PLN [może lepiej cenę w Euro]. I personally recommend holders with padding inside [link] - I use one like this myself. They provide a good protection for the blade and also allow you to draw your weapon quickly. For more demanding larpers I recommend full sheaths [link], which look good and protect your blade even when traversing forests or narrow castle corridors. The downside of sheaths is of course the fact that you need to have one fit for your weapon - holders are much more universal.
Of course, you can always make the holder or sheath for your sword yourself. Just remember about putting something soft inside of them. A holder that’s too tight or a sheath with rough edges could quickly destroy your weapon instead of protecting it.
Storing and transport
5. Store your weapon in a room temperature on a level surface
Latex weapons should be stored in a dry space with room temperature. It should be shielded from cold and heat. When storing swords do not keep them in their sheaths. Latex likes to breathe.
Remember to never leave your weapon under direct sunlight. A standard mistake is also transporting uncovered weapons on the back shelf of your car. It is best to put it under a blanket, that will protect it from the heat. You also shouldn’t put one replica on another, because latex has a tendency to stuck to itself. After dislodging them the swords could show some damage.
Latex weaponry shouldn’t also be crushed, because the soft foam that it’s made of could distort or damage.
6. Cover your weapon in silicon before and after using it!
We use silicon to maintain safe weapons. In the 5 Elements shop you can find 3 different cleaners that differ in terms of usage. Silicon in spray form [link] and aerosol [link] from Epic Armory and the gel made by Freyhand [link]. Silicon helps keeping the latex from drying out and fracturing. A weapon covered in silicone is also more resistant to physical damage.
How often should I maintain my weapon?
It is best to do so before each larp in which we’ll be using it and directly after the game ends. If the game goes on for a couple of days and the weapon is heavily used (for example during Battle Quest[link]) it’s good to do so even during it. Using a spray in the middle of your camp isn’t very atmospheric, but you could easily use a silicon in gel form then.
How to maintain my weapon?
You should start with cleaning it up with a moist piece of cloth. Then apply a thin layer of silicon on it. If you’re using a spray - put it directly on the replica and then spread it with a soft piece of cloth. Using a gel - put it on a piece of cloth and distribute on the weapon. If you did well the piece should be slick and moist. You can then storm to battle or just put your weapon back on the shelf.
I hope that those tips will help you enjoy your latex weaponry for a long time.
See you on the trail and in battle!