Kendo equipment consists of the swords, uniform and armor. There are two types of wooden swords used. First, the bokken or bokuto, a solid wood sword made of oak or another suitable hardwood. The bokken is used for basics and forms practice (kata) but never in matches or sparring. Second, the shinai, is made up of four bamboo staves and leather. Because of its elasticity the shinai is used for full contact sparring practice.
The uniform or dogi consists of woven cotton top called a keikogi and pleated skirt-like trousers called a hakama. The armor or bogu consists of four pieces: the helmet (men), the body protector (do), the gloves (kote), and the hip and groin protector (tare). Modern Kendo armor design is fashioned after the Oyoroi of the Samurai.
Before Bogu enters the scene, the thing new Kendokas first get introduced to is the Shinai. Shinai is a bamboo sword used in the martial art of Kendo. It is used in full contact, and because of that it is elastic and lightweight.
Shinai is made out of four pieces of bamboo held together by rope and leather. In feudal Japan, it was created as a practice Katana that was safe to train with. Now, when a person starts to practice Kendo, Shinai is going to be by their side from the first day. Here you can watch a short video explaining the composition of a Shinai.