[Cannot locate a 30" sabre]
Umm, I've never seen one. Don't know where you might get one. One possibility
is that foil blades come in sizes; and at one time everyone used a #4 instead
of the maximum length #5. It is possible, even likely, that sabre blades
were sized as well. It might even be possible to get different sizes.
You should try calling Santelli at (201) 871-3105 and see if they have any
ideas. They sell a junior size foil (smaller handle and blade).
Now there might be considerable trouble finding this item; because it is
a minority requirement in a minority sport here in the U.S., and also
because traditionally, foil is taught to younger fencers. de Beaumont reports
that although he prefers the traditional approach, that there was some
success in Italian epee coaches teaching epee without foil preliminary.
I find it really unlikely that the kid's development as a fencer will be
cruelly stunted if he works foil for a year or two. But if you are really
set on the idea, and have no other way out, you could set up a kids sabre
by replacing the pommel with something light, using the small aluminum
guard (as seen e.g. in the Santelli 'tournament' sabre), and you can shorten
a sabre blade by carefully grinding off the shoulder of the blade,
cutting more threads on the tang, and then shortening the tang to fit.
You may need to take the pommel end of the guard in a little, too.
Now this might be a useful weapon for the kid to practice with, but
note that altering the weapon yourself basically voids all warranties,
etc., and since you're moving the center of percussion, you may increase
the chance that the blade will break. Such alteration is specifically
forbidden by FIE rules (in particular grinding the blade is prohibited),
so no competitions with this weapon.
(posted via his wife's account)
P.S. make sure you get the correct assymetry. Sabre blades are right and
left handed. It's unsafe to use the wrong one.