Gear Supplier Recommendations
Equipment is a necessity in HEMA. It can be difficult to find out where to reliably buy swords and protective gear. Below are some recommendations for US suppliers of HEMA gear.
Purpleheart is one of the oldest and largest suppliers for the HEMA community. Originally built around making wooden wasters for a variety of weapons they have since expanded their options to include synthetic weapons of their own design plus steel weapons and training tools from other blacksmiths. In addition, they also supply protective gear from a variety of vendors from around the world including SPES, PBT, and Absolute Force. They are a great one-stop shop and offer a discount for HEMA Alliance members.
HEMA Supplies is an independent supplier that focuses on offering gear from European vendors at more affordable prices and shipping costs. They offer an entire range of steel weapons from Regenyei Armory and Chlebowski Swords, protective gauntlets from Sparring Gloves, and jackets from Black Armory.
South Coast Swords
Based in California, South Coast Swords is the primary supplier of the popular synthetic waster company Blackfencer from Spain. Blackfencer offers an impressive range of weapons, styles, and options in synthetic format and are popular for their price, appearance, and reliability. If they don't have what you want in stock, feel free to e-mail them. They are very friendly and offer good service.
Castille Armory is overall probably the best value in the US for blacksmiths that offer their convenience and ease of customization. A long time supplier of weapons for the SCA, they have recently expanded into offering a wealth of different weapons for HEMA and have a variety of build-your-own options that allow you an off-the-shelf customization option that's difficult to find anywhere else.