Beginner's guide to equipment

Beginner's guide to equipment

Beginner's guide to equipment. Subject: Paintball Masks
article by Young Choi

There is no other feeling in my opinion than coming away from the paintball field for the first time. Obviously you agree with me cuz here you are reading this on a “paintball” site. Now believe it or not, there are people out there that play for the first time and find that they don’t like paintball… yeah weird I know.

For many of you, you are still looking/researching on what gear to start off with. There are so many choices available out there now that it can seem overwhelming on deciding on what to purchase for the first time. You have visited a majority of paintball sites as well as visited your local stores that carry paintball supplies. Here are some tips on what to look for and some examples of excellent products for you to look at. This will be a weekly issue that we will focus on for the next few months. We will cover masks this week. The following weeks will cover guns, air systems, loaders, and clothing.

I will start off with the mask/goggle/goggle system (whatever you want to call them, I just simply call it a mask) for it is the most important piece of gear that you will ever purchase. Let’s face it, the mask protects your second most important set of “balls” that you have on your body (this applies to males only, if you are a female this pertains the most important set of “balls.”) Pun aside, you know what set of balls I’m referring to and those are your eyeballs. Nothing will repair damaged eyesight. A paintball can and will damage your eye which can lead to blindness and sometimes even death. So please don’t skimp on your mask purchase.

I am always amazed to see a new player purchase a very nice gun, tank, loader, and clothing but will flinch when it comes to buying a good comfortable mask. I am awed by this; I have seen kids that would want a very basic $15 goggle so they can purchase an Evolution loader. I would much prefer to have a very comfortable and non-fogging mask over an expensive loader any day. You all have to remember, your mask is on your face for long periods of time. The more comfortable the mask, the longer you are prone to where them without coming away with a headache during play. The cheaper the mask the less you should expect from it.

*All ratings are 1 to 5, 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest.*

Proto EL Switch

 
Comfort- 2
Visibility- 5
Peripheral Vision- 4
Lens Change- 5
Looks- 4
Bounce Effect- 1
Voice Projection- 5
Profile Tightness- 4
Thermal Lens- no but can be upgradeable to thermal lens

V Force Armor

 
Comfort- 1
Visibility- 4
Peripheral Vision- 2
Lens Change- 5
Looks- 4
Bounce Effect- 1
Voice Projection- 2
Profile Tightness- 5
Thermal Lens- no, lens are thermo-cured to resist fogging

V Force Vantage R

 
Comfort- 1
Visibility- 4
Peripheral Vision- 2
Lens Change- 4
Looks- 3
Bounce Effect- 1
Voice Projection- 2
Profile Tightness- 5
Thermal Lens- no, lens are thermo-cured to resist fogging

JT X-Fire

 
Comfort- 2
Visibility- 4
Peripheral Vision- 2
Lens Change- 2
Looks- 3
Bounce Effect- 2
Voice Projection- 3
Profile Tightness- 1
Thermal Lens- no, lens can be upgradeable to thermal lens

JT X-Fire with Thermal Lens

 
Comfort- 2
Visibility- 4
Peripheral Vision- 2
Lens Change- 2
Looks- 3
Bounce Effect- 2
Voice Projection- 3
Profile Tightness- 1
Thermal Lens- yes

JT Nvader

 
Comfort- 1
Visibility- 4
Peripheral Vision- 2
Lens Change- 2
Looks- 3
Bounce Effect- 1
Voice Projection- 2
Profile Tightness- 2
Thermal Lens- no, lens can be upgradeable to thermal lens

Masks in the $40 to $60 will usually have a thermal lens and comfortable foam. Thermal lens is a dual-paned lens that almost eliminates fogging. A non-fogging mask is very important unless you have the heightened sensory of Daredevil. If you can’t see due to fogging, you can’t see your opposition or where you are stepping next. It is no fun playing paintball if you can’t even see.

Dye Invision

 
Comfort- 4
Visibility- 5
Peripheral Vision- 5
Lens Change- 1
Looks- 4
Bounce Effect- 1
Voice Projection- 5
Profile Tightness- 5
Thermal Lens- yes

Proto FS Switch

 
Comfort- 4
Visibility- 5
Peripheral Vision- 5
Lens Change- 4
Looks- 4
Bounce Effect- 4
Voice Projection- 4
Profile Tightness- 3
Thermal Lens- yes

JT Proflex

 
Comfort- 4
Visibility- 5
Peripheral Vision- 4
Lens Change- 2
Looks- 5
Bounce Effect- 4
Voice Projection- 3
Profile Tightness- 4
Thermal Lens- yes

JT Flex 8

 
Comfort- 4
Visibility- 5
Peripheral Vision- 4
Lens Change- 2
Looks- 5
Bounce Effect- 4
Voice Projection- 3
Profile Tightness- 4
Thermal Lens- yes

V Force Vantage Pro

 
Comfort- 4
Visibility- 4
Peripheral Vision- 2
Lens Change- 4
Looks- 3
Bounce Effect- 4
Voice Projection- 2
Profile Tightness- 5
Thermal Lens- no, lens are thermo-cured to resist fogging

V Force Shield

 
Comfort- 4
Visibility- 5
Peripheral Vision- 5
Lens Change- 5
Looks- 3
Bounce Effect- 5
Voice Projection- 2
Profile Tightness- 3
Thermal Lens- no, lens are thermo-cured to resist fogging

Masks in the $70 to $90 range will have very soft and moisture absorbent foam and molded with a more flexible plastic to conform to your head. Masks in this price range are the “Rolls Royce” of paintball. They have all the amenities for you to enjoy your day. They are comfortable; keeps sweat from dripping into your eyes, and are highly fog resistant.

Dye I3

 
Comfort- 5
Visibility- 5
Peripheral Vision- 5
Lens Change- 1
Looks- 4
Bounce Effect- 5
Voice Projection- 5
Profile Tightness- 5
Thermal Lens- yes

V Force Profiler

 
Comfort- 5
Visibility- 5
Peripheral Vision- 5
Lens Change- 5
Looks- 3
Bounce Effect- 4
Voice Projection- 2
Profile Tightness- 4
Thermal Lens- no, lens are thermo-cured to resist

V Force Morph

 
Comfort- 4
Visibility- 5
Peripheral Vision- 5
Lens Change- 5
Looks- 3
Bounce Effect- 5
Voice Projection- 2
Profile Tightness- 3
Thermal Lens- no, lens are thermo-cured to resist

Everyone has different shaped gourds, so it would be wise to try on different masks if you get the opportunity. I do hope that you all have learned the lesson here on your mask purchase. You really want to get the best mask that you can afford due to the fact that it protects your eyes. You have to ask yourself when trying on a mask, “do I want to wear this on my face for long periods throughout the day?” So take my advice and don’t skimp on your mask purchase.

Check on back next Thursday for our gun guide for beginning players.

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