A Beginner's Guide for Paintball Equipment
by Natalie Aranda [January 29, 2007]
When starting out as paintball player, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the choices of equipment available. The important thing to remember is that players only need four items in order to play: a paintball marker, paintballs, a mask, and a barrel blocking device.
Paintball markers are the guns designed to shoot paintballs. There are a large number of paintball guns for sale. All paintball guns use a gas in order to propel the paintballs through the muzzle. Pressurized air or carbon dioxide are common propellants. Most paintball guns are semi automatic. Paintballs are actually gelatin capsules which are designed to burst on impact. The paint inside the paintballs is typically able to be washed out of most clothing. Paintball masks are required at all paintball facilities, because being hit with a paintball in the eye can cause permanent damage or loss of the eye. It also protects the ears, which can also be damaged by a hit from a paintball. The final required item is a barrel blocking device, which is used when players are not actively involved in a game.
Although these items are the only ones needed in order to play, many players prefer to use accessories which decrease the risk of injury and increase their ability to be successful in the game. These items are available for purchase at paintball facilities, as well as through an online paintball store.
While there are no particular clothing requirements for paintball, it is an extremely active sport and durable clothing is preferred. The style of clothing worn depends on the type of game that is being paid. Camouflage clothing is popular but in speedball, players on one team typically all wear the same color. Padded clothing is usually not allowed, as it can keep the paintballs from bursting. However, elbow and knee pads are encouraged. Advanced players prefer the use of accessories such as a drop forward which allows the air canister on the marker to be repositioned, or a remote line which allows the air tank to be removed from the gun and attached by a hose. Paint grenades and paint mines are found in recreational play, but are not allowed during tournaments.
Like with most sports, the more serious a player is about the game, the more clothing and gear they will purchase. You can purchase enough equipment to get you started for around a hundred dollars, but many serious players spend several thousand dollars to properly prepare for their paintball battles. Most paintball facilities will allow you to rent equipment, which can help you decide what you wish to purchase for your own use.
About the Author
Natalie Aranda writes on sports and recreation.