Paintball is a sport that is growing in popularity and recognition. It has its origins in military training methods, where soldiers were trained using paintball guns, which allowed them to execute realistic maneuvers with true-to-life replica equipment to engage in battle with no risk of danger. As the sport has grown in popularity, more and more styles of equipment have been developed, and the breadth of ‘paintball equipment’ has grown, to include specialized clothing and special backpacks. Let’s talk about what makes a paintball backpack a paintball backpack, and how to choose one, even if you’re just as much a gamer as a paintballer and want a bag that caters to that as well.

Special Tasks a Paintball Bag Accomplishes

Paintball bags have to hold specialized equipment and protect it, so shopping for one is a little more complicated than finding a normal sack to throw your stuff in. But not by much! The first thing you need to keep in mind is that a paintball bag must house a gun, or marker. Now, markers typically disassemble into a body, and the barrel. Make sure your bag includes a large, but separated, space in which to place the body of your marker. There should be at least one space in which to house your barrel — but, since most people will have multiple barrels after playing for a few years, it’s best if you find a bag that has two or three such spots, which look like enlarged pencil slots in normal bags.

A paintball bag will also have a space for you to place your tank, typically next to but separated from the spot for your marker. All these spaces should be made with soft and elastic fabric, so as to prevent damage to your marker, tank, or barrels. There should also be a large, open space to place your mask, and, in certain bags, enough space to place your jersey, if you’re a more involved paintball athlete, and your special pants, also typical of competing athletes. This extra open space is only common in the larger bags designed for experienced players, so don’t worry if the bag you’re looking at doesn’t feature it. In general, a good bag will, however, have the other things we’ve suggested — space for your mask, barrels, marker, and tank. As well, you’ll notice that many bags have large slots on the outside — typically two or four — in which to place paintball pods, which hold ammunition on the field, and a wide space of fabric on the bottom around which you can wrap your belt.

Given the popularity of computer games and the tendency of most young paintball players to be avid gamers, as well, many paintball bags also offer laptop space, as well. Some of the best laptop backpacks can easily double as a paintball bag. It’s important to ensure that your bag offers a well-padded space for the laptop, as it’s close to a lot of hard, potentially scratch-inducing objects, so more protection is necessary than normal. But, this is standard, so have fun shopping for styles you like!

Get better in the paintball arena by improving your fitness!

Something that is often overlooked by both amateur and even pro paintball players is the impact fitness can have on their performance. This isn’t like playing pool or darts in the pub, playing paintball actually involves a lot of running around and often maneuvering through tight spots and difficult terrain. You have to realise that if you are too big or too slow it not only makes you an easy target but you just cannot move quite enough to be at the top of your game.

Now this hasn’t been a huge problem for me over my 15 years of paint balling but lately I have to admit I piled on the pounds a little. I’m not saying I’m the best player in the world but I certainly noticed that my game had dropped slightly in recent years , and I am putting that down to getting a bit “fat”. So, in order to remedy this issue, in 2014 I have embarked on a fitness regime to try and get back to the highest level…well the best I can be at least!

kettler-rowing-machine

I spent many an hour looking at diets and fitness regimes in order to help me get into top shape, and after getting tired eyes I finally decided to go with a low carb diet and to invest in a rowing machine. I decided on the low carb diet after hearing about a friend that had great results using something called the Paleo diet and I also heard about how cutting out the carbs can be great from reading Tim Ferris’s blog. He is a guy I am a huge fan of and have a lot of respect for. So for the foreseeable future I am going to cut out all breads, grains and will limit my intake of potatoes…most likely sweet potatoes will become my new best friend as they have a lower impact on blood sugar levels and are full healthy nutrients like Vitamin A.

In terms of my fitness regime I aim to workout between 3 – 5 times per week and to help motivate me I spent quite a bit of money on a rowing machine. I am hoping that seeing this baby here in my home will guilt trip me into using it regularly, plus I think it will be quite fun to use. I decided on the Kettler Favorit after reading many rowing machine reviews and it does seem to be the best rowing machine. Well, the best for me at least in terms of price, quality and features. You may be wondering why I chose an indoor rower over something more popular like a treadmill, well the answer is simple really. These machines give a far more intense and all round body workout. It isn’t just aerobic but it will work your muscles, sure you won’t look like Arnold Schwarzenegger but it will certainly tone you.

So anyway I hope this is going to help me out, and I also hope my reflections have inspired you. I look forward to getting back to my best…whatever that is!