Playing paintball is lot of fun but it can be painful without the right gear. Most people when they first get into paintball just think about the paintball gun, paintballs, air tanks, and a mask to protect their face, until they get hit one good time! Investing in a little extra safety gear will make your playing experience much more enjoyable and keep you from getting injured unnecessarily.
Another tip that you may not have thought of, always bring along the manual for your gun as well as the schematics. Sometimes you have to take apart your paintball markers so be sure that you have your Allen wrenches handy too.
One of the most aggravating things that can happen to you is to run out of batteries. It's as bad as running out of paintballs or CO2. Always make sure you have plenty of extra batteries with you so that you don't get shot or have to end your game early due to running out of power.
Now, let's get into what type of pads you should be looking for. You definitely want a neck guard to guard against those painful hits in the throat and neck area. Unless you are some kind of mutant, those shots hurt like crazy. Get a neck guard that wraps around and is lightweight. Thigh pads are good to get also, thigh shots hurt a lot and if you get a real good one it can give you a cramp that interferes with your play. Shin guards are a definite recommendation for the same reason. As far as I am concerned gloves aren't even an option. Your hands are almost always exposed, if get popped in the knuckles real good you will be looking for a pair of gloves fast.
Don't ever participate in paintball without a proper face mask. If your mask is cracked or badly scratched replace it. If you get hit in the eye you could easily be blinded. Keep an extra mask as well in case one is damaged while playing.
Problems with your markers can be easily repaired in most cases by simply replacing the o-rings and cup seals. Because they are made of rubber they will wear down over time and can cause your marker to stop working properly. You should also lubricate your marker regularly and keep the marker oil with you at all times when you are playing. You should also have a squeegee with you in case you need to remove something that gets in your gun barrel.
After you have been participating in the sport awhile and you are familiar with your gear you will have a better idea of what you need to keep with you when you are playing. You will definitely want pliers, screwdrivers, and tweezers to start as well as extra screws, bolts and springs. Be sure to bring along some Teflon tape and duct tape for quick on field repairs. Being prepared ahead of time will keep you in the field longer.
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