Hey guys, due to such high demand on this subject, I am going to be doing this How to on diving and sliding. Lets get started.
There are differences between diving and sliding. Diving is when you dive onto the ground superman style, belly down. Sliding is simply sliding like a baseball player would on his hip with his feet first and keeping most of his body upright. Lets take a look at the differences...
Lets go over the easier of the two, sliding, and move onto the more advanced diving.
Sliding is extremely easy. It is also easy to mess up. When sliding, you always want to keep your momentum going in the direction that your running. You do not want to drop all your weight and momentum straight down on your knee, you want to barely skim and glide across the ground. So do NOT come up real high and drop straight down.
Now lets go over the slide itself and the set up and feet/leg placement. All three of these things have to be taken care of for you to have a good slide.
When coming in for a slide, you want to be running somewhat fast. I recommend running as fast as possible anywhere you go on the field but its your choice. You want to start your slide a good amount before your bunker, roughly 6ft or so. However, you dont want to hit the ground until around 3ft before your bunker, this will change depending upon playing surface conditions. First off, you want to drop your inside shoulder (the one closest to the opponent). Once you drop your shoulder down, your upper body should follow. Take a look at this picture...
Here I am sliding (on the NXL field too, haha). You want to fold your inside leg (closest to the opponent) underneath you while keeping your outside leg pointing in the direction that your sliding. You want to keep most of your weight balanced on your butt and to the rear, yet slightly towards your bunker. You want to let your inside hand (closest to the opponent) skim across the top of the surface. Keep your gun in your outside hand, away from the ground but not held high for a shot to hit it. Right around your chest area should be good, like in the picture. Your inside hand helps aid in balance and as you come to the end of your slide, you can push it harder into the ground to stop yourself. Same with your outside leg. You have that leg out so that you can plant it at the end of your slide and stop yourself. You can also use this to slide and pop up. Simply slide fast, plant your outside foot, and let your momentum carry you into the upright position. THIS WILL TAKE PRACTICE. Once you finish your slide, you want to get on your feet, or whatever stance you need to take for that particular bunker, and ready to shoot as fast as possible. I will cover sliding and shooting in the running and gunning How to.
If you have ever watched a paintball video, there is a fine line between diving right, and diving wrong. Diving wrong usually has negative consequences. So lets go over how to dive and what not to do so you dont hurt yourself.
Take a look at this picture...
Setting up for a dive is even more important than setting up for a slide. I highly recommend running low at all times. This not only helps make you a smaller target when moving, but also lets you dive much smoother. To set up for a dive, you want to drop your upper torso as low as possible and almost hunch over, refer to the first picture in the sequence. Shift your weight mostly forward. Then as you are coming down, stay on your feet for as long as possible. This makes for a much more smooth and easy dive. It puts less impact on your chest and body. You want to put your non gun hand out first, to brace your impact. It should be the first part of your body to touch the ground. Once you have touched the ground with your non gun hand, you want to immediately push off your foot thats on the same side your holding your gun. Refer to picture two in the sequence. At the same time you push off that back foot, put your gun hand on the ground. Use your non gun hand, thats already on the ground, to push yourself forward and slow your fall. Once your gun hand hits the ground, you want to push forward and lead with it. Refer to picture 3 in the sequence. You need to hold your gun level in order to not stab your barrel into the ground. Holding it with the barrel down is going to cause it to stab the ground. Likewise, holding your barrel too high in the air is going to cause your tank to hit the ground and make your tank go up, and your barrel down into the ground.
Now, not many people really look at this but this is what I call my hybrid dive. Its not sliding and its not diving. Its more of a combination. Its just like sliding except I put most of my weight forward and slide on my non gun hand and non gun hand arm. It allows me to get low, as a dive would, but allows me to get up on my feet much quicker than a dive would. Take a look at these hybrid dives...
Now that you know how to dive and slide, go out and practice. This does not have to be done at a field, but anywhere there is grass or a flat surface to practice on with adequate running room. I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend both knee and elbow pads. Even if you have padding in your pants and/or jersey, you still need knee and elbow pads. They are not cheap but money well spent to save you injury.
Some things to keep in mind when sliding and diving. Staying low is key. Thats one of the main purposes of sliding and diving, to make yourself a smaller target for the other guy shooting at you. Another thing to keep in mind is your bodies balance while setting up for, and sliding/diving. Keep your momentum going in the same direction your running, not downward.
Hope this helps and if you guys have any questions or comments, all are welcome. Another thing, BE CAREFUL. 99% of all paintball injuries come from people diving and sliding. Even people who know how to do this very well mess up and hurt themselves. So take caution.