Band Shoppe creates modern interpretation of rifle
A new piece of color guard equipment is generating enthusiastic buzz among instructors and performers. The "Air Blade" spins similar to a rifle but has an unmistakable modern design. The new product was launched in May 2008 and is already being used by several World Class drum and bugle corps on the DCI summer tour. The Air Blade is created and marketed exclusively by Band Shoppe
The Air Blade is constructed of high impact ABS plastic (the same material used to manufacture protective head gear and LEGO bricks). One benefit of the material is that each Air Blade weighs a standard 2.35 pounds, unlike wood rifles which are subject to weight variances. The Air Blade is 39" long and sells for $29.95.
The Air Blade was in development for two years, according to Jay Pearison, Sr. Vice President of Band Shoppe.
"We tested several materials and choose ABS for its strength and durability," Pearison says. "Every guard room has a box of broken rifles. We know how important it is for guard equipment to be visually appealing and incredibly durable."
The Air Blade provides new opportunities for expression, according to Catina Anderson, guard instructor and editor of ColorGuardEducators.com.
"The interesting cutouts allow for the development of a wide range of hand placements and choreographic innovation that will be unique to this new piece of equipment. I'm excited to see what all of the talent and creativity of our activity does with the countless options for hand placement," Anderson says.