Paintball Is Dead

By Chris D’Alessandro

Paintball is dying.

I used to love paintball. Actually, I still love paintball, what I used to be was flat out obsessed with it. I used to shoot away so much paint at practice, you’d think it was going out of style. The truth is that now, paintball is going out of style.

I received an email from Badlands paintball the other day telling me that they had updated their website with new products and a flashy new design. I was fairly intrigued since Badlands has had essentially the same website since I got into paintball around 2003. If you’re not aware of Badlands, they’re the premiere place to fulfill your paintball needs. Based out of Toronto, they sponsor some of the best teams in the world. Before even clicking the link to the new site I raced for my closet to go over all my old gear to see what new stuff I needed.

I’ve spent thousands of dollars over the years on tanks, loaders; pod packs (including dozens of replacement pods), all the apparel and of course the guns. I’ve had a few markers including: Spyders, Autocockers, Angels and my all time favourite which I still own, my Smart Parts Nerve. I noted that I needed a new compressed air tank,  and a new jersey.  You can imagine my shock when I learned that Smart Parts, the manufacturer of both my current and desired new marker, and the biggest name in paintball, had closed its doors earlier this year.

A little research into this matter found that paintball in general is on the ropes. That is to say, a least paintball as I knew it. Paintball as a real sport is in dire trouble.

I was never, and am not, an athlete by any stretch of the definition. However, it was so nice to excel at something that was, as silly as it might be, a sport. It was something that was personal, and only the ‘cool kids’ knew it about.  So satisfying was it to fill the beloved football and hockey stars from high school with a face full of paint. Electronics, pneumatics and Chess like strategy were all things geeks excelled at. It was true revenge of the nerds.

Paintball had to come a long way to prove to the public at large that it was a real sport and that we were hobbyists and athletes, not a bunch of gun nuts who were one bad day away from going postal.  These people are trying to imitate war, just because they think it’s cool, and it delegitimizes paintball overall.

I can’t help but feel partially responsible for all this. I was one of those players who abandoned the sport, moved on to other things and let others take it over, claim for themselves and make it their own. Granted, I am but one simple man, but I reflect the population. Well I am enthused and I am pledging right here the internet to get back into paintball, in short, I’m taking it back. The only thing is that I may have to buy a Planet Eclipse marker over a Smart Parts one.


Chris (The man behind the mask)


    • arsh
    • May 11th, 2018

    This will probably never be seen, but it is beyond dead and it’s sad. I started playing 2003 after i got my first marker for xmas. I was one of those who got into tournaments a year later and played through HS and then moved on to college tournament ball. But by jr. year the grind had taken it’s toll. Poor college kids can’t blow as much money on gear as a highschooler with no responsibilities. NCPA started adding regulations that guns HAD to be ramping (which mine were not) and after 1 tournament senior year i said eff it and quit. The irony was that i had taken senior year off of HS too, but that was due to a a team dispute.

    Now circle back 8 years later as I’m in a reminiscence mode, i looked up the sport. NCPA which had like 300 schools when i started is down to less than 50!!! There wasn’t a single MN college that even participated. Paintball is dead.

  1. January 8th, 2011
    Trackback from : Paintball Is Dead

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