Pennsic is coming! For many people this is a rare opportunity to see all the new weapons in person, and buy new toys. It's exciting, and they're wonderful to play with. But,
Don't take any Shiny New Toy (SNT) directly out into a tournament or melee. YOU need an opportunity to get used to the SNT, to figure out how it handles, how lightly you can thrust with it, what it feels like when it cuts, and how far it reaches.
YES! Go to the field! Find a friend (brand new or long term) and tell them you have a SNT and would like to try it out. Share the excitement! Have a few passes with your friend, stop and chat about how the SNT feels, maybe even get the friend to use it on you, so you can feel the pointy end of your SNT. Play some more, play with a few more friends. Always get their feedback about how the bouts go.
Then you have the information you need to decide if you're ready to use your SNT against all your current and not-yet-met friends in a tournament or battle. Let your SNT and your good judgement enhance your reputation, not leave you infamous.
Oh, and by the way, this applies to ROT too.
You know, that Rusty Old Tool that hides in your sword bag half the year, because it's good for melee, but not your favourite weapon? The one you haven't practised with in ages.
Take out your ROT and warm it up with a few practise bouts. Re-establish your old working relationship, so you remember how it moves. Make sure you are ready to wield that ROT before you go into battle, so that your friends don't think poorly of you.
Make every battle, a happy battle!