Places to get Most of this equipment
Paintball Command has almost anything you would need for paintball
Paintball Geeks has some of the lowest prices around on all kinds of paintball equipment
Predator Paintball has guns all levels of play from beginers to tournament players (and may be one of our sponsors soon!!)
E-mail me and I can help you out some more if you need it
1.) Your mask is your most important piece of equipment. It protects your eyes, ears, face from flying paint. This is so important because if you use number 6 in the list above you will stay behind bunkers or move from bunker to bunker to keep from getting hit. The thing is you must put your head out to see what is going on so most shots will and should hit your head (that is if you get shot at all ;-)
2.) You need a paintball marker (gun) in order to shoot anyone that is unless you can throw a paintball at 300 fps. Whether you choose a pump semi or auto you need to know how it works and how to fix it.
3.)Need a compressed gas to fire the paintball. The nitro and compressed air are faster firing and don't need as many accessories to keep it working as CO2(CO2 needs an expansion chamber to keep from getting liquid CO2 into the gun... i mean marker) The nitro and compressed air tanks are much more bulky though so on a marker that needs to be streamlined like my Phantom you either need a remote or CO2. Also for a nitro or compressed air tank it is a good idea to get a drop forward if you don't have a remote. If you don't understand these various pieces and their names let me know and I will try to explain them better than the quick and dirty explaination I put here.
4.)For any gun and more specifically for any barrel the paint that best suits it will be different. Even on the same make and model barrel they may shoot better with different paint. The only way to determine which paint is right for your gun and barrel. The Marbalizers are considered the be all and end all of paint on the market. HOWEVER, as I said before you need to try different paint, if you start with marbalizers and they work great then you got lucky, if it curves the slightest little bit either try an aftermarket barrel or try some different paint. Testing many different brands is the key. Even if you have the new freak system from smart parts you need to try different types of paint and see what works.
5.)You can't play paintball by yourself. You can only get so good with drills and such. After that you need to get onto a field and play with others. Go out and play and observe the really good players your first game. Follow them and see what moves they make and when they make them. NOTICE the guy with the fanciest gun may not and usually is not the best player. As most of my friends have heard me say time and time again the gun does not make the player. A good player can use the good features about their gun to their advantage and reduce the impact of bad features. Your first outing should definately be with friends. Whether this outting be renting out the field or just going to open play with them. It is more fun when you can joke with your friends in between games and talk about the great moves you saw the next day a lunch. Trust me on this one you want to go with friends whenever possible it just makes it more fun. Once you play for a while and your local field you start to make friends with other regulars, so at that point you can just go and hang with those guys or girls.
6.)The most important thing that you NEED is common sense. Without this you will give paintball and maybe kill or injure someone maybe even yourself. As one article I read said (and mind you this is not a direct quote and I don't remember where I read it either) don't be stupid. Don't talk about how you welted up another player. Just think about some kids parents who heard you in a eatery talking like that and then their kid wants to play paintball and because of you talking about welting up somebody that kid will never experience what we do, and even if he does then it is only after wearing his parents down. Just think about how much different the parents would view the sport if you talked about the rush and how much fun it was or the great tactics and strategies that were used. The parents may see it as a positive experience for their kid. So please when you are out in public and out on the field use your head don't take you mask off while still on the field don't shoot at someone without a mask and don't go shooting someone in the back of the head from two feet away. THIS IS A MAJOR DUH
This has been a rant by Brad ;-)