Since the game of paintball was first played on June 27th, 1981 in New Hampshire, its popularity has grown around the world. Many versions of the game have been created since its inception three decades ago. The paintball gear used by its players has also evolved over time. These days, the choices in such gear are vast, so much so that an enthusiast of the game can greatly personalize what they choose to arm themselves with.
While it is wise for beginners to begin with less advanced gear, for those who have been avid players for years, it is exciting and worthwhile to make paintball gear upgrades over time. For instance, many advanced players will eventually purchase electric paintball guns to replace their less expensive mechanical guns. There are numerous gun accessories, such as hoppers and tanks that need to be bought in order to complete a paintball gun. Again, the variety and quality of such paintball gear varies considerably.
Other essential paintball gear includes protective equipment. While paintball is relatively safe, without the proper protective gear, injuries are likely to happen. In fact, at professional paintball recreational facilities, players are not allowed to enter field of play without the requisite equipment. Considering that paintballs can travel a good 300 feet per second, it is not surprising that protection is mandatory. Such protective gear includes a mask, goggles, and durable clothing.
The game of paintball used to be dominated by young adult males. The modern paintball world includes both men and women of varying ages. Many new generations of players are finding paintball to be an addictive sport. While many parents fear having their younger children play paintball, many more have changed their minds once they are assured that the required safety equipment will be used.
As Peggy Vasselman from Massapequa said, “When I found out it was about shooting I said, 'I don't think so. I’m against guns. I grew up in the 70s, but I bent. I totally bent.” Another woman, Ms. DeAngelo stated with a smile that her son, “only had a couple of welts when he got home the first time.”
As any advanced player who has played the game for some time knows, there are risks involved and minor injuries may occur. However, when the proper gear is used, the game can be fun, exciting, and much safer.