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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!

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