A guide on how to start at the sport of paintball.
- One important -- if not the most important -- safety measure is the paintball mask. A paintball moving at 280 - 300 fps (about 190 mph) is very dangerous and can potentially cause permanent blindness if struck in the eye. This is why all reputable paintball fields will require the use of a certified mask.
- Keep your velocity below 300 fps (feet per second). This velocity can be considered lethal so your gun should be below that number.
- It's best to keep your paintballs above the temperature of 30 degrees Fahrenheit. If the paintballs get too cold, they freeze and harden, which makes it more brittle and getting hit is a very unpleasant experience as it can leave large welts/cuts.
- Follow your field's rules for maximum BPS (balls per second). A higher BPS can lead to overshooting and possible injury.
- Marker - Depending on the quality of the marker, this is the most expensive piece of equipment you'll invest in. They can range in price from $75-1900. It's best to start with a marker that's around $129 so it can be somewhat accurate which reduces the ammo costs.
- Hopper - These can range from free (comes with marker) all the way to $200. This holds and feeds the paintballs into the chamber of the marker. With a good hopper, you can hold more paintballs and feed faster.
- Propulsion (Air) - This can come in three different kinds: CO2, Nitrogen (N2), and HPA (High pressured air). Each one needs its own unique type of tank, with the exception of N2 and HPA which can use the same type of tank. CO2 is typically used by beginners, because the tank is much cheaper and is used with cheaper markers.
- Paintballs - These are the ammo you will be shooting when you play. These can range from $30-75 for a case of 2000. More expensive ones break on target more, have better markability, make less of a mess, are more accurate, and break in the hopper less. Its best to buy a case of 2000 which lasts many games depending on how quickly you use ammo.
- Mask - This is explained above, and can range in price from free (comes with marker) all the way to $125. The more expensive ones fog less often, are made with a lighter material, and fit more comfortably on your head.
- Paintball pants and gloves - for added safety
- Pods - to reload with, standard pods hold 140 paintballs
- Vest/Harness - to hold the pods
- Pads - to reduce injury from sliding or diving