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by Thomas Sparkman
Paintball Expo is back and bigger than before at the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds (Fairplex). The turnout was ~3000, which was 50% more than last year’s turnout. If it seems like it hasn’t been a year yet you are correct, it’s been only 8 months. I managed to catch up to the promoter Revy Samia to get the inside scoop. He felt that they wanted to build on the excitement and momentum of the first one and strike while the iron was hot. There were 10-15% more exhibitors than there were last year. Also, there was a computer fair going on at the same time at the Fairplex and they had some crossover from that - the more good exposure for paintball, the better.
Revy also said that he felt that it was
a bonus to schedule the Expo as the same time as the NPPL Super 7 in Huntington
Beach, CA. Even though the Expo is targeted to the Recreational instead
of the Tournament markets, he felt that the people that flew out for the
Super 7 Tournament would be willing to drive out to the Expo sometime during
the weekend. An example of this was the people filming a DVD at the
Tournament came by on Saturday to film at the Expo. The last thing
Revy said was that he was thinking about doing it again in 6 months in
the Midwest and that February 2004 it will be at the LA Fairplex again.
I brought my 7 year old daughter on a whim (well, the wife said to) and I was worried that she might be bored. Ha! She had just as much fun, if not more than I did. She picked up brochures from every exhibitor and then spent the next week going through them and circling every thing that she wanted. Then, my 6 year old daughter did the same thing and now wants to go next year. I guess I’ve got 2 years to shop for the Impulse that she wants. The highlight of the show for her was getting to meet a serious woman paintballer, Bea Youngs. Bea gave her an autographed poster, which she wants framed.
Tippmann was showcasing their new A5 flatline. It looks to me like a suppressed MP5 and the first question I asked was how did you get it by the ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms). I’m sure I wasn’t the first to ask that because he just smiled and said it’s the new flatline and it’s “selling like hotcakes.”
Bea Youngs was the Master of Ceremonies for the show. She was a big part of the Expo and seemed to be everywhere.
Planet Eclipse had their E-cocker. It’s set up with an anti-chop eye, E-mode, manual mode, and bounce filter.
Palmer’s was there with their nickel plated brass beauties and Blazers. When I left, Lori had to wipe the drool off of all the markers. She even had my daughter giving me the ‘shirt tug’ about a nice purple Blazer she just had to have.
Paintball Daddy was taking pre-orders for the AGD Extreme Automag (X-mag). They had the famous level 10 tongue video playing. This video shows someone with their tongue in the breach of a level 10 Automag to showcase the anti-chopping ability now found in all Automags. (Kids, don’t try this at home).
ACI and Smart Parts had their large trailers outside near the target range and exhibition game field. They had a lot of stuff but I don’t find it as friendly trying to crane my neck way back to talk to the salesmen/women up in the trailer. The regular booths inside the exhibition building have a more ‘local store’ friendly closeness - especially for the young kids, and there were a lot more of them than I expected.
Jam bolts, a mechanical anti chop bolt for the Autococker, was doing the ‘finger pinch’ at their booth. This bolt is made so that on the forward stroke, any resistance would cause it to stop moving forward (via a slot in the bolt) and bounce off of the obstruction.
Na Hu, “guts” in Hawaiian, had a good selection of t-shirts and other casual wear, although their cash-only policy kept me from spending too much.
All in all, it was a great show and I’m
looking forward to next year.
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