Breaking in the New Gear

Photos by Line-of-Fire Paintball

Words by: Jason 'Foolybear' Lineberger

With warm temperatures forecast and a cloudless sky overhead, I threw the gear bags in the car and took my daughter, foolycub, to Line-of-Fire Paintball for a day of walk-on games.  While she’s now playing half a dozen one and two-day scenario games a year, she informed me that this would be her first actual walk-on day of paintball.  It turned out to be a great one.

Normally rec days don’t inspire me to write, but this one was the exception.  A number of groups arrived early, boosting the numbers from ten on a team to twenty, and eventually to over 30 players on a side, with a mix of experience from tourney players to first-timers.  These large games played in Line-of-Fire’s urban field made for non-stop action, and the referees kept the games coming with only a couple of minutes of downtime between each round.  Players had to scramble to refill paint and air if they didn’t want to miss a game.

This hectic pace gave me the opportunity to really test out a few new gear items.  Now, I’ve worn out more pairs of paintball pants than I care to count, and since 2009 I’ve been abusing Planet Eclipse gear on a regular basis.  I thought the HDE pants were the best that Eclipse had produced yet, but the 2013 Distortion pants have emerged as a strong contender.  They’re easily the most comfortable paintball pants I’ve owned, and they have plenty of padding in all the right places.  Pure quality.

On the subject of quality - I’ve been writing about paintball and paintball gear for ten years.  In the hundreds of articles I’ve published, I’ve never reviewed a t-shirt.  Until now.  Let me preface my review by stating that at a typical scenario event I will pack six shirts for each day of play.  (A metabolic disorder causes me to perspire a lot when I’m exercising.)  Even at a walk-on day I’ll take three shirts with me.  The new Pro-Formance  ELogo shirts are a major game-changer.  They’re made to release body heat and breathe more, which keeps them dry.  Total shirts worn at our walk-on day = one.  The Pro-Formance ELogo shirt looks good and performs like a champ.  Now I just have to decide what to do with all the space I’m going to save in my gear bag!

Finally, the ETHA shot smoothly, all day long, which I’ve come to expect.  In one game I broke down the far tape, an alleyway on the edge of the city.  In the space of less than a minute I had won my gunfights and had cleared all five enemy players from my side, which allowed me to cover some of the first timers who were eager to run up the wire and surprise our opposition.  In the next game though, I sent my daughter up the line.  When she came around the back row of buildings to the other team’s home base, she turned the corner and almost ran into their last player.  One quick shot later and the game ended, and I have to say – taking down the last player in a game is great, but seeing your daughter do it is priceless.

I capped the day off by handing out some ETHA and team Capital Offense stickers to the younger players.  A graduate of my summer paintball skills camp, Cory, played the day wearing the gloves he earned from camp, and he was psyched to adorn his new loader with a sweet Capital Offense logo.  Fun times!

Follow @foolybear and @foolycub on Twitter to read more on their paintball adventures or to find out when they’ll be playing a scenario game near you.  Foolybear always carries an extra ETHA, and if you want to test it out – just ask!