Top 5 Things To Do Before Buying Your First Marker
By Jeffrey "Tigurius" Espejo

1. Play at least three or four different occasions of Paintball 
2. Look at your income
3. Purchase a good mask
4. Learn about the marker your interested in.
5. Shop around and compare

The first thing on my list is play at least three or four times on different occasions. Before you get into spending all the money, know if this is a sport you want to get into heavily, recreationally, or just something from time to time. Some players spend hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars on equipment, only to quit after they have gone out to play three or four times. This way it saves you all the money and trouble of selling the gear after, or maintaining it when you go out the next time.

The second thing to do is look at how often you play and your level of income. Look to see if your ratio of playing, average amount spent, and average income all even out. After all not many people want to spend $800 on a marker and not be able to use it. It is suggested by most players, that if you can have a choice of purchasing a high end marker and play once a month, opposed to purchasing a low end marker and being able to play once a week, most players would suggest purchasing the low end marker. The reason for this is because a lot of players tend to buy an expensive marker and put it away in the closet because they donít play often, and when they get out onto the field they want to play with other players with high end markers and donít have the same amount of skill level. Having more skill, rather than having more intimidation is a lot better looking than having a good looking marker.

The third thing to do is try to find the best mask that would suite you. You may like the look of one mask but it may not fit you the best, or make you comfortable wearing it. Try to try on various masks at all pricing ranges and asking the opinions of others on the web or at your local field how they like their mask. Some mistakes made by new players are when they want a really nice marker but donít have enough left over for a mask. If the perfect fitting mask for you is $150 opposed to a low end mask that would save you money. Go for the mask that fits you perfectly, no matter how much the mask is there is no price tag on your eyes.

The fourth thing is to learn about the marker your interested in. Part of being a Paintball player is looking after your equipment and keeping it in peak condition, there is nothing worse than having your day of Paintball being ruined because your marker went down and you do not know how to fix it. The only way to do this is to know your marker inside out, even if you do not think your going to have it for long, as you can always help others that may have that same marker in the future. If you do not think you can handle the upkeep of the marker your interested in, than move on. Some players purchase a marker with out knowing how to fix it and ask others to fix it for them, but donít bother watching and learning how to fix it. If you have somebody fix your marker, make sure you ask him or her to show you how to fix it instead. This way you do not have to bother asking them again the next time.

The fifth thing to do is shop around and compare prices on the marker you want to buy. Sometimes it may be best to buy from your local paintball stores to support them, but sometimes getting what you want for cheaper is better as it gives you enough money in the end to play more often at their fields. Check everywhere for a good deal before you purchase from one specific site donít for get to make sure that site has a good reputation for getting the product to you. What seems like a good deal sometimes is not so make sure you also check to see what the price for the marker includes, some site offer the marker for this amount another offers it for the same amount but offers an extra item or free shipping. If you want to save even more money, buy the marker you want used, search on on-line auctions or in the forums of a website. 
Finally have FUN! Go out and play as much Paintball as you can on a designated playing field, and practise safe Paintball.