What Do I Wear To Play Paintball?

By: Andrea Wilson

Paintball clothing is as varied as the players themselves, but
some recommendations and rules apply at most commercial fields.
After that, no two players will dress alike. You'll see the
weekend recball players in long sleeved t-shirts, jeans and
baseball caps, sporting rented markers. Then you'll see the pros
and die-hards in full camouflage gear, sporting the fanciest
sniper rifles on the market.

1. Ghillie Suits and Sniper Suits

Ghillie suits and sniper suits are similar. They are both
camouflage suits that consist of headgear, jacket (or poncho) and
pants covered with simulated vegetation made from jute or other
similar material. Basically, you look like a walking heap of
forest growth.

Ghillie-type headgear is especially useful in that it breaks up
the outline of the human head. The shape of the human head is not
found anywhere else in nature so it is easily recognized by an
opposing paintball player... or by a wary deer, for that matter.

Since ghillie suits are used by hunters, as well as paintball
players, you might try your local sporting goods store. Sniper
suits can often be found in military supply stores.

There are several online stores that sell ghillie suits. The only
problem with buying online is that you can't try on the suit to
see how it fits or to see how you like one particular style
versus another. So, make sure any online store has a good return
policy. You can get a lot of tactical gear, including ghillie
pants, jacket and poncho, here: http://www.ablewebs.com/rap4.htm.

2. Headgear

Headgear other than goggles and masks consists of ghillie hoods,
veils, headwraps, baseball caps and knit caps. Ghillie hoods and
veils are used for camouflage to disguise the shape of the human
head. Baseball caps, knit caps and head wraps are used to keep
the paint out of the player's hair. Baseball caps worn backwards
are also useful to cover the back of the neck.

3. Regular Clothing

Paintball requires a lot of physical energy so players tend to
get quite warm when playing. Although sufficient layers of
clothing are needed to prevent paintballs from leaving welts, too
much clothing can cause overheating of the body.

Therefore, a
heavy winter jacket should not be worn.

As well, most fields won't allow a heavy jacket because it
prevents the player from feeling the impact of the paintball when
they are hit.

The rule for clothing is to wear loose-fitting long pants (not
fitted jeans) and a long-sleeved shirt or jersey over a t-shirt,
with an added light jacket in cool weather. Although some fields
allow t- shirts and short pants to be worn during play, this
leaves the skin exposed... and since you WILL get hit... ouch!
Not recommended!

Wear clothing that is earth-toned or olive green in color. Do not
wear white unless playing in the snow. Avoid the colors referees
and judges wear (usually red or orange) and avoid bright colors
that you wouldn't find in nature, like bright yellow, lime green,
shocking pink, etc.

4. Footwear

There are a lot of recommendations about various kinds of
footwear for paintball. Most players wear running shoes, sturdy
work shoes, hiking boots or combat-style boots. Cleated paintball
shoes are available in some paintball stores.

5. Gloves

Gloves come in various styles: full finger, half finger, and
fingerless. Full fingered gloves give the best protection against
impact. Fingerless gloves obviously provide the most control for
rapid fire techniques like walking the trigger, etc. Try on
several pair before buying as a good fit is very important. Ill-
fitting gloves will certainly interfere with your ability to fire
rapidly and accurately.

6. Goggle Systems

Goggle systems are getting more and more sophisticated every day.
Some goggle systems have built in fans to prevent fogging. Some
even have built in communication systems! These are especially
useful for recball and scenario games.

The most important thing to remember when buying goggles is that
they must meet or exceed ASTM standards. This is for your safety
and should never be compromised. If you have to spend a few more
dollars to get ASTM certified goggles, it will be money well

Another important thing to remember when buying goggles is to be
sure they fit well and feel comfortable. Your goggles have to
become part of you because you CANNOT take them off or even lift
them even for a second during a game. You have to WANT to wear
your goggles.

Never make any modifications to the factory specifications of
your goggle system. The mask and goggles must be made to work
together. Do not try to combine parts from different systems!

7. Vests

Vests are generally only used for scenario paintball games where
they're used to carry a pistol, grenades, tubes (to carry extra
paintballs), etc. They come in many colors and patterns, and are
often theme-based in style, including police, CIA, military,
offbeat, etc. You can even get one custom made! You can find some
here: http://www.ablewebs.com/rap4.htm,

8. Patches

Police and S.W.A.T. patches are popular with paintball players.
These are patches you iron on to your combat or police-style
jacket or vest. You can find some here:

9. Tattoos

While not technically considered clothing, tattoos among
paintball players are quite popular. The rule is: If you see a
tattoo you like, wait 12 months before you get it. If you still
like it and still like the idea of getting a tattoo after the
year is up, then go for it... always assuming your family is
supportive, of course!

Most paintball players don't have tattoos specific to paintball,
but some do, of course.You can do a search in Google or Yahoo for
"paintball tatoos" to see if you can find some examples of
paintball tattos you might like. Or, get an artist friend of
yours to design one for you.

By the way, as we mentioned in the article on paintball safety,
paintball sometimes hurts. And so does getting tattooed. Neither
are for the faint of heart!

Develop Your Own Style... Within the Rules of Paintball

What you wear to play paintball doesn't matter once you've
followed the basic rules and recommendations. Just develop your
own style over time as you observe others and shop around to add
to your paintball wardrobe. Don't forget to shop onlineHealth Fitness Articles, too.
There are enough paintball supply stores online to keep you busy
for quite awhile. You can start here:

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