Protective paintball gear essentials are based on the level of play and competition. This article will highlight most all of the protective gear out there and will let you know at what level they are recommended. The bottom line here is protecting the player and this can equate to more than the obvious. Just remember, a paintball hurts no matter what part of the body it strikes.
- Paintball mask is a must-have piece of gear for any paintballer. The mask is designed to protect the eyes, nose, cheek and in many cases the mouth. Although head shots are not permitted in the game, they happen nonetheless. These paintball masks are designed for comfort, vision and most importantly facial coverage and protection. The mask should cover the face in its entirety and not hamper vision, breathing or talking.
- Paintball gloves Not many areas hurt more then begin struck on the hand. Seek out gloves that fit comfortably, does not impair trigger play and has top area padding. Gloves come in various sizes and should be fitted with your paintball gun in hand. Padding should cover the knuckles, the back of the hand and provide palm padding but is not vital.
- Elbow and knee paintball pads The final equation for essential protective gear and a borderline choice. Not a vital piece of protective gear but recommended if you plan on playing more than just for birthday parties and are getting a bit more serious. The elbow and knee pad protect, naturally, the elbow and knee. The protection is by way of flexible padding on the impact point. These pads are something to consider when kneeling and diving from position to position when you are trying to avoid paintballs.
Additional gear for the more serious player may consider:
- Paintball chest protector offers full frontal and back protection with high impact padding. Chest protectors come in over the head "shirt style" or "bullet vest" wrap around with Velcro strapping. Paintball chest protector should allow for full range of motion and not interfere with running or turning. Most all these types of vests will be lightweight and easy to care for.
- Paintball grind shorts These are built to be worn under your pants and provide protection at key points with padded hips, rear and crotch area to cushion impact from the paintball as well as on field maneuvering. Shorts are boxer style and is form-fitting to provide the best in comfort and maneuverability.
- Paintball neck guard This final piece of protective gear essentials for the serous paintballer is an often forgotten piece of gear. The neck guard is a simple "headband" type piece of gear that straps around the neck. The key area of protection is the Adam’s Apple and wind pipe. Should fit snug and comfortably and allow full freedom for the paintballer.