Take the Heat
Hot Weather Paintball Tips
Tips for playing paintball in the Summer!
With Spring and Summer, the paintball season is back on! Whether you’re playing local paintball at the field with your friends, flying across the country to compete in NXL paintball tournaments, or driving a few states away for a big scenario game, there’s a good chance you’ll play paintball in some hot, humid weather. If you don’t do that right, you could wind up dehydrated, with heat exhaustion, heat stroke, or worse. Don’t risk a ride in the ambulance and some medical bills – paintball is challenging enough! Paintball in the hot summer months will challenge players no matter what kind of shape they’re in. We’ve all seen paintball players vomit, become dehydrated and cramp up. You have to take care of yourself and take precautions in order to put on all that gear and play paintball when the sun’s out and the guns are out!
Hot Weather Paintball Health & Safety
You can’t take chances with your health when it comes to playing in the heat. Are you drinking plenty of water, and adding in some electrolytes? Did you eat? We’ve seen paintball players try to stay hydrated, but because they didn’t get something on their stomach they still went down early. Consider making some alterations to your playing gear when you’re in the heat. Those joggers that are super comfortable but aren’t ventilated? Maybe there’s a better choice. Your team jerseys have plenty of ventilation, don’t they? That knit beanie? Maybe save that for cooler weather. Come on man.
Take Precautions & Listen to Your Body
Take a cooler with some water and sports drinks to the field along with a decent snack or two. You could even throw an ice pack or two in there. Don’t keep right on grinding points if you don’t feel too well. It’s ok to take a break in the shade, or even tell coach you need to sit a point because you’re about to puke. You’re human, not a machine. You didn’t over-indulge in alcohol at the party the night before and we KNOW you’re not cracking open cold frosty ones in the pits, are you? Is that a 'Silver Bullet' in your right pod loop? People do it, we know. But you’re taking chances with your health we really hope your body can cash.
Paintball Equipment & the Heat
Paintballs Now that we’ve got the whole “please try not to pass out” thing more or less taken care of, what about your gear? If you’re grabbing paint from the paint truck at a big event and it’s super hot, only grab what you absolutely need – it’s refrigerated in there so let the paint you don’t need right now stay right where it is. Don’t go complaining about the paint if you leave it out in the sun. Be smart about when you fill your pods in the heat – cramming paintballs together when it’s hot and humid will lead to paintballs getting stuck together, getting dimples and getting misshapen, and that means they won’t shoot or feed well. Plus, the warmer weather is certain to make your paintballs a bit rubbery the longer they’re out in the heat, especially the paint in your hoppers. Keep a cooler for your paint in the pits and keep the paint cool – top off the hoppers close to the points so you can get those off-the-break eliminations instead of bounces, and don’t be standing out in the sun with your pack on so your paint turns to rubber super bouncy balls when you need them. Some teams even go so far as to keep a van or car running, the A/C on and the paint crispy inside until it’s needed. At the very, very least, keep your paint out of the sun.
The heat and sunlight take their toll on everything in paintball, and paintball guns are no exception. In addition to heating up your hopper and baking the paintballs inside until they’re about useless, it can even affect velocity and overall function if your gun overheats. Keep your paintball guns in the shade to keep the electronics and operating system as cool as possible, and the hopper from becoming an oven that bakes your paintballs. If you use CO2 as a propellant, you already know the risks of heat and sun on your tank – Co2 will heat up in the sun and you could blow a burst disk or get crazy velocity spikes if your CO2 tank gets too hot, or gets left in a hot car, so please don’t do that.
Play Safe & Be Smart for Summer Paintball!
The heat affects everything in paintball – players, referees, event staff, paintballs and paintball gear. Heat makes paintballs shoot differently from hour to hour and can damage paintball gear like guns and tanks. Refs that are in the hot sun all day are going to slow down no matter how much water they drink. Appreciate their grind instead of complaining or put on some stripes yourself and see what it’s like. Take care of yourself and your gear, and you’ll win while the others can’t, and you’ll come home safe and healthy!