I can’t remember what it’s called but I remember playing a card game back at school which saw the loser getting his or her (usually his) knuckles wrapped violently with the sharp edge of a pack of cards. Not a fun game. In fact, ‘game’ is probably too soft a word for this particular playground right of passage.
What’s this got to do with paintball? Well, I’ve yet to be shot on the knuckles during a game of paintball but, from the what I’ve seen, the results are pretty similar to what I described above. The distinctly non-fleshy part of the hand is definitely not the sort of place you want to get slugged by a paintball: especially not on your trigger finger! Don’t worry though, as paintball gloves are pretty much a standard bit of paintballing equipment kit on any paintball site, and here’s why.
Apart from the obvious fact that it hurts no end getting shot on the knuckles, the hands also have a heck of a lot of nerve endings in them – meaning a shot to them can seriously leave you a wee bit disorientated, and vunerable. However a good set of gloves are all you need to counter this attack, as protection is key to enjoyable paintball.
On top of this though it’s worth considering what other benefits a player gets from this most subtle of accessories. Well, imagine you’re thick into the shrub, head down and as camouflaged as DeNiro in Deer Hunter. Then you reach up to take a shot and, lo and behold, your opponent spots your skinny white hand about to get trigger-happy. A dead giveaway. See, a set of gloves also give you that tiny wee bit more concealment – as well as warmth!
So like I said, most places will be only too happy to provide you with a set of gloves when you visit, but it’s probably worth investing in your own if you play a lot. Look for something solid, lightweight and, ideally, with a hard plastic composite across the fingers, with a flexible mesh underneath for optimum flexibility. When it’s cold or wet, you’ll be more than grateful you got them!
If you’re in the market for a pair, you could do far worse than trying out something like the Rhino Half Finger mitts, or a pair of Tippman Combat Gloves, which have stitched in gel pads covering all of the most important (delicate) parts of your hand.