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H

Wizard, of sorts...
Feb 27, 2002
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For most of the last 15 years the route in paintball was to go to a rental day or two then if you wanted to play more regularly the only real option was to get onto a sup'air team and join into whatever series was running at the time. CPPS and it's ilk is a world away from the fun of playing in the woods as a rental customer and this jump is jarring for many people and puts a lot of people off.

Back in the early 2000s many sites were too scared of moving customers away from paying £120 a case to paying £35 at a walk on. But back then sites were flooded with birthday parties, stag dos and hundreds of new players who kept the easy money rolling in. But the novelty of paintball as new thing died out and the bottom fell out of the rental market with a tiny fraction of players of what there once was. Sites are now learning there is smarter ways of keeping the customers they have, which is why there's a heck of a lot more scenario events and walk ons in the UK than there used to be. Nowadays if a new rental baller wants to play more they see many more options, which are a lot more appealing to the sensibilities of someone who went to a rental day in the first place.

The resurgence of competitive woodsball is the natural progression for this new model. Of course there's the old farts coming back but I think this is an incredible opportunity to keep new players involved in our silly little game. I've gotta add Nick & Sally at Skirmish Sherwood Forest (Nottingham) to your list Pete. They've been doing great work in developing an end to end quality experience with rental, walk-on, sup'air (tournaments & training) and now woodland tournaments all available at a site that's very well run and looked after.
 
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Dave S ECI

ECI + HFT
Jul 17, 2001
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I'm talking about the likes of Ged Green, Rob Hollington, Jimmy Frensham, Tim Taylor, Doug Setters, Dave Simpson and Twizz and last but definitely not least, Ledzy.
Within that fraternity, you have EVERYTHING you are gong to need in terms of qualities to make the right decisions.

Alternatively, we can do nothing - we can just sit back and observe the fate of this resurgence unfold before us ....... or we can get involved and try to steer this recent phenomenon in the right direction where we all benefit on one level or another.

It's much better if we take a pro-active role in pushing the woodland alternative more so than at any other time in our history.

Let's not fuhk this opportunity up guys, get the right people to do the right job and we can get back to where our industry and sport/game belong .. over to you guys !!
Pete,

I think you are right re: getting more folk involved but I also think this may be a gradual transition into more woodland events rather than a big bang. This may come across as being self-interested but I honestly think that the fate of the UK Woodland Masters series in 2017 will be a sign-post as to whether other folk and the industry should support this further in 2018 and beyond. We've put together a multi-site, multi-date series centred around a two day international event at Paintfest - and that is a real leap forward from what we ran in 2016 as a single site, 4 date series.

Again, I think people may see this as self-interest but the two dayer at Paintfest has the potential to generate a lot of momentum for woodsball. Just as you and Marcus were talking about the size of our last event (possibly the biggest UK woodsball event for the last 17 years), if together with Ged we can get circa 40 teams out for a two day international event then I think that will grab the next level of attention from players and the industry! With some early interest from the States and Europe, I am excited to see what may happen!

Totally agree with all of your points re: a new growth area for the industry - as a product, competitive woodsball really offers a lot and the guys playing out there are by no means using starter equipment or low end paint - we see top end gear and paint getting used out in the woods!

2017 is a big step forward and fingers crossed will open the door to bigger steps forward for 2018 and beyond!

Edit - we've even managed to get Ian Miller out to play the odd event!

UKWM 2017 All dates in one place.jpg
 

olliewidd

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Jul 5, 2012
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I recently spoke to a guy who plays with the American team Master Blasters (old school pro team apparently) and they're planning on coming over for a couple of events next year
 
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Robbo

Owner of this website
Jul 5, 2001
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Pete,

I think you are right re: getting more folk involved but I also think this may be a gradual transition into more woodland events rather than a big bang. This may come across as being self-interested but I honestly think that the fate of the UK Woodland Masters series in 2017 will be a sign-post as to whether other folk and the industry should support this further in 2018 and beyond. We've put together a multi-site, multi-date series centred around a two day international event at Paintfest - and that is a real leap forward from what we ran in 2016 as a single site, 4 date series.

Again, I think people may see this as self-interest but the two dayer at Paintfest has the potential to generate a lot of momentum for woodsball. Just as you and Marcus were talking about the size of our last event (possibly the biggest UK woodsball event for the last 17 years), if together with Ged we can get circa 40 teams out for a two day international event then I think that will grab the next level of attention from players and the industry! With some early interest from the States and Europe, I am excited to see what may happen!

Totally agree with all of your points re: a new growth area for the industry - as a product, competitive woodsball really offers a lot and the guys playing out there are by no means using starter equipment or low end paint - we see top end gear and paint getting used out in the woods!

2017 is a big step forward and fingers crossed will open the door to bigger steps forward for 2018 and beyond!

Dave, I'd like to think this resurgence follows the same trajectory as woodland paintball did during its genesis back in 1990 onwards .... I see no real reason why it shouldn't but at the back of my mind there's a fundamental difference between both growth curves.
Admittedly, this recent renaissance is just getting underway and so any parallel being drawn by myself is borne more out of wishful thinking than of natural market forces.
I know this much, we are entering a period that needs managing correctly if we are to optimise this opportunity - it's not as if we're under-resourced in this area, a lot of our industry have been here before and so logistically we're well placed.
The most important consideration is always going to be the people involved and to that end, our industry line-up looks good.
And with no disrespect intended Dave, I don't know you but you seem to be doing the right things, and saying what's needed.
The likes of Ged Green, Rob Hollington, Nick Sanders, Jim and Tim from Warped, Ainsley, yourself and Twizz, and it makes absolute sense to throw Ledzy into the mix if only because he's one of the very few people I know who can see things from a multiplicity of vantage points not least of which is from the new customer's requirements.

If anybody is able to make a success of what now confronts us then that list of industry faces are up to the job .....
It's very rare in any sport that turning the clock back when it comes to the fundamentals such as playing formats and/or locations proves successful but maybe paintball can carve out its own destiny in this respect, there's a lot riding on it, that's for sure !
 
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