Raymond Wang - 30 Mar 2013
I got this December 2012 as my first practice rapier based on recommendations from my fellow fencers and instructors. Since then I have subjected the DA2BR blade, the shell hilt, and s-curved quillions to hundreds of line taking (and losing). The entire weapon is holding up superbly. The weight is extremely well balanced, and the double wire wrap handle is definitely worth the extra $25. Darkwood's customer service during the order is also superb. One of their employees wrote a personal email to me the day after I submitted my order to confirm my specifications, offer advice, and ask if there was any further customization or requirements that I had. This was during the height of the Christmas shopping period! Shipping was fast, tracked, and painless. In fact, my fellow fencers were so impressed with my personal Christmas present, one of them went ahead and ordered his first rapier with Darkwood as well! To summarize, if I or my colleagues ever need a practice rapier, DA would definitely be the first and probably only place we'd look.