We remember it as if it was yesterday. Concept, tests, corrections, a little change in concept, a break for medieval memes, tests, finishing touches… And the great day has come. However, nobody could expect what happened later.
This year we celebrate a very important anniversary in Histfenc. 10 years ago our AP jacket was launched – first modern HEMA jacket with historical background, in some circles recognized as iconic.
Some of you compare the launching of the AP jacket with releasing the Ford T car in 1908. Just like this car model was a milestone in popularizing motorization in the USA, after presenting the AP model legions of HEMA enthusiasts started to appear in gyms and tournaments around the world.
Along with popularizing HEMA, together with this jacket a new era has come which differs this fairly young discipline from sport fencing or historical reenactment by using other uniforms – as you may know, sport fencing is dominated by white gear and reenactment by armors and historical clothing.
In HEMA, fighters wear quilted jackets combining historical elements with modern design. And of course all of it has to be in black, which makes HEMAists stand out from the mortals.
Safety first – and it remains the same from the very beginning
The AP model has contributed to two revolutions in HEMA so far. The first one took place in 2011, when the jacket was released. To be honest, we did not expect that this model will become a standard itself, blazing a trail in the world of HEMA.
Since the premiere, we have been perfecting the details in this design, keeping in mind your remarks and our own experience. And as the jacket had its own little baptism of fire during Swordfish, the first upgrade came to existence still in 2011.
Another revolution happened in 2015, 4 years after the premiere. As one of the first manufacturers of HEMA gear we noticed a need for change. And as you have probably noticed, we often repeat that safety is the most important matter in this sport. So we started to use the 350N fabric as an outer layer of a jacket for a try. It was a good decision and this technology later became a standard in tournaments.
It’s been a few years since that moment. Currently, tournament organizers expect an even higher level of protection in a form of good amortization and 800N puncture resistance. (Does it mean another revolution in the AP series? Calm down, let’s not get ahead of ourselves – we’ll come back to this in a moment;) )
Did you know…?
SPES AP jacket is also well appreciated among Asian producers of knockoffs. It’s definitely the most often copied HEMA jacket. (Which on one hand, it is nice to be the creator of a role model, but it also means that someone is making money on our work, violating copyright – which means stealing. Not cool).
The evolution of the AP jacket over the decade
Throughout 10 years the AP family has expanded. Over time the AP 350N was accompanied by AP PRO 350N, women’s AP 350N and AP Light 350N (also in women’s version). There were some more upgrades in this time, and here is the short history:
“AP” Fencing Jacket 350N V2.0 (09/2015)
• The fabrics were certified 350N puncture resistance.
• The construction of the jacket was strengthened.
• More durable zip.
“AP” Fencing Jacket V1.2 (07/2014)
Outer fabric was changed to obtain higher resistance. The basis weight of the fabric is now a minimum 750g/m2.
02/2013 – Zipper was replaced by a new, much stronger type.
“AP” Fencing Jacket V1.1 – version upgraded after Swordfish 2011
1. thicker protective layer on the ribs and the front
2. slightly shorter sleeves
3. adding a bladecatcher in the collar
Another revolution – AP 800N!
2021 can be called the “year of AP” not only because of the anniversary, but also because of the changes we have in plans. A large part of these products will undergo a makeover. It will cover, among other things, implementing the elements you often asked for.
Yes! This idea was born after many discussions with tournament organizers and participants. This is why we will launch the AP 800N soon – new version of the most popular HEMA tournament jacket in the world.
What are the changes in the new AP 800N?
- It will be a simple, universal tournament jacket of high puncture resistance (800N), providing the level of amortization appropriate for longsword fighting. What’s important – but not visible – amortization will be made from thick distance mesh, providing better moisture venting and better air circulation known from our most armored jacket – Hussar.
- There will be a double-closure in the form of a zipper and grey tape with velcro. It’s a solution we have already used in other jackets and it works well during a fight – if one closure breaks, the second one still provides protection to the chest.
- In response to your requests, there will be an adjustment strap on the back – the solution from jackets like Officer or AP Light.
- There will be universal mounting tapes on sleeves. These will work with various arm protection, like our PRO sets, Geko forearms, or Shell elbow covers.
- The size chart will also change. Instead of 4 sizes, there will be 6, so it will be easier to find the best size for you. There will be custom sizing option too, which surely will please very tall customers.
Basic features of the AP 800N
- new filling with breathable and moisture venting features (amortization)
- 6 sizes (XXS-XXL)
- mounting points on the sleeves
- adjustable strap on the back
- double closure (zipper + velcro)
- decorative grey tape, adding an extra mighty look (+3 to strength 😎 )
- reasonable price-protection ratio
The evolution of the AP models is as dynamic as the evolution of HEMA. Together with the AP 800N, we are starting the upgrades in all the series. There are also plans to make a women’s version in all 6 sizes. So stay tuned and follow us on social media – another revolution is just around the corner!