There are a bunch of different types of foam you can use for making Foam Fighting weapons. Here are some of the more common types, their properties, and a brief explanation of what that means.
This includes Wacky Noodle, Funnoodle, Tundra Noodle, etcetera. This is a 1# density polyethylene foam designed as a child's pool toy, and it holds up about like you might expect a child's pool toy to hold up. The diameter is generally 2.25”, the walls are generally around .75” thick, and the hole is general about .75” in diameter.
Pool noodle makes passable courtesy padding, but shouldn’t be used as a striking surface for anything other than ‘lightest touch’ games. (e.g. Nero, Alliance, Dystopia Rising, etc.) Pool noodle is a non-cross-linked foam and is not UV stable (it breaks down in sunlight). Non-cross-linked foams are sort of like bubble wrap: Once you pop a bubble, it’s done. Most people blow through noodle weapons (assuming they were legal to start with) in one to two weeks.
This is a common supplier of a 2.6” diameter 2# density non-cross-linked polyethylene pipe insulation. It holds up a lot better than noodle (one to two months for most people) but is essentially the same technology. DrillSpot is also not UV stable and will break down in sunlight, although more slowly than noodle.
DrillSpot has a slit up the side that requires gluing and carefully sealing with tape or it will cut down on the life of the tube significantly.
You can buy the right type of DrillSpot foam here:Thermacel Polyethylene Pipe Insulation
Warlord Sports StarterTube
This is structurally pretty similar to the pipe insulation, except it's about 15% less expensive and doesn't have a slit up the side. This is the cheapest way to quickly get legal weapons if you're trying to replace noodle.
You can buy it here: WarlordSports StarterTube
This is the first tier of cross-linked foams. MC is a 2# density (it’s actually available in a variety of densities, but avoid anything higher than 2#) cross-linked foam that comes in sheets. It is designed and used primarily for it’s physical appearance, not it’s mechanical properties. It has a very fine cell structure that makes it good for use as a skin for plastidipping shields. MC is not terribly impact or tear resistant relative to other cross-linked foams, but it works much better than DrillSpot or Noodle.
Light MC weapons using minimal tape and solid tube construction can last two to three months while heavier MC weapons using spiral construction can last much longer. The heavier MC weapons are generally not considered viable for most fighters to use competitively. MC foam is more expensive than DrillSpot/StartTube and doesn’t last as long as the other cross-linked foams. It’s best used for it’s decorative properties or if other cross-linked foams aren’t available.
MC is UV stable, but is very susceptible to deformation under heat. If you leave it in your car in the summer you’re likely to end up with a permanent crease or divot if anything was resting on it.
You can buy MC foam here: CrossLinked 2# Polyethylene
This is a competition-oriented cross-linked foam that costs the same as MC, weighs less than MC, and lasts longer. Aethertube is a 1.3# density cross-linked foam that comes as a pre-formed 2.6” tube with a .5” hole in the center and is ready for use. Aethertubes last most people four to eight months.
Aethertube is UV stable and is not particularly susceptible to heat; leaving it in your car in the summer won’t hurt it unless you’ve got it crushed under heavy stuff. Aethertube weapons are generally the lightest possible weapons that aren’t using pool noodle.
You can buy Aethertube here: WarlordSports AetherTube, and it can also be found in some of our pre-constructed weapons.
This is a durability-oriented cross-linked foam that costs the same as MC, weighs the same as MC, and lasts the longest of any foam on the market. Duratube is a 2# density cross-linked foam that comes as a pre-formed 2.6” tube with a .5” hole down the center and is ready for use. Duratubes last over a year for most players.
Duratubes are UV stable and doesn’t care about temperatures up to a couple of hundred degrees. Leaving it in your car in the summer with stuff piled on top of it results in your stuff having a nice cushy ride and doesn’t bother your weapon at all. Duratube weapons are generally the most durable, longest-lasting weapons around.
You can buy Duratube here: WarlordSports DuraTube, and it can also be found in many of our pre-constructed weapons.