(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.
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:
- Empire Events - http://www.hustlepaintball.com/Empire-Goggle-Event-SN-Thermal-Black
- JT Flex 8 - http://www.hustlepaintball.com/JT-Spectra-Flex-8-Thermal-Goggle-Black-Grey
- JT Proflex - http://www.hustlepaintball.com/JT-Spectra-ProFlex-Thermal-Paintball-Goggles-Black
- V-Force Profiler - http://www.hustlepaintball.com/V-Force-Profiler-Mask-Black
- V-Force Grillz - http://www.hustlepaintball.com/V-Force-Grill-Mask-Black
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:
- Planet Eclipse 2013 Overload Pads - http://www.hustlepaintball.com/Planet-Eclipse-2013-Overload-Elbow-Pads
- Dye Core Elbow Pads - http://www.hustlepaintball.com/Dye-Precision-Core-Elbow-Pad
- Empire Grind Elbow Pads - http://empirepaintball.com/empire-grind-tht-elbow-pad
- Valken Impact Chest Protector - http://www.hustlepaintball.com/Valken-Impact-Chest-Protector
- Dye Chest Protector - http://www.hustlepaintball.com/Dye-Precision-Performance-Chest-Protector-Top
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.
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
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.