Friday, August 28, 2015

How do we grow paintball as a sport?

I was on Reddit earlier today and I found a post about what we need to do, as paintballers, to grow our wicked sport. What most of the people ended up posting was that the "cost" of the sport is so high, While I agree that you can spend yourself into oblivion, this isn't the reason that the sport isn't as big as it could be. Two sports that are incredibility expensive, Hockey and Golf are very popular. The cost of your sport or hobby is something that YOU control. You decide on where to play and what kind of gear you are using. If you are letting someone else tell you where to play and what kind of gear to use, you may have bigger problems.
So how do sports that are super pricey, keep people paying the big $ to play? They have "Ambassadors" that establish the sport as a good thing to do. Don't believe me, take a look at junior rep hockey. Each player is "required" to wear a suit to and from each game. It doesn't matter what that player does on the ice, they still look like a presentable young man. This goes a long way with the parents, who in most cases, are going to control whether or not their kids are playing paintball. Think I am full of it? Have you ever heard of Dave "Youngblood" Dehaan? I bet you have heard of his company...DYE Precision-Dave Youngblood Enterprises. Why do I bring this up? Because Youngblood used to "play" wearing a suit!

Now I am not suggesting that we all adopt this as our new attire, but I am suggesting that we all start looking at ways we can become ambassadors. Something that takes away from that takes away from the "war" crazed image that so many people have about paintball. Well a super easy way to do that is to get your friends or team mates together and volunteer for something. There are so many things that you can do around you community it is crazy. Go put your jerseys on and help out at a soup kitchen, take a couple of pictures and post them online. Better yet call the newspaper ahead of time, they might even send someone down to do a story on what you are up to. The point is, if the community sees you as benefit and not a problem, doors open for you and life gets a whole lot easier.
There are hundreds of things that you could do around your community and a little effort goes a long way. So the next time you are wondering what we need to do about promoting paintball, have a look at what is going on in your own town.  

Thursday, August 13, 2015

All That Gear

So I hope that you are not like me, in that you have "piles" of gear for this great sport we love. Sadly, most of the players I have met over the years have totes and bags full of gear. What I would like to show you here is something simple that may help you to at least organize some of this stuff.
I simply call it a wooden dummy.
I would like to thank ITS Tactical for posting this and I found floating around on Pinterest. I have included a link to their website and invite you to check it out. I have used this stand to wash and dry my tact vest. You can also use it to prep your gear before you head out.
I sure hope that this will help you to organize and keep organized all of that crazy gear we all seem to collect.

Monday, July 6, 2015


Radios are the best way for you and your team to stay in contact, this is nothing new. The use of headsets is not as common. I know that some people don't like using headsets, they find that the earpieces are hard and that they are uncomfortable with their masks. and yes, the wire can get snagged. These are all concerns and they are all very small and fixable when you weight them to the advantage of having instant updates to your team.
So the first thing you want to do is to avoid something like this:
All of the arrows are snag points. They can all be avoided by taking a little prep time and secure the wires to your vest with velcro, tape or zap straps.
Now depending on the radio you have the option for an extended antenna is possible and should look something like this:
Notice how neat the wires are. This also allows you to keep your radio up front in case you need to change frequencies.
As for the comfort level, most headsets come with different sized earpieces. You should be able to mix and match to find one that works. You can also contact a hearing aid company, they can make a mold of your ear and custom fit your ear piece. This is by far the more expensive way to go.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Capture The Flag

One of the best games of paintball I have ever played was also one of the most frustrating games  I have ever played. The teams were split up and sent to our spawn points. Then a soccer ball was placed in the center of the field. The objective was capture the ball (flag). What you did, once you captured the flag, was to put it as fair into the other teams territory as possible. You could kick it or throw it you just have to get in over there. Now they can throw it back, the ball will pass back and forth until the time is up. The team with the ball in their area at the end is the loser.
Now when I played we played for 30 minutes with unlimited re-spawns. It was one of the most frustrating games, because on more than one occasion I was just feet away from the the ball, but couldn't get to it because of the massive cover fire the other team was putting on the ball.
Other options you can try are:

  • More than one ball (odd numbers work best)
  • Try using a football or rugby ball
  • Change the length of the game (shorter or longer)
  • If you get hit by the ball you are out
Make the game your own but whatever you do, HAVE FUN!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Pay Attention

If there is one thing in life that we all need to do more is;
So it is an easily transferable skill that we all should use more in life & it will help us on the paintball field? The one thing you will never hear is, "I wish I hadn't paid so much attention". If you were paying attention then you probably would have seen that person flanking you!?! If you were paying attention then you probably would have noticed that the left side of the field is super weak and could be easily over taken. The list goes on & on!
This skill won't make you a better shot, help you run faster or play harder. It will make you a more well rounded player. 
So how do we do this? How do we make ourselves be more attentive? The simplest answer is always the most effective. So when you are out playing next time, try to remember to check your sides and don't just keep your blinders on focusing on that one person you can see. 
Also when you are in a firefight, stop and take a 1-2 seconds to check your sides. The easiest time to take someone out is when they are focused on someone/thing else. Don't get caught in that trap!
So this picture is an awesome example of PAY ATTENTION! These 5 guys are stacked up ready to breach a door, They are all thinking about that door and the job they have to do to get inside but they aren't just staring at the door. In fact they are all looking in different directions, making sure they don't get surprised just before they execute the breach....PAYING ATTENTION!!!
Give in a try!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Product Review: Tech T Zero Kick Hammer Bolt

For the past 6 months I have had the zero kick hammer installed on two different markers. The first marker is my X7 with a response trigger. The second marker is my 98 Custom with a cyclone feed. Two very different setups but both were enhanced by the same upgrade. The X7 has a significant reduction in recoil allowing for far more accurate burst fire. This has several advantages, aside from the obvious, such as single handed firing.
The 98 is a total different setup, this was my first marker and one I used as a sniper style of play. It is very quite and very accurate. By adding the zero kick hammer I found an increase to my accuracy. Now I would like to also add to this that the initial accuracy on both the X7 and 98 decreased. This was due to the change from the reduction of the recoil, which I was anticipating, from the stock hammer bolt.
So I am not saying that if you want to be more accurate buy this part or that if you buy this part you "WILL" become a better shot. NOPE! Both of these can only really be increased with practice. What this product can help with is; the amount of time or effort that "MAY" be required to improve these skills. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Training costs

We all know that Paintball can be an expensive sport to play, equipment prices, field fees, & of course PAINT & AIR! The easiest way to cut costs is of course "Sponsorship".  For those of you that have not tried this avenue, it can be difficult. Companies are not just going to give you something for nothing. You will have some kind of commitment that will need to be fulfilled. This can cut into your free time, you may have to help run the next big event instead of playing it! So make sure that you know ahead of time what is going to be asked of you before you say yes to sponsorship.
So how can we keep practice costs down? So let's say that you have a piece of property that you are allowed to go to that doesn't cost you anything for practicing. What's that? You don't have that? Well, how you have your first project, Go find somewhere you can practice for free. Drive 20 minutes into the country, find a wooded area, make sure that no one is around (for safety not hiding). Be respectful! Clean up after yourself, let's stop giving people a reason to dislike paintballers. Maybe you know someone who has a large backyard? Be creative!
Next is air, if you are still using CO2, stop! Switch to compressed air, it is far less harmful to the internals of your marker. Your maintenance will go way down and it is way cheaper to fill your tank. Next is filling your tank, what do you do at the end of the day after playing paintball? Probably pack up all your gear, do you get your tank filled before you leave? Why not? Fill your tank before you leave so you have a full tank for your next practice. Look into getting an used scuba tank, you can check scuba shops and the classifieds ads. This might be a group effort, if the cost of a tank is to high for you alone, you can find scuba fill adapters just about anywhere for a descent price. Make sure you check when the scuba tank was "Hydro Tested". If this has expired, you will be looking at additional costs, again you might want to see if some of your friends might want to help with this. When it comes time to fill your scuba tank, your local dive shop can help, make sure that you let them the tank is for paintball and not diving. This way they don't have to worry about getting the "mixture" right and can simply fill the tank with compressed air. In my experience I can get my scuba tank filled for what it costs to fill my paintball tank!
So paintballs can be a huge expense, especially if you like running full auto. Here are a few options to help bring this cost down. Community paint! This only works if you are practicing as a team, so everyone brings some paint and the whole group gets to use it. You will have to arrange this ahead of time so that everyone knows how much paint to bring. Another option is leftover paint, this is paint that doesn't get used at the field. Many fields won't allow off-field paint. This generally has to do with their insurance carriers, not them wanting to "screw you over". So if they can't identify their paint, you can't play with it. This makes for some great practice stock, so instead of burning it off, save it for your next practice. It helps to keep a few large "zip-loc" freezer bags with your gear. Ask around when everyone is packing up if they want to sell their open bags of paint, you might be able to buy some open paint for cheap. Lastly, check with your local field or pro shop to see if they have any broken bags or returned paint. Let them know that you are looking for some "practice" paint and you would be willing to be there "bad" paint at a discounted price. This is stock that is probably going to be thrown away, so if they can make some money back they will probably be more than happy to help.

  • Go find somewhere you can practice for free
  • Fill your tank before you leave the field for the day
  • Bring your SCUBA tank out to the practice
  • Community paint from your team
  • Ask to buy open paint when everyone is packing up at the end of the day
  • Check with local fields & pro shops for any broken bags or returned paint
Good luck I hope this helps you out!

Here is a link to an earlier post, might be helpful if you can get some opened or broken paint