One of the favorite past-times amongst many people is paintball. Some have taken it to the next level and made it a sport.
The popularity of paintball has spread across the world so much that some organizations have established several national and regional leagues.
What evolved from being a concept to use a marker for trees has evolved out of the woods and made a home on playing grounds.
The popularity of paintball has established an industry of more than 10 million participants and dubbed the second biggest Extreme Sport - skateboarding being the first. (1)
The three forms of paintball are woodsball, speedball, and scenario paintball. To ensure optimal fun and safety, the right gear is essential for paintballers to participate. Our list contains the essential items to play paintball.
Commonly referred to as a paintball gun, the marker propels the paintballs toward the target. One of the key features of a paintball marker is the compressed air tank. Some markers have a Co2 tank.
Without the compressed air or Co2 tank, the bolt will not cycle, making the marker useless.
High-quality markers can propel paintballs at 300 feet per second, though the paintball cannot retain that speed for a long period. (1)
Most marker manufacturers make the bodies from aluminum to reduce the gun’s weight and feature custom milling and color anodizing. The most common markers feature a body, compressed air tank, barrel, and hopper. (2)
The three types of markers that exist are pump, mechanically operated, and electro-pneumatic. (2)
Unless you want a paintball to splatter in your eyes, then you should wear a mask while playing.
Paintball masks protect your face. A paintball hitting your body might cause a bruise, but hitting your eyes can blind you. Numerous paintball masks exist on the market, but paintballers need to ensure that theirs contains a few essential features.
Although masks are meant to protect your face, it’s also supposed to provide you with good vision. Ensure that your mask comes with an anti-fog feature, as well as thermal design lenses.
Some masks cover only your face, and others cover your entire head. Being able to hear is essential while playing paintball, so make sure that you can hear properly since different models provide different hearing levels. One of the things that affect the player’s hearing is the extra padding near the ear on the mask to protect it from injury by the paintball. (3)
Most masks contain foam padding to increase the player’s comfort on their face and helps with protection from the paintball. Some masks allow you to replace the foam since it gets blighted and disfigures due to constant absorption of sweat.
Visors on a mask are an additional feature but help to keep the sun out of your eyes, as well as prevent rain from dripping into the vents of the mask.
Other features that paintballers should look at to optimize their experience are scratch resistance, sturdiness and fog resistance.
Although a paintballer can play in a t-shirt and shorts, getting the proper attire to play is essential for several reasons.
The most recommended attire for paintball is to wear a camouflage jumpsuit. Since most paintball terrains are dusty and situated in forests, a paintballer will benefit the most from a suit that blends into the environment.
Apart from enabling the paintballer to disguise him or herself, high-quality overalls provide layers of protection. The overall contains padding that alleviates the impact when the paintballs hit the player.
A proper overall covers the entire body of the player but is also big enough for the player to wear their regular clothing as the first layer.
Besides protecting your body, a good overall is also easy to wash. Having a paintball splatter on your regular clothes might be difficult to clean with some fabrics, whereas a paintball overall is much easier to clean when stained.
After you’ve selected a proper marker, mask, and overalls, the crucial ingredient that remains is the paintballs. Players have a choice between various ammo, allowing the player to select the quality and size. Choosing the wrong ammo could lead to players losing the game.
Each marker is best suited with unique paintballs. Getting the optimal experience from the ammo means choosing the ones that are best suited to the type of game that you’re going to play.
A paintball’s gelatin shell should break upon impact, though ricochet may occur.
Most regular competitors will settle for standard ammo, but professionals will consider the cost, durability, caliber, quality, color, and efficiency.
High-quality paintballs cost more than regular ones. The standard caliber of a paintball is 0.63 while others are 0.43 and 0.71. (4) The durability of the paintball is important since the outer shell should be thick and tough to ensure that it doesn’t break on the impact of the bolt.
The type of game that you play will determine the color of the paintball. Playing woodsball amongst green trees would require bright neon shades of paint. The efficiency determines how far the paintball can go and its accuracy.
Some of the best paintballs are Valkan Infinity, Vasken, RPS Empire Marbalizer, May Vary, and JT GI Splatmaster. (4)
One of the final components is the vest. Mostly, professionals make use of a vest. A paintball vest provides the player with additional padding and enables convenient storage of ammo and other items such as radios and maps.
Players who choose to wear vests should ensure that they can easily breathe with it on, that it has adjustable shoulders and side straps, a mesh hydration bladder pouch, and several pockets.
Without the essential gear mentioned above, paintball won’t be a fun experience and could result in injury. Rather be safe than sorry by ensuring that you have all the necessary gear. After all, paintball is supposed to be a fun experience, not a risky task.
The better you’re prepared, the more fun you’ll have.