I’ve jousted with a 2 inchthick wooden pole, about 4 feet long with a bumper on the end a bit like the top of a bar stool, a tennis ball on the end of the lance aint going to cut it, it’s still going to be pretty hard. We didn’t use helmets or shields, obviouly no head shots allowed, but i did wear leg guards and wrist guards (but i always do anyway).
Ben made some for kayaks but they were also good for unicycles, although maybe a tad long. He used long PVC tubes that had one end padded with foam rubber- the dense stuff that wouldn’t aborb water. They worked ok but would bend a bit from the length of them. No helmet is needed unless you go for headshots. I don’t think we used a sheild- you could be creative with that one if you want. If you dont have a suit of armour just set boundaries eg no low blows and no headshots etc.
We’ve been using broomsticks, about 1.5 m long, with about 70 cm of “pool noodle” on the end. You can get pool noodles that already have holes of just about the right diameter down each end (for connectors, I think), or you can just make your own holes. Leave about 30-40 cm of noodle loose on the business end for shock absorption. The noodle makes for a “sloppier” impact on the shield than a tennis ball does, but that makes dismounting your foe more of a challenge.
We also cut around the diameter of 2-litre plastic pop bottles about 1/4 the way down from the spout end - the spout fits over the broomstick and the whole thing makes a pretty cool guard for your hand.
This is similar to what we have, except we don’t have the extra pool noodle at the end, but it is bent a bit, and we don’t have the pop bottle bottoms. For shields, we have those foam pads kids use in the pool to practice kicking, covered in duct tape with ropes on them to go over your hand.
we used a hockey stick with a pillow duct taped on the end, and broom with a pillow attached the same way.
My friends and I were jousting in a hallway at school, and I have permanent scars on my back from falling shirtless against a bulliten board. the rug burns took off a lot of skin on my shoulder blades.