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If you have found our web page and are reading these words, you are probably taking your first steps in the world of paintball and would like to know what it is really about.
Basically, you know that paintball is about shooting at your opponents with balls filled with paint to eliminate them and completing certain tasks at the same time. You're right, but let's begin at the beginning.
At first, we must know that paintball can be divided into two basic variants:
Woodsball, as the name suggests, takes place in the woods, various abandoned buildings, training grounds and military facilities. In principle, this type of paintball should resemble real military operations. Players usually wear military uniforms and are dressed in camouflage while their markers – that's how we call paintball guns – are firearm replicas. In woodsball, scenario games are often organised which either aim at the reconstruction of real historical battles or stage fictional skirmishes. Several hundred people can take part in such events which in turn may last for several days.
We have also speedball, that is, competitive paintball. This type of paintball involves extremely dynamic and spectacular clashes which are governed by strictly specified rules and take place in specially designed inflatable fields and under the watchful eye of referees trained to run paintball events. Two teams composed of several people are given a limited amount of time to eliminate their opponents and carry the banner from the enemy base to their own or press the buzzer located in the enemy lines. This type of game severs the link with the military, as no camouflage may be used and both equipment and uniforms must adhere to stringent rules.
These few general remarks should give you an idea of how one type of paintball differs from the other. Of course, both types are completely different in terms of the equipment they use, but you will probably be most interested in the type of equipment that is necessary to simply embark on your paintball adventure.
The fundamental principle is to buy a mask that is safe and comfortable. Please bear in mind that you should use only approved products from reputable producers. You should never buy masks that serve other purposes than a game of paintball. This is for the sake of your own safety. You may also like to buy a mask with a double, thermal pane. Such panes reduce the risk of steaming up and will help you totally immerse in the game. Choose the mask that you find most comfortable.
Your marker, that is, the gun with which you are going to spread terror among your opponents, it the most important part of your equipment. You can exercise a wide array of choice, since the assortment of choppers, as we often call them, is just amazing. It ranges from basic mechanical gear to state-of-the-art electropneumatic markers. As a beginner, you should focus more on the mechanical markers. They are simple in design and easy to clean and maintain, which means less hassle and more time to enjoy in the field.
It is absolutely necessary that you also buy a loader. Mechanical gear requires a simple gravitational toilet tank, as that's how we call paintball loaders. The gravitational tank, as the name suggests, works according to gravitational principles, which is different from electronic loaders fitted out with little engines that are able to convey up to several dozen paintballs per second. But as long as you stick to your mechanical gun, you won't need such sophisticated stuff.
You also need to power your marker somehow. You can do this either with:
Carbon dioxide is definitely more popular and more affordable as well. Almost every city has an industrial gas station where you can fill your tank with CO2. CO2 tanks have varying capacities, and the largest allows you to have 1000 shots, but if you value your comfort you should choose smaller variants.
Compressed air may provide a slightly more expensive solution and also less available, but it is devoid of the drawbacks of CO2, that is, it will not freeze your marker whenever you try to shoot at a rapid pace and it also eliminates the risk of CO2 spills from your tank. Since every HP tank has a regulator, you get a constant and reduced output pressure supplied to the gun each shot. The compressed air tank will be much easier on your gun and the seals within. If you are planning to buy the HP system, you should find out first if you can fill it somewhere in your neighbourhood. Maybe your local fire brigade or diving centre will be able to help.
Now that you have a mask and a set to eliminate your opponents, you should finally choose suitable paintball ammo. The assortment of paintballs is just as wide as that of the markers. But you have to realise a few simple things:
Last but not least, we want you to remember that paintball is an awesome game that gives a lot pleasure and satisfaction. However, it also carries certain risks and requires that you take the responsibility both for yourself and other players in the field. You should always take care of your own security and that of your companions and other people around you.