Forged Foam full contact gear is designed to be durable and long lasting. Proper care of you equipment can extend the life even longer. These are our top ten tips for caring for you Forged Foam full contact gear.
- Do not store your weapons in your car long term in the summer. Extreme heat (plus 150 degrees Fahrenheit) which can be found inside cars in the summer in the south can negatively effect the adhesives used in the full contact gear’s construction.
- Do not drag your gear on the concrete. While Forged Foam prides itself on its durable cloth covers, they are no match for the abrasive nature of pavement.
- Do not lean on the tip of your sword. Using your weapon as a crutch places a great deal of body weight on the tip of your sword which can lead to premature breakdown of the weapon.
- Do not leave your gear in the sun for extended periods of time. Forged foam gear is designed to be used out of doors in all weather, but when not in use full contact gear should be store inside out of direct sunlight. The UV rays in sunlight can dull and fade cloth coverings over time.
- Do the keep cloth clean. Go ahead and use your gear in the rain and mud, just clean it up when you are finished. Either wait until the dirt has dried and brush vigorously to remove surface dirt or remove the cover and machine wash in cold water. Forged Foam’s cloth covers are color safe and should not bleed. Air drying is preferred, but if you do use a dryer and the cover shrinks a bit, simple stretch the cover back over the equipment.
- Do store weapons flat. When not in use, Forged Foam gear should be store flat (not on their tips) with nothing heavy laying on top (shoes, tennis rackets, etc). Heavy rigid items can permanently deform our foams. We personally store our weapons in military style duffel bags. It keeps the weapons safe but in one place.
- Do not hit hard inanimate objects. Things like trees, cars and the ground are stronger than the swords. No matter how many strikes, a foam ax will not cut down a tree.
- Do repair small tears. Small tears can become big tears. If you wear a hole in the fabric covering by dragging it on the pavement, add a stitch or patch to repair. The gear is safe to use with holes in the covers, but they look better without holes.
- Do keep the weapon away from dogs and car doors. Dogs love to chew our gear if given a chance, so don’t tempt them by leaving them where the dog can get them. As far as cars go, slamming the door or running over gear is a quick way to a damaged weapon.
- Do not use weapons with exposed core. If a weapon has been damaged in such a way as you can feel the fiberglass or wood core, please stop using it. We can repair damaged weapons at the Forged Foam shop, but two way shipping and time and materials often makes it more economical to get new gear. Simple repairs can be made with duct tape, contact cement and camping pad foam. Replacement covers can be order from our online store.
Most of the tips for care and maintenance of full contact gear applies to LARP gear. Here are a couple of additional tips.
- The rubberized coatings we use on LARP gear can dry out at times. A bit of Armor All or other protectorant can extend the life of your gear if applied every couple of months.
- If a small tear develops in the rubber coating, they can be easily repaired with PlastiDip products which will bond to our coating. Also, theatrical latex available at Halloween stores can be used for small repairs.
- Definitely do not store LARP swords on their tips. The foam is often thin and flexible, and can permanently deform if left on the tip.