Friday, September 23, 2011

Paintball marker is not a plate of char siew rice...

From our last entry about paintball possession in Singapore, we managed to raise some eyebrows... Any we are pretty sure that: All that glitter is not gold. So what's the catch? For a start, a paintball marker is not a plate of Char Siew rice (for non-locals reading this entry, Char Siew rice is BBQ pork rice, one of Singaporean's favourite dish). It is not as simple as going to a Char Siew stall and order from the stall owner. Secondly, there are certain things that you will need to know about buying a paintball marker in Singapore (notice I say the word buy and not rent or tag but BUY, cos we made it happen!) Unlike in overseas (we are still dealing with that), there is no stock loads of paintball arsenal tuck in an armoury somewhere in Singapore and so all paintball marker purchase will have to be flown in and for that to take place, there are something that as a consumer that you will have to take note: You can only place and order and await its arrival... don't get it? Think about buying a car from an authorized dealer... no new car will be waiting for you to pick it up at the showroom. So if you are thinking about getting a paintball marker in Singapore, you will have to.... yes, wait. This ain't rock science, it is the same when you are buying a car, a BTO flat, a furniture... think of it that way for paintball in Singapore.

I was taken aback by some of the most common reaction. "Wait a minute... are you telling me that a Dye NT11 will cost me more than USD1550.00!!!" Yeah... do your math. Might not be the most tempting brand to get but yeah a paintball marker is not a plate of Char Siew rice. Let's not forget that you will have to pay for the shipping of the marker into Singapore and licences that you will need to apply before you can land your hand on the grip. But hey... that's the best you have got.

So if getting a marker is not going to be cheap (as some might put it)... how then can you still be a rightful owner of a paintball marker in Singapore? Here's a few advice:

1) Do your research. If you have some dough in the wallet, you might want to go for a good reliable marker with the intention of using the marker for at least 1 - 2 years and when the life span of the marker is due, you can still squeeze some "mola" for its afterlife. Alternatively, you can choose to purchase a marker of a lower value but be aware of this phrase: "what you pay, is what you get". Don't set your expectations too high.

2) Frequency of participation. Buying a marker is an investment thus you want the marker to work the best for you on the field. Think about how often do you play in a month, then if you are a competitive paintballer, think about how many tournaments you are going to attend in a year. Think of the number of practices that you are going to. Does your marker allow you to play in a higher division which most probably would require the marker to be shooting in ramping mode with lesser maintenance?

3) Set an objective for yourself. I was once told by a senior paintball player and he said:"Everyone enjoys playing paintball for many different reasons, we all love the game but it is how far you want to bring the game to" I thought this all makes sense since everyone comes from different background and have different life commitment. Not everyone can play paintball as often as everyone does. So how is this even link to getting your own marker? Simple. If you want to go far in paintball, you will need the equipment to allow you to go far... so set an ultimate goal for yourself and ask yourself: Where do you see yourself in the paintball scene and do you need a personal marker to reach that goal?

4) Stick to the rules. Living in Singapore, I do not think that there is a need to even explain the existing restrictions for firearm. So if you are able to possess your own personal marker now, don't ask question like: Are we able to bring it home? And before you answer this question, let me remind you that paintball marker is considered as a firearm. So do you think that you can bring a firearm home? Common sense just died here... Yes, yes, yes, I am very well aware that in the US, in Malaysia or matter of fact most of the other countries in the world... you can bring your marker home but this is Singapore. So will this deter you from playing the sport?

In summary, I am pretty skeptical that even with the ease of regulation to allow us to possess our very own markers will we see an influx of players wanting to have their own personal equipment. This is because with our ever strong "wait and see" attitude of the local community, it will surely be a while before everyone gets acceptance to this change.

Now that individual paintball marker possession is no longer a restriction, I wonder what will be the next deterring factor... stay tuned.