More Padding = Smarter Paintballing Part 1
I know I bring it up a lot, but I really can’t emphasize it enough… wear protective gear when you play paintball ! It doesn’t matter where or what style you play, whether you’re a newbie or a tournament player. I’m not necessarily talking about gear that absorbs the impact of a paintball (though everyone should have some of that, too). More important is gear to protect you from yourself. Paintball is a physical sport. No matter how careful or agile you think you are you are going to dive, drop, crawl, fall, slip, trip, crash, somersault and just run into things sooner or later. If you’re like me it’s a case of more often than not… at 6 foot 190 pounds I’m not what you call “graceful”. I used to brag about my paintball injuries, now I beg people to start taking padding seriously !
Probably the most important protective equipment is paintball knee pads. You beat the heck out of your knees playing paintball anywhere and they can be the most painful and long-lasting of sports injuries. A good set of knee pads run around $40-70 and that is A LOT cheaper than knee surgery. A few brands really stand out. I’ve owned a couple models of Dye knee pads over the years and they’ve never let me down. The padding is firm enough to absorb impact yet the designed hinges for flexibility. A surprise breakout best seller this year has been the Empire THT Grind Knee Pads and the Empire THT Grind Knee/ Shin Pads. Both of these pads have adjustable velcro straps, compression formed foam of differing densities to conform and flex with your movement, and open ventilation holes to promote airflow for comfort. The knee/shin model is great for woodsball to protect your lower legs from tree roots and rocks or for playing in shorts during the summer heat. A relative new comer to the knee pad market is Valken. Their Valken Impact Knee Pads and Valken Impact Knee/ Shin Pads provide a pre-formed knee cup covered in kevlar for durability at a very nice price.
We are selling more and more slide shorts these days. These are a pair of padded shorts worn under your playing pants and feature hip, thigh, groin and lower back protection. Players are landing on their sides more often, slamming your harness into your lower back does not feel too good and groin padding is, well, self-explanatory! Again, all the big names cater to this product. Empire THT Grind Slide Shorts are probably the most heavily padded with plenty of ventilation for comfort. Dye Slide Shorts feature a wide elastic waistband and full length thigh padding. Valken Impact Slide Shorts offer a lot of features for the price, with articulated foam thigh pads and plenty of groin protection with a pocket for a hard shell athletic cup (not included).
More to come…