As the paintball season progresses we see rental players become regular players and move into their own equipment. One of the largest hurdles for new players is getting into their own gear. The issues most new players come down to the issue of quality and value, is this equipment going to be worth my money? Often this comes down to a few key points, what do I need and how can I get the most for money. We highly recommend buying your equipment from a local store for several reasons. Mainly, going to a store ensures you the best customer service. Don't be fooled by a glitzy website, anyone can make a shiny website but it doesn't mean they are a legit business. However, the point of this article is to give a prioritized list of equipment that we suggest players buy when getting into paintball. Check out the article below for your full list.
Mask- The mask is the most important piece of equipment because a bad mask limits what you can see, and you can’t hit what you can't see. When picking a mask it is crucial that your mask have a thermal lens and properly fit your face. Finding a mask with a thermal lens is the simple part, there are plenty. However we highly recommend getting to a local store to actually try masks on. Purchasing from an online store may get you a decent mask, but the odds of it fitting your face perfectly drops.
Gun and Hopper- these two items really should be bought at the same time. It is important to know what type of gun you want because that can affect your hopper purchase. If you purchase a mechanical marker with a low rate of fire, you can get by just fine with an inexpensive hopper. If you get a higher end gun that can shoot at a higher rate of fire, then you will need an electronic hopper to keep up with the gun. If you aren't sure which hopper will work best with your gun, ask your local store for advice.
Tank- the only reason that a tank is not higher in this list is because most fields will rent compressed air tanks. Having your own tank will make you more familiar with your setup but if you need to pinch pennies, the tank is a good area to do it. When you do decide to buy a tank, it is important to get one that will hold the right amount of air, the proper size, and the proper weight. All important factors that must be considered when purchasing a tank and most of them can only be answered by getting into a store and physically holding the tank
Soft goods- soft goods is usually the last item we recommend purchasing are your soft goods. Arm pads, elbow pads,packs, paintball pants and jerseys are important pieces to a paintball player. However, when you are first organizing and buying your setup they fall more as “wants” than actual needs. When it does come time to upgrade your soft goods, there are a plethora of options so make sure you get something that fits properly.
With any piece of paintball equipment, you truly do get what you pay for. Investing the bare minimum into equipment will save you money short term but the equipment won't last as long. Conversely, the more you spend on equipment, the higher quality it usually is. We recommend asking people for opinions on their equipment and getting feedback on important items. One last piece of advice is to go to your local field or store and talk to their techs. It's important to handle equipment before buying. Guns are all different shapes and sizes and the soft goods are even more variable so trying items on are truly important. On top of that, buying from a local store usually has more benefits than purchasing a gun online. At AG for example, purchasing a gun gets you a seasons pass, saving you money in the long run. Stay tuned for a future blog that explains more in depth why you should buy local with paintball equipment. If you have any questions as you purchase gear, feel free to email or call us and we would be happy to help!