Bounce Padding as a Tactic
This subject has come up in the pre season for our little group. We just started an "organized" paintball group of about 50 people in our area last year. Its a private outlaw field. Kids on up playing every other weekend all summer.
There is no previous paintball culture in the area so its all developing organically with only a few players who web surf paintball related info. This is the back woods of paintball right now. Most just load up the family and come play/eat/drink on the weekends.
What some players have discovered is that baggy cloths (very little actual paintball jerseys), padding (vests, pads, home made) combined with cheap paint (20$ case stuff is rampant) results in LOTS of bounces. In some cases you HAVE to hit the mask or gear/marker to get a break.
Combine this with over shooting... result of new players buying auto/ramping guns and cheap paint (getting better with experience, but always new players coming)... and there is going to be an enormous amount of padding in play this year.
As the organizer/field owner I am cool with whatever keeps people playing and happy (its outlaw, no charge, no profit, etc...) but I wanted the seasoned paintball cultures take on extreme bounce padding.
I see it as a result of people reacting to over shooting and as actually using it as a tactic to keep in play. I play dual old school pistols myself, charging into modified Tippy A5s on a field lacking enough cover (this year it has gotten thicker). I had lots of time to chill on the sidelines until I tried some bounce gear myself. My lifespan got longer and I surprised the junk paint sprayers by running through ropes and bunkering lots of them.
It might not be cool, macho, or it even might be cheese, but in this little experiment it seems to work.
I am going to enjoy watching how things evolve this season. We should see an arms race... more expensive paint to get more breaks? And I know there are going to be at least 2 First Strike markers in play. But I have also noticed a lot of people ordering paintball specific high quality padding.
So, is bounce gear cheating? Is it just a reaction to over shooting? Is it a viable tactic? Is it cheese? It it super un cool?