Paintball Gloves Buyer's Guide
Paintball Buyers Guide: Gloves
Paintball gloves are an often-overlooked piece of paintball equipment. Until a good shot to the knuckles, a painful slide across turf on a hot day or a game in chilly weather, that is. No paintball player digs deeper into their gear bag and gets the paintball equipment flying in all directions like a player about to hit the field on a cold day who can’t find their gloves, and nothing sends a player to the pro-shop for a pair of gloves like a paintball to the bare knuckles up-close and personal. So why go through all that when you can pick the best pair of paintball gloves up-front and hit the field protected?
There are various types of paintball gloves waiting for a player out in the world and the question of which is the best doesn’t have a definite answer. The reason for this is due to the various types and styles of paintball enjoyed by players around the world and the differences between them. Tournament players need as much protection from the ground or turf they’re sliding, diving and crawling across as they do from incoming paintballs, while tactical players operating with mag-fed paintball guns in wooded or urban environments have different requirements, like thicker armor on the gloves to protect from the edges of bunkers and building doorways and windows, along with incoming paintballs. After that, it’s down to full-finger or half-finger, a decision centered around comfort and weather conditions, then color to match or accent a tactical camo loadout or tournament team uniform!
Tactical paintball gloves, like Valken Half-finger gloves, Valken Zulu Tactical gloves or Valken Alpha Gloves, feature heavy-duty armor meant to protect the wearer as much as possible. Players considering a move into more tournament-oriented play may want to consider other options, as this thick armor, as good as it is at keeping the player inside safe, will certainly break a paintball on impact and that means elimination and a possible lost game and early trip home from a tournament with big money on the line. However, tactical players find this hard-shell armor on the fingers and knuckles essential especially during dynamic movement in close-quarters battle environments where not only paintballs, but hard, rough edges of concrete, metal and wood structures pose as much or more of a danger to the fingers, palms and back of the hands.
Tournament paintball gloves, like Valken’s Phantom Agility gloves or Valken Bravo gloves act as an item of performance athletic apparel, designed to help a paintball athlete stay effective on the field in various environments. Tournament and competition paintball players slide, dive and crawl throwing their bodies into every move with money on the line, and often play on turf, in hot and humid conditions. Paintball gloves designed to keep the wearer inside cool and provide a solid grip on the paintball gun are essential, as are their padded and protected palms to defend the player’s open hand while coming in hot to a bunker or sliding to a critical spot on the field, while, yes, they still offer some protection from incoming paintballs.
Past the mechanics of the type or style of paintball an individual might enjoy that will help select an ideal pair of paintball gloves, there are other considerations to take into the decision before swiping the credit card! Some players can shoot faster or are more comfortable with a half-finger glove, and these are also ideal for tactical players who may need the dexterity of an ungloved fingertip to operate electronics like a radio, phone or other devices while on the field, while of course, players in colder climates will likely desire a full-finger glove no matter what because and player enjoys the game of paintball more when they can feel their fingertips!
Playing paintball is always more fun when a player can enjoy the game without the worry of the sting of an incoming paintball to the knuckles or back of the hand, and nobody likes a turf burn on the palm or heel of the hand from sliding across hot Astroturf unprotected. Selecting the proper pair of paintball gloves before a bloody knuckle welt always means a better day of paintball no matter what style of the game an individual might enjoy, whether inside the net on a tournament field or creeping through the woods on a scenario field!