Rental Equipment: What To Expect
If you're just starting out you may not know what to expect when you journey to the field and are faced with paintball rental equipment. This guide will answer some of the more common questions and concerns we get asked about going to the field without your own equipment.
What do I need to rent?
Most fields will have all the equipment you will need. You'll be renting a paintball mask, paintball marker, loader/hopper, and a tank. They will provide you with air fills and have paintballs available for purchase.
Most of the time this will all be included in a package deal. Let's say it's $30 for a field pass, rental gear, and all day air. (Also see: How Much Does It Cost To Play Paintball?) That means you'll get all the equipment mentioned above, air fills for the rental tank, and the field pass just says you get to play at the field that day.
Many of these packages will include some paintballs; 200 or 500 paintballs are common for most rental packages. After that they will sell you more paintballs. If you're there with a group, the group will typically buy a case of paintballs(2000 per case) and everyone will split them up.
What to look for in rental equipment?
The single most important piece of equipment is the mask. It can make or break your day of playing. Beyond safety, your mask is a huge comfort factor and can limit your visibility.
Inspect your mask to make sure the lens is clear of heavy scratches or cracks. Be certain the lens is fully installed with no gaps around its mounting area. Ask how to clean the lens and how to prevent fogging.
Inspect the mask strap to make sure it's not frayed and can be adjusted to fit your head. The strap has to be tight enough to secure the mask when you are running, but not so tight that it causes the mask to cut off your ability to breath through your nose or not allow ventilation to clear fog and heat. The paintball mask needs to sit on your face well enough to cover your ears and chin.
Make sure the foam is installed completely and isn't torn or missing in areas. The foam, especially on the top, will prevent sweat from running into your eyes during hard play. On the lower part it will help prevent heat and moisture from rising up into the lens area and causing fog to block your vision.
Paintball Rental Markers
If you have a choice of different brands or models of rental paintball markers, ask the field owner which one he would recommend. If one costs more to rent, ask why it would benefit you to pay for a more expensive marker. Typically, the more expensive marker will shoot faster and in turn cost you more in paintballs. Ask which marker is more reliable.
Look at the markers overall cleanliness and condition. If the marker looks like it's been through hell and back, ask for a different one.
The barrel should be clean, smooth, straight and must have a barrel plug that fits securely. Your feed neck shouldn't be cracked or loose. The marker should have no gas leaks when it's aired up. Be certain to report any air leaks that develop while playing. Also make sure they see any damage before you accept the marker.
This is pretty simple. You'll probably not be using a motorized loader unless you paid for an upgrade. The standard gravity feed loaders should be clean and free from cracks. Inspect the cap to see that it functions correctly. If it is motorized, check the batteries and ask how to operate the unit.
Some fields rent CO2 tanks, while others rent HPA. This is usually determined by whether or not they own a air compressor or rent large CO2 fill tanks. Either type of gas will work fine with rental markers. Although, CO2 may be a problem in cold weather.
The tank should have no leaks, dents, or deep scratches. The field is responsible for checking the hydro certification dates and maintaining their tanks. If anything looks questionable on a tank don't hesitate to ask.
Some fields offer pod packs, camouflage apparel, paintball grenades, or other accessories to make your day more fun. It's up to you and your budget to decide what else you want to rent. I'd much rather get the basic equipment and spend more money on paintballs. That way you get to spend the maximum amount of time playing and shooting.
What do I need to bring?
There are several things that you'll need to bring for an enjoyable day of paintball. A good pair of boots or sturdy shoes are an absolute must. Second only to your mask, footwear is something that can have a major factor on how much you enjoy your day of paintball. Boots, hiking or otherwise, should be light enough that you can run throughout the day on uneven terrain and provide ankle support.
Water and food should be included in your day. Lot's of people like to bring soda or other sugary drinks. We'd highly recommend bringing water in a cooler or self contained water cooler. You need lots of hydration as you'll be sweating more than you know. A cold drink of water can really make a difference between games, and a cold bit of water on a towel can help ease the pain of a hard paintball welt.
Snacks, granola bars, or pre-assembled sandwiches are always a hit for a quick bite between games. Make sure you eat small amounts throughout the day to keep your energy up but not weigh you down.
At the end of the day you'll probably be dirty and have some paint on your clothes. Your boots/shoes will for sure be absolutely dirty. Pack some extra clothes and shoes for the ride home. It always feels good to put on lightweight shoes and a clean shirt after a tough day of sweating and running through the mud.
If you play in cleats you can always get yourself a set of Cleatskins. They're super trick and can be used anywhere you use cleats. Cleatskins help keep your car clean when you have dirty cleats. If you're interested you can read more about Cleatskins and their benefits.
Make sure you bring any special needs medication or equipment. Paintball is a physically challenging sport. Even people in good shape will have their physical limits tested.
I like to bring sunglasses or even just safety glasses to the field. If it's a really sunny day sunglasses can often be worn under masks that are roomy enough to allow it. I try to keep glasses on in the staging areas between games. You never know when someone might fire an accidental shot that could hit you in the eye.
If you have any concerns or questions before you go to the field, call them and ask. Paintball fields are set up with all the rental equipment you need for a fun day of paintball play. Most fields keep their equipment in good shape and can help guide you if you're a newer player. Always pay attention to the safety rules and don't be afraid to ask questions.
Posted by Redwood on 08/17/2012