Paintball in Malaysia is becoming more and more popular. There are a plethora of paintball fields all over the country. While the firearms law has not been clearly set, the game is still gaining ground and there are a lot of people who own their own equipment.
This in-depth article discusses the strange and growing paintball market in MALAYSIA.
The strange thing about paintball in Malaysia is that the laws have not been changed. This means that even though the Police very much know about paintball guns and markers, the fact that a lot of people have their own equipment should mean that the law should change to reflect that of paintball guns only and not real firearms? That is how paintball guns are classified now, as firearms, which of course is silly but changing laws is no easy process. Politically or not.
Malaysian Paintball Fields
There are a lot of paintball fields spread around Malaysia. From Kedah, Penang, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Johor, Sabah and Sarawak. Plenty of choices.
With the rainforest in Malaysia, there are lots of nice jungle fields, natural terrain as well as bunker fields.
Some fields are tiny and others are quiet extravagant with air bunkers and compressors.
Nitrogen and compressed air are gaining ground as more field owners see the maintenance savings from using these gases as compared to using C02. Another reason is that with the growth of players who own their own equipment, they all need to use compressed air or nitrogen. Of course they prefer compressed air as that can get them a 4500 psi fill.
Most of the smaller fields use nitrogen tanks which can only fill to 3000 psi, and some have crude filling attachments.
And of course there are still fields which use c02.
Safety is up and down when it comes to fields. Some fields have great safety verging almost on the line of being too anal about it (men and their testosterone and trying to feel important), while others don’t even give a damn if you lost your eye and gained a new pirate nickname.
Paintball insurance is another area that is very much overlooked. There are a lot of fields who ask you to sign waiver forms and one must really ask if the owner actually knows what it is for. Then there are a few fields that have the proper insurance – usually they are the ones that have all proper licenses, which are very few.
Not that it matters because some of the fields that don’t have licenses are run very well and are very safe.
So back to the paintball gun issue, there are a lot of paintball equipment suppliers in Malaysia. It seems everyone and their grandmother wants to open a paintball shop. Some of these people have never played paintball before but they want to open a field and/or shop. It must be the whole Asian entrepreneurship thing, oh he made money so can I, even though I know nothing about this game. So yeah, tons of suppliers who sell paintball guns and markers, equipment and accessories. Their only strategy seems to be to sell things below cost or at cost in order to compete with other suppliers. Is this an Asian thing? Only God knows.
All major brands are available in the Malaysian paintball market. Tippmann, Dye, Proto, Planet Eclipse, RAP4 (looks so real like a real firearm, Police might shoot you first but hey, people like them!), VForce, JT,you name it, they are all here.
In terms of paintball guns in Malaysia, most popular include: Dye, Planet Eclipse, Tippmann (mostly rec ballers), Angel (very little but the boys behind it sure are trying!), Bob Long (picking up), RAP4 (gotta love those real firearms), Azodin (mostly field rental guns), Air Challenger
Paintball Google brands include JT, VForce, Dye, Empire – most popular
Paintballs – WPN, Toxic, Proto, Dye, Formula 13, Ignite, Splat Factory, Eclipse (not Planet Eclipse but what the hell was the guy thinking when he came up with this brand?), Meteor from Think Big
Paintball Shops and suppliers
To make matters worse (how can they get better), some of the suppliers, especially on paintballs like to market their paintballs using religion as a tactic. What does this mean? This means that they say that their paintballs are made only using HALAL (it means that in the Islam religion, approved to touch and eat, who eats paintballs anyway?) gelatine. Most of the paintball suppliers use beef gelatine paintballs, so all is good. What a lot of people don’t know is that the top grade, high quality paintballs are made using pork skin, uh oh.
Apart from the friendly price throwing which benefits the consumer, all is well in the paintball supply market.
When it comes to name brands, one cannot expect the same kind of quantity as US or European sales. It is just not possible for the average income earner. And besides, Malaysia does not have the kind of population to support paintball growth continuously. Unfortunately, some good-intention brands have been mislead into believing that some companies can give them monster sales. This has resulted in disappointment and withdrawal of sponsorships and such. Come on people, it doesn’t take much to see that the market size of paintball in Malaysia is not the same size as the US or Europe. Interestingly enough, while paintball is becoming popular in India, their biggest problem is the huge disparity in income and the fact that the growing middle class prefers chomping on designer food, getting fat, wearing designer clothes and travelling.
There have been players who have retired and sold their equipment. Come and go, which is quite normal in any sport.
With regards to associations and clubs, there are many in Malaysia. Most of them are setup to try (for use of a more diplomatic word) and obtain various grants and/or money from the Government departments. Some are very successful in this! How much it benefits the whole market remains to be seen at times.
From a market point of view, Malaysia is leading the pack when it comes to the Asian market. Paintball in Malaysia is growing although no one can really predict what percentage and how fast.
Is it slowing down? That of course is another question that has yet to be answered. With more and more fields closing down, yes, you read that correctly and players giving up the sport, one might take notice that the industry is getting smaller.
For those brands that are reading this report, bear in mind that you should take care of dealers and not sell direct to fields – some of whom are so small, the sale can be so insignificant.
Then again, what is there to say about logic and common sense. Not to common eh.
Well, I hope you have enjoyed this lengthy article on PAINTBALL IN MALAYSIA and there will be more reports, information and statistics soon!
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