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How Do You Stop A Paintball From Hurting?
The good news is that paintball is very safe. In fact, if you wear the proper protection, it’s one of the safest sports around! However, there’s no getting past the fact that being hit with a projectile fired at high velocity is going to hurt. Just how much it hurts is largely down to you, the protective clothing you wear and the paintball accessories that you choose. A hit can sometimes cause bruises or welts, but with the right kit, you can lower the chances of this happening quite considerably.
Here are a few quick tips to help make paintball less painful.
Wear multiple layers
Perhaps the most obvious point, wearing several layers of clothing is much more likely to absorb the force of a hit than a single, flimsy one. One thick layer isn’t a substitute for several thinner ones. When a paintball hits you, an energy transfer takes place. The force has to make its way through your clothes to your body. The more layers it passes through, the more of the shock is absorbed, making the resultant hit much more tolerable. You can choose whatever layers you want, but t-shirts and sweatshirts are good options. Just wear a few, and they'll take the brunt of a hit between them.
If you’re looking for an additional layer, a chest protector similar to the Maddog Sports Pro will fit snugly over those layers and provide a little extra padding. Since the torso is the area most likely to take hits, it makes sense to layer up. T-shirts, sweatshirts and even hoodies are all great choices, and topping them off with a padded vest should absorb a great deal of force.
Ensure that your skin is completely covered
Following on from the previous point, it is not going to do you very much good to cover your chest with multiple layers if you leave other areas completely exposed. Short sleeved t-shirts, for example, are light and comfortable, but they leave your arms completely uncovered. A hit from a standard .68 caliber paintball on exposed skin will undoubtedly hurt and might leave a bruise or welt as a parting gift! Chest protectors do nothing to protect the arms or legs, so you should avoid wearing shorts, too!
This Oakley long sleeve for example, covers the arms completely but remains breathable and sweat-resistant thanks to its quick-dry fabric. Ideally, you don’t want to leave any area uncovered. A hit on exposed flesh will hurt a lot more than one on a padded area, so try to strike a balance between comfort, flexibility, and protection.
Getting struck in the eye would not only be exceptionally painful but also genuinely dangerous. Fortunately, paintball venues and tournaments always require their participants to wear goggles. There are plenty available, but a full wraparound design like the HK Army goggles will offer maximum protection. The snugger the goggles, the better, as they’ll not only protect you from a direct hit but also any paint splatter from other areas. Goggles are paintball essentials, and a sturdy pair is important.
Wear a good-quality mask
Goggles are great, but if you want to take your protection to the next level, a mask is the way to go. Masks will protect your eyes, and they’ll shield the rest of your face, too. High-quality masks like the HK Army are made from durable, solid materials that can take the brunt of even close-range hits. They’re lightweight and designed with ease of movement in mind. Better still, many modern-day paintball masks are extremely well ventilated and even have anti-fog properties for those who wear glasses!
Don’t forget your hands!
Hands are an often-overlooked area, but they certainly need some protection! Think about it: Your hands are often raised as you hold the gun and take aim, and they’re out in front of the rest of your body. That makes them prime targets for other players, and you're likely to take a few hits to the hands in any match.
It’s somewhat harder to protect your hands as you’ll want to retain flexibility in the heat of a match, but most padded gloves, like these Voodoo Tactical gloves, provide protection while remaining flexible and lightweight. Note the thick, leather padding on the front and around the fingers. Those are the areas where you’re most likely to get hit, and the areas you should prioritize when you’re thinking about additional padding.