Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Step Between

A recent thread on one of the forums I frequent got me thinking. As paintball prices have dropped over the years, the experience offered at fields has obviously changed. Paintball at $10/100 balls is not the same as $10/500 balls. I don’t think too many people with any sort of gray matter between their ears is going to disagree with that. So let’s discuss what is available for people in most areas of North America.

Rental players for the most part do their own things. Many, maybe even most fields, have clued into the fact that they need to foster their rental players. Rental players will generally shoot considerably less paint than gear owners.

On the other side of the coin are gear owners. Gear owners, for the most part, will go to field s where they can shoot what they want in a manner they want. Many fields separate the two, which is a good thing. Since most fields sell paint for closer to $10/500 than $10/100, the paintball played by most gear owners is fairly aggressive, or extreme, if you will. So my question is, what do the people that want to step up from rental play (pick up paintball as a regular activity) do when the next alternative is a rather extreme form of paintball? Do all people who want to play paintball regularly suddenly want to shoot 13 or 15 balls per second? Sure some do, but not everyone. And in my opinion, there are many more people who would like to play paintball regularly shooting 4-5 bps, than there are shooting 10-20 bps. But in many places in North America, that’s not available. Does that mean that we as an industry are missing out on many potential players (customers - if you are a field owner like moi)? How much is that costing the industry? And how big is that piece of the pie? Does anyone really know? Personally, I think it is huge; at least as big as those owning gear and playing at 10-20 bps. Probably much bigger.