I have had several people ask about buying fencing equipment. There are European companies, and Chinese-made equipment available through a number of companies. There are also different ratings on equipment (based on how much force the equipment can take before it fails). Ask the coaches about these ratings, and what type of equipment you need.
The closest source is our coach John. He sells equipment from Alliance (Chinese-made): http://www.alliancefencingequipment.com, and European as well (Allstar, PBt, and more): http://www.crossedswords.ca. It is best to ask him about what he has and prices.
Online, you can find a number of US companies selling Chinese-made items:
- Absolute: http://www.absolutefencinggear.com/shopping/
- Athos (Canada): http://www.athoscan.com/
- Balestra: http://www.balestrafencingequipment.com/
- Blue Gauntlet: http://www.blue-gauntlet.com/
- Crossed Swords (Canada): http://www.crossedswords.ca
- Elite (Canada): http://www.elitefencingequipment
- Fencing Post: http://stores.thefencingpost.com/StoreFront.bok
- Fencing Star: http://www.fencingstar.com/Default.asp
- Physical Chess: https://www.physicalchess.com/
Among the European companies, some popular brands are
- Allstar/Uhlmann: http://www.allstarcanada.com, http://www.allstar.de/index.php?newlang=eng
- Leon Paul: http://www.leonpaul.com
- PBT: http://www.fencepbt.com
When considering a purchase, though, also consider resale value. For instance, it is easier to sell a FIE mask than one with a lower rating. For weapons, I highly recommend spending a bit more on a European blade. FIE/maraging blades are not necessary, but you want a blade that will last a fairly long time. For your first weapon, John is an invaluable help – he can customize it to what you want, and guide you through the process.