Yea yea, like you need another someone to tell you which paintball mask to buy now. Well that’s not true in this case. My job in this post is to simply inform you of the different features and flaws all the different paintball masks on the market have to offer.
The first question many new players to the game ask is “what paintball gun should I buy?”. Repeat after me.
MY GOGGLES ARE MY MOST IMPORTANT PIECE OF EQUIPMENT!
The question that new paintball players to the game should be asking is “which mask should I buy?” This is important not only because of safety reasons but not all masks are created equal. Many masks are far better than others. Like the Proteus mask from JT. This mask has anti-fogging technologies as well as fans to save you from that blinding moment in which you can not see because of the fogged lens in your mask.
The field limit for all paintball guns on the outdoor fields is 280-300 feet per second (fps). This is roughly equivalent to 185-200 miles per hour (300 kph).
This is why the safety masks are certified especially for paintball use. They are designed to withstand the force of a paintball and to protect the players’ eyes. One of the most commonly forgotten facts about paintball is that goggles are literally essential to the sport. For the experienced players, just imagine how many times you get gogged during a game or practice. Well it’s either your mask or your face… and you know how hard they hit. The impact of a paintball striking your eye can cause severe damage to your eye. This damage will cause blindness because of the blunt force trauma to the eye which can destroy the retina.
Shoot a stationary paintball with another paintball and you can see the potential for eye damage. With the use of paintball masks this sport is safer than any other extreme sport.
We will divide the masks available by thermal and non-thermal.
The first, thermal. These are usually more expensive and well you guessed it, they work better. Many of these have wider angles of view, anti-fog thermal lenses, and a whole host of other extras that will ease your game, including easy lens changes and other add on components. Many of these masks have lenses that are hard to scratch making them much tougher than their cheaper cousins. Also just trying on the mask you will notice that it will fit much better than the cheaper models that you had worn or tried on before.
The second, non-thermal. These are usually entry level masks that allow a player to get in the game much cheaper. They commonly come with a paintball gun set-up that you would buy in the store. They are fully functional and safe. They however have a host of problems that plague them. Narrow line of vision, lenses that fog up, lenses that scratch easily, lenses that are hard to remove if not impossible, and lenses that are hard to clean. These masks are made to fit the largest segment of the possible paintball participants. This also means that the mask may not fit you correctly or feel comfortable.
Remember that it is hard to concentrate on your game if you are constantly worried about your mask or fighting with it.
There is not anything really wrong with using an entry level non-thermal lens mask. I used the same mask that came with my gun set-up for two seasons before making the change. Once I went to better mask I wondered what took me so long to make the change.
So I say to the newbie, buy the best mask you can afford because the want to upgrade your paintball gun will never cease but that trusty mask will see you through hundreds of gun upgrades and several seasons if cared for properly.
Keep it real, keep it safe