|Member of the my original crew with a RAP4 Handheld Launcher|
In my second season of paintball I started to know what I was talking about and could understand a fair bit of the dealings on paintball forums. I could strip, clean, polish the internals, and even do some teching of intermittent problems with my guns through trial and error. I'd had a job painting the year before but now we were heading into summer of 2009 where jobs were hard come by for anyone. I needed some way to save for post secondary but wanted to keep playing too. I was able to fund paintball consumables through a gig where I mowed my condo complex's lawns on weekends for 50-60$. It was a hot, dirty, miserable job, our lawns were crummier than any I'd ever cared for, but this job meant I could play. Money for college came from existing savings, other lucrative odd jobs, and help from the parents. I did alright in the fall as a result but we're interested in the summer.
|Bob Long Vice|
The season started slow because money was tight in the group of older players I'd been with since starting and play was infrequent. I made an order from canadianpaintball.com for a new mask (Grillz), an E-grip for the A5, and a flatline barrel and I was quite satisfied with all of this for awhile. There was a crew who played earlier on the weekends than my existing crew and we all decided to combine. The older players didn't mind starting earlier as well if it meant having a bigger group and making a proper day out of it and getting the most of our paintball budgets. The younger crew we combined with also played more often than older ones so I started joining them for a total of three days a week but with an E-gripped A5, I was burning through a bit much paint. I was about ready to find ways to stop slinging so much paint when Jordan, a gentleman who'd only been using a Tiberius T8 and a Smart Parts Ion pulled out a toy he hadn't yet shared this season: A Bob Long Vice.
|Milsig 2010 Elite Pro|
I started thinking my leaning toward woodsball so strongly was a little wrong. This gun was so small, light, tight, maneuverable and just flung so many balls a second... I wanted one... and started down the path that I see and hear of so many new paintballers going down. I found a couple extra odd jobs, scraped some pennies together and assembled a pretty decent speedball set up: a red Vice, red Dye Rotor Loader, Ninja air tanks and Rhino Covers for the tanks. All that red, yeah I totally blended into the woods we played in. The purchase was a bit preemptive and I did have to sell the Bravo One and several accessories with it later that summer to feel less guilty about it. The gun felt nice, it was fun, and you could tell I was grinning from ear to ear when I was rocking the Vice but my game was terrible. I got surprisingly few tags with the Vice and my game was getting worse....!!! And there was a member in the older crew who kept picking me off with a gun I'd oggled online before but never heard much about: a Milsig K-Series Elite.
|Milsig Elite Marksman Custom|
Again, I wanted one, and writing this here and now is really helping me see how out of control I was that summer and how much more well adjusted I am now. All those guns, coming and going so fast. I shouldn't feel too guilty about buying a Milsig Elite Marksman Custom later that summer though, I financed it by selling off all the A5 and SAW stuff. Recycling the investment I like to call it. Guilt tripping aside, switching to magazine fed paintball caused an quick and drastic improvement to my game, and alternating between the Vice and picking my shots with the Milsig was making me quite deadly. These improvements came in August and at the end of that summer I had to move for college. Having no connections in Kamloops yet, my second season ended early.
This second season was the one which really started to define how I liked to play, though. Magazine fed and picking shots instead of running around with a 200 round hopper and hundreds of rounds in pods on my back was making me a much sharper player and some yet unidentified personality characteristic was making me a respected player even on those days I performed dismally. The older crew had their own Facebook page, and the new one I started playing with mid season did as well and pretty quickly I became an administrator and game setter-upper for both. Pretty awesome, 2 years in and I was starting to feel like something in the paintball scene in town, too bad I had to move away and fall back to the bottom. I didn't know at the time that I'd shoot up the ranks faster and further in the new city.