Interview with an up-and-comer. (Part 1)

diazblog

 

A friend/teammate of mine is pushing to become a well known and respected tournament paintball player. He already has accumulated numerous 1st place finishes and is preparing to step up his game for the 2014 season. I sat down with him and picked his brain on a few things. Here is what he had to say:

 

Let’s start with who you are and where you are from.

D – My name is Daniel A. Diaz-Queirolo and I am 16 and I’m from Houston, Texas.

Where did you play your first game of paintball Daniel?

D – I first played paintball at Predator Paintball Park in Helotes, Texas when I was 10 years old.

What pushed you to play tournament paintball?

D – Watching all the pros playing paintball and just seeing the intensity of the game really made we want to step on the field and give it a go. Ever since then I’ve been hooked and am motivated to become better at it. 

Right on man. Now you are currently roster-ed on an up and coming divisional team, SA Notorious. Recently you guys managed to take first place at the South Central Paintball League’s GI Challenge. How did you guys manage to make that happen? 

D – The key to winning that SCPA event was just to change the game plan as well as change where our shots needed to be off the break. Mainly wherever the opposing team was hitting the most.

notourious1st

Everyone is motivated my something, no matter what they do. Tell me, what motivates you to play good ball? Professional Player, celebrities, etc.

D – I look up to a lot of professional paintballers for motivation, occasionally looking at their bios on team pages and reading what they do to get better in the sport. There isn’t really anyone in particular.

Right on. So what does your schedule look like for 2014 tournament wise? 

D – In this 2014 season I will be playing the Mardi Gras Cup in Louisiana coming up next month as well as American Extreme Paintball League (AXBL), Central Texas Paintball League (CTPL), PSP Dallas and World Cup and possibly some American Paintball League.

To end, what are you looking forward to the most during the 2014 season?

D – The only thing I’m really looking forward to is getting better and playing the biggest event in paintball, the PSP World Cup!

 

Check back for more interviews as the 2014 season progresses.

 

-Ish

I want to learn.

I am going to start this post off by saying that this entry is going to be incredibly personal, as most blogs are. Frankly I have avoided delving to much into my personal life and instead focusing my efforts towards those new to the sport. I have since realized that there are already a thousand different mediums that help promote/educate paintball to those who wish to pursue it as a hobby. If any of you who read this would like to know what some of these are, shoot me a message on Facebook.

Now to begin:

Today I trekked out to X-Factor Paintball Park to get a tournament practice in alongside a few friends that I used to ref with. I was running late and ended up arriving an hour after everyone else due to some issues with a washing machine (keys and wallets don’t do well in soapy water kids…). When I got to the staging area, I could see just by looking at their faces and paint stained clothing how things were going out there. I didn’t pry to much. Just got my gear on, and warmed up while they went out to scrim some more. The first game that we all managed to hop on together didn’t go so well for us. I took the snake corner off break and stayed on the wire while our guy in S1 (Snake-One) looked inside. Unfortunately our D-Side (Dorito Side) collapsed early without us realizing and we got shot out from our left without even knowing that there were guys in those spots. So we went back to the pits to wipe off and load up. The points after that had the same thing happen; we would lose an entire side of the field and not even realize it which would result in us getting swept off early. This continued on for awhile until a good majority of the group  decided to take to the practice field and work on drills. My friend Daniel (referred to as Cupcake from here on out) and I stayed on the practice field with the other teams and hopped onto throw together squads organized by some of the San Antonio X-Factor guys. We still were getting pummeled to the point where we didn’t even have to go back inside for air or paint because we didn’t even get to shoot back at our opponents! However as we grinded on, things began to change for us.

Mykel Kovar started playing on our field and occasionally hopped on a few points to help out the people that Grayson Goff was mentoring for his clinic. Cupcake and I were lucky enough that they needed 2 more to play. One of those games, I played behind Kovar on the snake side and got shot stupid out of my bunker. He ended up being the last guy left in before we lost it, and approached me afterwards to ask what had happened. I told him straight up that I got shot hanging out of the bunker to which he responded by walking up to where I had been and proceeded to show me more effective ways of playing tight (In his words, “Balls deep”). The whole conversation lasted just a minute, and he walked away without knowing who I was and probably forgot about the encounter not 5 minutes later. But the effect it had on me made the whole day of getting bruised up point after point after point worth it. Instead of grilling into me about getting shot out to early to do any good, this guy recognized my flaw and helped me correct it.  So the next point Cupcake and I went out on the D-Side and even though Daniel was shot out off the break, I still managed to hold down that side of the field by hugging my bunker the way Kovar showed me, going “balls deep” into the center of the Dorito Tower bunker. With only me on that side of the field now, I didn’t want to make a stupid move and have them blow out our D-Side again. So I kept myself pushed in as the streams of paint bounced off from both sides of the bunker, occasional snapping out to deter any movement from their side. During one of these snaps, I noticed that the intensity had died down enough to where I could safely stay out on them. So I rolled my gun where I was until one of the two guys I was shooting at called himself out (Whether or not I shot him or the snake side shot him is unknown) which let me put their D1 in and take the corner. From that corner I managed to get a shot off on him when he tried to shoot where I previously had been. Because I held down that section our snake guy got to push up and shoot out the rest of the opposing team without having to worry about someone coming up behind him and sticking him out.

It was the only point that we had won that day, but it instilled in me a drive to become better at my craft and actively go out and become a better tournament paintball player, no matter what. So after we all packed our equipment and prepared to head out, I approached Grayson Goff and inquired about what it took for a person to get into one of his clinics…

 

…so next Sunday at 10:00am my journey begins. Mykel Kovar’s quick 60 second rundown helped me win my only point after a day of struggle. I want more now. I want to acquire as much paintball knowledge as I can and one day achieve as many tournament wins as my body will allow.

I want to learn what it takes to become the best at something and pass that knowledge down to those who want to follow on the same path.

“There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.” ~Malcolm X

 

~Ish

What turns people away from paintball?

Before I begin I would like to apologize for the unannounced hiatus which resulted in an almost month long absence of material produced on this site. Things have been real busy with the launch of the IshmaelPB Youtube channel (check it out here) as well as other real life factors which are causing me to limit my playing time. Rest assured however that everything will carry on. The Facebook page is slowly growing, and so far the videos put out so far have been well received.

What will be known henceforth as the IshmaelPB community is starting to take shape, and I want all of you for the support that you have given me.

 

Now, onto the main talking point. This is something that I have gone over briefly in previous writings but recent actions that I have witnessed while playing recreational paintball have pushed me to devote an entire post into covering this subject. To begin, I am going to single out the players who mainly play tournament ball. When you are out at a practice/event playing against teams of the same caliber as you, shrieking at the top of your lungs for an opponent to get out is understandable due to the amount of tomfoolery that happens in the tournament world (wiping, playing on, etc). However, when you are out at a small mom and pop field playing against kids who are holding a marker for the first time actions such as these are unacceptable. The kid you just shot in the rental pod-pack has no idea that they are eliminated, and when someone twice their size with a gun that shoots MUCH faster than his/her rental 98 starts screaming like a madman for them to “Get the f**k off the field!” then the chances of said kid returning plummet and consequently the field loses a customer. It doesn’t even have to be a kid. Imagine how a full grown man might react to such behavior?

What goes on off the field also impacts whether or not a person returns and supports their local field. Making fun of a players equipment is a prime example. Paintball is an expensive sport and if you are just now showing interest in it then you aren’t going to buy a Luxe right off the bat. If someone shows up a Spyder MR1 and a cheap mask, praise them. They paid for that out of their own pocket and supported the industry as a whole. If they stick with it and decide that this is something that they want to do then they will start putting money towards new equipment. Just remember that we all have to start from somewhere.

Lastly, wiping. Again speedballers; what goes on during an event is a completely different animal. I am stating right now that it is my honest opinion that tournament wiping is akin to holding in football or tripping an opponent in soccer. There are referees whose job is to monitor games such as these (Ill go over this more in a later post). However, it is inexcusable to wipe in a recreational game against first timers. All that you are doing is taking away the excitement of them getting their first kill and replacing it with a mentality that “Oh all paintballers must cheat”. What is even worse is when the wiper goes after a new player for wiping themselves. Well why shouldn’t they? You did the same to them so why can’t they do it to you? It’s hypocritical,  and does nothing but hurt your reputation as well as the fields.

Hello 2014

new year

 

Happy new year ladies and gents. I hope that everyone’s celebration was memorable and without incident.  As we welcome 2014 with open arms, I would like to announce that IshmaelPB will be undergoing a few changes. Some of these changes include:

-Gameplay videos. In just a couple of days the IshmaelPB Youtube channel will go live and I will be uploading footage of my paintball experiences. Don’t expect anything extraordinary right off the bat as I will be new to filming paintball, but with time and some constructive criticism the quality will definitely improve. And of course the videos will be uploaded here for you lot to see.

-Local tournament coverage. Since we are in the paintball off season there is not much that I can commentate on. However, once the dates are announced and I have the resources on hand to attend such events then y’all can definitely expect some articles on what the onsite experience was like. Interviews in the Pits, the vendors that were in attendance, as well as a breakdown of how it all went down as seen through the eyes of Ishmael and his co-horts.

And many more to be announced…

Also (for future reference) if you wish to discuss my blogs with me or your fellow readers then:

-Check out the IshmaelPB Facebook page.

-Register an account on pbRiot.com and join the conversation.

-Leave a comment below (Note that this may lessen my response time due to the amount of spam the site receives).

 

Pros and Cons of 10.2bps

pspish

 

 

 

With all of this hullabaloo going around following the PSP’s announcement that the league is intending to lower the rate of fire (ROF) cap for the pro division from 12.5 balls per second (BPS) to 10.2bps, I have taken the liberty of compiling a list showing both the advantages as well as the disadvantages of this action (pro’s and con’s if you will). This is just my opinion, but I will try to be as impartial as possible.

 

Pros

  • More of a focus on gunfighting: Kills off the break are going to be less frequent, so if a player wants to eliminate their opponent then they have to play their bunker. That means snapshooting, shooting blindspots, and all that good stuff. This allows matches to be determined more on individual player skill rather than as many balls down field in one direction off break to get a couple g’s off the break.
  • Easier to spot intentional overballing: With the gun speed being lowered, it is going to be a whole lot easier for the boys in the white stripes to catch a player purposely putting more paint on someone than is necessary.
  • Less money spent on paint: Granted you won’t be saving thousands, or even hundreds, but if this all goes according to the PSP’s plan then it can be inferred that a team will not have to purchase as many boxes as they did previously.

 

Cons

  • Overwhelming player support against this move: Across every social media platform, an overwhelming majority of players are voicing their dislike of this decision.
  • This has been tried and repealed: The PSP tried adjusting the ROF to 10bps back in 2010, and reversed their decision at the end of the season due to popular opinion being against it.
  • Potentially could slow the game down even more: It is no secret that the league is trying to encourage teams to play more aggressively for viewing purposes. Examples of this include the lack of a strong back center for the majority of the 2013 season, and strong midfield bunkers. However if a team does not get a kill off the break then they could possibly just sit in their bunkers and fight it out with the other side until they shoot someone out of their spot and then start their bumps.
  • Easier to cheat: While I did say above that it will be easier to spot overballing, the opposite is also possible with players being able to hide their hits easier. While shooting at lower speeds, less balls are obviously going to hit a player so the chances of them wiping the hit and getting away with one are statistically higher than during the 2013 season.

 

This last one is either a pro or con based on your personal opinion:

  • Only the Pro Division of the PSP will be shooting 10bps: All of the lower divisions will still be shooting at 12.5bps so this only effects roughly 7% or 8% of the teams that play in the PSP.

 

Think I missed something? Let me know in the comments section or on the IshmaelPB Facebook page. Check it.

Also, check out this video of someone with more paintball experience than I throwing in his two cents about this move by the PSP.

PAINTBALL REAL TALK | EPISODE 5

~Ish

Recap of Proshop Paintball’s 10 Year Anniversary Party

ishmaelproshopstory

2nd Row, Right side, Tan tank-top.

 

 

 

This past Sunday marked the 10 year anniversary of when Proshop Paintball first opened their doors to the public. To celebrate the occasion, the ownership decided to give back to the Central Texas paintball community by hosting a day of play at their field, Predator Paintball Park. Entry Fee’s were thrown out, and the grill was fired up as around 120 paintballers descended upon the small recreational field to participate in a series of big games, as well as test out the new Urban Combat scenario field. Here is how it all went down as seen through the eyes of Ishmael.

 

d7520431-d72e-4b51-855a-400c553c6168_zpsce7a11a8

 

We started the day signing waivers, getting hot dog tickets, and being split into two opposing teams; Red and Silver. With a little begging and eye lash batting, I was thrown into the mix as a grunt for the Red team alongside a friends. And as the Red team our first mission was to defend the new Urban Combat field from the silver attackers who were tasked with “refueling” the downed Huey helicopter. The time limit was 45min, with eliminated players being allowed back onto the field every 10 minutes. While we managed to hold off the first initial push, the guys with Silver tape managed to put together a strong enough attack and take over a few buildings on the right side of the field which gave them a foothold into our territory. The first reinsertion allowed us to retake this lost ground. However, we threw to many bodies to the right and allowed them to swarm over the left half of the field. What followed was some of the most bloody knuckles ,close quarters combat that I have played in paintball. BT Paint Grenades flew from the hands of both teams and suicide rushes were made to gain mere inches. Eventually, all 3 fuel canisters found their way into the chopper. Coincidentally, they also found their way out of the chopper as one of our Red comrades managed to get in and remove them. After some deliberation among the referees, it was decided that the Silver team had accomplished their objective and that they would be given the victory. Some of the most memorable moments from this mission include holding off 30+ bad guys with just 4 of us held up in one of the new buildings, cutting down a wave of attackers as they came out of the treeline, and holding down the left flank on my own until the next reinsertion of dead players.

Following the mission, a lunch break was called and the JT Splatmaster Adventure was announced. While originally meant for children aged 8-10, those of age were eventually allowed to participate. Let me start off by saying that playing with the Splatmaster was one of the most enjoyable things that I have done in this sport. It is a different game entirely. If you can afford to, pick one up and have at it.

Afterwards, the fighting resumed on the other side of the park. Same format as before, except this time instead of fuel tanks there were ammo crates which were already inside the helicopter. The goal of this game was to get as many crates as possible out of the chopper and keep possession of them. Right off the break, the majority of both sides pushed straight towards the helicopter located at the center of the field, while small contingents were sent to the flanks. A front line was immediately formed, and the chopper was immediately designated as a no-mans land. Luckily for us, we had better field positioning than the other side which allowed us to lessen the amount of paint being thrown our way. Long story short, we managed to grab all 5 of the ammo crates out of the chopper.

The final battle of the day wasn’t as noteworthy as the missions previously mentioned. Nevertheless, they were still enjoyable and fun games of paintball. Hats off again to the staff at Predator and Proshop for making this happen.

Congratulations and thank you for providing 10 years worth of paintball services to the Central Texas region.

 

~Ish

Sexism In Paintball (And How It Is Killing Us)

Before I begin I want to warn the audience that the contents of this blog post will almost certainly offend a number of you and that we may have different viewpoints on this matter. I am open to discussion on said viewpoints. Just post in the comments section to begin the debate. Thank you.

 

 

To start this tirade, let me explain what caused good ol’ Ishmael to get so worked up about something other than football.

I am sure that those of you with YouTube/Google+ accounts follow Social Paintball and the videos that they shoot to promote the sport. I myself am a fan of Social’s work and enjoy reading the news articles on their homepage pertaining to our pastime, as well as enjoying the coverage that they provide for many of paintball’s biggest events.

However a video uploaded yesterday through their YouTube channel, which contained footage of nude women “performing” in front of a large crowd of paintballers, has made me take to writing in protest. Mostly because small children could be seen among the viewers. This only made up about 5% of the video, yet it was enough to cause feelings of discomfort and disappointment. (I am not posting the link. If you want to see it, look it up yourselves.)

After watching the video for the first time (and only time), I scrolled down to the comments in hopes of seeing posts of condemnation.

I should have known better.

(WARNING: Explicit Content)

Screenshot (7)

I want to lay this out loud and clear: I strongly believe that activities such as this is not how paintball should be promoted. If we ever want to grow to higher levels than what we currently are at now, promoting women as sex objects is not the way to do it. Especially in front of kids. (In case you haven’t noticed, that’s the part of it all that really grinds my gears.)

It really is sad that comments such as the ones displayed above are the norm for any paintball video in which women are shown half naked dancing in front of a mixed crowd of pre-pubescent teenagers and dirty old men (Looking at you HK Army). It is even sadder when kids rush to the comments to talk about the boobs and bash all that dare oppose their testosterone fueled mindset. Even if it is just trolling, it’s unnecessary, it’s inappropriate, and does nothing but hurt us in the eyes of the outside world.

If a mother who was considering taking her kids out to a play paintball for the first time saw this video while doing research on the sport, do you really think she would want her child to be involved in something where acts such as that are not only welcomed, but promoted? Boom, we just lost a potential advocate of the sport. More will be lost as well, especially when that mother starts telling her friends and family how horrid paintball is and how it promotes sexist behavior. (Just wait until the Feminist groups get involved…)

Hell, imagine if a young girl wants to go out and play paintball. Imagine what she would feel like when she discovers that no matter how good she is on the field, men will only look at her as “something”, not “someone”. What if that girl was your daughter or sister? How would you feel knowing that she wasn’t looked at as an equal in the eyes of her paintball peers? What if she one day decided to strip naked atop a car and pour water over herself like in the video? How would you feel about it then?

Now I understand that these individuals are not forced into doing these things. It’s their choice, and I respect that. After all, life is all about making your own choices. But we don’t have to promote it the way that we do. HK Army doesn’t have to show footage of the Living Legends Bikini contest, just as Social shouldn’t show naked women washing cars for the Veckring Big Game. Let those in attendance bear witness to what should be an adult only activity rather than blast it all over the internet for the world to see.

I am writing this in hopes that if I ever do have a daughter and she wants to be recognized in the paintball community, she can keep her clothes on to do so.

 

~Ish

 

Weekend Recap and Proshop Paintball’s 10 Year anniversary

Another Sunday has come and gone. Gear is being unpacked and washed, and guns are being disassembled as everyone gets ready for the return to reality. Unfortunately I didn’t get the opportunity to ball this Saturday due to work, but I still managed to squeak in a few hours of game time at Predator Paintball Park for their canned-food drive. Even though the turn out was poor, the staff still managed to work with the few of us that were in attendance and ensure that we still had a good time. I’m just glad that I managed to put some gear that I purchased on Black Friday through the ringer.

Props to Joel, Al, Jeremy, Josh, Colton, Peyton, Brett, and Jarrell for doing what they do out there. If you ever want to take your family or friends out to try paintball for the first time, Predator is the place to go.

Moving on…

If you live in the San Antonio area and buy your gear locally, then you know of Proshop Paintball and the guys that run it. Tommy, Al, and Joel run a smooth ship and always are there to help out their fellow paintball enthusiasts. After all it is comforting to know that the person selling you anything and everything paintball are ballers themselves. Anyway, this upcoming Sunday marks the shops 10 Year anniversary and to celebrate the guys are throwing a bash out at Predator. The best part? Free entry, free food, free rental equipment, and free air. All that you have to pay for is paint, but come on it’s paintball. We know how the industry works, so an opportunity to have this great a time is hard not to pass up. So step off the practice field for a weekend and head on out this Sunday with some friends who have never held a paintball gun before and get them into the sport. This is the best chance to do so.

~Ish

First time out? Here are some tips.

rentalplayer

 

Sorry if this is a relatively short post. The Cowboys game is on and my whole house is fuming over the fact that THE FREAKING OAKLAND RAIDERS ARE BEATING US ON THANKSGIVING DAY.

But that is a story for another time. This place is all about paintball. So here we go.

Playing for the first time can be overwhelming if you allow it. Here are some tips to help you move past any field anxiety.

First , don’t be afraid to ask questions. Wherever you are playing, the staff or players should be able to help set your mind at ease. Don’t worry about asking “stupid” questions; there are none when it comes to paintball. This can be extremely useful when running into equipment malfunctions.

Next, find a buddy. If you came with friends, then this shouldn’t be a problem. If you are rolling solo then don’t worry about it. At most fields the referees will split the teams before every game. They will do their best to ensure that your paintball playing experience is as fair and balanced as possible. So while they are doing this, find a person on your team to stick with once the game begins. Formulate a plan, or just wing it and go out guns blazing. Either way, play the game the way you want.

Lastly, KEEP YOUR MASK ON AT ALL TIMES. This is the most important thing that you must remember while playing. Never under any circumstance should you lift your mask off of your face. A paintball to your eyeball can render you sightless so keep your goggles on unless told otherwise by a field official. Don’t take it off after the game unless you are in a designated staging area. If for some reason your mask comes off while playing, immediately bury your face in the dirt and put your hands over your eyes. The refs will see this and immediately end the match and get you off the field.

 

That’s all that I have for now. Y’all have a Happy Thanksgiving.

 

~Ish

Beginners Guide For Purchasing Paintball Equipment/Gear

beginnerpaintball

(note that this post is directed to those who are looking to purchase their own gear. For tips on going out to play for the first time with rental equipment at your local field, check back at a later date)

Geez that title is a mouthful ain’t it? Moving on…

Since my last post was aimed more to those who are well read up on everything paintball, I figured it was only fair that my next entry be directed at the fine folks that are wanting to take their first steps into the world of air guns and paint capsules. And once again I am going to take the easy way out and break down all that you need to know into a list with numbers in front of them. Don’t hate, it’s late, so just appreciate. On the bright side, this method won’t force you to wade through a wall of text before even reading the first tip. Yay shared laziness!

Okay, to get this show on the road let’s talk about Equipment.

 

 

paintballmask

1. The first thing that you are going to want to purchase before stepping through the gates of any paintball field is a mask (also referred to as goggles). Whether it is something you picked up from Walmart, or hand delivered from the paintball gods themselves, a mask is an absolute must. I highly recommend that if you are prepared to commit yourself to this sport and make paintball a pastime, then spare no expense when it comes to face protection.  Some Masks that I recommend for your first time purchase are:

 

pads

 

2. Next, you are going to want protection for your body. Don’t listen to the naysayers, padding is important. Especially in a sport where you are shooting small projectiles at one another that travel roughly 200mph. Many of the major manufactures offer different forms of protection whether it be arm pads, chest protectors, jerseys, or specialized pants made just for paintball. As I did with masks, here is what I would recommend:

When it comes to jerseys/pants, it is all just personal preference. Just trust me when I say that pretty much everything out there will get the job done ,so search around and find what look you want for yourself on the field. Also note that you may not need a chest protector. During a game your adrenaline will be pumping and the pain of getting shot will be almost nullified. If you want one, that’s all on you.

 

 

podpack

 

3. Pods and a Harness. You are going to go through paint like Arnold goes through ammo. Bringing some extra balls onto the field would do nothing but help you in the long run. Pods can be purchased at any paintball or sporting goods store. Some good harnesses that I would recommend to you would be:

NXe 4 Pod Harness - http://www.hustlepaintball.com/NXe-SP40-4-Pod-Harness-w-Pod-Ejection-Black

Valken Fate Harness - http://www.hustlepaintball.com/Valken-Fate-Harness-4-3

Empire React Harness - http://www.hustlepaintball.com/Empire-React-3-6-Harness-Breed-Black

 

 

axegun

 

4. Last but not least, the marker itself. For your first gun anything will do so long as it gets you out to the field and can put the bad guys down. Some good brands to go with if you are looking to save a penny are Tippmann, Empire BT,  Azodin, and Spyder. If you are willing to push the envelope and swing for an entry level electronic marker, then check out Planet Eclipse, Dye Paintball, and Empire. Keep in mind that you will also need to purchase a loader and a compressed air tank. Without these two items the gun is just a paperweight. I highly discourage the use of CO2 as an air source for your paintball marker. It’ll damage the internals of the marker after prolonged use.

Fair warning: Paintball is a very expensive sport. You’ll notice that once you first see the price tag on anything mentioned above. That is why I reccomend that before you purchase anything related to the sport, try it at your local field. They will have rental packages available for you and your friends.

Now even though I posted links to an online paintball store (and a fantastic one might I add) it is imperative that you support your local paintball proshop. The men and women that run it are what is keeping paintball alive in your area alive. Without them it would be much harder to access all of the cool toys that we get to mess around with and abuse every weekend. So before making your purchase at Hustle Paintball.com , Ansgear.com, or any other site, check online to see if there is a store close by so that you will can have the option to physically purchase all of this equipment from there. If said store does not carry the item that you wish to purchase, then would be a good time to check out some of the online retailers.

~Ish