As a renter, I played my first game ever with what was one of the newest guns at the time: the VM-68, the first blowback open-bolt semi-auto paintball gun to gain wide acceptance. The thing was built like a tank and felt about as heavy as one, but it was the new thing at the time. Renters had to pay extra to use the VM - otherwise they would use the Brass Eagle Tigershark pumpgun.
It wasn't long before I bought my own equipment. I used a series of open-bolt blowback guns running on CO2 in the days when expansion chambers and siphon tubes were sensible and effective enhancements. I eventually found my way to closed-bolt autococking paintbuns and from there to high performance pumpguns. From there, I went in two directions: high rate-of-fire tournament guns and to classic stock-class pumpguns.
Through all of this, I have benefited from the experience, wisdom and advice of more experienced players.
I have garnered a reputation for playing aggressively and for playing well. Yes, I've worked hard to develop my skills, and yes, I try to learn and improve from each and every game that I play. I know, however, that the foundation upon which I have built my skills and experience - which in turn have earned me my reputation with other players - has been due to the willingness of those more experienced players to share with me key lessons right when I needed them most.
I wrote this guide as my way of giving back to the paintball community - by helping younger players to benefit from what I learned from those who played before me and what I've learned from my own playing and experimenting, losing and winning.