Beginners Guide to Paintball
Do you consider yourself a tactical genius? Are you a great shot with your BB gun and in need of a new shooting challenge? Do you like playing war? If you answered yes to all of the above, you may want to try paintball.
Paintball is not the kind of sport you just jump into, though. It’s an activity that requires at least some basic equipment. Of course, the gun is the most logical starting point, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
There’s actually one piece of equipment that might even be more important than your choice of weapon, and that’s your eyewear. Goggles can fog up in combat, and there are thermal versions that address this problem. Or, you can get anti-fog spray to prevent this issue from ruining your day. Most good paintball goggles include the whole facemask or are integrated into a set-up that looks more like a full-fledged helmet. Don’t think you can get away with a pair of skimpy protective goggles made for a workshop or a science lab. You’ll only get injured and may even “shoot your eye out.”
Also, don’t ever wipe paint off your goggles. Paint is sticky. Foreign matter will surely get into it, and if you wipe it off, you could scratch your lenses. Find a spray bottle, fill it with water, and throw it in your paintball gear bag. When you need to clean your goggles, spray the gunk off first, and then dry them.
Ok, so how about the firepower now? A basic semi-auto paintball “marker” (pros don’t call them guns) is what you should start with. They are easier to handle and fire. You pull the trigger once, and a paintball comes out the end. You don’t need a fancy, expensive tournament-level gun right out of the starting gate. Get a decent semi-automatic and learn how to clean and care for it before you bring it out in the field. Also, before you use it in actual paintball combat scenarios you should shoot plenty of stationary targets first.
Practice makes perfect, so practice shooting, practice loading, and practice cleaning your new weapon. When you get on the field, you don’t want to find out there’s something about your marker you don’t know, like maybe your scope is way off and needs serious adjusting. Fine tune these things way before you hit the field.
The cardinal rule when it comes to paintball clothing is: wear something you’re not afraid to get really dirty in. Think about your surroundings, too and try to wear thick clothing that will both protect your skin from welts and help you blend in to the background better.
Bring worn-in footwear that has good traction, ankle support, and won’t hurt your feet. Light hiking boots or football cleats are the best bet, as you are sure to be doing a lot of running to avoid the best players on the opposing team.
Finally, wear gloves if you have them. Since most players cut the fingers off their gloves to allow for better grip, you may want to look for finger-less gloves to start with. Of course, there are also countless different kinds of paintball specific gloves, too. Shop around. If you do get gloves with full fingers, you might want to at least cut the top half off of the glove’s trigger finger.
About the Author
Mike regularly writes for ProlificPaintball.com, they carry such paintball equipment as the
Invert Mini Paintball Gun
Freak Barrel Kit
, as well as many other items from a variety of manufacturers.
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