Blog / News
I had an interesting experience last weekend. What started out as a day of paintball practice for this weekend's tournament turned into an unexpected trip down memory lane.
After the practice got cancelled at the last minute, and only one other teammate showed up the day was looking pretty disappointing. We ran a few games with the home team at Action Acres, Team Black Sheep, then the other teammate had to leave due to home obligations. This left me by myself. I had 3 options: run drills with the other team, go play with the walk-ons, or pack it up and go home. Since it was a beautiful day, and I didn't want to be in the way, I chose to hit up the rec field and got in with a group of guys out for a bachelor party.
We played the first game on the upper field, which seems to be an abandoned Christmas tree farm. It was pretty slow paced, with the players hiding and not making a lot of moves. When I got in I just ran up to the front and tried to draw fire since I didn't see much opportunity to hide with my bright white mask and colorful jersey. Needless to say, I didn't last long, but I did make enough of a distraction to let my teammates get into position to take the game.
After that, we moved down into the castle field, and that's where the fun began. The group decided to do an "assault the castle" game, which put the 4 man wedding party inside the castle while the other friends tried to take it. I decided that since the numbers were so lopsided, I'd help the groom out. So, I handed him my Ego 10 and I picked up his rental BT-4.
Man, shooting that gun brought back memories! Not to mention, everyone but the groom was shooting the same rental gun, which left a TON of opportunity for movement. I couldn't believe how relaxing it was. It was almost like playing a pump only game. There still wasn't a lot of movement by the other players, and they defended the castle really well, but it was one of the best times I've had playing paintball this year. The total lack of pressure and laid back pace was something I never even realized that I missed.
The feel of the rental mech. brought me back to my first days in paintball. The days when 200 rounds could last for an hour of play. I opened my hopper a good 3 times to reload it only to find I still had lots of paint left to go. I couldn't believe how much fun I was having. I knew right then and there I was going to get myself a mechanical gun just to play around with and visit some fields with walk on groups.
Well, after a few games it finally got late in the day, and I still had nearly 1/2 case of paint left. I certainly didn't see that coming when I'd set out for airball practice that morning. So, I gave it to the guys at the bachelor party as a thank you for letting me join and went on my way, determined to recapture that spirit of beginner recreational play.
Little did I know that as soon as I got home and out of the shower, that Ed would call me with a surprise. So, guess who's building a mechanical Autococker on a sweet looking Fireball Mountain frame. Oh yea!
Still, I'm kind of eyeing one of these for next time I hit a walk-on game to completely re-capture that entry level spirit. It's strangely refreshing to remember your roots every once in a while. Plus, I still have my trusty old Spyder SE on standby as well.
These days there is a definite trend in the paintball world. Everyone
is looking to cut costs. People are going back out to the woods, many
are getting in touch with the good ol' days with their buddies, playing
small renegade games and remembering just how much fun it can be.
They're remembering the days that they could go out with a group of
friends, a tiny bit of CO2, and a pod of paint and play to their
heart's content. Along with that comes the nostalgia for the guns they
once shot. For many players, that means remembering the joys of the
It's not just the old school players that are re-discovering the fun.
Many new players are being introduced and falling in love with pump
paintball as well. It's not hard to see why. It opens up a whole new
world of play and makes it a whole new game. If you're lucky enough to
own some land, or have access to a place to play, it's an even more
attractive prospect. Imagine being able to play a whole day for the
price you'd normally pay just for admission. Even if you do go to a
field, when you take a pump, you can still get by for a fraction of the
cost. In economic times like this, it's not just a great way to
experience a different style of play, it just makes sense.
But it's not just about cost. It's about FUN. Pump games don't rely on
pinning down the opposition until someone can move into position for a
shot, or until they pop out into your stream. It's all about movement.
You'll get to see more of the field in one pump game than you might
normally see in a month of play. The freedom it brings is amazing. You
can run further, faster, and longer. I normally carry an extremely
light tournament marker, but with my pump, it's still night and day. A
stock class pump and a leg harness full of tubes feels like nothing
compared to my normal load. If you're playing woodsball, it's a huge
bonus. You'll really get to enjoy the field, and just maybe discover
some new spots.
Shootouts with pumps are another fun aspect. No more endless ropes
across the field. With pumps, people are running back and forth from
cover to cover, snap shooting like crazy. You get to really experience
the field like never before. There's more time to watch, more time to
move, and more time to just enjoy the game. Unbelievably refreshing, in
One of the biggest advantages to playing pump is how much it can
improve your game. No matter how good you are, it never hurts to work
on your fundamentals, and pump does just that. It's all about
fundamentals. Accuracy, movement, communication, and effective use of
cover are vital. There's no relying on firepower to get the job done.
At the end of the day, you'll walk away learning something you can do
to improve your game no matter what style of paintball you normally
So, if you're looking for a cheaper way to play, a different twist to
the game, or a chance to work on your basic paintball skills, then pump
paintball might be right for you. Feel free to drop into the various
forums all over the internet and start asking questions to the pumpers.
As a whole, they're the most helpful, nicest, and most honorable
players I've encountered in my years of paintball. Even if you don't
get addicted to playing pump, the players and their laid back attitudes
(and crazy modification projects) will probably keep you coming back to
their forums anyway.
If you feel like looking further into pump play I recommend these
www.mcarterbrown.com - Carter Brown's forums. Very well moderated, very
informative, typically mature posters
www.pbnation.com - the place for all things paintball - beware the
annoying kiddies running rampant everywhere
www.thephog.com - Phantom owners group (maybe I'm a little biased since
I own one)
If you live in the Pacific NW, or feel like making a journey for a game, OK Company will be holding their first scenario of 2010 on Jan. 10, called Outlaws and Lawdogs. It'll be a Wild West theme, so to keep the spirit it's a pistol and pump game. They've come up with some solutions for those that only have electros, and it's looking to be one great day of paintball, and one unbelievable day of pump play.
For one reason or another, you might someday want to travel with your paintball gear. These days, flying is more of a pain than ever, so you might be wondering what to do about your paintball gun and your tank. Are there any special rules?
Well, I got curious, as I plan to do some traveling before long and looked them up myself. So, here are the TSA guidelines as of Oct. 15 2009. As you know, these are subject to change at a moment's notice, but it's a good start.
For your marker
You cannot bring markers (aka Paintball Guns) in your carry-on luggage. Pack them in your checked baggage. We do not consider paintball guns to be firearms and you can pack them in unlocked, soft or hard sided luggage.
Please also read our section on compressed gas cylinders for more information. Traveling with compressed gas cylinders.
For your tank
Compressed gas cylinders are allowed in checked baggage or as a carry-on ONLY if the regulator valve is completely disconnected from the cylinder and the cylinder is no longer sealed (i.e. the cylinder has an open end). The cylinder must have an opening to allow for a visual inspection inside.
Our Security Officers will NOT remove the seal or regulator valve from the cylinder at the checkpoint. If the cylinder is sealed (i.e. the regulator valve is still attached), the cylinder is prohibited and not permitted through the security checkpoint, regardless of the reading on the pressure gauge indicator. Our Security Officers must visibly ensure that the cylinder is completely empty and that there are no prohibited items inside.
Please note: Many of the seals/regulators used in paintball are not designed to be removed from their cylinder by the end user. The seal/regulator should only be removed and reinstalled by a factory trained technician.
Passengers considering air travel with a compressed air or CO2 system would be advised to contact its manufacturer for guidance in locating a qualified technician, or to consider shipping the system to their destination via a parcel service.
Here is another article crossposted from the OK Company forums.
Paintball is just so much fun it's a shame to keep it to yourself. Like
many people you probably want to share it with your friends and family,
and hopefully get them hooked as well. There's no doubt an activity
that depends so much on teamwork and communication is good at
strengthening relationships off the field, but that's a whole other
This article is the first in a series about helping out those new
players that you've just introduced to the sport, or if you're new to
the sport and reading this, how to make it more enjoyable for yourself.
One of the first things that happens when someone catches the bug is
the desire for their own gear. Sure, you may have a great setup that
you're willing to loan out, but a player, for some reason develops a
type of bond with their gear. Don't ask me why. It just happens. So
eventually, they'll want their own, and to make sure their experience
is as good as possible, you might need to guide them in the right
The first piece of gear that anyone should get is a good mask. They'll
probably be looking at guns, and probably want to skimp on the mask to
get the gun, but don't let them. Their mask is the number one most important piece of gear they'll ever bring onto the field.
A good mask can make all the difference in how good of a day they have.
It can mean the difference between beating the competition or a trip to
the hospital. A bad mask is going to be a distraction, a handicap, and
possibly even a danger. If it doesn't fit right, it will constantly
need adjustment. It might even be prone to falling off. That's never
good. A well designed mask will also fog up less, which means they
won't end up wandering around the field blind. We've probably all done
that at one point or another, and it's not a good way to get someone
new excited about the game.
So, what should they look for in a mask?
- Comfort/Fit - Think
about how much time your mask spends on your face during a given day.
If it pinches, digs in, or is otherwise uncomfortable they're going to
have to put up with that every moment of every game. Find one with good
padding that fits the shape of their face comfortably. It might not be
simple to go around trying masks on. I'm not sure why this is so much
of a pain in stores considering how important masks are, but it is.
Reading reviews on the internet can help. If they wear glasses that is
a big thing to take into consideration, and can drastically limit the
types of masks that will work. Also important is coverage. Some people
just have bigger heads than others, so some mask might not cover their
full face. I think you get where I'm going with that. It's bad.
- Quality - I put this as #2, for one simple reason. A cheaply
made mask isn't going to be comfortable. It's as simple as that. The
mask is a safety item. Don't skimp on safety. Buying the right mask
might set them back a couple weeks on saving up for the gun, but in the
end it will be worth it, and it's not worth the risk otherwise. Don't
just think about the eye protection, get a mask that protects the ears
as well. A paintball can do a lot of damage, and most masks these days
offer something in the range of ear protection. Find one that offers
- Field of View - These days a lot of companies are going out
of their way to make masks as unobstructive to vision as possible,
offering wide field of view. Take all that you can get. The more you
can see, the better off you are.
- Ventilation - This one is pretty important, but it can be
fixed. Good ventilation means you'll breathe easier, and not fog up as
easily. No matter what, if they play year round, they'll probably run
into conditions where the mask fogs up. Anti-fog spray or wax will do
the trick. But, with a little ingenuity and some small computer fans
from radio shack, that can be fixed permanently so that it NEVER fogs.
I mod my masks with these right off the bat, as it really keeps me a
lot cooler and brings in tons of fresh air. It's truly amazing. Some
masks offer fan kits, but they're extremely loud. What can be built DIY
will be far cheaper and far quieter.
- Style - Yea, it's important. By now they've probably
narrowed it down to a couple choices, and they're probably all within
the same price range. If they're playing woodsball, they don't want to
be wearing a bright white mask. Trust me, I've done that. It's
impossible to hide. You want something that reflects your personality
yet serves the situation. There's nothing wrong with wanting to look
cool on the field. Anyone who says they don't care is a liar.
Well, now that they're set up with a mask, they've got their most
personal, and most important piece of gear taken care of. They've made
their first step into joining the sport, and every little piece they
acquire will bring them one step further into to the full blown
addiction we all enjoy. Not to mention start building their confidence
as they get more familiar with all of it.
I'm honestly not sure what the next blog in this series will be about.
I would like to do something on picking the right gun, but that's such
a huge topic I don't think it can even be put to words. I guess we'll
Well, it appears that Ed has also entered the blog contest at OK Company as well. Earlier than myself, in fact.
My nightly routine has always been to surf PBNation to giggle at the latest 'who has the bigger barrel' arguments. Further, I wanted to congratulate the Forest Demons on a job well done placing First place in the top 2 divisions.
Then I saw a poll/topic that very much caught my eye. '.50 Cal - Do you really want this?'
This has been a huge dilemma for me, mostly because I like to tinker with toys. So breaking into a whole new caliber of paintball I raised my nose to. It wasn't until recently when I sat down with my good friend Michael, who competition shoots for a living; that we started to discuss the avenues of .50 caliber paintball.
Michael has always disliked paintball. He is ex military trained, police trained, etc. etc. He hates the size of the markers, hates the hoppers, his hate list could go on and on. About 8 weeks ago, he did go out and buy a paintball pistol though, which shocked me. I then laughed when he told me it was the Kingmann pistol. I simply said good luck trying to use that at any place you pay to play (he hasn't been able to use it either). His argument was it fit in his hand like his normal side arm, hence he bought it.
After discussing the topic for about 2 solid hours with him, my outlook on the .50 caliber paintball changed drastically. no longer did I want to shun the idea, instead, I now embrace it.
Here is my reasoning.
The sport of Paintball realistically has plateaued and needs a fresh idea. I'm not saying a change, but new avenues. That being stated, introducing (or reintroducing, whatever) the .50 cal isnt a bad thing. It offers more options to people, and to companies. I've always stated to friends and teammates, that when the caliber of paintballs get smaller, we will see closer adaptations to more milsim markers. Now sure, you have the BT Delta thats a very good replica MP5, minus the huge hopper that is attached to it. If people want more realistic replica of real fire arms, then the caliber has to come down in size.
Now, people are really worried about these companies saying 'ok, we are going .50 cal' and dropping everything to do with .68 calibers and screwing over all their current customer/players. I don't think any company is planning to do this...unless they really want out of the business, since they would be bankrupting themselves in 72 hours. You do not bite the hand that feeds you. So if anything, you will see companies experiment, and push a new caliber product (e.g. Kingmann with their pistol, and Smart Parts working with GI Milsim), but will never just say good bye to .68 caliber (as long as their is old school autocockers and Automags out there, .68 caliber will be around).
Also, please keep in consideration that real fire arms come in all calibers. That being stated, think of how many more people this might attract to the sport. A different caliber paintball means new markers, new designs, new concepts, and new beginnings. All that said means new players, new groups, and new games. If anything this could revitalize the sport, more than hurt it.
Now keeping the positive in perspective, there are also negatives that have to be weighed in as well. Here are some points that I really do see as an issue.
Tom Kaye of AGD points out, switching to this caliber size might pose a safety issue. The smaller caliber will have a much better chance of slipping through some of the field rental type of masks that have larger vent holes.
The standard case of paint is 2K rounds. Now going to a smaller paint, is it factual that the consumers will be getting more paint for that same price of the 2k of .68 caliber?
If conversion kits are offered, will they also include barrels to go with them? Or will it be yet more money that we need to spend?
This is going to be 1 of 2 of the biggest question I believe for all the current players. Will the new .50 cal markers be something new and completely different, or will it be simply the markers we know and love offered in 2 different calibers? I ask because if the .50 caliber and .68 2010 ego (just using as an example) are both priced at 1250, why would I buy the .50 cal when my hoppers, barrels, and everything else I own is geared for .68 caliber?
2 of 2, will the design and concepts for the .68 caliber markers be neglected and/or just regurgitated (with what is already out there) while companies focus on .50 caliber?
Lastly, what of the pay to play fields? Do we know if their current insurance policies will cover the .50 caliber (being if its a safety issue with the smaller caliber having a better chance to get through vent holes on rental masks, this is something that needs to be addressed)?
Again, these are just my thoughts, and I'm expressing as everyone else is here. My hope is that people see the .50 caliber as an expansion to the sport, which I believe its trying to do. Not replacing what has already been done, and what is currently the norm.
This is an article I recently wrote for a front page blog contest over at http://okcompanypaintball.com. I've decided to shamelessly cross-post it.
Paintball. It's such a widely varied sport, with equipment, game types,
rules, and types of players, that it is almost impossible to master.
Maybe you can become an expert at one or two aspects of the game, but
when the game type switches you can find yourself lost in an instant.
So, in a sport with so many variations, how do you become better? How
do you excel and dominate at every game you play? The answer to that is
fundamentals, and in this post I'm going to try to break down a few
things into 3 simple rules that I think are the most important to take
your game to the top. Keep in mind, these aren't necessary to play.
Anyone can go out there and have a blast, but if you really want to
excel, in my opinion, these are the most important aspects to practice.
Rule #1 - Cardio.
Now when you look around the field, the first thing you'll notice is
that paintball players come in all shapes and sizes. Lets be honest,
you don't have to be in great shape to play, but it certainly does
help. The one common trait you'll find about all of the top players you
meet, though, is endurance. These guys are able to run circles around
the field and still pull up energy to fight when they need to. All of
this comes from a workout that is heavy in cardiovascular activity. If
you really want to put yourself to the test watch this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2y8tbS8Lsbc
of some professionals running snaps hooting drills, and then try it
yourself. It's not as easy as it looks, is it? And snap shooting is one
of the most important skills to be able to do if you want to excel.
What are some good ways to build this? Well, snap shooting drills are
one. This builds up the muscles needed, trains muscle memory, and gives
you a good cardio workout at the same time. Running and biking are some
obvious exercises. Recently, my favorite has been hitting the
Stairmaster hard at the local gym. It gives you a cardio workout, and
builds up the leg muscles that make the foundation for the rest of your
body. You'll also need an extremely strong core, so get at those
crunches and leg lifts. The quick, controlled movements that you see
them doing in the video are far more demanding than they look.
Rule #2 - Trigger Time
No soldier just picks up a gun and becomes a sniper. Likewise, no
paintball player will pick up a gun and become a pro. Especially
important in paintball, where you don't really have sights to speak of,
is muscle memory. This is the repetition of an action until it's a
reflex. A lot of athletes refer to using muscle memory as "being in the
zone". It's where you don't think about the action, your body just
reacts to what you want to do. You need your gun to be an extension of
your body if you expect to be able to hit a mask or a hopper at 50 feet
with only a split second to react. The only way to achieve this is by
constant practice with your gun. A good investment is some Reballs. You
can shoot them hundreds of times, instead of having to buy all that
paint. If you don't feel like that, you can just use my method.
Visualize a target somewhere in the house, and practice snapping in and
out of doorways and popping off a couple of (imaginary) shots in it's
direction. That way you're taking care of your snap shooting drills and
trigger time in one exercise. Of course there is a down side to this,
you get no immediate feedback on your accuracy. I'd only suggest doing
this with a gun you're already extremely familiar with. The main reason
I'm doing this at the moment is to get proficient with my left hand.
Did I forget to mention that? If you really want to be unstoppable,
you're going to need to learn to play with both hands so you can pop
out of cover and keep the parts of yourself that you expose to a
So, now that I've sprung that one on you, you're probably holding your
gun in your off hand now, thinking just how "wrong" it feels. Oh man,
does it ever feel wrong those first few times. Just pay careful
attention to how you hold the gun with your regular hand and try to
imitate that with your off hand. How are your arms positioned? Is the
barrel directly in front of your nose? The best way to get this down is
to start practicing in front of a mirror. It will help you get the
barrel straight, and pretty soon you'll be able to "feel" where the
shot will go, just like you do when you're using your normal hand. Once
you have that down, practice switching back and forth between hands,
firing off a couple shots as fast as you can with each.
Fire-Switch-Fire-Switch for a few minutes at a time. Within a matter of
weeks it will be feeling natural shooting with either.
Just remember that quote from Full Metal Jacket. "This is my rifle.
There are many like it but this one is mine. My rifle is my best
friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.
Without me, my rifle is useless. Without my rifle I am useless. I must
fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy, who is
trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me."
Now that your gun is an extension of your body, and you've been gotten
the hang of snapping in and out of cover, you'll not only be a hard
target to hit, but you'll be a target that shoots back just as
accurately, if not more accurately than that poor sucker laying prone
in the grass.
Rule #3 - Confidence
There's only one way to go about this one. Experience. You've got to
get out there and play. Get in situations that really suck. Get shot
up. You have to be calm and thinking clearly at all times on the field.
This means never being afraid. After all, what's the worst that can
happen? Get shot in the neck from close range? Well, if you've been out
there enough and got enough games under your belt you've probably
already survived that, so there's no reason to worry anymore.
This reminds me of my return to paintball after a 6 or so year hiatus.
I was terrified out there on the field. Not to mention I wasn't in too
good of shape either. I was breathing heavily and fogging my mask up to
where I couldn't see a thing, flinching all over the place, team
killing like no other. For the life of me I couldn't remember why I had
played so much before. But, after a few times out, building my
confidence and overcoming all the worries I started getting back into
the swing of things.
That's why I listed this as #3. If you're in good shape, and you're
good with your gun, then you're already light years ahead of a lot of
the competition out there on an open play field. Once you start putting
all the fundamentals to use, your game will start to flow smoothly, and
you'll have time to think tactics, communicate, watch how people are
moving, and generally have a lot of fun. There you go. That's
confidence right there. You know you can handle whatever gets thrown at
The last game I played made me realize just how far I'd come in this
aspect. I saw video with some clips of myself pinned down by two people
behind a bunker of some palettes http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0eaqpOwf2U#t=2m00s.
I remember the moment clearly, which was edited down in time for video
length. I wasn't scared and shaking. I was frustrated trying to get a
shot, and waiting for them to reload so I could do something. Checking
the bounces grazing my arm, calling for a paint check on my pods,
thinking about openings. Damn Pinokio hoppers. I popped out too soon
and took one in the hand when I thought he was reloading. But all I
could think was how far I'd come in confidence. That's one of the best
feelings in paintball, in my opinion. When I do something that I'm
impressed by, or see signs that I'm maturing in my game. Even though
there's a long road ahead to be a master, I can see that I'm at least
traveling in the right direction. That's what it's all about for me.
Here at Throwing Paint, we want things to be a convenient as possible for all our customers. That means offering different payment options for our customers to make the shopping experience as simple as possible. After all, what good is offering great products if they're a pain to get?
That's why we now offer Google Checkout as an alternate method of payment. If you already have a Google Checkout account, then checkout will be a breeze. If you'd like to get one and have the no hassle checkout benefits with us, and tons of other merchants, then you can sign up by clicking the button.
Shop securely with Throwing Paint.
You won't have to worry when you place your order. We're currently putting the final touches on our shopping cart system to make sure that you can place your order with complete confidence.
Check back soon, to see what we have to offer. As of this moment, we carry items from top paintball manufacturers such as Bob Long, Deadlywind, Ninja, Pinokio, and of course our own Throwing Paint line which includes the Short Bus special edition gear.
We look forward to doing business with you, and bringing you the best gear at the best possible prices.
Aug 15 2009 - that's the day it all happens. We're targeted to open on the first of the month and things are on track. Keep checking back to see all that we offer.
Jul 6th, 2009
The Throwing Paint Store is officially online. Check back soon to see our line of products.