When LARPing it’s quite common to also do battles or fights. LARP weapons are made with this purpose in mind and to be as safe as possible to use in a battle. This doesn’t mean they can’t still cause injuries, so it’s important to use LARP weapons in a safe manner.
Each LARP group or event has their own rules regarding safety, but they generally are very similar to each other.
LARP swords, spears, axes and other close range weapons
To guarantee the safety of LARP weapons, there are strict rules for the state the weapons are in. Weapons should be checked before every LARP and be repaired or thrown away when they no longer meet the safety regulations.
The only part of a LARP weapon that can have a hard surface is the handle. Any other part of a LARP weapon should be soft. The handle must be securely attached to the rest of the weapon.
Most LARP weapons have a fiberglass core. This core should not protrude from the weapon at any point. When fiberglass breaks it’s extremely sharp and can cause serious cuts. Always check if the fiberglass core isn’t protruding from your weapon, especially at the tip.
Long weapons, such as long sword blades and pole weapons, shouldn’t be too limp and flexible. If there’s too much movement in the structure of the weapon, they are difficult to control and you might end up hitting someone in a way that isn’t safe.
Stabbing is never allowed! This rule stands for all weapons, even spears. There is too high a chance that the fiberglass will protrude from the tip and cause injury.
LARP weapons shouldn’t have too much weight. A heavy weapon can still have a significant force of impact.
LARP bows and crossbows
Amongst all LARP weapons, bows and crossbows are the most dangerous ones. Even a bow with a low poundage can still cause serious injury.
This is why there are often extra rules for LARP archers. Some groups or events might require LARP archers to pass a skill test, to make sure the archer is skilled enough to use a bow or crossbow safely.
At most events there will be rules on the poundage of the bow and the distance from which the archer can shoot. A draw weight of 30 lbs and a maximum distance of 7 meters seems to be common. Check the rules of the event when in doubt.
After shooting, each arrow should be checked for damage. Any damaged arrow should be discarded immediately.
LARP throwing weapons
Aside from close range weapons and archery weapons, there’s also a wide variety of throwing weapons. These throwing weapons can range from traditional throwing weapons, such as knives, axes, stars and grenades, or random objects to throw, like stones and beer tankards.
Any item that you’re planning to use as a throwing weapon should have two characteristics. They cannot have a hard core, as a hard core can have a heavy impact when thrown. And they need to be larger than an eye socket to prevent them from entering someone’s eye.
A LARP shield is generally constructed in a similar way as a weapon. They have a hard core, covered in foam and finished with a latex coating. The edges should be rounded and have soft areas.
LARP shields may not be used as weapons! They are a protective tool and should be used as such.