Youngblood: The Man Behind DYE

Youngblood: The Man Behind DYE

by Sara Duckwall

Dave Youngblood
In the beginning, Dave “Youngblood” Dehaan was just a player, but his passion took him to the next level and eventually changed his life. Dehaan originally wanted to pursue a career in law enforcement, but his innovative spirit in the paintball industry promptly took him to the top of paintball.

At only 14-years-old, Dehaan first set his eyes upon a paintball field. At this time paintball was still a renegade game in the “bolt action guns and shop goggles” stage. “I was totally hooked,” Dehaan proclaimed. When he started playing, he was playing with a bunch of adults and was the youngest guy on the field. This is how he got the nickname “Youngblood,” which he is most known by today.

DYE sponsored
SC Ironmen
Dehaan got into the manufacturing side of the industry, making custom marker modifications to pick up some extra money after school. At that time, “The industry was made up of only 20-30 individuals,” Dehaan reminisced.

DYE Boomstick
In 1996, John Gregory, founder of JT USA (and now Dehaan’s father-in-law), asked Dehaan to help out with equipment at tournaments. By the end of the year, Dehaan was the head of JT USA’s paintball division. Shortly thereafter, JT USA was on the brink of being sold, so Dehaan thought it was time for him to start pursuing his initial career goal of law enforcement.

Though he started to pursue this new non- paintball career, he was promptly thrown off course. On the weekends, Dehaan continued to make custom barrels for fun, and he began to get a lot of inquiries about these custom barrels. He decided to take money from his savings to manufacture his first run of 100 barrels. The barrels sold in only two weeks and thus was the beginning of Dave Youngblood Enterprises, better known as DYE.

Since the inception of DYE Precision, Inc. the company has been at the innovative forefront and its line is continually expanding and changing. “I really hope paintball goes mainstream,” said Deehan, “As a company it is in our best interest to help this happen and stay on the cutting edge. It is a positive direction and we are looking at the big picture.”

“We have a lot of new products that have been kept a secret,” Dehaan mischievously grinned. He wouldn’t confirm anything, but speculated, “I think you will see a lot more developing from DYE in protective gear, and you may see the clothing line expand substantially by 2003.”

DYE sponsored
The Family
As an owner of a paintball company and as a former tournament level player, Dehaan offers a few tips on how to get sponsored. There are two main things you need to get sponsored: organization and conduct. For organization you need to be an established team with a solid foundation. On the conduct side, the team has to represent the companies that sponsor them. “You don’t have to be the best team by any means,” Dehaan said, “Attitude is important because it is an instrument of our company’s image.”

A positive attitude can take you far in life. Dave “Youngblood” Dehaan has truly been an instrument for the growth of the paintball industry and has proven the necessity of a positive attitude throughout the sport of paintball and throughout his life.

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