Wet Weather Paintball Tips
Tips to Win in Wet Weather!
Nobody likes it, but sometimes you just have to gear up and go play paintball in the rain, or in the mud, or in the rain and the mud. Whether you’re a tournament player and that’s the conditions you’re playing for the big money in, or you’re a scenario player and you’ve spent hundreds or even thousands and taken days off work to go hit a bucket list event, then the rain starts to fall, paintball in the rain is just a thing you have to put up with from time to time. That doesn’t mean it can’t be fun, though, as long as you take the proper precautions and make the right alterations to your paintball gear to be ready for the nasty weather!
Paintball gear, especially Valken paintball gear, is designed to stand up to hard core paintball in just about all conditions, from hot and humid to cold everything in-between, which often includes rain and mud. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make it all work better. Understanding how inclement weather affects paintballs and paintball equipment, then knowing what precautions and alterations to make to ensure the best possible performance, will make anyone’s day at the paintball field in nasty weather better. Plus, paintball games are a LOT easier to win if your opponents can’t keep their paintball equipment working in the rain!
Paintballs, as they’re a water-based, biodegradable product, are extremely susceptible to wet weather. That means some pretty obvious precautions better be taken to ensure your paintballs feed and fly straight in the rain. First, open only the cases and bags you need for right then and there – keep the rest sealed and dry. And that speed feed you use on your loader so you can load one-handed with your gun up? Swap it out for the lid that came with your hopper so rain doesn’t come right on in and soak each and every paintball you push through your loader into your paintball gun. Swollen, wet paintballs will stick together and swell, to jam just about any loader and they sure won’t fly straight, either.
Speaking of getting your paintballs to fly straight (straighter, anyway) in the rain, don’t be afraid to take some electrical tape and wrap up the ports in your barrel. Once water gets in your barrel it’s going to act just like broken paint, causing your paintballs to corkscrew and hook, flying anywhere but towards that bad guy over there you’re trying to shoot. So keep your barrel dry! Carry an extra swab with you on the field, too, so if some water was to get into your barrel you can swab it out and get some accuracy back.
Seeing is always a great thing to do while you’re playing paintball. That gets tricky when the rain starts to fall, for a myriad of reasons. First, all that water, obviously. It’ll get into your goggles and cause fogging and blurred vision. Use a visor if you have one, as it will cover the air slots in the top of your goggle frame to prevent water from getting in. The Valken MI-7 paintball goggle and other similar goggles have a great, rigid visor that is ideal for keeping your goggle lens dry during wet weather play! Obviously, a thermal lens is critical on wet days due to all that humid, wet air that is going to make seeing tough. Make sure you have a spare lens handy to swap out if water or moisture was to get into your paintball goggles. Many players also choose to wear a bucket hat or beanie to help prevent water from seeping into goggles, where it can cause fogging and even soak goggle foam.
Playing in the wet means everything’s going to slow down. Mud will suck your feet in and hang on, and when you do get your feet out, you’ll be taking extra weight with you as that mud sticks to your cleats. A good set of waterproof boots or hiking shoes make a great choice for longer games or scenario events in the woods when the weather gets wet, because it’s awfully hard to put a price on dry feet. If the weather even looks somewhat nasty when you check the weather, stuff a couple extra pairs of socks into your gear bag. Campers should pay extra close attention to the weather and prepare accordingly should it look even remotely nasty, by making sure the tent has a rain fly, or throwing that 10x10 EZ-up tent up over the tent you’re sleeping in. Make sure to find some high ground with decent drainage to set up camp if you have the choice, and bring plastic bags for all that muddy, wet, nasty gear.
On the field, don’t be afraid to use the wet weather to your advantage. Especially if you’ve taken precautions to keep your paintballs and gear dry, because there’s a good chance those people over there aren’t as prepared as you are. That means their paint is sticking together and jamming their loader, there’s water in their barrel and not one single shot they take is going to fly straight. Odds are, they can’t even see you because there’s either water in their goggles or their lens is fogged, or both. So this is the time to attack! Go get them! In wet weather, if you have accuracy, a working paintball gun, traction and dry socks, this is no time to sit in your bunker waiting for whatever might happen next! Use all these things to your advantage to strike hard and win!
Using some basic proper precautions to keep your paintball equipment dry and functional while others are having difficulty in wet, nasty conditions will make even a rough day at the paintball field that much better, and likely one you’ll never forget!