Why is paintball so popular? It’s a game played outside that gives you lots of exercise and exposure to fresh air and sunshine, making it a health-boosting activity.
But it’s also a game that requires you to think tactically. It engages your brain in a way that few traditional sports do. You aren’t just trying to score a ball as many times as possible. You are trying to outwit the other team, which requires a completely different mental skillset.
To get into paintball, you need to invest in the best paintball gear. Owning your own gear will allow you to play much more often than if you had to rent gear every time.
Plus, you’ll get experienced with your own gear, rather than using a different paintball gun each time.
Ready to get your own paintball gear? Keep reading to learn what you need to buy for a full paintball gear setup today.
First things first, you can’t play paintball without paintball guns, otherwise known as paintball markers. If you’ve played paintball before then, you already have experience with one of these.
When you rent a paintball gun, it’s usually a pneumatic paintball gun, which is the most common and the most beginner-friendly. If purchasing your own gun, these are well-balanced and affordable, making them a great option as your first paintball gun.
Otherwise, if you’d like to have the upper hand against your competition, an electric paintball gun is a good option as well. Though you’ll probably spend more money upfront, you’ll have a more powerful, more accurate, and more consistent paintball gun.
When players are graduating from their first paintball gun, they are most likely picking up an electric paintball gun, as they are better suited for intermediate to advanced players.
Of course, if you’d like to make paintball a little more challenging yet more rewarding for yourself, consider a pump-action paintball gun. You’ll have to manually load each round before taking a shot. This means that every paintball counts.
You’ll quickly become a much better player once you start using one of these guns, though you’ll have to play much more tactically.
On top of your paintball gun, you’ll need a hopper. This is what holds the extra paintballs before they drop into your chamber.
You can get a basic, cheaper, gravity-fed hopper that doesn’t have any special technology inside of it. When one paintball is shot, another one simply drops into the chamber and is fired.
It works, but it isn’t the fastest way to load a paintball gun. Plus, relying on gravity means that you’ll have the occasional misfire, where a paintball isn’t loaded into the gun, and you dry-fire.
An upgrade would be an electronic hopper. These have paddles built into them that are powered by an electronic motor. These will force paintballs into the chamber much faster and more consistently than gravity will, improving your game.
If you pick up a pneumatic paintball gun, you’re going to need a way to power it. You can buy cheap compressed air tanks to take with you to the course. Refilling your air tanks usually only costs a couple of dollars.
Pick up a few extra tanks, so you always have spares on hand.
More often than not, you’ll run through an entire hopper of paintballs before a round is over. As a result, you’ll want to carry extra rounds with you on the field.
Paintball pods are convenient ways to carry extra rounds and can be stored in your pocket, vest, or in a tactical belt meant for carrying pods.
When it comes to paintball protective gear, nothing is more important than your mask. Paintball masks keep your face, nose, mouth, and ears safe from high-impact paintballs.
While all other protective equipment is optional, masks aren’t. Without them, getting hit in the eye can cause serious injury. But as long as your face is completely covered with a paintball-specific mask, you shouldn’t have to worry about an injury on the paintball field.
When it comes to wearing gloves, paintball players either love it or hate it. Some prefer them, as hands are some of the most hit body parts when playing paintball. And without much muscle on your fingers, a hit there will hurt pretty bad.
But others complain that gloves prevent players from shooting effectively. So they leave the gloves behind in favor of a faster trigger pull. Test them out for yourself to see if they are worth bringing along. You can even cut the glove finger off for your trigger finger, so it can move freely.
When playing paintball, you’re going to spend a lot of time on your feet. You’ll be running, jumping, climbing, crawling, crouching, and generally putting a lot of stress on your feet.
If you want to last an entire day, you’ll need to have comfortable, supportive, and protective footwear. Tactical boots are the ideal shoes to bring to a paintball field. They are tall enough to protect your ankles and supportive enough to keep you comfortable all day.
Make sure to wear good socks, too. Merino wool socks work wonders to regulate foot temperature and wick sweat away from your feet, keeping them dry and comfortable in any weather conditions.
If it’s cold or rainy, wool will also work well to insulate your feet, even if the socks get wet. Bring extra socks in case you need to change a wet pair between games.
Finding the Best Paintball Gear
As a new paintball player, it can be difficult to choose all of this gear right away. Instead of buying it all at once, you can begin by renting gear a few times, trying out different masks and paintball guns each time you play.
This gives you hands-on experience with different types of gear. It will help you to decide what you want and what you don’t want. Likewise, if you have friends that paintball, try borrowing some of their extra gear to see if you like it.
Then, making your own purchases at a paintball store becomes much easier.
Paintball Is Worth the Investment
Paintball is one of the sports that require very specific gear to play. So unless you’ve played before, it’s unlikely you have any of the right stuff. This means having to buy a bunch of new gear.
So while it might not be the cheapest hobby to get into, it’s so fun, challenging, and rewarding that buying the best paintball gear is totally worth it.
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