A paintball rental package can be the difference between a great paintball party and a bust. New players have enough of a challenge learning how to play the game of paintball without having to worry about how to use complicated rental gear. But how can you tell if the paintball field you are looking at has the right rental packages and amenities for your group?
Rental Package Basics
There are some basic rental items you should expect to find included in the paintball rental package offered by your local field.
- Paintball Mask
- Paintball Marker
- Air Tank
The paintball mask is the most important piece of rental equipment. It protects the player’s eyes and face from paintball impacts. Paintballs travel at speeds up to 200 MPH and can serious injury to an unprotected eye. Fortunately the use of proper safety equipment has made paintball one of the safest sports.
A good paintball mask will cover a player’s forehead, ears, and jawline. The paintball mask should sit close to the player’s face and have a good seal between the mask and the player’s eyes. The goggle strap should be in good condition and allow the player to secure the mask to their face. A good paintball rental mask should also have a chin strap. Chin straps help to keep the mask from coming off the player’s head and also serve as a gentle reminder to keep the mask on while playing paintball.
There are two types of lenses available for paintball masks — anti-fog lenses and thermal lenses. Fogging is a real concern when playing paintball, especially on humid days. A fogged mask can make it difficult for a player to see.
Anti-fog lenses are single pane lenses that are coated with an anti-fog coating. The anti-fog coating is a hydrophobic coating which resists fogging and condensation. These coatings work well to prevent mild fogging.
Thermal lenses are constructed from two panes with a vacuum between the panes. These lenses are more effective than anti-fog lenses and are the best choice when playing paintball in humid environments. With most outdoor paintball in Minnesota being played in the summer months, a good rental mask with a thermal lens is almost a necessity.
Paintball markers can be classified into three categories: pump action, semi-automatic, and electronic. Most rental packages will consist of either a pump action or semi-automatic marker. A rental package that contains a semi-automatic or electronic marker will be easier for a new player to use.
Pump action markers require the player to cycle a pump handle each time after firing the marker. The pump handle re-cocks the marker and loads a paintball into the breech. These steps can be difficult for a new player to remember to do during battle.
Semi-automatic paintball markers automatically reset the marker and load the paintball between shots. Players need only to pull the trigger to use the gun. The use of a semi-auto marker is much more natural for new players.
Electronic paintball markers aren’t commonly available as a rental option. Action Packed Paintball is one of the few paintball fields in Minnesota that offers an electronic marker as a paintball rental package option. Electronic markers use a circuit board and solenoid, instead of a mechanical linkage, to operate. Electronic markers are typically lighter, easier to aim, and offer a higher rate of fire.
All paintball markers use an air tank as an energy source. The compressed gas within the air tank is used to propel the paintball. A paintball air tank should be included with your rental package.
There are two different gases used in paintball, CO2 and compressed air (also known as nitrogen). Most paintball fields have converted their rental fleet to compressed air, however a few still use CO2. Compressed air is easier to use and refill. It also offers a more consistent paintball velocity, especially during rapid fire.
You should be aware that some paintball fields charge to refill air tanks. This unexpected charge can be as much as $5 per fill. Be sure to ask if air fills are included in the price, before booking your paintball party.
Rental Package Add-ons
A good paintball field should be a full-service outfitter and offer more than the basic rental package. They should offer other items that a first-time player might want or need.
New players may be a bit hesitant to play paintball because they’re afraid of getting shot. A good way to reduce their concern is to use a chest protector. Chest protectors are padded vests that cover the player’s torso. The padding can greatly reduce, and in most cases eliminate, the felt impact of a paintball.
Padded gloves are another piece of protection that is well worth the cost. There are two parts of the body that are most likely to be hit when playing paintball — the head and the hands. A paintball strike to the hand can be painful. Paintball gloves are specially designed to pad the hand and still provide the dexterity needed to operate paintball equipment. Most paintball gloves are half-fingered, leaving part of your finger exposed.
Jumpsuits are another great piece of equipment you’ll find in better rental packages. The jumpsuit provides another layer of protection and will also keep your clothing clean. Paintball is a very messy game and you probably don’t want to bring that mess home with you. A jumpsuit allows you to leave that mess behind, keeping it out of your car and home.