General Info - Weapon Construction

Source boffer weapons construction guidelines are similar to other area boffer larps.


  • Use 3/4 inch PVC pipe for the core. If making items that are less than 36 inches in total length 1/2 inch PVC is allowed. Please make sure that the pipe is PVC, not CPVC which is yellow in color and splinters more easily.
  • Minimum padding size is 3/8 pipe insulation. 3/8 inch is the thickness of the insulation, although thicker insulation is allowed. Packaging usually says "3/8 inch thick polyethylene foam pipe insulation, fits 3/4 inch copper or 1/2 inch iron pipes." The interior diameter of the insulation should be smaller than the PVC diameter to properly pad the weapon.
  • Thrust or Crush tips should be made of open cell foam. This is usually the 2 inch square by 2 foot Window Air Conditioner Insulating Foam.
  • Duct tape in any reasonable (black, silver, brown) color. (Unarmed combat "weapons" will be 'unreasonable' colors - blue, yellow, orange, red).
  • Double sided tape, rubber cement, silicone adhesive, or other approved bonding agent.


Prepare the PVC by cutting it to the desired length. Make sure the cut is straight, not on an angle. The ends should be lightly sanded to get rid of any burrs or threads. Once smoothed, place a piece of duct tape over either end of the PVC. You are now ready to cover the pipe in the closed cell pipe insulation.

To cover the pipe, first split the insulation up the seam. Line the pipe with the desired adhesive and put the insulation on the pipe, there will be a gap. Take a piece of spare insulation and cut a piece from it that is the same width as the gap that is now between the two edges of the insulation on the pipe. Place that strip into the gap.

Once the core is completely covered with insulation, cut off the foam the excess foam leaving 1" extra closed cell foam beyond any striking end of PVC pipe, both ends if a pole arm. This extra 1" will provide for extra cushioning for thrusting tips. Fill in the extra one inch with closed cell foam, and tape over the end.

Next, Apply the duct tape lengthwise and parallel with the core. Do not spiral tape the weapon. Spiral taping a weapon can compress the closed cell foam and make it hard. Weapons that are spiral taped will be disqualified from game use. You should make two layers of tape over the closed cell foam. Make sure the second layer is the color you wish your weapon to be.

To apply the thrusting tip, take a 2 inch cube of the open cell foam, trim and round if you wish. Place the cube on the end of the weapon and tape it on using long strips of duct tape. DO NOT COMPRESS THE THRUSTING TIP, as this will negate its effectiveness. Use long thin strips in an 'x' formation until the the cube is completely covered. When completed, you should be able to press down the tip with ease and have it quickly spring back to its normal shape. If it does not spring back, make a few small cuts in the tape on either side of the thrusting tip should allow for venting of the air. This must be done on both ends of a pole arm.

Other Notes

Length - A staff-style weapon (padded along the entire length) should have a core pipe no longer than 66 inches. Unarmed Combat 'weapons' should be between 12 and 18 inches total, whether they are cored or coreless (at the Player's discretion). All other weapons should have a core no longer than 57".

Bending - Bending of PVC is allowed with in reason as long as it does not take away from the integrity of the weapon. if there is any question, ask.

Sword pommels do not *need* padding, but bear in mind not to connect the sword pommel with anyone while in combat.

Hand-guards/cross-guards - All hand guards must not be able to be torn loose by the application of force. Also, it must not have any sharp edges or corners that could injure an opponent or yourself if it should come into accidental contact with it. Hand guards can be made of materials other then padding, but use common sense and the guide lines above

Wacky - Any non-standard wacky weapons (mancatchers, flails, nunchaku) will probably be disallowed. If you're at all unsure, ask before spending money on anything.

Shields - Shield-bashing is not allowed as an attack. However, for safety reasons, shields should be padded anyway. This can be accomplished simply by affixing 3/8 inch pipe insulation to the outside edge. If the edge is particularly narrow, or the shield has a corner, you may have to cover it with something firmer before the foam. If you're not sure, ask.

Thrown Weapons

Thrown weapons are constructed from standard close cell foam insulation with thrusting tips to be covered by 1" of open cell foam placed on the weapon as per the above instructions. There is NO PVC CORE OR WEIGHT OF ANY KIND in a thrown weapon whatsoever. Thrown weapons should not weigh more than two pounds.