How to Build Other Assorted LARPing-Safe Boffer Weapons
Basic boffer swords are quick and simple to build. It is possible to build other boffer weapons, like axes, staves or bows, but they are a little more complex and are not recommended for beginners.
- 3/4 inch CPVC pipe (24″-36″ Short Weapon / 34″-46″ Long Weapon / 56″-76″ Great Weapon)
- Pipe Insulation (minimum of 5/8″ thick)
- Open cell foam (~2″ thick)
- Duct Tape
- Razor or Scissors
- Electrical / Sport Tape
If you can avoid it, don’t split the pipe insulation, as it alows the core to break out and possibly injure someone.
An axe is created in much the same way as a sword. Create the striking surface of the weapon the same way as you would create a sword. To create the blade of the axe, cut a piece of open cell foam to the shape of the axe that you wish. Secure the shape to the haft of the wapon and carefully lay duct tape over the foam lengthwise, overlapping very slightly. Poke hundreds of holes in the foam with a pin or needle. When the foam is compressed and released, it should snap back to shape almost instantly.
Staves are very simple. They can range anywhere from 56″ to 72″ in length. The entire length of the pipe making up the staff can be padded like a sword, or a gap in the center of the pipe, up to 18″ wide, can be left unpadded. Instead, this section of pipe can be wrapped in electrical or sport tape for a grip. The weapon must be held in both hands during combat.
Polearms, Spears, Etc.
Other long weapons can be fashioned using methods similar to what’s listed above. The blade of a great weapon can be shaped using open cell foam, and attached to a long hilt.
Bows are made the same way staves are. For effect, the pipe may be curved by carefully heating it and bending it at the appropriate joints. Be careful not to melt the pipe. You can leave an area in the center of the pipe unpadded to use as a handgrip.