My friend and I went to the Dallas Arms Collectors Show in Dallas today. We saw a lot tables full of beautiful custom knives and a lot of factory knives too. Jantz supply was there with tables full of knife making supplies. It was cool to look at all the different scale materials, blade stock, etc. I'm not a knife maker but if I was I would've been like a kid in a candy store.
Shortly after we arrived at the show I looked through some doors into the large room next to where the show was being held. The room was basically empty except I saw some tables set up on the far side of the room with several people mulling around them. Then I noticed that a couple banners hanging off the tables said Spyderco and a couple of the guys had Spyderco shirts on. Hmm, better walk over there and take a look. It turns out they were holding the 2018 Bladesports World Championship and they were preparing for a qualifying round.
While they were preparing we got to talk for a bit with Donavon Phillips and some of the other guys about their sport, the knives they use, various stages of the course, how they practice, etc. It was all very interesting. It's obvious a lot of thought goes into this and these guys enjoy what they do.
There was some Spyderco swag available along with a few Spydies that had "BladeSports 2018 World Championships" etched on the blade. Cool stuff! Donavon seemed very appreciative that Spyderco sponsors BladeSports. During our conversation it was made clear that without the help of sponsors they wouldn't be able to participate in this sport that they obviously enjoy so much. So hats off to Sal & crew for helping these guys out!
I tried to take some pics of the competition but most of the shots didn't turn out very good.
Below Donavon's discussing the knives they use. They were mostly made of M4 and 4V but I believe he also said a couple were 52100 and D2. I asked Donavon what edge angles they were using. He referred me to his "tech guy" who said they were all somewhere between 15 and 20 dps.
^ Sorry I didn't have an opportunity to get a pic of one of the knives out of it's sheath.
I finally got to handle a Shaman, Manix 2 backlock, and 100 Pacer. All were great pieces!
This vid's from the same event a couple years ago. Some of the stages are a little different but you get the idea.
At one point during the event Donavon mentioned that Gayle Bradley was there. I asked where? It turns out he was standing right behind me.
So I got to meet him and chat about his designs a bit. I asked him to make another version of his Air. Maybe with a pocket clip this time. He said he'd like to.
He also pulled a new Spydie prototype out of his pocket and let me handle it. I'm hesitant to give much detail but it's a variation of a current model and it's really nice!