NEW TO PAINTBALL, WHAT WILL YOU NEED?
By Valken Sports
Hello readers! If your browsing this article, I am guessing you have just recently been introduced to the magnificent game/sport of paintball! Maybe you’re a youngin’ who was invited to a birthday party at a local field, played the game one time with rental gear and caught the paintball bug! Or maybe you’re a parent who wants to prep your kid to have the most fun first experience, or grab your own gear after hearing about theirs! Weather your getting into woodsball or speedball, and weather your going to become a weekly rec player or a once in a while weekend warrior, you’ll be hooked after your first time and looking to play again. Either way, the question you’re asking yourself now is “what do I need to play paintball?” I’ll walk you through exactly what items you need for the most enjoyable day of play!
The first and most obvious thing you’re going to need before heading out to the field is the paintball marker! This is the item you’ll be using to sling those paint filled projectiles at your friends (unless you’d rather sling shot which we don’t recommend for a very successful day) and the most important and valuable tool to start with and build around. Without renting/buying this item, you’re a stick in the mud (unless you happen to be playing a scenario where you are the medic!). For woodsball and recreational play (just for fun, with walk-ons, family, friends and other first timers), you probably want to start off with a base level mechanical gun from a solid name brand. The reason for this is simple. Paintball is a lot of fun when you’re able to accurately get balls down field to your target, at a decent rate, a dependable amount of the time. When you’re out-fire powered and constantly getting eliminated early, or busy dealing with an unreliable marker, you’re limiting your play time and ability to mark other players…which is why we all come here. So avoid the $30 all plastic pump, or spring markers you sometimes see at large department stores. Find a good reliable mechanical gun from an online paintball specialty site, like a Tippman, Spyder, or the V-Tac, my personal recommendation for its super affordable price, quality out of the box performance, and the ability to upgrade and customize as much as you’d like! If your playing speedball, your gonna want a little bit more fire power so you can keep up in this fast paced sport. Just like cars, there is no need to learn in a brand new mustang. For that reason I recommend the high quality mid range markers for new players. These are generally the $200-$500 range electronic markers. Great choices include the Eclipse Gtek, the Dye Rise, and the Valken Proton. All of these are deadly fast, accurate, small and light like the high-end markers. However they come with a few less features, for a much cheaper price!
The next item you will need is your loader! This is the device that serves to hold and feed paint on top of the marker. If your playing in the woods or mechanical, you’ll want to find a basic gravity feed loader that will allow you to shoot 200 balls. If your playing speedball, or just want a more consistent feed rate for faster shooting, you’ll want to check out the electric and force-fed loaders. Take a look at the affordable Valken Vmax, or the wicked fast Dye Rotor for consistently chain gunning the ropes of paint!
The last piece of your setup is the Air System! Your marker requires air to fire the paintballs, and the tank is a great stock for holding and aiming down your marker. If your getting out in the woods, or using a low end mechanical, you should look into c02 tanks, which range all sizes from 5-20 oz.. However if your using an electronic gun, or playing in cold weather, you’ll want a compressed air system for more consistent fire. An easy goggle search will show you a massive variety of both types of air systems to get started from a variety of brands. Check out the high quality tanks at Ninja, and Valken!
Aside from your setup, you’re going to need a few more items to play paintball enjoyably and safely! The first item is the Mask, and it is absolutely crucial for safety. A paintball is quite harmless to 99% of the body, leaving little more then a welt at the very most, however any projectile traveling at those speeds (yes even a spitball) can do some serious damage to our eyes, so we must wear mandatory face protection while playing. Check out the Valken Annex for basic starting eye protection, or look into the Dye Proto for a little more comfortable and stylish goggle at a slightly higher price
And finally you’re going to need a harness/pods to carry your extra paint! Don’t be that guy who has to cut their field time and fun short because you ran out of paint in your loader. Invest in a starter pod pack and a few pods so you can reload and keep slinging the paint! Pods/guppies/tubes are the equivalent to clips or magazines and allow you to reload when your loaders out. These will be detrimental for speedball play especially! At the very least, grab a side belt 2 pack, but I’d recommend skipping the step and getting a comfortable full harness for the ability to hold more pods and securely to your back. Check out Valken & Dye Harnessesfor some amazing paint packing products!
And there you have it! With your mask, marker setup and pack of extra paint, you will be all set with everything you need to play and get the most out of your paintball experience! There are plenty of other things that could help you like paintball pants, jerseys, gloves, and upgrade equipment, but this is a great starters list and will get you on your way to a basic but fully prepared rec player!