Forgive me for saying this, but both my Roomate and I have been boffering for years without body protection, and we have never once swung to hard or seriously injured each other unless we slip or hit each other in a spot that might of been sore from something work related.... And I personally have a couple years of Kendo under my belt as well. Untill we get armor at the worst were thinking of tap fighting, choreographing, spin practice or the types of restraining maneuvers we see on the tutorial videos of always keeping your hand as a fist pointed at your partner..
My partner is also an EX SCA member and is the son of a champion fencer who made it into the trials for the olympics in the late 1960's
So we are hardly rank Amateurs by any means, were just not going to be teaching and classes anytime soon.
That being said so far the best bet were thinking of is Lacross padding, there certified to withstand a ball being flung into you at over 100 miles per hour or being struck repeatedly by a metal lacross staff, so I think and sabers we whack aganst them would not inflict massive damage... that would protect every where but the necks which were considering Motorcycling Neck braces, the kind you should wear when your riding a crotch rocket and restricts your neck movement, it should provide the protection for your neck area and keep your head from being batted around quite abit when the occasional botched swing gets you in the head.
The irony is that some of the better idea's for protect your wrist came from a very non combative sport. Bowling.... See I do bowl on occasion and I work at a center up here, so you see what the pro's use on the lanes, and you can actually buy a hard metal wrist brace that, while designed to keep your wrist from bending to far back which is a plus so you don't overextend your wrists swinging, also is hard metal so they can take saber hits well, the only potential downside I can think of is you would not be able to spin your saber for a xxx, but it's not a bad idea overall. My roommate is personally thinking of The Full Lacross Guardsmen Vambrace because of the same reasons Were thinking of of Lacross Chest, Shoulder, Shin, and Groin protection...
Okay Why sugar coat it, were basically planing on shopping for the gear from the only truly armored competitive sports that comes to mind.
A good alternitive for face protection would be of course a fencing or kendo helm, the Kendo helm being the best, but in a budget pinch I'm pretty sure a Hockey Goalies mask, or a Catchers face mask could do in a pinch...
While I agree the SCA is awesome as an organization, it's not honestly an option for us as we generaly lack the transportation to get out to events, the reason my roomate is an EX member, and the last local event I went to didn't inspire me to make a second outing for reasons I won't discuss. Also well were poor so were thinking budget options for protection via sports gear that well is affordable.