Paintball Growing in Popularity Amongst Sports Enthusiasts
If you caught the action of the National Pro Paintball League at Huntington Beach, California this month on ESPN3 then you witnessed some of the best paintball tournament play this year. Paintball surged in popularity a few years back, but is constantly finding new players because the sport pegs on three things that most sports enthusiasts appreciate when playing; competition, personal recognition through advancement of skill and things that explode. Paintball is often billed as a game for anyone and kids as well as adults participate and enjoy it, but once you get into the area of professional tournament play, you won’t even recognize is as the same thing that those weekend warriors are participating in.
So, if you have caught the paintball bug and are determined to get into the professional leagues, then there are a few downsides to consider. Starting with the big one, price. An average professional paintball player will spend up to ten grand a year on their equipment. That’s a conservative number also. Some professional players pay upward of 25 grand to maintain the best equipment and supplies. If that has squelched your dreams of becoming a pro player, then semi-pro tournaments won’t find you any refuge either. Semi-pro tournament players may spend up to 4-6 grand to maintain their level of play.
Luckily, playing with the guys and starting your own team won’t cost nearly as much. It will still be expensive, but you can get decent gear and get started for way under a thousand. There’s a few options for getting cheap equipment, check out 2nd hand sports stores, Craigslist and Ebay. There’s an off chance that you might find a once used paintball gun for half off. It happens more often than you think.
If you are still thinking about professional play, then the next thing to consider is your level of dedication. Most professional players spend about 5 hours a day at practice and take on average one day off per week. If that fits into your work, school or life schedule then you may be on your way to the pros. However, working your way up through the tournament bracket may require travel within and out of state. Don’t let it discourage you, to enjoy paintball you really don’t have to play in tournaments or have dreams of making it on ESPN, you can find great groups of players in your area.
Paintball is a sport that not only lets you compete against others and yourself, but it can also include man vs. nature competition. There are aspects of this sport that not everyone can engage in either. Players will create some very interesting scenarios like paintball at night to woodsball. There’s even those that will recreate historical battles or work together with skills like the Navy Seals. Start out slow if you are thinking about getting into the sport. See if you can borrow some equipment from a buddy and try it out before spending a lot of cash on the sport. Just like golf, paintball requires some costly equipment, dedication and jumping into it without the right training can hurt your wallet and your physical well-being.
With growing world recognition, paintball has become a sport that many feel that they can compete in. While it requires a good amount of physical stamina and dexterity to excel, it doesn’t require too much to enjoy a few good hours of play. Even playing as a sniper doesn’t require as much physical activity as others so with these different elements and styles of play, nearly anyone can find a role in paintball.