Archery vs. Fencing – Which One Is Better?

If you want to know if either archery or fencing is the right sport for you then you came to the right place. In this article, we will compare archery vs. fencing in a fair and objective way. So by the end of this article, you will know the benefits of both archery and fencing and also the disadvantages of both.

One of these two sports has more cases of injuries and that is something you should be aware of.

So, let’s begin with a short comparison between the sports, before going into more detail.

Archery and fencing are both very safe sports for those who practice them. And while fencing offers better exercise and overall more cardiovascular training than archery, it on the other is faster to learn and cheaper to start practicing.

No worries. I know this is a website dedicated to archery but still, you will get a fair and objective comparison between archery and fencing here.

Before we go into more detail here, check this table out. It will offer you the essence of the article in a bite-sized format.

SafetyOnly, 0.45 participants per thousand suffer an injuryOne of the safest Olympic sports out there
Cost To Start Training140$200$200$ – 360$
Cost Of Equipment Used70$ – 90$120$ – 160$
Better WorkoutBurns up to 200 calories per hour (at most)Burns 400 – 500 calories per hour
Popularity Of The SportThere are millions of archers in the U.S.Only up to 50.000 fencers in the U.S.
Archery vs. Fencing – A Tabel Showing Which Is More Popular

How Safe Is Archery vs. Fencing?

Now, this will likely surprise you.

But both sports are among the safest ones out there. Much safer than American football or soccer. Now how could that be, both sports include pointy things. Archery has fast-moving pointy things (arrows), while the object of fencing is to gain points by “stabbing” someone with a “sword”.

Well, it’s the context.

Both archery and fencing have strict rules regarding practice and competitions. Archery for example is practiced on archery ranges. They have sanctioned areas designed for shooting as many arrows as you want. You have a target in front of you at certain distances, the most common being a 40-yard one.

You shoot the arrows from your quiver and when you are done you wait for any other archers on the shooting line to finish before you jointly walk to your targets and collect your arrows.

It is so safe in the fact that the ArcheryTrade Organisation recorded in this report that in 2014, 0.45 participants per thousand suffered an injury.

Data show that archery is one of the safest sports. Soccer, baseball, and basketball have
injury rates 20 to 45 times higher than archery’s injury rate. Archery’s injury rate per 1,000
participants ranks it below golf, fishing, and tennis, and just slightly above badminton, bowling
and table tennis

Archery Trade Asociation-Safety Brochure

So, very safe.

How Safe Is Fencing?

Turns out. Fencing is an extremely safe sport.

In 2009, researchers from the University of Oslo researched the rate of injuries among Olympic athletes in the 2008 summer Olympics. They found that the fencing athletes had among the lowest rates of injuries among the participants in the Summer Olympics.

There were only 5 other sports with even lower rates of injuries. You can see the infographic depicting it here if you wish.

You must be thinking “what about the pointy swords”. Totally understandable. Well, those swords, or “sabre” as they can be called, are bendable and the tips are dull.

Meaning when a fencer scores a hit they are doing so with a sword that is unable to pierce an opponent.

It bends on contact. There are still some dangers you will see below, but overall a pretty safe sport.

This means if you yourself are thinking of trying either sport or if you are planning on enrolling your loved one, they are in good hands either way.

Cost To Start Training – Archery vs. Fencing

Cost Of Archery Training

You can enroll in a beginner archery class for 140$ on the low end and all the way up to 200$ for the high-end introductory class. It will be a group class usually consisting of between 6-8 lessons.

After that, a yearly pass on most archery ranges costs about 100$ to 120$ most.

In the beginning, you don’t have to worry about buying your own equipment. Most archery ranges offer rental bows and arrows for use while you are going through an introductory class. And after that, there are rental options for close to 10$ a session.

Overall a cheap introduction to a sport that is actually pretty fun, as you can see here.

The Cost To Train Fencing

Fencing is more expensive than archery to dip your toes in. You will typically have to go through the introductory classes to get your basics down. Now, of course, fees vary from club to club but you can expect to pay at least 200$/month.

And this is on the low end. Some clubs charge as much as 360$. The monthly cost will contain 1-2 weekly sessions. Usually, the higher-priced packages offer more sessions per week to justify the cost.

After you finish the introductory class, the only training cost you should expect (aside from equipment) is the 200-500 dollars a month you will be paying as membership dues.

I know, I’m stating a wide range for the monthly membership dues. The thing is the cost of fencing membership dues does wary across geographical locations.

And the spread is wider than fees for your local archery range. Which are in the same ballpark.

So, if cost is a major factor in your criteria then Archery is cheaper than Fencing to start and practice.

Cost Of Equipment

How Much Does Archery Equipment Cost?

Archery beginners can get a full archery kit with essential equipment for 70 dollars. When you add another 20$ for a basic quiver you can get on Amazon it means you can fully equip yourself with bare essentials for a hundred dollars.

And a bow can last you a very long time if you treat it right. Your arrows will get broken and/or lost, but replacing them is cheap. You can get a decent 6-12 piece arrow set for less than 30$.

Archery can be done extremely cheaply. To see what I mean simply click here. It will take you to Amazon where you can see the prices for yourself and pick the best one for you.

When you graduate beyond the beginner level. There is a way to spend more. You can spend on more expensive bows better arrows, and special hand release aids. A fancier quiver? Or you can simply make a quiver yourself.

So overall for beginners, archery is very cheap to get into. How about fencing?

How Much Does Fencing Equipment Cost?

You can buy the basic fencing equipment in a starter kit for between 120$ – 160$ dollars. The starter kit includes the basic equipment you need such as a fencing jacket, a mask, a glove, an underarm protector, and a practice weapon.

Women have an added 20$-30$ for their chest protector, for men that one is optional.

Overall still cheap, but not as much as Archery. So, when it comes to cost Archery is cheaper than Fencing. Both in training costs and the cost to purchase their equipment.

So, it’s time we give Fencing a win, don’t you agree?

Which One Is A Better Workout Archery or Fencing?

Fencing. Fencing is by far a superior workout and it burns much more calories than an average shooting session of archery. Just for comparison’s sake.

Fencing burns between 400 to 500 calories per one-hour session. Whilst at the same time archery could burn just 200 calories.

Obviously, how many calories you burn depends on your body characteristics but even so, there is no denying the fact that Fencing as a sport is more physically intense. This leads to more calories being burnt which in turn means you sweat more and are healthier as a result.

This does make sense, while archery does build up your upper body muscles to a good degree, aside from that you don’t do much aside from walking to and from the target.

Fencing on the other hand offers bursts of intense action involving the entire body. You often do that while you are covered head to toe in a gear that quite frankly makes you sweat. So intense physical movements coupled with gear mean you burn substantially more calories compared to archery.

So Fencing is a clear winner here.

And lastly a metric, with little significance.

Which Sport Is More Popular Archery Or Fencing?

Archery is more popular than fencing. In the U.S. alone there are millions of people practicing archery versus less than 50.000 people practicing fencing in the States.

After the outbreak of Covid, the number of fencers in the U.S. has fallen even further due to continuous lockdowns and restrictions for public gatherings.

Overall archery is more popular in the states, partly due to people who like to bow hunt and of course those who practice target archery. If we look at it from a wider perspective archery has grown faster than fencing due to the low cost of training.

Low cost of equipment. And in some small ways due to the influence of movies and TV shows. If a movie like The Hunger Games has let’s say 20 million viewers you can bet some of these viewers will try archery at some point.

So, archery being cheap to train, widely popularized in movies and TV shows, and the equipment to train being really cheap means that archery has a leg up when it comes to popularity.

But even if archery is cheaper to get into you can get decent at it faster and offers immense benefits as you can see by clicking here, that doesn’t mean you should discount fencing.

Fencing, while more expensive to begin is an incredible way to exert yourself mentally and physically and as a sport ranks high in my list. Even though I am biased in favor of archery I do recommend you give both sports a try.

You might find you have a cool new hobby to develop yourself mentally and physically.

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Take care.

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