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Old 06-15-2020, 12:03 PM #22
MeowMeowMeow
Forgot my old SN & PWs...
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Quote:
Originally Posted by geardownson View Post
I enjoyed reading your post. You articulating some issues i was thinking as well. Im with you about the 2k popularity. The companies were innovating markers that left fields of difference between them all. Fast/accurate/slow/inaccurate/rentals was a big difference back then. There was actually a lot of advertising as well. I also agree with you about the spectator issue. Watching now id have to say its pretty good how they set the cameras up but i feel it was too little too late.

As for inflation i agree but disagree with some. As far as gear goes id say that normal gear has gone up a little but marker range is much better. Granted there is markers in the 2k range but you can buy electros in the sub 400 that are very competitive compared to what we shot. For back in the day under 400 was mostly crap and 1200 or so was king due to low pressure vs high/ open an closed bolts ect. As far as paint goes id have to say it hasn't changed much at all im my 20 yrs of playing. Mid range or field paint has always been 60-70 where i live. Consumption of said paint obviously varies due to the change of markers. The mil sim guys coming out now are awesome too. They can justify buying some first strike because they are shooting a lot less BUT entry level buying paint is still a hindrance and most of the paintball gear/guns/paint/gear hardly put any effort into selling their items anymore for new players. That is what ticks me off. They will get the money from experienced players because the vets know what they are looking for but they put 0 effort in promoting new stuff IMO. There used to be mag articles,commercials, ect ect so when the new player comes off the field with a rush and wants to upgrade they have a vast pool of info.

Now? Not much of anything. They sit in their predictable bubble of what they know what will be bought and can maximize profits from it by charging more an more for high end gear. I could be wrong but those honeypot buyers are going to be fading very soon. They will grow up. Have families. The new guys will look at promotion now and think "what is so exciting about this?".
Thank you for your post. I appreciate you challenging my own ideas and biases and giving me a different perspective.

I agree with you, there is a disconnect attracting new players into the group and I have my theory of why that is. As a reminder, this is pure opinion and zero research has been done so please take with healthy dosage of salt.

It's a catch 22 problem:

Profitability for field owners are rental players. Margins of rental players should be higher compared to self-equipped players. If I was a field owner, I would do everything I can to get as many people to stay rental players as possible. Thus, the desire to teach and promote gear (or even set up a mini store at the field) doesn't make financial sense.

Manufactures understand that it is far more expensive to attract a new customer than to keep their current customer base happy. With the economy the way things are now, I would wager that companies would focus on their loyal customers (wanna be tourney players, collectors, and other entrenched paintballers) and they will continue giving them what they want because history tells them that they will buy.

I would also guess that their margins for higher end markers would be better than entry to mid level guns. How much can you make off a STBB when you are selling it for 100 dollars compared to a 1500 (PE/DYE/F1)?

Thus, with fields focusing on rental players and keeping them as rental compounded with manufacturing wants keep their core customer base happy while trying to survive another recession; it is my believe that's things are the way they are now.

To your last point, if there are not enough new blood to replace the ones that will be pulled away from the realities of life (family, kids, financial responsibilities) and/or finding other ways to spend their money- paintball will continue it's current trajectory for better or worse.
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Old 06-18-2020, 11:59 AM #23
cyberpyr8
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Statesboro, GA
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 has been a member for 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeowMeowMeow View Post
What we can do now as individuals to grow paintball organically -

Be nice to the rentals,
Be nice to the little kids,
Be nice to the parents
Be nice to the rec players that doesn't shootings top of the line markers.

Make them feel welcomed and make them feel that the paintball community is a great community to be a part of

Don't act like a jerk.
This is a big help as people come out to the field the first few times. I go out of my way to introduce myself and ask where they are from, first time playing type questions. I want to put them at ease and make them feel at home. I offer help on filling paint, or showing them tricks or helping out in anyway possible.

I also make sure if I am playing with new players I let them have fun. I ask them where they want to go on the field and suggest some things if they are unsure. I lay down cover fire to get them to their spots off the break and let them have a few minutes of playing, even if they are one of the first players out. I offer some pointers if it seems like they want that. I also try to encourage them after every game. I play completely differently if I am playing with experienced players. It makes it challenging for me to hold back or to help others out but that makes it fun for me too.

I will say as a father, it's expensive to go and take your kids with you. Especially when you have younger kids or inexperienced kids playing (spilling paint and hearing money sounds as they hit the ground!). I play at fields that charge me less or offer free admission because we keep coming back. I have to when you're taking 3 of you to play for a full day. I went to a field we normally don't go to a few weeks ago and it cost me $140 to get in the door for just myself and one of my kids. My other son paid for himself to get in. But I bought paint for 3 of us to play all day (2 [email protected]$50 each). That's not including the equipment I have out on the field. Pants, jerseys/pads, guns, hoppers and tanks for everyone costs a lot of money. Do you need all of that, no but it makes younger kids feel better about playing the first few times. If I were single and only paying for myself to play it wouldn't be that bad. But bringing other people gets expensive quickly.

I don't see paintball dying per se. But I think it always has been a niche sport and will remain that way. Most people don't like pain. They want simple, clean entertainment that isn't costly. None of those things are paintball. For some that like adrenaline or a rush, paintball is fun. Will they invest in more equipment to get better? Most won't. But if we can get 1-2 hard core players from every 10 kids that come to a birthday party that's a win.

Our field (Post Covid) seems to be getting busy again. The heat here kills the summer business but I see it coming back strong in the fall. Even so, the crowds have been growing so I think people are coming back to play. I don't see paintball dying anytime soon.
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Old 06-18-2020, 04:42 PM #24
MeowMeowMeow
Forgot my old SN & PWs...
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Well said cyberpyr8. This hobby/sport is difficult to maintain as a family sport. I hope others reading this will follow your footsteps the next time they play.
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Old 06-25-2020, 08:40 PM #25
sotospeak
 
 
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Join Date: Jun 2020
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Originally Posted by Kieth Stone View Post
It’s not fun for new or occasional players to get the **** shot out of them. Not everyone wants to play tournaments and not everyone wants to be the best. They just wanna go have fun with other people that are on the same level and go shoot each other with some paintballs. Those people do and would spend money but it’s not fun if they get mixed in with current or former tournament players playing walk ons and they don’t have any fun. I see it holding back a lot of people from playing. It’s not so much the price but the experience. I don’t know the fix for that but that’s a problem I feel
back in the day they would always have beginner and advanced walk ons groups so if you had an electronic gun you had to play in advanced walk ons. And as numbers dropped so did two walk on groups . this is the main problem i think that causes this barrier to entry so to speak, its unfortunate because as a player you eventually want the violence speed and momentum of advanced walk ons.

Last edited by sotospeak : 06-25-2020 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 06-28-2020, 03:53 PM #26
shadow191
 
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
I think paintball is always going to be somewhat of a niche sport - it's been around since the early 80's and never really gained mainstream acceptance. But not sure if that's a bad thing, lots of sports outside of ball sports are the same. My other hobbies are cycling and triathlon and if you read the forums there, it's similar complaints about how to make the sports bigger. Lots of people have the same sky is falling mentality too about the sport being too expensive - honestly PB is cheap when you consider that mid range bicycles are $2-4K and up to $13K for top of the line. Local shops are fewer than before and no one can compete with online. The industry consolidation is also just how things go. Back in the '90s for both paintball and MTB, so much stuff was made by small companies trying new things. Then they either all went out of business or were bought so you end up with a few big companies all basically making versions of the same thing. Not necessarily a bad thing though as equipment simply works better now than it did then (PB and cycling).

I'm similar to lots of posters in this thread, played semi regularly from '93-01 which was when I finished college so life hit and stopped playing. Didn't shoot a paintball entire time until March of this year when my son wanted a paintball birthday party. Realized what I had been missing out on the entire time and jumped back in and have been buying gear since. I truly don't think that cost is prohibitive or the reason paintball isn't more popular. I think I paid $250 for and 8 person bday party which is in line with anything else like rock climbing or trampoline parks. Now that we just go back for open play, it's $10 field fee with all day air and $50 a case. That's cheaper than in '01 when I stopped playing. Back then paint was $8 per 100. Even when we played outlaw, case of paint was $70-80 in the late '90s. That's like paying $120 a case today online which would be crazy for mid grade. Found my brother's original Spyder Compact from '96 and box still had price tag from local shop of $350. Compare that to the level of gun you can buy these days for a couple of hundred.

I do think there is some "intimidation" factor for people new to paintball though. Everyone thinks it hurts and the idea of shooting people feels a little violent. I've noticed that the field I go to really tries to make sure new people aren't intimidated. They provide padded vests to those who ask and between games, the refs are always walking through the tables talking to people and making sure they have a good time. I also see them protecting kids from being overshot - they'll literally stand by the bunker if they see someone pounding it and the kids huddling. I did think that was pretty good of them because otherwise those kids will not come back.

To that point, if paintball is to become more popular, it can't be seen as an "extreme" sport. The people that buy $10K+ bikes and $1700 paintball guns will never be enough to grow an industry. It's the larger population of casual participants who maybe play once a month that would allow the sport to grow. Unfortunately, the industry doesn't seem to support that group or target it. Everything seems to be focused on guys who treat everything like tournament practice even when it's open play. Was at the field yesterday and watched a kid overshoot everyone and keep calling the refs to paint check people. My brother and I were watching and discussing how he just seemed to take it too seriously when he threw a smoke grenade...on a hyperball field. A few parents nearby were watching and asking if it was even allowed. If I didn't know anything about paintball and took my child there for a birthday party then saw a bunch of people like that, I probably wouldn't take him back. Fortunately people like that are an anomaly and most of the serious players were very encouraging of the new ones. However, when you market paintball as an extreme sport, this is the type of people you attract.
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