OK, so you've played paintball a few times with borrowed or rented equipment, and you've decided it's time to buy your own kit. Now, though, you must decide what to get. At BZ Paintball Supplies our staff have over 50 years playing experience between them, so we have the expertise to be able to help you get the exact kit you need.
The very first piece of equipment we would always recommend is a decent paintball mask/goggle. Everybody remembers that time they played paintball first and the rental goggles kept fogging up. Buying your own mask means that you will be the only person wearing it and it will be looked after properly. The most important part of your kit, a paintball mask will protect your face, eyes and ears, and one with good vision will keep you seeing more than your opponents. We stock all major brands of goggles at BZ Paintball, including DYE, Proto, VForce, JT, Empire and HK Army. What you should look for when buying a paintball mask is the quality of the lens (thermal lenses are less prone to steaming up than anti-fog single lenses), the availaibilty of spare lenses, field of view, how easy it is to change a lens, how good they look, and the most important thing is how comfortable they are on your face.
For helop on how to prevent your fogging check out our "Prevent your paintball mask from fogging" blog post. If you are unsure what to go for please just give us a call on 01642 605000 for some friendly, impartial advice.
The next thing you might consider buying is your first paintball gun (marker is the correct term). We stock a huge range of paintball guns/markers, with a wide variety of brands and standards. There are a few things to consider when buying a paintball marker - build quality/reliability, how easy is it to service or get serviced, fire rate, accuracy and the gas efficiency.
One of the first things to consider when buying your first marker is what gas is readily available wherever it is you plan on playing. There is no point buying a marker that only runs on compressed air if the venue you play only uses co2. Check out our "The difference bewteen CO2 and HPA for paintball" blog post for more information.
If you plan on using your equipment three to four times a year, it is probably worth it to buy your own lower-end equipment. Something in the price range of £100-£200. If you are going to be playing paintball twice a month or more, we would recommend getting something that's either easily upgradable or has better performance to begin with, something in the £200-£400 mark. If you are regularly playing big games or tournaments you would probably want to consider a higher end marker. Competent tournament markers are avilable from around £350 upwards (to over £1000!).
Should you get a mechanical or electronic marker? Mechanical markers are typically slower, louder and less efficient (meaning you get less shots per gas fill), but more reliable. Electronic markers are either electro-mechanical or electro-pneumatic. Electro-mechanical markers are mechanical markers with an electronic trigger frame that fires the marker, often in 3-round burst or full auto modes. Electro-pneumatic markers shoot by activating a solenoid valve which allows air to pass through and shoot the ball. They can fire more consistently, ar more efficient and are quieter than mechanical markers, but they cost more and are harder to fix. Check out our "Electronic vs Mechincal Markers" blog post.
Before you use up all your money to buy your dream gun, figure out what else you will need to make it work. A super-fast electro-pneumatic gun won't do you much good if you only have a gravity fed hopper. Learn if your gun will require you to buy a compressed air tank or co2 tank. By factoring in the cost of all other equipment before you buy your gun, you will have a better idea of what kind of setup you can afford.
At BZ Paintball we have a large range of paintball hoppers or paintball loaders that are suitable for all different types of play and compatible with all differnt types of paintball gun. Some loaders are specialist and only compatible with one type of marker, for example the cyclone or rip clip but most have a universal fitting so will work with all guns. As the loaders get more expensive the main differences will be the increased feed rate, ease of dissassembly and battery life.
After you've played at your local site rental day or a few walkons, you might be considering the next step in your paintball adventures. Depending on your preferred style of play there are a whole host of options. There are scenario or 'big' games all over the UK regularly, as well as established Tournament Series like the CPPS or UK Masters. For a list of games we recommend please visit our events page here.
In terms of paint, more so than any other paintball product, you do get what you pay for.
Cheaper or poor quality paintballs are:
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