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Tuesday, June 16, 2020

A New Hobby: 9 Things You'll Need to Start Playing Paintball

If you’ve played paintball a couple of times and gotten a taste for it, you might be considering investing in some equipment of your own. Having your own paintball equipment will allow you to play when you want, without having to borrow someone else’s gear, or spend more money renting it.

Now that you’ve decided you’re ready to start buying some equipment, you need to figure out what to spend your money on. Paintball is definitely one hobby that can quickly run you into the tens of thousands of dollars (seriously, there’s some epic gear out there). But if you’re a beginner, what you need to focus on is basics and quality. You have plenty of time to work your way up to a Crystal Bling Ego 09, but for now, let’s keep our sites on getting you kitted out for first few games without having to dip into the 401K.

 Image Source: Pixabay

1. A gun
You won’t get far in paintball without a paintball gun. Your paintball gun is a big choice you need to make and there are plenty of great (and not so great) options out there. A lot of players use a military simulation style of gun. If you’re one of these, a good starting choice would be one of the Tippmann TPN series. Don’t get bought in by flashy marketing. Be sure to handle a lot of guns before you make your choice.

2. A mask
You may only be shooting paint-filled gelatin capsules at each other, but taking one of those in the face or eye at 300 feet per second could definitely end up with a trip to the emergency room. So if you only have the money to invest in gear piecemeal, then the mask should be your first purchase. Plus, nothing’s grosser than putting on a damp rental mask that’s just been used.

3. A paintball hopper
Your hopper sits on top of your gun and feeds it paintballs. As an entry-level player, your best bet will probably be a gravity-fed hopper (also called a shake and shoot). These are the simplest hoppers, though occasionally they do jam and need a shake to keep feeding.

4. Quality ammo
Your paintballs are going to affect your game quite a bit. If your paintballs are low quality, they can burst or leak in your hopper, negatively affecting your other balls or jamming your hopper. To find the best paintball pods, look for those that combine robustness, capacity, and user-friendly design.

5. An air tank
Your air tank operates on either CO2 or HPA (high-pressure air). Every gun can operate on HPA, but less and less of them use CO2, so choose wisely.

Optional Items
These things are great to have, but not necessary right off the bat.

6. Clothing for the environment
When you’re playing paintball, you want to blend into the environment. Getting paintball clothing that helps you hide will improve your game.

7. Water and snacks
This might seem like a given, but you’d be surprised how many people forget to fuel up before a big game. Come prepared with more water than you think you need (paintball is an active sport) and some snacks like what you bring hiking.

8. A fix-it kit
A Philips head screwdriver and a set of Allen wrenches can fix most issues your guns may encounter on the field.

9. Extra O-rings
O-rings wear out and break at the most opportune time. Carrying extras will have you prepared to replace them and get back out there.
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