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The lance is a relative of the spear but unlike the spear it was not meant for throwing. It is a much heavier weapon and much more durable. It was particularly effective in two different ways. A group of mounted knights could charge with their lances thus creating a very effective way of breaking through enemy lines. IT could also be used as an effective defense against mounted charges.

Lances were much longer and sturdier than their cousin the spear. Usually ranging up to about ten feet in length with the jousting versions sometimes even longer - as long as twelve feet or more..

How were jousting lances made safer? Jousting was a sport and a way for a knight to improve his skills with the lance. It wasn't desired to injure or maim an opponenet in a joust. The goal was to knock the opposing knight off his horse and the lance was modified to suit this purpose safely. Lances often were hollowed out so they would easily break or shatter on impact. They also often had a flared end or a ball shaped end. That way the impact could be made without actually piercing the opposing knight. The Knight shown to the left is a figure from the Knights collection you can learn more about it: Tournament Knight Figure, Taurus

What is that metal cone shaped object on the lance near where the knight holds it? That is called a Vamplate. It was designed to protect the knights hand and to stop his hand from sliding up the lance upon impact. These vamplates on jousting lances were often extremely large. This would also help in causing the opposing knights lance to slide away.

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