Protect Yourself & Look Sexy Cool on the Field
Wanted to share what I use for paintball clothing every time I hit the course. When I started playing, especially indoor paintball, I just threw on a black turtleneck and some black cargo pants, and away I went.
Big Mistake! I learned some tough lessons about the clothing you wear affecting not only your visibility to other players, but the long term impact of welts on my body from cheap paintballs not bursting or hitting the dirt and landing on something sharp.
Bottom line: we need to wear protective paintball clothing, and we have more options now than ever before.
The one item I didn’t cover? The paintball mask… you are an idiot if you risk playing without it, ‘nuf said.
The first recommendation I suggest is protect your core: Get a chest protector, combined with a neck protector.
I know what you are thinking, it will cover my camo pattern and make me more visible, or the other guys will think I’m a wuss.
Well you will thank me when someone opens up on your back and you don’t end up with 6 quarter-sized welts all over your back, and greasy paint smeared all over you!
And of you are so concerned about what the guys will think; wear it under your jacket, my second essential piece of paintball clothing.
The jacket serves several purposes; hides your chest armor (so they don’t know you ARE a wuss J), provides some additional protection especially on your arms, and finally provides concealment if you chose the right camouflage pattern for your environment.
The additional protection on the arms is nice for deflating the impact of paintballs on your skin, thus dampening the pain a little.
It also provides protection from scratches when you crash through a barricade inside, or through some brush outside. Trust me, greasy paint in open wounds does not feel fun. Secondly, I always find out what the environment will be like where we are going to play: Indoor Paintball - I always wear black, no exceptions.
Even in an arena, where you are not concerned with concealment. Outdoor Paintball - I have a great tiger-camo pattern with some added spray-paint added in olive drab, cross-pattern.
The tiger pattern is what the US Military suggests for maximum hide (just look at the nets used to hide gear and equipment) and the colors of olive drab with dark brown mesh well with 85% of outdoor courses in the US, not many desert courses except in the South West.
Sometimes I use a homemade paintball ghillie helmet attachment, depending on the environment. It breaks up the distinct head-neck-shoulder silhouette, and provides additional protection. Cons: Hard to hear through the head sock, helmet, and the ghillie too. Your call.
Lastly, here are a few words on knee/elbow protection, as well as gloves and footwear. I don’t favor elbow or knee pads, as they tend to ride up at just the wrong time, and never seem to provide the protection I need.
They also cause bunching on my pants, and expose my legs to injury or make them easier to see. Gloves are cool if they don’t impact my ability to fire my paintball gun, or change the repeater function quickly.
I am a leftie so this is additionally tough for me as everything is always on the wrong side and I have to use touch to change over. A good pair of all purpose paintball shoes are great for ankle support, and provide additional protection for either indoor or outdoor paintball.
So in review, I highly recommend some form of core body armor with a neck protector. Secondly, a protective jacket with a tiger-camouflage pattern is indispensable for extremity protection and visibility dampening against enemy sighting. Lastly, pads and gloves are left to personal taste. Now, get out there soldier!
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