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Paintball Extravaganza 2020 – The novelty fair in the USA
Tuesday June 2, 2020


Also this year the latest products for the coming season were presented at the Paintball Extravaganza. Now that the show has been held in Washington for 10 years, it was time for the organizers for a change of scenery to bring a breath of fresh air to the topic "Paintball Extravaganza". For this reason we are at the new exhibition location Memphis, Tennessee this year. Once again, these were exciting days, because some new products had already been announced in advance and we were eagerly awaiting the release.

First of all, we can state that the decision to change the location of the Extravaganza was obviously the right one and did the fair good. The number of exhibitors and visitors has increased significantly compared to the previous year. In addition to the usual big brands such as GI Sportz, Dye, Smart Parts and Planet Eclipse, around 50 exhibitors did the honors this year and presented new and tried and tested products from their range. Nowhere else have so many heavyweights from the paintball industry been concentrated in one place. In addition, this year we had the opportunity to look a little behind the scenes, because the really interesting things happen for paintball dealers and field operators behind the doors of the training and seminar rooms. Here, the experienced, old hands of the industry tell how they once built up their company and how they still run successful paintball parks and large companies today.

These doors usually remain closed for the normal paintballer, because the Extravaganza is a pure trade fair that you can only enter if you really work in the industry. – Say if you are a manufacturer, dealer, field operator or event organizer. Unfortunately, we are not allowed to show everything either, but we would like to give you a little insight in this issue.

Now, of course, we're going to start with the new products that you're all eagerly waiting for. where to start – That is the question, because the exhibition area of the fair is large. Right at the entrance you walk straight to the Ninja Paintball stand. However, the proven manufacturer of regulators and HP bottles had little that was new for us this year. A new regulator plus hose system for airguns was presented. This may certainly be a market in the USA, but it has nothing to do with paintball, nor has it been in demand in Germany so far. – So further next door, Smart Parts and the premium daughter DLX Luxe are waiting there. Here we could find the new All Condition Freak fronts and a Freak XL stainless steel sleeve set, among other things. Neither are groundbreaking innovations, but at least something. When it comes to markers, DLX generally has a product cycle spanning several years, so it was not surprising that the Luxe X, which had already been presented last year, awaited us at the stand. Among other things, a few new color variants in different camo patterns were presented here.

Next up was Exalt. Probably the best-known accessory manufacturer on the market has launched a new line of tank and goggle cases. This time in chic gray and cyan. Otherwise, smaller new editions of old, proven products in new colors. But still nothing really new… No question, we were only at the beginning, but after three booths without any real innovations, the first thing we felt was disillusionment. So we went further into the interior of the exhibition area and found the small but packed First Strike booth directly to the left of the entrance. There was finally a lot to see here. One novelty chased the next. The proven MagFed manufacturer has numerous new marker models in the pipeline. Roughly all modifications of the proven First Strike T15, but each one is a great, individual product. In addition, as an independent new development, there was a 6-shot revolver in Cal. 50, which will be available in German stores at the beginning of the season under the model name ROSCOE. The revolver looks a little more "American" than Umarex's hitherto very popular HDR50. At around 170 euros in retail, the price will also be significantly higher. However, it is also a much more stable, heavier full metal product. So if you like it a little more martial, you might find it here. First Strike has also announced its own MagFed Paint with a gelatin shell. This should be offered in a box of 600. Unfortunately, we could hardly get any information at the fair and we weren't able to test any samples either, since the boxes shown were all empty. There was another update on the subject of ammunition. After the First Strike Paintballs have been available in a large box of 600 for around half a year, the Spheric Powderballs will soon also be available in this packaging unit. Like the FS Rounds, each box contains 4 pieces of the 150 bags. The price of the powder balls should thus be significantly reduced again. That's it for First Strike, let's head over to Planet Eclipse and see what's new for competitive sports…

As every year, the premium manufacturer Planet Eclipse has chosen one of the central locations of the exhibition in the heavily frequented center. What's also striking is that Planet Stand is nearly three times the size of most, and with good reason. Planet had a lot to show at Extravaganza this year. Two brand new high-end paintball markers were presented. With the Planet Eclipse EGO LV1.6, there is finally a successor to the LV rammer series, which has been out of production for around two years. Fans of these markers will already be licking their fingers. The new EGO LV1.6 has practically nothing to do with the previous models. The solenoid has been completely redesigned and the ultra-light carbon barrel comes from the new CS2 Pro. The technology of the old LV1.5 has been completely revised and so, technically speaking, a completely new marker has been created with the LV1.6. The whole thing is topped by the very interesting price of only 1399.95 euros, which is a real bargain these days for a brand new Planet Eclipse marker. Planet's second product hammer will make all GEO fans sit up and take notice. Planet actually introduced the GEO4. – "Why?" Some will ask themselves now, because there is the CS2 Pro. Well, the GEO was Planet's spoolevalve driven flagship for about 10 years and accordingly has many fans in the scene. Since the demand was so high, Planet decided after a long back and forth to re-edition. But Planet wouldn't be Planet if you didn't add another one straight away. The new GEO4 combines the old GEO3 bolt technology with the new design and the lightweight construction of the CS2. Outside CS2, inside GEO. The new GEO4 model is also available in stores for a slim 1299.95 euros, which sets a new price benchmark for the high-end tournament standard. Why so cheap? – Well, the GEO technique also has its disadvantages. The characteristic shot pattern and functionality go hand in hand with around 30% more air consumption. The CS2 Pro is and remains the measure of all things in Planet's high-end range. But if you like it a little cheaper, or are simply a GEO fan, you now have the opportunity to get started with a significantly smaller budget. Other innovations from Planet included the new Quake precision barrel for the EMEK MG100, developed in cooperation with Carmatech Engineering and featuring rifling and fields, and an upgrade to the EMEK 100 PAL Loader System. – But this is probably more for field operators.

After the overwhelming impressions from the Planet Stand, we continued through the halls and found the new STORMER Tactical MagFed marker at the GI Sportz stand, which also owns the Tippmann brand. This model is based on the Tippmann Cronus and is said to run on Tippmann TMC magazines. In terms of costs, the Stormer should be a good bit below the TMC and thus make it even easier to enter the MagFed market and make this area of the sport more interesting for newcomers. The Stormer is expected to be available in stores from May. Then we went to the booths of Dye, Valken and Virtue. – Unfortunately, we can show pictures of beautiful stands at this point, but nothing new. All three major brands had the tried-and-tested standard products at their stands, but no real highlights. So we can already say at this point that from the manufacturer's point of view, the clear winner of the Extravaganza 2020 is Planet Eclipse. The boys did their homework again and surprised everyone.

One of the last stands we visited that day was that of Carmatech Engineering. Managing Director and developer David Williams showed us his proven paintball sniper rifle and the new Nemesis precision barrels with trains and squares. These are said to be a bit more accurate than previous Hammerhead products. But what was really interesting in this conversation was that David announced that he wanted to bring the Carmatech brand back to Europe and especially to Germany this year. Hopefully the German paintball snipers will soon be able to look forward to the availability of these exclusive products again. This year's Extravaganza was not just about pure paintball sports, new sports activities were also presented. Only about 60% of the exhibitors were pure paintball companies. We also met event organizers, airsoft companies, suppliers of laser tag equipment and, which we personally found very interesting, the new US hit Gelblaster. You shoot small water beads around yourself. Fun that is already suitable for children, hurts less and leaves practically no mess. A personal highlight was a moving paintball tank in which you can clamp a marker. Then you can recreate a real paintball tank battle. Apparently there are already two providers for this in Europe. One in England and one in France. It is questionable whether such fun will also catch on in Germany and whether it will even be approved, but it looks like a lot of fun and action.

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