HOW TO CUT COSTS
Paintball on a Budget
I don't know about you, but I don't make mounds of money. I also have other silly things to spend it on, like food, rent, bills and other "nonessentials". Paintball doesn't get to see a lot of my disposable income. So I am forced to make cuts and spend my money wisely.
The best way to cut costs is to use a smaller capacity loader. The less paint you have, the less likely you will be to waste it.
CARRY LESS PAINT
So you want to keep that motorised loader that's larger than most of your internal organs but smaller than your ego. (That's okay, it makes a better target for me, anyway.) If you limit the amount of paint you use in a game, you'll go a long way to saving some money. I restrict myself to 500 balls per day I play. This is regardless of the fact that I'm using a semi or a stockgun. (Yes, I can go through 500 rounds with a stockgun and I can make 500 rounds last with a semi.)
Not only are smaller tanks less expensive to buy, they're less expensive to fill. Most places charge more to fill larger tanks.
Let's say your team, or club, all uses the same brand of squeegee, goggles, or even marker. Start making bulk purchase of the entire group's equipment. Many stores will give you close to wholesale prices if you buy a lot of one thing.
STICK WITH CO2
If you haven't converted to high pressure air (HPA) or nitrogen, stick with CO2. It's going to be around as long as paintball is being played. We've been using CO2 since 1981 and we'll continue to keep on using it. Besides, the initial cash outlay for a new system is staggering. If you need new CO2 tanks, or fittings or a remote set up, start asking players who are outfitted with HPA systems. They may be looking for someone to buy their old CO2 gear. Speaking of which . . .
SECOND HAND EQUIPMENT
Ask around, most everybody has stuff that's just sitting the their basements. (Mine's in the spare bedroom, and I'm not parting with ANY of it.) The best people to ask are tourney players. They win gear all the time (if they don't, make fun of them). They would be glad to sell you some of the gear they've won to help defer the costs of competing. Ask any player with a new marker what they used before. If they still have it, ask them how much they'd want for it.
LESS EXPENSIVE EQUIPMENT
If second hand stuff doesn't do it for you, please remember: You don't need the top-of-the-line ANYTHING (except goggles) to play this game effectively.
STICK WITH WHAT YOU GOT
Do you REALLY need that $400.00 semi? What's wrong with the one you have now? Do you REALLY need a new barrel, or do you just need to spend some more time in target practice? Is a motorized loader necessary for your brand of marker?
Consistently bring large groups (over 20) to your local field will get you noticed. Approach the field owner and make a deal. The best one I heard was, "If we bring out twenty or more players, would you be willing to drop the price of paint (or entry fees, or rentals, or what-have-you)?"
DEAL WITH LOCAL MERCHANTS
Local business survive on your support. They will show their appreciation for your continuing business. If your whole team/club/group shops there, all the better for you.
Paintball is a very expensive pastime. I've had a number of hobbies and they have all been expensive. Few hobbies aren't.
I'm sure you could think of other ways to cut costs. None of what I have mentioned is too unreasonable a sacrifice. I don't expect you to buy out- of-production markers, use ten-shot tubes and stick feeders (like I do), but every little bit helps.
I'll tell you where you should pay full price, at all times -- goggles, spare lenses and lens cleaner. How much are YOUR eyes worth?
Play hard! Play fast! Play safe!
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~durtydan"Durty Dan's Paintball Information Services
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