As we approach the first tournament event of the season, Round 1 of the CPPS at Penkridge, we thought we'd compile a list of our TOP10 tourney essentials. We're pretty sure you'll remember all the basics - gun, mask, clothes, those kinds of things - but there's a few items everyone will forget at some point and they're not what you'd think!!
So our top 10 of event essentials, (apart from your playing gear), in reverse order:
10. Mask / Goggle Case
There's so much equipment kicking around on tables and in staging areas that you often find your kit will be moved, bumped and knocked off. If you take pride in looking after your gear then you'll want to make sure it's protected from harm. If you clean your lense and put your mask straight into a mask case between games it will stop your beautiful mask, with expensive chrome lense, getting knocked off the table and damaged.
We have a selection of Mask Cases available here.
9. Non-Scratch Lense Cloth
It's a small thing, less than a fiver, but it will keep your expensive lense in tip top condition and is far better than using a bit of dirty tissue or the bottom of your paintball jersey.
Our best value lense cloth is available here.
8. Tech Mat
The worst thing you want to do at an event is have to fix your marker. Most of the time you won't have to as there are professional techs at many events but if you do need to strip it down for whatever reason then you'll want to do it properly and make sure you don't lose any of the bits. A tech mat is the best way of ensuring you keep all your tools and parts together. Our own JP tech mat has been designed with separate compartments to hold o-rings and parts, there's a magnetic section for metal pieces, and a good open space to work on.
Our JP tech mat is available to purchase here.
7. Barrel Maid
It's another small item but absolutely essential for maintenance and cleaning on the day of your paintball event. We have a massive range of Barrel Maids which are great for cleaning your marker before, after and even during the game. If you get a ball stuck in the barrel, simply unscrew it and give it a quick clean with the barrel maid fluffy swab. We have a massive range of Barrel Maids available online.
6. 140 Shot Pots
We can never take enough pots to paintball tournaments. No matter how hard team captains try, it seems that 140 shot pots are like socks in the wash - they just go missing and no one knows why! Every player usually needs a minimum of 5 pots but with them often being discarded on the field mid-way through games they go missing all the time. Thankfully, they're not expensive and there are loads of different makes and colours on the market. We have the full range available online.
5. Paint Loader / Ball Hauler
Whilst not essential, this is a really useful bit of kit and saves an awful lot of time when you're filling up your paint pots. The hauler holds a full box of paint and saves you wasting paint when you're re-filling your paint pots. It also saves a lot of time as the hauler spout fits exactly with a paint pot and you can literally pour the paint into your pots in a fraction of the time. This is our favourite ball hauler.
4. Fill Nipple Cover
Perhaps the smallest and least expensive bit of equipment you'll ever own but it can save you a lot of issues and money! The fill nipple cover prevents dust and mud getting into your air system fill nipple which can cause issues when you try to re-fill your air tank. At less than £2 this is an absolutely essential piece of kit and could save you having to replace your entire fill nipple. These are available online or normally available at most paintball events.
3. A Goggle Peak
Some masks come with them and some don't ... but when it rains, if your mask doesn't have a peak you'll find it rapidly starts raining inside and your lense will fog up really quickly. The Virtue peak - Stealth Visor - is a universal peak so will fit most masks and is easy to fit in a hurry and also remove once it stops raining. For playing paintball in the UK this is certainly a kit bag essential and available to buy online here.
2. Barrel Sock / Barrel Condom
This is the most essential piece of kit as you won't be allowed to play without one. The barrel sock keeps your barrel covered in case of accidental firing and will keep everyone around you safe from accidental harm. You'll need to keep one on your barrel the entire time you're not playing and can only remove it when you're on the game field and about to play. Your sock then goes onto the barrel at the end of the game before you can go back into the staging area. There are numerous makes, designs and colours available so you can match it to your paintball marker or your individual style, but you must have one. We have the full range available online.
And in first place....
You can't operate your gun or hopper without them - but most people forget to check them before playing an event. We recommend you change your batteries before any competition or event - but don't throw the old ones away if there's juice left in them, just keep them for training when it doesn't matter so much if you run out mid-game. You absolutely don't want to be let down by your equipment during an event so make sure your batteries are at full strength in your hopper and in your marker.
As ever, if you have any questions or technical queries about paintball, please just get in touch with us!