The most important piece of our game is sometimes over looked. We think well I have one that works so there is no reason to change it. Well if you think this, you are sadly mistaken. In this article I will discuss the importance of purchasing new masks and lenses and how to go about doing it.
Why get a new mask? You may be asking yourself this simple little question right now. Well heres your answer: Though you may not see them, your mask is covered in microscopic scratches. After a period of time you mask begins to wear down. This can lead to taking a hit right in the goggles and it breaking through and causing severe damage. Now I know none of us want a trip to ER with an eye getting shot out. So I suggest getting new lenses for your mask every season. They arent that expensive and can be picked up at almost any online store or pro sho.
What to look for in a new mask? New masks dont seem to hard to pick out but sometimes they can be. You cant just pick a mask because of how it looks there are alot more factors that come into play:
Price - One of these factors can be price, a tournament level goggle system can cost well up to $100. Most of us dont want to spend that kind of money on these state of the art masks, such as Dye Invisions, V-Force Profiler, and the JT Proteus. There are some masks that are very good quality but not as high as tournament masks. Examples of these would be V-Force Morphs and the JT Proflex's. There are also the most cheap masks, the ones that will cost you anywhere from 20- 40 dollars. Examples would be the V-Force Armor or Shield. Also The JT Nvader series is a good choice if looking for a cheap goggle system. Also you can get new lenses that will make you goggle system look newer and perform better thanks to crystal clear lenses.
Cleaning- Yes, goggle lenses need cleaning. There are some goggle lenses that are a pain to clean, like Dye Invisions, but there are definatley some goggle systems that take literally seconds to clean, like any of the V-Force mask series. This is the kind of mask that is nice, to be able to quickly take out your lense, wipe it down, and then put it back in. For the kind of mask that is hard to clean and remove the lense, you will want to carry an extra lense around so that way instead of cleaning you can take one lense out, store it somewhere, and then put in the new lense. The next thing that needs to be said is NEVER USE ANY KIND OF CHEMICAL FOR CLEANING YOUR LENSE! This is a very important thing to understand. The chemicals will speed up the process that breaks down your lense. To clean them use water to clean them and wipe them dry with a soft cloth. Also, if your goggles fog, then get a Anti-fog solution approved by the manufacturer of your mask.
Fit- The fit of your mask can be very important. You do not want to play a day of paintball were it feels like your mask is about ready to fall off. When you first try on a mask, make sure that it fits snuggly and make sure that it will accomadate your glasses if you wear them. There is no right way for a mask system to fit though. Its all personal preference.
Protection - This is a biggie. The mask is the most important protectional piece in our sport. When picking out a mask make sure that it has a goggle system, chin protector, protection for the sides of the face, and in some cases a neck protector though it is not needed.
Field of Vision - This is just the amount that you can see when you are on the field. The higher the field of vision the more that you are able to see.
This is about everything that you are goin to need to know when buying a new mask. Always make sure that the required protection is there. That is the most important. One more thing, always obey the most important rule in paintball ALWAYS WEAR YOUR MASK!