I was very happy to finally get my hands on a case of HydroTec paintballs. Recently, Paintball Explosion in East Dundee, Illinois had not only this new water-based paint on hand but they also had Joe Krueger and Chuck Hendsch from HydroTec on site to answer questions and get feedback on their product.
Technically, this was not a product debut but for me it was. There were plans to market three different grades of paint. The Catshack Reports has been watching the development of HydroTec for years and they have ultimately produced a very consistent size and shape paintball. However, this is an extremely unique product that will be introduced slowly with emphasis on supplying a field grade paint which is called â€œElementâ€.
One reason HydroTec is so happy to test the product at Paintball Explosion is their combination of an indoor field with casual or recreational paintball players. HydroTec wants to supply a lighter weight, less impact ball that has an easy cleanup and is consistent, especially when shot through rental markers. They feel these things can add up to a more enjoyable experience for those players.
The behind the scenes stuff such as the fact that they are produced from environmentally friendly non-animal and non-petroleum components and made right here in Chicago are all excellent positives. However, the shell of this product intrigues me the most, even more now that Iâ€™ve seen it. The shell does leave a crimple line when squished, but it pops back into place and has a plastic snappy sound to it. The shell seemed comparable to similar field paints and did have a similar breaking pattern. The shell was hard in a drop test but I did not experience any unusual bounces when playing with the paint on the field.
And now for the main event! They say you can literally drop these paintballs in water and still shoot them. I had to see it to believe it and it is true! Not only did it not react to the water but it did not become sticky or even bleed color. I can now also believe the products two-year shelf life, that humidity does not affect the round of the ball, and that it has the ability to withstand temperatures of up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. I had one of these balls go through the washing machine with my paintball clothes and it survived with only one side dimpled. This made me wonder how many paintballs went into the wash over the years and dissolved without me knowing.
HydroTec does want feedback and is monitoring their product very closely. The case I purchase came with a questionnaire to be returned to the company to aid in further research and development. No printing or logos are available at this point but a multi-color fill is a feature they can manufacture. The shell remains hard after breaking and can be swept or vacuumed up. It is biodegradable when exposed to the soilâ€™s microorganisms. However, I do not have data on the amount of time this will take. Some ingredients do not degrade but are ecologically inert.
Joe Krueger of HydroTec said, â€œThere will be continuing ongoing development of our product and we plan on a tournament grade product that would be heavier and have a brighter fluorescent color. Hopefully in a year, for now we are ramping up our production of this field grade product.â€
The shell does seem more consistently shaped and is a 2.8 gram ball that takes less air to fire and seemed to have 80 â€“ 100 foot accuracy. Some players testing the product felt there was a difference in the end of the ball drop and some curving but this is hard to compare to other paintballs which also have the same issues.
HydroTecâ€™s Chuck Hendsch stated, â€œThis is a totally unique product with a totally different fill and a totally different shell.â€ And we can see they are â€œreally working hard to make a quality product for field operators with better cleanup, less impact, and no smell, all of which should make for a more enjoyable experience for the new player.â€
HydroTec is not at full production at this time, however, they are working hard to get more product made and out into the market. I was impressed with the reality of this concept. I give HydroTec a lot of credit for their persistence to bring us a new innovative product. It is usually difficult to embrace something totally new but I suggest checking out HydroTec Paintballs.
I also have some fun video footage of the HydroTec Paintballs on my YouTube Channel, TheSkeletor262.
By: Â TheSkeletor262