I had the awesome privilege of interviewing one of the very first female paintballers, Bea Youngs. One of the most successful and worldwide known female paintballer, Bea is known as paintball’s best ambassador. Bea started training on an all-girl tournament paintball team (Femmes Fatale) in August 2000. She’s even featured in the highly acclaimed game, Greg Hastings Tournament Paintball.
I asked Bea a few general and a few specific questions…
Kyle: How did you get introduced to the sport of paintball?
I was asked by Tami Adamson to play tournament paintball with her and form an all-female team, Femmes Fatale. We became the first all-female team to play on airball concept fields since the Iron Maidens in the woods.
Kyle: What was your first paintball gun?
A borrowed autococker and then my first gun that I owned was a Smart Parts Impulse.
Kyle: In your paintball career, what was your most memorable moment? This doesn’t have to be a game necessarily, it could include any jobs you’ve done or event you’ve attended.
Memorable? Winning the San Diego Super 7 Championship last year (2006) and making history as the first co-ed team full of mostly females to win a championship title and to finish the season in 2nd place out of the 102 teams in Division 2 throughout the 06 season.
Kyle: Bea, as a professional woman paintballer, how would you define a “successful paintballer”?
True spirit and perseverance. Your heart has to be in the right place and you have to give back to the entity that is giving to you. In this case, the things I do in the sport like writing, commentating, hosting tv shows for the sport, working for my sponsors at major trade show events, helping other kids get started in the tournament scene through my team, Destiny, and being a voice at major events like the PSP on the microphone all contributes to paintball. If you live by the Golden Rule (Do Unto Others as you would have them Do Unto You), in the end, you will get what you deserve based on the works you do. Showing appreciation and being willing to share your knowledge and love of the sport to others, or just passing it forward, goes a long way and makes for a successful player. Teaching what you know makes you a better player. Practicing and studying the sport also helps tremendously.
Kyle: As one of the most influential female paintballers, what do you see for the future regarding woman in the sport of paintball? To the best of your knowledge, are there any plans in the future for an All-Girls division or do you believe it will be mostly male oriented?
The future of women in the sport is bright as long as females try to work as hard, and sometimes even harder, than the average male. This sport is male-dominated and will be for a long time, and we have to prove to our male counterparts that we can compete. To compete, we have to practice and be able to take constructive criticism. To get support, we can’t expect that by just putting on a happy face, it will get us what we need to play. Sponsors are starting to only support those teams that are serious and have a winning record, or a good reputation, for that matter. I’m not saying it’s not a good thing to be “good-looking” and get that sponsorship, but I’m saying even if you are a “hottie”, back it up with some skills and be respectful of those males that may have a chip on their shoulder.
Kyle: What is the best paintball marker you’ve ever owned?
Oh wow… that’s a tough one. I would have to say it’s between Planet Eclipse’s 06 Ego and the new Bob Long Guns. This season, we’re shooting the new Bob Long guns (Marq 6, Marq 7, Rapper), though, and so far, it’s been one of the best and fastest shooting markers on the market. So, it’s a toss up between the Egos and the BL’s.
Kyle: What is the WORST paintball marker you’ve ever owned (be honest)?
Worst? Oh wow. Honestly, I had some issues with my Smart Parts Impulse back in the day, but when I got it upgraded to the Impulse Vision, it shot much better.
Kyle: What was your family’s first reaction when you told them you were going to be in a video game?
My brother got his camera out and started taking pictures of the tv screen! My parents still to this day have no idea what I’m doing in the sport. They have yet to go to a paintball event to see me play. They think I’m crazy and I’m wasting my time in the sport and wasting two degrees I earned from Florida State and the University of Florida by working in the industry. One of these days, they’ll get it.
Kyle: Paintball in the Olympics, do you think it will happen?!
Sure, why not. If they can have curling in the sport, they can have paintball. As long as enough countries in the world adopt paintball as a legit sport and then maybe a change for the better in the format to make it more understandable (as if curling is understandable), then the likelihood of it being in the Olympics could happen. Anything’s possible.
Kyle: Thank you again, Bea, for taking some time to answer these questions that I, and I’m sure others, would like to ask you.
You can read more about Bea Youngs at her website, BeaYoungs.com