Protect Yourself with Paintball Goggles
Avoid Paintball Related Eye Injuries
It is easy to take for granted the protection your paintball goggles and mask offer you during game play, but that seems to be where the least of paintball eye injuries happen.
News reports of people cleaning guns without checking them first, kids shooting for pranks to unsuspecting (and un-goggled) people, and the like.
The most common injury in my experience on the paintball field is splash damage somehow getting through.
You always want to keep your mask on, period. No matter what happens on-field, it is never the right thing to take your goggles off.
Even in dead boxes if people are still holding their guns, I keep my paintball goggles on.
Paintball Goggles are made to take a direct hit and not shatter or allow the paintball to hurt you, even at relatively close range.
They were designed for this, so don’t try and be cheap and use ski, motocross, shop goggles, or even a pair of sunglasses. That is just asking for injury.
I would even say that if you take a hit to the goggles, it would be best to get off the playing field and check your gear after a direct hit or very close hit.
This is especially important when you have had your paintball mask for a while, and you cannot remember how long it’s been.
The gear’s ability to protect against a direct hit, as well as protect eyes from splash damage diminishes greatly after several months of use. It’s kind of like the one time I went skiing with old ski boots – I ended up with wear marks so big on my shins I couldn’t ski the last two days of my vacation. Bottom line, make sure your gear’s age doesn’t impact you adversely.
I have even been told that the velocity of the paintball is limited to about 300 Feet Per Second impacts, so a typical 285 fps would allow for spikes due to weather, liquid CO2 problems, and regulators messing up.
Another important feature of that gear is the mask part. The facemasks functions like those used in motorcross – it protects them from rocks that get kicked up and might cause cuts or deeper injuries. I still remember the first time I got tagged in the mouth; I was using a paintball goggle/mask that didn’t quite cover my whole cheek.
I played fine all day, and I didn’t even see who shot me… I just remember the pain followed by nasty greasy paint in my mouth. I started to reach up to tear my mask off in reaction, but right as I started I realized what I was about to do and stopped.
Walking to the deadbox with paintball taste was no fun, but it was better than risking further (and far more serious) injury. Some Goggles attributes to look out for– fog resistance, comfort, proper fit, and protection of the entire face.
Finally, on a more fun note, some of the newer mask styles make for some good laughs… the one I saw recently looked like I was getting shot at by a bug-eyed green alien! We all need to be concerned for our own protection, but have some fun while doing it.
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