From AmtWiki

Bamboo has a long history of use as a core for Amtgard weapons.

While it may not be as popular as some other cores for swords, it still makes a quite serviceable core, lighter than PVC but not as light as golf club shafts.

It really shines, and is by far the most commonly used core, however, for polearms.

Care must be taken to ensure that thick enough bamboo is used for the length of polearm... what works for a 6' shortspear will not work for a big 15-footer. It should not bend, and even so may be more prone to snapping than other cores if not careful. Remember bamboo should be courtesy padded as required by the Rulebook.

There are many different species of Bamboo, which grow in a wide variety of climates, but the types most used by Amtgard are generally of the "yellow" variety, such as Golden Hawaiian. If you live in an area where appropriate Bamboo grows locally, you may be able to harvest some or grow your own in your backyard. Make sure you find out if it is okay before cutting, just because it is on the side of a road doesn't mean you can just take it.

That being said, even if you can cut it, you can't just use it fresh-cut. Bamboo needs to be properly dried, either by leaving to dry out in a dry place or using some kind of oven or torch. The former method, while easier (any garage should do) will take time... as much as 6 months depending on local humidity.

Bamboo can also be store-bought, or ordered through distributors. Landscaping firms are worth checking into. Sometimes you can find them at more established garden shops or nursuries. Home Depot typically sells bamboo fence-sticks, but they are only useful for the shortest spears, usually they are in the 1cm diameter range. Peir 1 also sells bamboo, which is thicker but not very long.

Wal-Mart sells pieces of bamboo that are roughly 4-5 feet long, the cheapest of which cost a dollar per pole, and the decorated (and higher quality) poles can be found for 3 dollars a pole. Both types are sold in packs of 3. Further, to create a long er pole, it is possible to insert the thin end of a tapered pole into the thick end of another. With custom filing and fitting, it is difficult to tell that two poles have been stuck together, and in personal experience, the joint becomes a strong location on the pole, with the area above it being more likely to break.

Bamboo can also be bent slightly by steaming, or by allowing the dry bamboo to dry in that shape.

  • insert list of bamboo distributors here