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Boffer Maintenance

Because boffers take so much abuse, they will slowly but surely become damaged. When the foam in boffer becomes weak it can become a rather dangerous implement. You can tell when a weapon has become unsafe because you will be able to feel the pipe through the foam easily, or you will be able to see the padding through a tear in the tape. When this occurs you will need to repair your boffer before using it in combat again.

There are three types of repairs that may need to be done to your boffer. A Patch, a Re-Tape, and a Re-Core.

Patch - A patch is a quick fix that should only be used if a fairly new boffer gets a tear in the tape, but the padding is still fully intact. Patches are very simple and only require you to place a piece of tape over the ripped area. If you need to patch an area more than once, you should Re-Tape it instead as multiple layers of tape quickly become very hard.

As you can see in the first image, a hole has been punched in the tape, however the padding is still okay. If the padding were to have been ripped, a Re-Tape would be a better fix. This is a very common fix in boffering because any small pointy object can do this to your weapons such as fingernails, jewelry, armor, etc.

Smooth out the area and move the tape so it's flush with the hole, as seen in the second image. You should now only see the rip not the padding.

Cut a piece of tape large enough to cover the hole and still have an inch on all sides. Place the tape over the hole so that the hole is at the center of the patch piece. Firmly push the tape onto the boffer and make sure it's smooth around the edges, as seen in the third image.

Patch 1 Patch 2 Patch 3

This type of patch should hold for quite awhile provided that care is taken to keep it in place. If it falls off, simply put on another patch.


Re-Tape - A re-tape is needed when a piece of foam has been torn, but is still fairly sturdy. You will need remove all the tape surrounding the entire area of the rip. Put a patch over the torn area, then re-tape the exposed area. This will strengthen the tear, so it won't come apart during combat. If the tear does open again, you will need to re-tape it again.


Re-Core - When the foam has taken all it can and the pipe is felt through it, it's time to re-core the boffer. If the foam all the way up the blade is getting weak you will need to replace the entire thing. However, if just the tip has been damaged (which is usually the case) you can get away with a partial fix. To make a partial fix remove all the tape from the blade. Use a box-cutter or X-Acto knife to cut the damaged portion of the blade off. Discard the damaged piece and take a new piece of foam and slide it over the pipe. Re-tape the blade, and you're done.

When using PVC, the pipe rarely breaks, but if it does, you will have to replace the entire boffer.


Quick Tips - Some quick tips to make your boffers last longer.

  • Try not to hit the ground, it damages the tips and causes the tips to break prematurely.
  • Don't put weight on the tip. (e.g. Don't use it as a crutch)
  • Always fix a damaged boffer before using it in combat. The sooner you fix it, the less damage it will take and it keeps accidents to a minimum.
  • Keep your boffers dry and clean. When they get wet or dirty the adhesive on the tape fails.
  • Don't fight against people with sharp armor. The edges of plate armor will quickly cut the tape and padding of your boffer.
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