Frequently asked questions

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What is a boffer?

The term "boffer" refers to a contact, melee weapon (such as sword, spear, axe, club, flail, hammer, arrow etc.) that is made from light weight materials and padded with foam to prevent injury.

What are boffers used for?

"Boffering" or "boffing" is the act of using boffers to play a form of mock combat. The combat is used for different reasons by different people. The most common reasons to use boffer weapons include:

  • It is a great means of exercise.
  • It lets you get out your aggression in a safe way.
  • It promotes teamwork and active play amongst groups.
  • It allows people to reenact historic battles without the dangers of real weapons.
  • It allows fans of movies such as Braveheart and Lord of the Rings to enjoy the stories in a "real-life" way.
  • It allows people to practice a martial art in a safe way.

Does boffer fighting hurt?

Boffering is a contact sport and therefore it is not entirely painless. It is possible to get a bruise or welt if you are playing too rough. However, with properly padded weapons, there is very little chance of injury. The pain in boffering, depending on the equipment used and how serious the players are, can range from what you'd expect out of a pillow fight to a few bruises or scrapes every once in a while. Other sports, such as football, baseball, or hockey, are ironically more dangerous than properly organised boffer fighting; there is no such thing as a padded hockey stick. If you can handle those games, you should be able to handle boffering with ease.

Sounds like fun, how can I get involved?

There are groups of people all over the world that use boffer combat as an exciting means of recreation. A boffer directory will be created soon where you will be able to find a boffer group in your area. If there aren't any groups in your area you can always start up your own if you know people who might be interested. When doing something like that, always refer to the general rules about boffer safety; there are boffering groups that have been shut down because they were not following the rules and the fighting was not safe.

How can I make myself a boffer?

The techniques used for making boffers changes depending on what type of boffer you're making. If you've never made a boffer before, you should start with the my first boffer guide to learn the basics, and then work your way up from there.

What is a LARP?

The abbreviation LARP stands for Live-Action Role-Playing. It's similar to the traditional table-top RPGs such us Dungeons&Dragons, except everything is done in real life. As LARPs often utilize live combat, boffers can be included on them for safety reasons. The BofferWiki will not cover LARPs, but it will give you plenty of information about how to make boffers that can be used in them.

Is this some sort of cult? Are you Satan worshipers? Do you kill people?

As silly as these questions sound, they are legitimate, so here is the answer: People from any walk of life may enjoy boffers. Any race, creed, culture, religion, or ethnicity can enjoy the benefits of boffering without fear of it having a negative impact on their life. The founder of BofferWiki has been boffering for ten years and has never met a single person who thought it was "real".

Generally LARP members seem weird, but really, it is Live-Action Role-Playing. That name is pretty self-explanatory. If you happen to find a boffer group that dresses all in black, with scars on their arms, and with demonic symbols on their gear (although many people are not doing into it) use common sense.

What exercises can I do to keep in shape?

Most people don't like playing in the winter and can slowly fall out of shape. Also, when you're without a sparring partner it's hard to mimic the intensity of combat. There are many ways to keep in shape. Fencing, is similar to boffering, although a little more constrictive in its rules, but it will give you a great targeted workout. Dancing is also very useful, especially ballet. If you have access to a Dance Dance Revolution game it will really help build up your leg muscles and provides great aerobic exercise. Step aerobics, in-line skating, ice skating, and running are all very good ideas as well. Note: on DDR if you can,do the workout mode and dance till you drop. See how far you can build yourself up!