If you’re a paintball player, then you are probably aware of the importance of keeping your marker clean and functional. A dirty one is inaccurate and can malfunction any time you are out there in the field. The same applies to your paintball mask lens. If it is not in great condition, don’t go with it to the field or you might get yourself in trouble.
A good lens does more than give your mask a shiny and new look. It also improves your performance while on the field by giving you a clear, wide-angle vision. If you can see your opponents well, it becomes easier to dodge or attack them. However, a cracked or scratched lens blurs your vision, making it hard to even see what you’re doing.
Perhaps the most important part of your body that you should protect during paintball action is your eye. For this reason, you need a properly functioning lens that can keep your eyes safe from oncoming paintballs.
Many paintball players ask how often they should buy replacement lenses on online forums. Some of the answers they receive from well-meaning people are shocking. Some say they don’t care about replacing their own lenses until they have completely stopped working. However, for your own safety and improved performance, you need do this quite often.
Once a Year is Standard
You should buy a replacement lens for your paintball mask once every year at the very least. Most paintballers do this in the spring prior to the beginning of the big playing season. However, this applies only if you have taken great care of your lens to the extents that there are no visible scratches or defects.
And here’s how to replace a lens:
Accidents Do Happen
Paintball mask lens is very fragile and, therefore, prone to damage. If a pellet hits you directly within 15 yards, it is recommended to replace it immediately even when there’s no visible crack or scratch. The impact from a shot that close can seriously challenge your lens’ integrity. It may not be able to resist another hit of that kind. It’s safer to just replace it.
It is always better to be overly-cautious. Replacing the lens too early may pinch you a bit but it’s worth it. You’ll regret not doing what you were supposed to do if your protective goggles break right in the middle of the game. It could even be more dangerous if you sustained an eye injury just because of being careless or assuming.
Inspect Your Lens Frequently
Every time you are going to play, inspect your lens. This should be your habit.
Clean Your Lens Properly
The secret to keeping your lens in great condition for a long time and avoiding extra expenses of new replacements is by cleaning it regularly and in an appropriate manner. After coming home from an exhausting day of action, ensure that you clean your mask. Don’t postpone it. Let it be your routine. It only takes 5 minutes of your time.
A high-quality mask lens is very durable and can withstand wind, snow, and rain quite well if you take good care of it. If you’re cleaning it with the right tools and procedure after every game, there’s no need to do any other maintenance.
Use manufacturer-approved paintball lens cleaner and microfiber cloths with water to clean your lens. Glass and household cleaners such as Windex, citrus detergents, and Simple Green are very harmful. These chemicals can seriously degrade your lens material. They also remove anti-glare, anti-scratch, and anti-fog coatings.
If there’s a splatter on the outside of the lens, begin by wiping most of the mess with a soft cloth. After this, spray it with an approved lens cleaner or water and wipe again with the cloth. If need be, spray one more time and polish to a clean, stain-free finish. Don’t wipe the lens if paint dripped onto its inside. Instead, dab at it with a wet microfiber cloth until it’s clean.
Some paintballers have the tendency of removing the lens and dunking it under a faucet or water until it is clean. While this may work for a single lens mask, it can cause permanent fogging for a thermal lens once the water gets in between the lenses. Use the proper method.
Transportation and Storage
Always keep your paintball mask in the goggle case that came with it or an aftermarket option. In case you don’t have any of these, consider using a pillowcase. You want to keep anything from scratching your lens while in the gear bag. If your carrier lacks a goggle compartment, then put this fragile piece on top of everything you’re carrying so it won’t crush.
Storing your paintball mask with paint on the lens can permanently stain it or even degrade its material if you do this over and over again. Disassemble and clean your headgear after every day of play. If there’s any paint in the grooves that the lens fit into, wipe it with some cotton swab.
Don’t let a scratched or cracked lens ruin your otherwise great day at paintballing. Get one or two new lenses each time you realize that the one on your mask has even the slightest defect. Better still, know how to keep, transport, and clean your lens safely and it could serve longer and save you money.