Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Bradenton, FL
Been almost 2 months, but my 2 cents.
I've been using an E-vents since around '07, and before that had a Profiler. I loved the profiler, but it was stolen at the field I worked at by a kid who was playing. And that is something you have to take into account, stuff will get stolen. Pods will be stolen, small items may get stolen, and larger items (like your mask) may get stolen. Not everyone is trustworthy. My E-vents is usually the only one at the field, and is black and red, so I know if someone has it. Now, that being said, I have lent it to newer kids so that they can see how much a good mask helps. My lens doesn't fog, but my glasses do.
As for marker, my first marker in 2003 was a Spyder with e-trigger. Still works, just needs a bolt (got lost in a move). I used that for years before moving to an A-5 , then eventually to a Shocker in 2006. You don't need the latest and the greatest to have fun and be competitive. I was able to take out people on speedball fields with both the Spyder and the A-5, but the shocker made me more competitive with the people I wanted to play with. Find your play style, and the people you want to play with, then buy the right marker to fit. There will always be more markers to buy, and chances to buy them. I would love to say buy a mechanical autococker and call it a day, but that would be more hassle with timing and maintenance, so I suggest either a blow back like a Spyder, or another mechanical marker (or, if you have the money, buy a used Ion with bad electronics and buy the mechanical kit for it.)
As for hopper, I have been using a Halo B since around '06 when I got my Shocker. Still works, but the shell is deteriorating with age. They can be had for cheap, but are a little bit bigger and heavier than what is currently available. I have no idea where people are finding Dye Rotor's for ~$100, but if you get a electro pneumatic marker, and find a Rotor for that price, buy it. But, if you get a blow back or mechanical, you don't need much. Heck, I use a 50 round Brass Eagle hopper on my mech autococker. This is gonna be another area where you need to figure your play style before buying.
Lastly, tanks. I have so many tanks it isn't funny. My dad used to work for Blue Rhino when they released their Rhino Power line of CO2 tanks for paintball use (literally was a swap out program for CO2 tanks) and we used to get all the odd sizes that they didn't fill. They only did 9oz and 20 oz tanks, so I have some of their tanks, 12oz tanks, a 16oz tank etc. as well as a 48/3000 aluminum and a 68/3000 carbon wrapped. I love my carbon wrapped, but it is a little too long for me. If you're shorter, buy a smaller tank, if taller, buy a bigger. If using blow back or mech, you can stick with CO2, I just know there's one field in my area that doesn't fill CO2 tanks anymore, so check first.
The biggest question I have though is, how old are you? Is this something that you are going to need your parents there with you, or do you have a car and can drive yourself to the field to play. If you're younger, start out cheaper, that way you have more money to spend when you do go to play since you won't be able to go out as often.