Most people who go paintballing for the first time love it. After all, it’s like the real-life version of playing video games, such as Call of Duty. Over 100 million people stay inside to play the virtual game each month, getting no exercise or hands-on experience. But when you play paintball, you get to actually run, hide, shoot, strategize and have tons of fun in a safe, yet competitive way.
But after paintballing a few times with rented gear, it’s time to purchase your own. Even though there’s an upfront cost, you’ll save money in the long term not having to rent gear each time you play.
Paintball tactical gear comes in a wide variety, from budget-friendly to professional grade. You’ll need equipment to shoot with as well as protective gear, and a bunch of other stuff as well.
Wondering what paintball essentials you need right away? Want to know what paintball gun gear and paintball protective gear you need in order to have fun and stay safe? Keep reading to find out now.
Why Invest In Your Own Paintball Tactical Gear
Paintball is an extremely fun sport. It engages all your senses. And you get to use your brain as much as you use your body.
It’s a tactical game where those who can strategize most effectively win. But it’s also physical, which requires crouching, running, crawling, climbing, and shooting.
And contrary to pacifist ideology, shooting things, especially moving things, is fun. Paintball allows for this to take place in a fun, safe, competitive, yet friendly matter.
And because paintball is a sport, it comes packed with many health benefits as well, such as giving you exercise, providing fresh air and sunshine, relieving stress, and much more.
Many people wonder if playing paintball is safe. After all, you are shooting each other with high-velocity balls. The answer is, of course, that yes paintball is safe so long as basic safety rules are followed. Check out this article for more information on paintballing safety.
And because paintballing is fun and offers tons of physical and mental health benefits, it’s a sport that you should engage with at least monthly, if not multiple times per month.
But as soon as you start doing that, you are going to need your own gear. Renting is great the first few times to see if you like the sport. But renting every time will eventually cost much more money than buying your own gear.
If you are ready to invest in your own tactical paintball setup, here’s what you are going to need.
Paintball Guns and Shooting Accessories
Paintball guns are the most exciting piece of gear to purchase when getting outfitted. But a gun only works when you have the right accessories to go along with it, which are discussed below.
There are many different types, styles, and brands to choose from when it comes to paintball guns, also known as paintball markers. In essence, the gun you choose will determine how fast you can shoot, how far you can shoot, and how consistent you can shoot.
Different guns will come with different triggers. Your trigger is the most important part of the gun. An extremely sensitive trigger will cause a beginner to misfire on a regular basis, giving away their location or potentially hitting a teammate.
But a sensitive trigger in the hands of a practiced paintballer is lethal. It can allow them to shoot much quicker.
Guns also come in different types of action. Some are powered by compressed air, which is the most common. Others can be pump-action paintball markers, requiring a physical activity for you to load and fire a paintball. And still, others are powered by electricity.
Electric paintball guns tend to be the most expensive, yet the most effective and fastest shooting markers. Pneumatic guns, or those powered by compressed air, are the most beginner-friendly.
It can be helpful to rent different types of guns or test out your friend’s markers, to find out which style best suits your style of play.
Your hopper is the container that holds your paintballs and feeds them into the gun. You want to choose a hopper large enough to fit the desired amount of paintballs.
But you also want to ensure the design functions well with your gun. The hopper’s design will dictate how efficiently paintballs are fed into the gun. A more efficient hopper will feed balls faster, while a less efficient hopper may miss paintballs, causing you to dryfire at times.
Not only cant this be annoying, but it can cause you to miss your target at the perfect moment, which can make the difference between winning or losing.
Typically, gravity-fed hoppers are those that are cheaper and a bit less efficient. Electronic hoppers, on the other hand, are able to load a paintball gun much faster, giving you an edge over the opposition.
When playing paintball, it’s very common to use up an entire hopper in just one round. As a result, carrying extra paintballs to load your hopper during play is important.
You can get additional pods to hold your spare rounds that either attach to a belt or a paintball-specific vest.
If your gun requires the use of compressed air, you’ll want to have a tank or two on hand. These can be refilled cheaply at your local paintball field. Having more than one allows you to spend an entire day playing without having to refill.
What to Wear for Paintball
Wondering what to wear to play paintball? There are a few things you absolutely need, and a few others that are optional, but you might want to get them anyways.
The most important piece of gear when paintballing is the facemask. These protect your eyes, ears, mouth, and nose from paintballs that could cause your face serious damage.
Paintballs hitting any other part of your body might leave a welt or a red spot, but are unlikely to do any serious damage. Your face just has more sensitive body parts and needs complete protection.
Some face masks cover your entire head, while others are smaller, only covering the vitals on your face. Make sure your mask fits well since you’ll be spending hours at a time wearing it.
Wearing a paintball vest serves two purposes. For one, it allows you to store extra paintball rounds, as well as other gear and accessories you may need in the middle of a round of paintball.
But they also provide additional protection to your torso, making it so paintballs don’t hurt at all, or just hurt less.
Some people hate wearing gloves when paintballing, and others won’t paintball without them. Because your hands are exposed when you are shooting your gun, they will get hit frequently and can hurt pretty bad.
Gloves will lessen the impact when your hands get hit, but can also affect your ability to shoot quickly. If you are going to wear gloves, make sure to choose a pair that allows you to operate your marker effectively.
You should always wear tactical boots that cover the ankle. These can help prevent injury from common conditions such as a rolled ankle, as well as prevent scuffs when crawling or navigating tough terrain.
They will also provide ample amounts of support when walking, running, and standing for many hours during the day.
Sure, you can wear any pair of loose-fitting pants when playing paintball. But once you are committed to the sport, consider upgrading to a pair of tactical pants.
For one, they will be super durable, lasting for many years of paintball and climbing over rough surfaces. But they will also protect your legs from the pain of a paintball hit, as well as provide pocket space to store additional necessities during long rounds of play.
Getting a color that matches the terrain you frequently play in can also help conceal you better.
Paintball can be enjoyed almost year-round. Regardless of when you play, one thing is for sure; you are going to sweat. When it’s cold outside, sweating can be dangerous because it can actually cause your body to get cold, increasing your risk of hypothermia.
When it’s hot out, your body is just going to feel miserable when drenched in sweat. Either way, it helps to wear moisture-wicking, technical layers next to your skin to help manage moisture and temperature levels, for all-day comfort.
On top of your moisture-wicking shirt or base layer, you’ll want a tougher, looser-fitting layer such as a sweatshirt to absorb the impact of incoming paintballs.
Stick to the Basics
As you spend more and more time enjoying the sport, you’ll realize that there is a lot more paintball tactical gear you can invest in to improve your game. But when it comes to getting started, these are the basics that you are going to need each and every time you play.
Anything above this is a luxury and doesn’t need to be purchased right away, if ever. Looking for more tips like this? Check out the rest of our blog today to keep reading.