Where in the world would you play Paintball??

We have been talking with TC trying to figure out a plan for next year. I thought I would send this out to everyone. If you could play tourney ball in any of the following places where would you go?

On a related note I found my friend Brandon Shorts page. He truly has been living the paintball dream for the past couple of years and he is to be commended for that. Very few people in our sport are lucky enough to have the skill and talent to be flown around the world like a paintball machine. His site is excellent, well written and very sharp looking. The most important part is the memories he now has documented. I admit I was a bit jealous. I wish I had started this blog in 1994, when I played my first NPPL. Not having anything other than the magazines of the time, a couple pictures, and the every more crowded memory banks, makes it tough to keep everything in order.


South Africa and Australia Pictures

Just got some sick panoramics from Adam...
The first picture is from Capetown, South Africa. You can read about our adventures in Capetown and South Africa here. This picture has the huge clouds over the Table Mountain National Park; the proverbial "table cloth".

This next picture is Bondi Beach Australia, one of the premier surf spots in the world.
Check out the all the Australia stories here.
All these we shot with point and shoot cameras then edited together. The Table mountain shot I think is actually 6 total pictures.


Attention !! The (Paintball) Revolution will not be Televised

Arena football league suspended their 2009 season. NFL office cuts 150 jobs..

In the news today something that's firmly in the "this is bad for the paintball industry" category. According to an NYtimes article NASCAR(Americas 2nd most watched sport) is having sponsorship problems. Take the best paintball sponsorship ever and add a bunch of zeros and you get where most NASCAR level sponsorship packages are. If they are having problems with their "multibillion-dollar TV deal" how bad is tournament paintball looking with no TV deal? Aside from the Milleniums deal of course. Is TV even the answer? Do we as an industry have any measurable results anywhere from the TV programming have run?? Will paintball ever be attractive enough on screen to pull new players off the couch and onto the field? These are all points that never really got brought up in the mad rush to get us all on TV.

I did find it funny that when they talked about cutbacks it was in the form of no more private jets. Cutbacks on some paintball teams this year arent just 5 to a room anymore; some might not be in existence.

From the Times article :

"This year revenue was approximately $3 billion, a 50 percent increase from 2001. That’s better than the N.F.L., the N.B.A. and the National Hockey League in the same period. Only Major League Baseball grew faster. “If you go back to 1998, there is no question Nascar has shown the biggest growth,” says David Broughton, research director of SportsBusiness Journal."
Now sure the paintball industry isnt that big. Paintball also doesnt have "ticket sales revenue" but we did have that period of astronomical growth from 1998 to close to 2005. Sometimes when things get that big that quickly, they can get distorted. Add some egos, people making some serious $$ into the mix, shake well and you end up with the current situation we have in the game.

Fortunately there is hope. The veterans of the sport have taken to their podiums to argue for change, to try and find a better way to do things. Read all 3 of the bloggers listed if you want to get away from the flame wars, read and talk to the paintball intelligentsia..

John Amodeas Blog
A 20 year old school vet who has been a writer and editor in the paintball industry before there really was any "industry" to it. He is someone that has seen the evolution of the paintball market and as such has some keen observations.


Baca Loco a popular writer for PGI and well known commentor has a great site setup. Extra kudos for frequent new content keeping things fresh and shaming us less prolific writers.

Brandon Lamertson and the Pbagenda have some impassioned appeals to paintball players. They are trying to get some change for the sake of the players, the people out there grinding with their blood, sweat, and tears..


Bad Company wins SPPL

Just got the call the boys smashed their way to the podium again with a victory in the SPPL. With 2 2nds and now a 1st BC Army has been representing the new Kingman MR Scenario line nicely. MRs mixed in with some of the new Electras hacked through the bushes of Tennessee to claim the 1st place finish. Congrats due to the Bad Company Army. Hopefully I can get some pictures up asap. That is a win in 3 different formats (5man, 7man, and 10man) for Company this year.


Things to watch or read and think about

First off I know I owe the final Australia chapter, I have the pictures. In the mean time here are some things to read and watch which I found super interesting. This first link is a website I found on some endless browsing through the Internet. A kind of new urbanism website; he explores what makes public places successful with very thoughtful analysis. This specific article is about trying to crowdsource a green condo building. Read about it here . CoolTown Studios

This video is will expand your ideas about what is possible. Sent to me by a friend this whole website is called TED; ideas worth spreading. The following video is mindboggling in the possibilities; basically the sum of all knowledge will be on a massive visual database. Do yourself a favor, watch this video


Australia Road Trip and More

So after sending the Hillbillies north , taking a bus and a train to get back to Sydney, and exploding the airmattress for the night, I go pick up Katie from the airport at the ungodly hour of 6am. Back on the trains we head up to Gosford which is a lovely place for Kate to shake off some jetlag. We relax and catch up with Uncle Andy and Aunt Trish, then I help load up some engines for the trip to the farm. A lovely dinner of some lamb send us off to bed with some sweet dreams. On Saturday we head back into the city via train for a family BBQ at a park just off of Botany Bay. Delicious snags (sausages), potato salad and tons of other foods make for a great time. We hang with a bunch of aunts, uncles and cousins with their new ( well new to me ) kids and enjoy ourselves. Back on the train to Gosford and we spend a leisurly night watching the Olympics and having a few beers. On Sunday we walk around Gosford for a bit then load up the Land Rover ute for the 5 hour trip to the farm. Showing up at the farm in the dark was a little traumatic for Katie, but she shook it off and we piled on the blankets, fired up the space heater and crashed out.

As it is a farm we woke up most days fairly early, just as the frost was burning off. Mornings varied from unloading, to driving up to check out the plantation, to driving Morans Trail (which was clear with no fallen trees.) We could ride into town to drop off Uncle Andy at the office so we could use the ute during the days. Monday was a day trip to Bellingen, which is a great old farming town that has re-invented itself as kind of an arts/live music town. Tuesday we hiked up waterfall gully. We decided to bring clothes so we could get wet as we climbed, which made it a lot easier. The water was bitterly cold, making your feet and hands ache.

Wednesday we went just down the road to Nambucca Heads, enjoyed a beer on the beach at the V-wall tavern, and did a bit of shopping in the town. Thursday we went a bit south to Trial Bay and Smokey Cape which was very nice; some deserted beaches and huge vistas with glorious bays and huge points. The jail at Trial Bay seemed like and fairly easy place to do some time. Apparently the whales are migrating up the coast, we kept a sharp eye out but didnt spot any.

The food varied this whole week. We went shopping, and got some groceries . We had some hot and cold breakfasts; a picnic lunch wherever we were at lunchtime, then some dinners of sausages and steaks on the grill. We also had two superb dinners with relatives; fresh lamb and veges with Aunt Marnie and Uncle Hugh one night, then lamb with gravy, potatoes and cheesy cauliflower another night with Cousin Paul and Betty. Both meals were lick your plate delicious.

On Friday we borrowed a car ( thanks Aunt Marnie and Uncle Hugh!) and headed north for Surfers Paradise. A slight mishap with the GPS that Uncle Andy lent us, as the cigarette plug didnt work but we sorted it out and rolled into Surfers around 4. The picture below is the view from our hotel room.

We had some beers, a quick walk on the beach then showered up and headed out for some dinner. After walking around the madness that is Surfers Paradise (think Ocean City MD x10 with a way nicer beach and better waves) we ended up at a great Italian restaurant. A starter of brushcetta, followed by veal and mushroom rissoto for Katie and veal, peppers and other veges in a red sauce over tagliatalle. We crashed a bit early as we had a big day on the waves planned. After a fast breakfast buffet we rented some boards and wetsuits and proceeded to get hammered for the next 2 hours. The waves were nice but it was hard to get out past the break, with a huge longshore current dragging us into the swimming areas. The water was a bit cold but the hot tropical sun and steady paddling kept us pretty warm. We then loaded up the car and headed south to meet my cousin Andy in Byron Bay.

Byron is a super chill surf town that has resisted the huge high rises of Surfers Paradise. We met up at the Beachside Hotel (a lot of the bars are former hotels so they keep the name, but are usually just bars) and had a couple of cold ones. We headed back to his town of Lismore before we had too many and proceeded to have a bunch more. After meeting his lovely wife Jane and a meal of steak and salad, we headed out to the bars to meet up with Andys son, Tom whom I hadn't met before. He very graciously left his friends to come have a beer with us, which was super cool. A couple too many beers and next thing we know its 9am and our heads are pounding. A bit of brekky to settle the stomach and we head off to tour the edge of the caldera. Apparently where Lismore is located is at the edge of an ancient, huge (150 mile diameter) volcano. What that means is huge rock formations and spectacular views.

We also drove through the very hippy town of Nimbin which is like a Dead show stopped and made a home somewhere. We didnt stop for too long, just long enough for a bit of a wander and some shopping. Then it was off the Border Ranges National State park. We only had enough time to check out a bit of the view before we had to drive back to Missabotti. Another meal at Aunt Marnies ( some pork spareribs and vegestir fry) then it was up at 5 for the ride back to Sydney. I will post more as it happens


Hiking with the Hillbillies

After doing the airport shuffle early on Monday, Kevin and Adam were dead set on making it to the Great Barrier Reef before they had to leave on the 12th. Seeing as my family farm is basically on the way I agreed to ride north with them, crash at the farm and take a train back to Sydney. I start the 6 hour drive north and the longhairs start baby heading and drooling on themselves. We make the drive in good time stopping once for some Australian truck stop food, which was pretty decent. Who would have thought that a chicken sandwich would taste good with beets on it??

We pull up to my Aunt Marnies farm for some extra blankets and a hot meal of some superb chicken curry, vegetable curry and some rice. She drives us over the the farm and explains how the door lock works, and shuffles off to bed as it is rather late at this point. After chasing off some wallabies we settle in for the night. Still a bit jet lagged we wake up early and head into town to grab some food for the day. A $100 later and we are stocked with 3 squares and tons of snacks. We crush some fresh muffins on the way back to the farm, then make sandwiches to take with us on our hike up waterfall gully.

Basically this hike is up through 5/6 waterfalls with a massive set of falls at the top. Seeing as it is winter the water was a bit too cold to wade through, so we have to make the climb trying to stay dry which drastically increases the danger factor. We have put up a series of fixed lines which make a dry approach possible.

After some serious vertical hiking, as well as a couple of flintstone feet on the slippery spots we make it to the final waterfall. We hang out for a bit, crush our sandwiches and some water and turn around for the scramble back down.

We make it down without too many incidents and hustle back to the farm just as a huge rainstorm starts to break over the mountains. Thick fog creeps through the peaks and gullys, and the rain pours down. We destroy some easy mac as an appetizer and start prepping our massive dinner; teriyaki beef and veggie shishkabobs with peppers, tomatoes and onion, and some grilled potatoes. After stuffing our faces we slowly start to slip into a food coma. As we cue up some Chappelle show and the space heater starts whirring, we slowly drop off to sleep. Woken up by Aunt Marnie some 2 hours later we realize that we had all fallen asleep around 6 pm. 2 days of tournament paintball, nights out drinking and some 7 hours of driving and I guess we all hit the wall. Luckily the hillbillies woke up at 5:45 the next morning as they continue on their way north headed for the Reef. I got a text from them saying they made it to WhitSunday island and they got to dive a bit on the reef so hopefully they took a bunch of pics. I will post them as soon as I get them.