Originally Posted by Patar
I'm impressed by stuff like MCB. I'm impressed by the little bubbles of true stock class players. I'm impressed by outlaw fields like FreeEnterprise's Trails of Doom... that stuffs sweet. That's paintball the way it should be yknow.
Woot! Thanks Patar, glad you like my stuff.
Sports have a natural ebb and flow. I remember back when I turned pro in BMX (in 1990... right when the sport was dying, according to many...) people were leaving the sport in droves. The AFA died, the NBL was the only national level competition left. And pro entry fees were $500 PER event... Maximum payout for first place was only $1,000... So good luck with that, as they had 8 contest a year. ALL over the country. And no one could find any sponsors at the time to pick up those costs, as corporate dollars had left to focus on mountain biking, and we were in a recession.
But, look at BMX freestyle today. It is HUGE. And you know why?
Because us riders MADE it that way. I grew up riding with Jon Byers, who when we were kids told me that he was going to start a BMX company and call it Eastern so guys in the magazines HAD TO take notice of us on the east coast. That chip on our shoulders pushed us to ignore the "public" part of freestyle and focus on what WE could do instead. And the riding levels of the east coast, midwest and central states TOOK OVER the sport. Guys like Dennis McCoy, Mat Hoffman, Dave Mirra, Kevin Jones, ect, didn't care what the magazines focused on, we just kept riding hard. AND we didn't wait for the big companies to build bikes that could withstand our abuse, we built our own, and Eastern bikes, Hoffman bikes, Standard Bikes, and many other rider owned companies were all born. RIDERS making bikes that would hold up to our abuse.
Did you ever hear how the Xgames got started? Mat got sick of having NO contests as they were a place you could go and see the newest tricks, and hang out with your buds. Well, he decided to use the tiny profits he was making from his bike company and started the BS series (yes it meant that...) as he was tired of all the bull from all the "corporate" owned contests. Those contests were a BLAST, and everyone was having FUN. After they got huge, the Xgames was born from those contests, and Mat helped get it all going.
Again a RIDER promoting the sport. Because he was having FUN with his friends.
That is the key, Having FUN. If what you are doing on the field hurts other players fun, then you need to rethink how you play. If your field stinks, FIX IT, as YOU can be the driving force to make changes.
I was riding for Dia Compe brakes back in the late 80's and they sent me a set of prototype 990 brakes, and mounting posts, as back then no bikes had 990's on them. So I put them on the back AND front of my bike (first rider to do this, my neighbor had a welder and with all our abuse we learned to use that thing really well). I also invented the double seatpost clamp and gave that invention to one of my sponsors (GT). I also invented a sprocket that stops at the perfect ride off spot so you never have to guess where your pedals are when doing no footed jumps, or a flatland trick, as they will always be right where you want them. And I invented roller savers for bar ends on bikes, after grinding down a brand new set of bars learning hitchhikers. One of my friends wanted a set, and started producing them for sale after that.
No product was out there that did these things, so I made them myself. So I could have MORE FUN.
Once paintball becomes a job, it loses it's fun factor for lots of people, so if you spend your time having fun, that is when you will do things that later on you will realize made a big impact, but at the time, you were just pushing for more fun.
As people enjoy having fun, and you can't put a price on that. So do your best to grow the sport in a way that you can impact. If all of us did that, the sport would continue to grow. (actually, it IS growing where I live, as we have new players often at my private field...) Course, I am biased as I think my field is the most fun out there! Lol.