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Paintball Interest; past, present & future?

Discussion in 'Talking Points' started by Benneh, Jan 12, 2017.

  1. Benneh Member

    Benneh
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    Hi all,

    Something that has been on my mind for sometime is how has paintball changed over the last 10 years, where is is now and how can we make it even better?

    I've played from around 2004 all the way until 2011 when I stopped and that includes being a paintball site owner for an iconic woods-ball site between 2007 - 2010.

    Paintball Interest

    Here's how interest in paintball as changed according to Google since 2004 - not great eh?

    upload_2017-1-12_16-40-41.png

    So what's changed?

    Back in 2004 paintball was new and exciting, naturally it's going to get interest but it's almost filtered out completely!

    From all the sites here in Scotland, many of them have closed down or changed hands. They used to be a model where people had their sole income, but it doesn't look like that anymore.

    We know the economy crashed in 2008. But that didn't heavily impact the paintball site revenues from my perspective at the time, yes it was tough but paintball was still something people really wanted to do as a sport or hobby or as a rental player.

    Has tournament put people off and made it seem less accessible? Or have scenario / woodland players and sites made some bad decisions in how paintball is viewed in the UK?

    Keen to hear everyone's views on this and how can paintball get it's self back on the road or has its time simply past for the majority of the public?
     
  2. Bolter Administrator

    Bolter
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    new and exciting? It was 20yrs old in 2004!
     
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  3. Tom Tom

    Tom
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    Googles 'interest' is deceiving.

    Of course it doesn't mean how much people are interested in paintball, but how much they are searching (sort of) so if people are very interested but find out what they need to know then they search less
    It's also a relative statistic - the number of Google paintball searches in relation to the number of google searches


    Though we had a 'crash' it wasn't a proper crash such as the Great Depression etc, people still had money, and if not then we have social support. It did mean that people prioritised their money, and paintball gives an easy adrenaline mix.
    The punter doesn't have a full view of paintball and is easily brought in by 'cheap £9.99 paintball, then £6.99 paintball etc and once they know a real cost will play to their wallet
    When I played between punter sites, walkons and events I spent the same money - actually sometimes less money at punter prices, at a point I could turn up for free, buy £50 worth of paintballs between two of us then most often split another £50 later on. Sometimes we didn't do the second £50. At a walkon or event then it was straight in with a case each

    I feel that paintball just goes in waves, always new punters that may do a one off or occasionally play still at punter level.
    Some people like to keep on going as a regular punter
    Some look for a bit more. Going from punter to walkon can be a big culture shock, but at my first walkon I was told about scenario and that allows for an easy move up

    There was also a mysterious small milsim crowd bubbling away in the background, more recently to have surged with magfed currently being a big thing

    A bit more than 10 years ago I hit scenario to see what I feel was the hey day of scenario and saw the development from a handful of legendary team run events, to a vast choice and diversity in types of game, all parts of the country and types of venue
    Then came unique one off venues etc
    Team games became more professional or the sites/promoters took over

    I didn't know much of the tournament scene, but have seen events of various sizes

    players tend to cycle, coming and going through their life (depending on when and how they start)
    Kids come in on parent funding, or having to find their own money
    There can be the point of view that a kid with a job has their own disposable money and will work for it if they really want to play, the parent has to prioritise, either the money slips elsewhere or the absolute need for paintball moves on to the next thing
    As the kid matures they get other interests - opposite sex, alcohol, car etc

    But they may go away and come back, then get commitments and slip away for a bit again, but return - perhaps when their kids are old enough to start a new cycle
     
  4. Benneh Member

    Benneh
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    You're right, if I rephrase it... 'more accessible'!

    Great points Tom, that cycle is key and how does the paintball industry bring that level of excitement back through social media and other means that have hugely evolved since the scenario 'boom'!
     
  5. Thomas Kelly Platinum Member

    Thomas Kelly
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    So i was playing paintball from the age of 16 because some friends got me into the idea of it and then moved on to working for a couple local paintball sites into one i used to attend almost every Walk-on. Things then were pretty reasonably priced.. and the market was easily found through Facebook etc, but no I'm looking at getting back into the sport iv seen prices have risen a lot and trying to find a Marker for sale has become a mission for me! Bottle choices have been reduced by the looks of thing, Markers at retail price are a lot more expensive even the lower entry levels!

    So i think that is the issue for the Paintball Community. The price has just gone up and up but not only that the access to those wanting to start up and try get some decent kit previously loved has become near enough impossible, something i think Facebook should now re-think because i used to be on one group that was basically my community where i met a lot off people and got a lot off my gear from!
     
  6. Missy-Q 300lb of Chocolate Love

    Missy-Q
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    It doesn't have anything to do with the cost. making it cheaper will not help, in fact it will make it a whole lot worse.

    When paintball was an 'Extreme Sport' and offered 'Adrenaline-fueled action', and was played by males between the age of 21 and 45 (25-30 years ago), then a .68cal paintball going at 260-300fps was no problem. "Does it hurt?" - "Yes, but only for a while, and with the adrenaline, you barely feel it". That was all fine, and we all did well.

    Now the game is played primarily by millennial clients (25 and under), which I occasionally like to call 'pussies'. Before y'all start flaming me and saying how tough you all are, just remember that you're not. There is no such thing as a tough millennial, you're kidding yourselves, although I am sure there are a few exceptions, and if you're one of those, awesome!! Waytogo.

    Typical Millennials want paintball as a birthday party, friends outing or office party, and they, or their parents, don't want to see bruises or hear that the adrenaline will make the pain seem lesser. They want a game that doesn't really hurt. They want the experience of playing, without any pain, or danger of there being pain.
    This means a switch to low impact play using .50cal.

    It's taken me a long time to get on the fiddy-cal bandwagon, but after spending time trying to learn more about millennials, I finally get it.

    The proof is in the pudding. The large US fields have dragged themselves out of the slump by catering to these clients better, and they are having a lot of success doing it.

    You can only learn so much through google trends, but I look at the same graph often, and put it beside an Airsoft graph for comparison. take note that the graph is flattening out. That is a positive sign at least..

    In the UK you have seen prices rise lately due to the weakening of the pound against the USD$. Do you hate the prices now? Did you also vote 'leave'? if yes, suck it up and accept the consequences of your actions.
     
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  7. Hansel So Hot Right Now.

    Hansel
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    Paintball began around 1981....the Chinese year of the bad haircut.

    36 years on, and we've been through some good and bad times (and questionable fashion choices), but we're still here.

    Speaking personally, paintball has never been cheaper. P8ntballer & FB is flooded with second hand stuff at bargain prices, and you can enter tournaments for £15 each and bring your own paint.

    I'd also like to call "Millennials" Pussies, but I'll probably get into trouble with the PC brigade. Who are also Pussies.
     

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