Pinokio- with it's jam free operation, super light weight, incredible battery life, and amazing capacity (270 rounds standard, 400 with INCLUDED nose), lid with extended opening tabs, battery life LED, this is the ultimate loader
"First Pump Gun you should buy" -
Azodin Kaos Pump - This pump has an amazing stroke, it's easy to upgrade, fun to shoot, uses Ion threaded feednecks, Autococker Barrels, and spyder body parts. It's dual spyder / intimidator detent design means you can stick the fastest of the fastest loaders on it, with no problems at all. Super light, easy to shoot, one of the best pump guns to ever hit the marker in the sub-$200 price range
Best $25 Investment in the history of paintball-
Paintball Caddy - it holds 1100 balls, prevents you from spilling them, easy to carry, fills pods in seconds, you can empty all your pods and loaders into it after a day of play, easily the best $25 investment you'll ever make in paintball. I've owned mine for almost 6 years!!!
Most Dominate Woodsball Gun Setup-
Smart Parts SP-1 w/ Blackheart Board, Freak Back, 16" All American Barrel with APEX Tip- we tested nearly every "woodsball gun" on the market, and the Smart Parts SP-1 Blackheart continues to be the dominate leader. Features such as "on button mode swtiching" to go from semi to 3 shot, to full auto, laser eyes, amazingly smooth trigger pull, LUXE regulator, balanced feel, it's extremely accurate, quiet, and bulletproof reliable. Combine this with the whisper quiet Freak Back, .689 insert w/ the heavily Ported 16" All American Barrel and the incredible range of the Apex Tip, and you have the absolute most dominate woodsball setup on the market today.
Best "First Mask" to purchase-
Vforce Pro Vantage - easily the best entry level mask to ever hit the market. It uses the same foam, same strap construction, same rubber, and same lense material as the Grill and the Profiler. It fits perfectly on smaller faces, it's got forehead protection, and you have three choices of lenses - clear, smoke and yellow, as well as different colors to choose from. If you are brand new to paintball, and you have $30 to spend, buy this mask.
Best Pack Company-
Still on top, the NXE packs have been proven to outlast the competition, hands down. Anytime you purchase an NXE pack, you know you are going to get a paintball pack that is comfortable, lightweight, and will last for years with trouble free operation. Time and time again, the NXE packs have proven themselves to be a worthy investment. From the Pro Harness, up to the Elevation Series, you can NEVER go wrong with an NXE Pack.
Custom Products - The pods from Custom Products are awesome. Last forever, well made, tons of different colors, and they sell them by the box!
Mask of the Year-
Proto Pro Axis - This mask is the ultimate crossover paintball mask. The soft ears and jaw not only provide light weight with bounces in airball, but allow you to "shoulder" paintball guns with stocks in woodsball. Amazing selection of thermal lenses in ALL different colors, easy to remove lense, firm strap, easy to breath face protection, fits all sizes of faces. And to top it off, has the ability to mount the Proto Fan, which quickly defogs your mask in the case of severe humidity. Multiple colors from flashy to camo, as well as great protection to the head, ears, and mouth, this mask easily smokes the other masks currently on the market. The Proto Pro Axis leads the pack in terms of a great mask for BOTH woodsball and airball.
Best Paintball Pants-
2009 Tanked - Although the ventilation is somewhat lacking for extremely hot weather, the 2009 Tanked series pants are some of the most durable, stylish, and comfortable pants made this year. An average amount of knee padding, tons of pockets and features, the 2009 Tanked Pants were my personal favorite pants I tested out this year. These pands have an adjustable soft cup that velcros to the back of the zipper for the perfect placement for protection, as well as detachable velcro hip pads. Great pants for sub 80 degree weather.
Lifetime Pants Award-
2007 JT Tournament - The 2007 JT Tournament Pants are without a doubt, the standard for paintball pants. Super lightweight pants, with an incredible amount of kevlar knee protection. Designed by Oliver Lang for tournament paintball, and currently on sale for $60 @ ANSGear.com, these pants are some of the BEST pants EVER made for paintball. Honorable mention are the XSV Pants made in 2005 by Clutch Paintball.
Aftermarket Accessory Company of the Year-
Custom Products - There are few company that offer almost everything you'd ever want to upgrade on your gun, but Custom Products is one of them. Feednecks, Trigger, as well as some of the best regulators and ASA's on the market. Custom products is the clear choice when you are looking to upgrade your gun. With multiple colors and finishes, you can pick the right combo to make your marker look GOOOOOOD! Their barrels go through an 8 stage honing process, on machines that cost almost $250,000. And the best part? You can get a custom products classic barrel for only $30!
Most Underrated Spool Valve Gun -
Smart Parts Vibe Blackheart - This is one of the most overlooked, and underrated paintball guns on the market today. Extremely quiet, accurate, uses a LUXE regulator, great clamping feedneck, easy to take apart and service, laser eyes, awesome modes for airball and woodsball (including the "semi, 3 shot, full auto" one button push, on the fly mode switching for woodsball in the blackheart), the Vibe Blackheart is a marker that's light enough for XBall, yet powerful enough for the biggest scenario games. Low force bolt combined with laser eyes gives you DOUBLE protection against ball breaks. Uses both Siphoned CO2 and HPA, this marker is one of the best guns in the sub-$300 price range, and the most overlooked. The trigger is great as well, full radiused, snappy, easy to adjust, don't look past this gun when searching for a sub-$300 gun. This gun truly shocked me with it's performance, it SMOKES the Ion in nearly every way possible. Goes down to 10BPS unlike the G3, much better solenoid and board than the Mini, and nearly impossible to overpressurize like the PMR.
Flurry Industries has one of the best vests on the market. With amazing service, full customization IN HOUSE including a team plate on the back, and your name on the front, this vest is one of the best vests on the market. Two configurations of "front pouches", 4 pods or two pouches, as well as a ton of configurations on the back with the velcro back. Holds all of your maps & ID's in the front pocket, camel pack in the back, tons of dring hooks and straps for guns and masks, this vest is ready for battle! TechPB put these vests to the ultimate test at Living Legends, and it fit everyone from "Kitty the Hobbit" to "JD the Giant"!
Coolest Barrel Sock -
Stiffi Carbon Fiber Barrel Sock - come on, what's cooler than a carbon fiber barrel sock?
Best "First Loader" -
Invert Too - this loader is absolutely PACKED with features. From a Reloader B2 Board, Anti-Jam Freeway, it uses the classic lid without the magnets that fall out. It's brutally fast, works perfect, standard speed feeds fit on it, if you are looking for your first "real" loader, skip the Eggy, skip the Eye Force, skip the Torque, skip the Fasta, and just get the Invert Too.
Paintball's Time Capsule Video Award -
Ton Ton's 2004 NPPL Trailer - cheerleaders, mascots, booth babes, hotties shakin' it, packed trade show, one of the last good years of paintball before walt disney took it over. ahh the good old days..........
Best Sub $100 Paintball Gun, Best Starter Paintball Gun-
Azodin Kaos - I can't think of a better paintball to get started into paintball with. This gun is light, fast, easy to upgrade, no surprises, just shoots paint! Crisp trigger, nice feedneck, dual detents, Ion threaded feedneck, Autococker Barrel, comes with a rail intergrated into the grip frame, this gun smokes everything in the sub $100 price range.
Rocket Launcher Award-
Metadyne Industries Rocket Launcher - this launcher is light, has a fast recharge, super accurate, efficient, and you can mount it on any weaver mount like a M203 Rocket Launcher. It's safe enough for scenario games, easy to rebuild and take apart, drains all the air out of the launcher when you unscrew the tank, great trigger with safety (M16 Grip), if you are looking for a rocket launcher that will do some serious damage at the scenario games, this is the one to get! Small enough to backpack, Tanks beware!!
Breakout website of the year-
www.propaintball.com - this website is always in touch with the latest news in professional player news, rule changes, and league info. Pro Paintball has done a great job of keeping players up to date with the latest in roster changes, trades and changes with their favorite pro teams. This site is becoming a great site for news and information!
Insider website of the year-
www.thefordreport.com - awesome industry insider info, Dale Ford doesn't pussyfoot around, and asks the questions many people are afraid to ask. Dale has great resources of information, and his weekly news reports are some of the most entertaining reads on the internet. Dale continues to be one of the BIGGEST sources of insider information that NO ONE else knows about. You want to know the inside scoop on paintball, get on Dale's good side (if he has one LOL)
Most revolutionary product to ever hit the paintball scene-
Tiberius Arms First Strike Rounds - These rounds are the perfect combination of accuracy and unspeakable range. Easily being able to hit people from over 100 yards away, you do not want to be the guy "waiving" out in the open when your opponent has these loaded and ready to fire. If you can see them, you can hit them with First Strike rounds. Perfectly engineered to break on contact, brittle shells, these rounds are whisper quiet, brutally accurate, and give you precision shots at 3 times the range of an Apex or Flatline barrel. If we were on a football field, and you were standing in one end zone, and I was standing in the other, I'd hit you within 3 shots, no problem at all.
Lifetime Paintball Gun Award-
Bob Long Alias - Still to this day, the Bob Long Alias continues to be the benchmark in terms of performance, smooth shooting, consistency, amazing trigger feel, reliability, ease of use, easy to adjust, insane rates of fire in semi auto, just one of the best all time paintball guns ever made. Considering the Alias was built back in 2003/2004, this gun still continues to be a dominant force on the paintball field. With nothing more than a $10 board flash, a bone stock Alias from 2003 can compete with nearly any marker on the field made today. There is no gun, in the history of paintball, that has earned this award more than the Bob Long Alias.
Best all around paint -
Draxxus XBall Silver - one of the absolute BEST performing paints on the market today. Super bright fill, breaks on your opponents, not in your gun. I have personally tested this paint for YEARS, and it's been my go-to paint at tournaments without fail. Rail, cold, heat, woods, airball, in my experience, I have yet to find a paint that is more reliable, more consistent, and always performs amazing, event after event, than Draxxus Silver. In all my years of playing tournaments, I've never gotten a bad batch of Draxxus Silver.
Best Knee & Elbow Pads-
09 Dye Core - I have yet to find a better set of knee pads, or elbow pads than the 2009 Dye Core line. The knee pads never slip down, the elbow pads provide a ton of protection, these are the ultimate in terms of padding.
Most improved company-
Smart Parts - From the updating of their shocker boards, to the new Smart Parts SP-1, Smart Parts Vibe, Luxe, and now the new impulse, Smart Parts is a company that has finally gotten out of their rut, and back on the scene with quality, no nonsense products at great prices. The SP-1 and Vibe are some of the best guns to ever come out in the sub-$200 price range. I think this company has finally realized how important they are to paintball, and paintball players.
Company that needs to pull their head out of their ass and get with the program-
JT Sports - What is going on at JT Sports? Since their 2007 JT Tournament Pants, and the Pro Flex, this company has just dug themselves deeper and deeper into their own grave. Their new line of masks are marginal at best, their designs are tanking big time, JT needs to get with the program ASAP!! UPDATE - After speaking with Chuck & Jason @ JT Sports at Extravaganza, JT looks to be getting with the program! JT has been through two buyouts, a location change from California to Arkansas, two brand mergers, but now... they are back in it to win it!!! Let's see what you got JT!!
"It took ya 20+ years to realize that we don't use offset ASA holes, metric macroline hose fittings, male to female regulators, and that guns with stovepipe feednecks are dogshit, and that when your force to whore your whole product line to WalMart because no one wants to carry it, it's because it's dogshit, but it's 2009 and you're catching on" award-
Kingman Paintball! Congrats on waking up and realizing your not the only company in paintball, and when 90% of your customers never come back to purchase another product from you, there is something wrong there!
Coolest Old School Paintball Gun
Shocktech SFL - The low rise feedneck just sells this gun. Its light, it comes timed in the box, nearly impossible to short stroke, this gun is a must have for anyone looking for a bad ass old school cocker.
Best Speedfeed on the market-
Exalt Feedgate - this was a CLOSE one between the Virtue Crown and Exalt Feedgate. But after months of use, the decision was clear. The Exalt Feedgate grips tightly to your loader, where the Virtue Crown tended to slip off occasionally. Also, the Exalt Feedgate doesn't have the drooping tabs like what tends to happen to the Virtue Crown. Both are amazing designs, but the award goes to the Exalt!
Best Budget Tournament Paintball Gun -
ETEK2 - basically an Ego with a microswitch and no QEV's, the ETEK2 is definitely one of the best tournament budget guns on the market. Some of the best packaging on the market, the manual is detailed and extensive, with full color pictures. In the sub-$600 price range, don't even hesitate to purchase this gun, just buy it...
Best $300 paintball gun-
Once again, the award goes to the Vibe Blackheart (but you will need to add a 14" CP Classic Barrel). The 09 SLG UL was in the running for some time for this award, but recent problems with the sear took it out of contention. Another contender was the PMR. The PMR is a great marker, but the Vibe Blackheart is a considerably smoother shooter gun. The Vibe Blackheart is one of the best guns Smart Parts has ever produced... EVER. In my opinion, it's better than any Shocker (SFT or NXT), better than the Nerve, better than the original impulse. The Smart Parts Vibe Blackheart is more consistent, more reliable, more accurate, and easier to take apart than guns twice it's price. The G3 has always been a STONG contender in this bracket, but the Vibe Blackheart takes advantage of the limitations of the G3 board, and pulls ahead yet again. You can't play PSP with the stock G3, you can play PSP with the Vibe Blackheart. This gun, time and time again, pulled ahead of the PMR, the G3, and the SLG. With the exception of needing longer 10/32 screws to mount a rail, and the limited adjustability of the trigger, this gun is absolutely amazing.
Smoothest shooting gun on the market-
Dye DM9 - with the proper lube and correctly set LPR, the Dye DM9 is such an experience to shoot. Leaving no indication as to what fired the ball, when you pull the trigger, you simply hear a "puff" of air and the ball quickly leaves the barrel. It does take time to learn how to properly lube your DM9, and how to properly set your LPR, but once you learn, this is one of the smoothest shooting gun on the market. Just point it at people, it does the rest
Most ergonomically friendly gun-
DLX Technologies LUXE - the ergonomics of the Luxe are something to behold. It's perfectly balanced for the running-and-gunning playing style. Not too close, not too far, just perfectly balanced. Combine this with the new "soft touch" manifold, which slows the bolt speed down (think stock Vibe), and you have a gun that never breaks paint. If you're doing a runthrough, the Luxe just feels effortless.
Biggest surprise of the year-
Alien 09 Independence - We've never had big expectations from small gun companies, but the 09 Alien Independence came out swinging out of the box. Many of the components of the Alien follow closely with some of the best guns ever to be released-
HPR - Custom Products
LPR - Similar to an Ego w/ balanced spring
Poppet - Similar to an Alias, long poppet spring like a Vice
Feedneck - similar to a Marq, except clamping
Trigger - created and design by Critical Paintball
The 09 Alien just came out swinging from the first time we used it. Brutally fast, lightweight, awesome board, accurate, quiet, consistent, we had no issues with this marker the entire time we used it! This marker is no joke and if you're looking for something unique and different, check this gun out!
Traveling Gearbag Award-
Dye Navigator - This year, I've taken the Dye Navigator on multiple flights all over the United States. What makes the Dye Navigator so good? Simple, it splits in half. My gear bag typically weighs in around 80 pounds completely filled with paintball gear and clothes. Most airlines have a limit of 50 pounds per bag, over that limit, and you're looking at a $100+ charge for your overweight gearbag! This Dye Navigator has paid for itself numerous times by being able to split it in half. When split in half, typically the charges were $15 and $25, s savings of $60+ EACH WAY! There are better designed gearbags for "in town" use, but if you're getting on a flight, or you plan on doing some traveling and bringing your paintball gear, get the Dye Navigator Gearbag, cut your bag in half = cut your baggage fees in half!
Must have woodsball barrel award-
BT Apex - You'd be crazy not to hit the woods with this barrel! Yes it works, yes it's better than the flatline, yes you can curve it left, right, down, up, the adjustability of the Apex barrel is what makes it so good. Multiple "dialer" selections means you can set the spin from 0 spin, 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, 50% 60%, 70%, 80%, 90% and maximum spin! Need to curve it upwards to hit someone on the second floor of a fort? Crank it to 100% and the ball will rise like a golf ball hit with a 5 wood! With different companies making barrels that are Apex compatible, such as Lapco, Smart Parts, and Spec Ops, there is no reason why you don't have one of these in the woods. Borg uses one, I use one, this is a MUST HAVE woodsball accessory.
Jersey Company of the Year award-
www.razalife.com - So much history and depth to this company, it's incredible. Michael Breto ("timebomb" on PBNation) was the person who actually came up with the name... PBNation! Owned by Todd Martinez from Dynasty, this company utilizes the absolute best in stitching and materials for an absolute top notch jersey. Working hand in hand with Chris Corcino (legendary artist and co-owner of Hybrid Technologies), this company is absolutely beginning to take over the market for custom jersey manufacturing. Sure, they're a little bit expensive, but if your team is wanting custom jerseys, take your credit card and give the guys at Raza Life a call!
Best overall barrel award-
Custom Products 14" Classic - Back in the late 1990's, barrels, good and bad, used to cost over $100 easily! And some of those barrels were marginal at best! The Custom Products 14" Classic barrel is one of the absolute BEST bang for your buck barrels on the market. Good enough for the professional players, yet affordable enough for the first time paintball player on a budget. They come in nearly every gun thread, and nearly every color you could ever need. These barrels go through a 6 stage honing process, on $300,000 machines! Coming in 3 different bore sizes:
.685 small bore if you're a pocket protector wearing, slide rule using underboring paintball supernerd,
.689 regular bore for those who are still wondering if the prostitute they took back to the hotel in Vegas was actually a man
.693 if you're a King Kong sexual tyrannosaurus coming out of the bedroom with a towel wrapped around you drinking kool-aid saying "who's next" overboring super-stud like me
The best part? They are only $30!!!! If you have been debating the whole "underbore vs overbore" decision, simply buy all 3! For $30, stop searching and start buying. These barrels are honed to a MIRROR polish, they last forever, and work great. Buy them!
Best Standard ASA-
Critical Paintball - this little diet ASA was the one we used on the Rendition Alias. It's lightweight, it works awesome, great airflow and cheap for $25! The best part about this ASA, is that you can go to the hardware store and purchase longer 10/32 screws if you need longer screws for your particular gun design, like the SP-1 or Vibe that require longer screws. A VERY close second place is the Bob Long Marq ASA
Best On/Off ASA -
2009 Custom Products Mini Pro - This little guy is just awesome. Easy to turn, multiple colors, works with both CO2 or HPA, super light and looks great. I love this little asa
Bad Ass Mother Fucker Paintball Player of the Year award-
Borg - The Croatian Sensation!! Die hard Quake 2 fan, he wears a helmet with AK-47 Rounds drilled into it. He can pound more mountain dew, and eat more junkfood than all the women on the television show "The View" combined, yet has less fat than a house salad. His fields are still smoldering from the wars in the late ninties. He plays in bombed out buildings with bullet holes peppering the walls and craters from artillery shells. He uses less than 2 pods a DAY of playing. A case of paint cost him a WEEK'S PAY! Using a dated computer, he cranks out out some of the best FPS videos on the internet. Borg truly is one of the baddest mother fuckers to ever play the sport.... EVER!! WE ARE BORG!!!! SCORE IS IRRELEVANT!!!
Coolest Gadget Website-
www.macrolineguy.com - the absolute best place to get lube, triflow, fittings and macroline. Awesome service, super cheap shipping, Pete is the fucking man of macroline. Get the good stuff!
Best Entry Level Tournament Gun- Smart Parts Vibe Blackheart w/ 14" All American Barrel
Best Mid Range Tournament Gun- ETEK2
Best High End Tournament Gun (poppet) - Ego 9
Best High End Tournament Gun (spool) - DLX Technologies LUXE (honorable mention - DM9)
TechPB's Ultimate "Bad Ass Mother Fucker" Gun Award - This award goes to the paintball gun (woodsball or tournament) that pushes the envelope of technology. And for 2009, without question.....
TIBERIUS ARMS T9 w/ First Strike Rounds
Tiberius Arms, without a doubt, have pushed paintball so far into the future in terms of accuracy and range, they have completely re-writted the rules of engagement to woodsball and scenario paintball. In the 20 years I've been playing paintball, I've NEVER seen something so devastating, so demoralizing, and something that absolutely crushes the definition of "fair" on the paintball field. One Tiberius Arms T9 can hold back an entire INSERTION of players from the other team. I used the T9 at Living Legends, and shot 2 cases of First Strike Rounds. This precision shooting allowed me to keep an entire insertion of 100+ players back for almost 20 minutes. Each magazine holds 8 shots, and I would take out between 4 to 6 people PER MAGAZINE!! People were getting hit dead center in their chest, having absolutely no clue who shot them. Even with me waving to them and showing them that I was shooting at them, they still couldn't believe their eyes. The best part about the First Strike Rounds, is that if you doubt the technology, if you are a skeptic as to what I say, what Punkworks has already proven, what the stories on the internet have been saying, just buy a tube of First Strike Paintballs!
A tube only costs $6, here are some links-
First Strike Rounds @ Shop4Paintball.com $6
First Strike Rounds @ ANSGear.com $6
First Strike Rounds @ ZephyrPaintball.com $6
Next time you place an order, just buy a tube! Add it to your order, put them in your barrel, and shoot them. You will see what the buzz is about. Once you see how well the rounds work, then invest in the gun! You won't be sorry!
Best Lasering Company-
Kohn Lasering - Sure, Gavin can be a bit of a head case, but Kohn Lasering is kicking out the absolutely SICKEST designs in paintball. They have taken over the lasering market, with good reason. Custom 1 of 1 lasering patterns used to cost $500+ EASILY! Now you can get it done for less than $200!! Two amazing artists, you can't go wrong with Kohn Lasering!! They have the equipment, they have the artists, and they do it right! 813-571-0233
"If you can hit only ONE scenario game, hit this one" award-
Living Legends - This scenario game is absolutely off the hook. What scenario game can you play with and against PROFESSIONAL PLAYERS, Industry Executives, and some of the most well known paintball players in the sport! An amazing facility (CPX Sports), you get to play in a town, ruins, and the woodsball is amazing with HUGE concrete forts inside the woods, numerous villages and bunkers, this scenario game is absolutely off the hook! Rain or shine, this scenario game will be the "homecoming" of TechPB forever!