The Order of the Boar

Historical Cavalry Re-enactment in New Zealand

Jousting - How we do it

The Weapon

armour

The weapon we use for jousting is called a lance. This is a long spear about 4 meters long made from two parts.

The first part - the main body of the lance is made from a hard timber like beech or ash. This part is 3 meters long with most of its length projecting forward from the handgrip. Just forward of the handgrip the lance is about 50mm in diameter and gradually tapers down to about 32mm at the tip which ends in a metal tube. Either a 90 cm solid wooden tip or a 90 cm frangible wooden tip can be inserted into this.

This extends the life of the main body of the lance especially during tournament use where we are attempting to shatter the tip and then drive the main body of the lance into the target area.

Depending on the type of wood used, lances can weigh anywhere between 2 to 4 kilograms.

The Armour

The Order of the Boar requires its jousters to comply with the rules of the International Jousting Association which includes a minimum armour standard.

This includes a padded aketon (a garment that covers the torso and arms), a steel mail hauberk (a garment that overlies the aketon), a coat-of plates (that covers the front and sides of the torso), rigid or semi-rigid upper leg and arm armour, pair of mail or plate gauntlets (gloves), a mail coif (or hood) with padded liner, a full face metal helmet and a wooden shield, this being the basic armour used by knights in the late 13th/early 14th centuries. 

Although this is getting a bit out-of-date for the time period covered by our group, it is still a safe minimum armour standard for jousting.

The Order of the Boar specialises in the late 14th century which saw the development of a variety of different styles of armour made from combinations of mail, leather, metal plates and textiles that were added to or replaced the basic armour described above.

The wide choice of armour styles available in the mid to late 14th century allows our jousters a considerable element of choice in what they decide to wear while at the same time remaining historically accurate.

Another great thing about this period is the flamboyant armour and clothing styles that were available. Because we depict knights at a tournament this lends itself well for ostentatious display as knights of the time were just as keen to show off their wealth as their prowess in the lists!

An Armoured Fighting Machine

A Knights' weaponry was designed to maim, crush, and kill

A very few of them are listed below...

  • Axe - Axes remained a favored tool for cracking through plate armor.
  • Bec de Corbin - literally "Beak of the Crow." It was mainly used for fighting against armor, as the "hammer" portion of the weapon was composed of multiple small spikes (usually four) on one side, and a long, beak-like spike on the other side.
  • Flail - The flail is simply a handle connected by a chain to a striking surface. Flails could be spiked, studded or plain, with one head, two heads, or even three.
  • Hammer - one-handed war hammers were meant to be used primarily from horseback. Hammers were crushing weapons meant to defeat armor, and often featured a spike on the opposite site of the crushing head..
  • Lance - a horseman's spear.
  • Mace - a club-like weapon either made entirely of metal or with a metal head atop a wooden shaft.
  • Morning Star - A weapon of 4 to six feet in length, consisting of a wooden shaft topped by a ball of either wood or metal, from which several steel or iron spikes protrude.
  • Pollaxe - derived from the measurement "poll" meaning the distance from the ground to the middle of a horse's head.
  • War Hammer - a type of one-handed hammer favoured by knights as an effective anti-armor weapon for use from horseback. War hammers were generally made completely of metal, with a hammerhead on one face and a long backspike behind it.

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