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Thursday, 24 January 2013

Paintball Gear Maintenance: Reliability vs. Real Liabilities

When you step out onto the paintball field, you have a job to do.  It is your responsibility to hold your lanes, get into position, and communicate with your teammates.  If you have an issue with your marker during a practice or tournament, it effectively makes you a useless body on the field, letting down your entire team from a problem that could have been prevented.  Basic marker maintenance is key to ensuring that your gun will shoot every time you pull the trigger.

An unreliable marker makes an unreliable player.

Your marker setup is an extension of yourself, and having unreliable gear leads to you being an unreliable player, as fixing issues at the field severely cuts into your practice time or even worse, actual game time.  It sucks to be the person at a team practice who is scrambling to do maintenance on their marker, while the rest of your team is on the field practicing and learning tricks of the layout that you may miss out on in the pits.  The worst is when you're in a great position on the field with a clear shot on an enemy player, when your gun doesn't shoot when you pull the trigger: you just lost a G for your team, you're probably going to get shot out because you can no longer defend yourself, and the lanes you should be covering become open for the other team to make aggressive moves, leading to your team's entire gameplan falls apart due to your lack of preparation.  When your gear doesn't work properly, you are a liability.

Maintenance is key, be prepared.

I suggest for players to always perform basic maintenance on their gear before each time they go to play paintball to ensure that everything works as it should.  Check your gear the night before you play, that way if you find any problems, you can fix them at home so you'll be ready to play when you get to the field. Maintenance doesn't take long, with most modern markers only taking a few minutes to fully clean and lubricate the bolt system.  If you are unsure on how to care for your marker, the first place to look would be the manual, which can usually be found on the manufacturer's website, and there are many videos on YouTube that will show you step by step how to properly maintain your marker.

Game day preparations checklist:

  • Your marker setup, maintained, re-lubed and ready to shoot.
  • Fresh brand-name batteries for your marker and loader.
  • Backup marker setups to swap out in case of any marker problems during games or Xball points.
  • Filled up air tanks.
  • Pods and paint ready to go for the next game.
Overall, the gear's cost does not make the player, but the player needs the gear to be reliable and functional so they can do their job on the field.  Remember to always be prepared to play, so you can spend your time at practice on the field rather that on the workbench!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Pro team Infamous Skills Clinic Coming to Flagswipe Paintball

Have you ever been watching the pro matches during a PSP webcast and thought, "I want to be that guy, how do I get to be where he is in life?"..  No?  Too bad.  For those other paintball fanatics like me out there, I have some exciting news for you!

For those who are interested in taking the next step into tournament paintball, Flagswipe, Canadian Express and Infamous have you covered!  Champion from both the 2012 NPPL Chicago Open and PSP Chicago events this year, Los Angeles Infamous player Travis Lemanski is coming to Canada on February 17th to host a paintball skills clinic at Flagswipe Paintball in London, Ontario!  This is a great and rare opportunity for players to get advice and pro tips from a professional on how to improve their game.  

Flashback to my early paintball days:

Back in 2005, an Infamous clinic came to my local field, DieHard Paintball.  At the time, I was just getting interested in playing speedball and had just sold my first marker (Tippmann A-5) and bought the brand new Ion.  Being new to playing speedball, I was eager to learn but had no idea where to start.  Going to the clinic and getting advice from the pros on how to hold my marker and snapshoot properly, gave tips on shooting lanes, as well as showed us how to slide and dive safely.  The session was very helpful, and the year after I began playing my first tournaments in the PETS series, later getting into Xball.

Infamous Skills Clinic

The clinic is open to paintball players of all skill levels, from beginners to seasoned veterans and will include a day packed full of paintball drills to level up your game.  Entry for the clinic is only $110 ($100 for Flagswipe Members), and includes a case of paintballs, and an Infamous t-shirt to remember the day.  Players can register for the clinic by calling the shop at Flagswipe and reserving your spot.  Space is limited to 30 players, act fast and get registered TODAY so you don't miss this chance.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

CBC News Covers Edmonton Impact Clinic

Edmonton Impact recently hosted a skills clinic, and CBC News was there to bring paintball coverage to the mainstream media.  The news piece brought speedball and tournament paintball insight to the viewers right at home. 

In addition to covering the Impact clinic, the coverage also spread buzz about the upcoming CPPL Canadian Nationals tournament which will be taking place January 27-29th, hosted on the stampede grounds at the agriculture building in Calgary, Alberta.  The event will include an industry trade show, an X-ball All-Star Game, and tournament play across 4 divisions of skill levels.  Admission is free for spectators, and there will be a free webcast for the people who want to watch from home.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Monday Night Speedball @ Windsor Rush

This past Monday night, I had the chance to throw down some practice with local Windsor paintball players.  We played on a modified speedball field at Windsor Rush Paintball, which is for the most part, a rec field with air bunkers in the middle.  For ease of setup, we simply started the matches farther up which took the majority of the wooden bunkers and buildings out of the playing field, with the exception of two huts on each side of the field.  A good turnout of 16 players came out, with us running a lot of back-to-back 4 on 4 matches and a bunch of 5 on 5s.  

I brought my GoPro to the field and got some video, but I didn't fully charge it before going and it died about halfway through the scrims.  As usual, the videos have been uploaded to my YouTube channel.

I let my friend use my GoPro barrel mount for a few games, here's a quick run through.

Good news for the future of Windsor speedball players, Rush is ordering a new NPPL field and these speedball practices will soon be held on a full tournament-style airball field.  To find out more about playing speedball nights at Rush, check out their website or talk to their staff and find out when you can come out for some competitive practice.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

The Offseason Paintball Grind

With the 2013 PSP season still a few months away, teams are already well on their way to being prepared for the events.  Many teams have their rosters established, with on-field practices getting underway and their season schedules and plans getting locked down, awaiting final confirmation of PSP event dates. 

Although on-field experience and practice is a must for paintball teams, players cannot forget all of the off-field exercises and preparations they should be going through.  The main focus of off-field paintball workouts should be cardio conditioning and burst speed, and the players who take the time to prepare their bodies for extended periods of exertion and heat will be the ones who shine as the long points and games drag on.  At our Canadian Express practices, there is a huge focus on running and working up a huge sweat before even working into drills, breakouts and scrims. 

In the end, all of the on and off-field training will come together at the events to show what these paintball players are made of, and which teams come out on top will be made of players who are dedicated to their paintball season.

Canadian Express hit the field at Flagswipe Paintball last Saturday for our first practice of the new year, and I recorded some GoPro footage which I edited together to show the world what Express is working on for the 2013 PSP season.

For ideas for paintball drills and workouts, check out some of the links in the sidebar on the right.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Windsor Rush Winter Break 2012 Mix

Here's the first video I've edited and mixed clips together for.  Footage taken on December 27 and 29th at Windsor Rush Paintball in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

2012 Recap & Wrap Up

The New Year has come and gone, and 2012 is now written in the history books.  I want to recap how many times I've played paintball this season, and a few lessons I've learned from practicing across Ontario and playing NPPL in the states.

In 2012, I have played:

  • Played paintball 30+ times at 7 fields.
  • Attended Day of the Dead 11, one of Canada's largest scenario paintball games
  • Refferee'd and setup 5 tournaments in the ESPL series as well as Flagswipe's annual Blizzardball Tournament. 
  • Travelled to Chicago, Washington DC and Las Vegas to compete in D3 NPPL Events, and pitted for Los Angeles Infamous during their Pro matches in DC and Vegas.

Markers of 2012:

  • Dangerous Power G3 (sold)
  • Dynasty SFT Shocker (backup)
  • Canadian Express edition Empire Axe
  • Proto Matrix Rail PMR (beater/backup)
  • Tippmann Triumph (Fun-gun for rec ball)

GoPro Setup:

I got a GoPro Hero3 for Christmas this season and I'm putting it to work to record paintball footage from paintball practice, rec ball days and tournaments.  I'm starting to learn video editing, so I hope to upload a mix to my YouTube channel soon.

Thanks to all my readers for giving me a reason to write this blog, I'll be sure to keep it up through the 2013 season.