Over the last fifteen years, I'm sure I've spent the Gross National Product of a major western industrialized nation. It's a wonder I still have a roof over my head. (Actually, we live in a cardboard box, but it's a house to us.) If you're going to spend your hard earned money, you had better be wise on where and how much you spend.

Let's face it, once you've played this game, you're going to be addicted and you're going to want to buy some of your own equipment. You're going to be really excited and you'll want the first thing that you see. Take a deep breath, relax, and read this next section. It will help.


I'll never tell you what to buy. Everyone has their preferences, and everyone has their own budgetary restrictions. What I am going to tell you is how to spend your money wisely.

The best tip I can give you is to think about your purchases carefully. There are many things you might WANT but do you NEED them? What type of game do you play? Do you go through a lot of paint, or are you a marksman? Do you rely on your paintmarker or on your own abilities? What kind of player do you want to be?

These are important questions. The answers will dictate what equipment you are going to buy.

I've been playing since 1984, I played for five years before I bought my first paintmarker. (It was a Nelspot.) I played for a few more years before I got a pump. It wasn't until recently that I bought a semi. The reason being is that I don't use a lot of paint when I play. Maybe 500 rounds a day. In Big Game 94 (an ALL day game), I had 750 rounds in the morning, and at the end of the day I still had around 200 to blow on the range.

I find a lot of players will buy something because that's what the "pros" use. Why but an $80.00 hopper when a $30.00 hopper will hold the same amount of paint? Sure, the eighty dollar hopper has one of those "agitators" in it. Save yourself fifty bucks and shake your paintmarker, every now and then.


Second-hand equipment is a lot cheaper than the new stuff. If the player keeps it in good condition, you should be able to get a few years out of it.

My marker was made in 1989, so was my buddy's -- they were well taken care of and they both work like the day they were made.


Don't get caught up in gimmicks and tricks. New technology is unproven. Wait a year, and see what other people are saying about it.


There are places where you shouldn't skimp. Goggles. Buy them new, buy the ones that are meant for paintball. Ask yourself how much you eyes are worth, and you'll find goggle prices aren't that high. If you buy used goggles, get new lenses for them BEFORE you wear them to play. Check out the frames, the head strap and the face mask, BEFORE you buy it. Look for tears, cracks and the like. I STRONGLY recommend AGAINST the purchase of USED goggles.


Whether you play Stock, Pump or Open Class, there are inexpensive paintmarkers out there. They're usually billed as "entry level" paintmarkers. There are so called entry level paintslingers out there which are as every bit as good as the higher priced paintmarkers. You're probably a recreational player. How many times do you play in a month? Enough to substantiate a $600.00 semi or a $200.00 semi? Can you afford to feed it paint, every time you play?

I hate the expression: "entry level". It suggests that an entry level paintmarker is what you buy when you first start playing (and don't know any better), and then get something "better" when you have more experience and know the difference.


There's nothing wrong with using inexpensive, or second hand equipment. I've always found that the more expensive something is, the more mechanically complicated it is. If it's mechanically complicated, more things tend to go wrong with it.

Just remember, stay within your budget. Stay within your style of play. Save your money. No one says you can't buy new stuff. "Trading up", as they call it, is an integral of paintball.