Special Ops Paintball: Polar Ice - Special Ops Paintball

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#1 User is offline   Jaron 

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Posted 23 October 2006 - 05:30 PM

I wrote this first without searching if someone had already started a review. You can find the original thread here.

After having some rather bad games last year, I decided I'd start researching paints to better match my barrel ( .691 bore. ) After trying a few balls from friends and the store, I found that Polar Ice tends to be a bit bigger than most and so I have been using it for the last 6 months. I know it's designed more for winter conditions, but I can truthfully say that it performs well in the summer too.

The ball itself tends to be dry with minimal seam lines and a good paint fill. The shell is thicker than usual which most people would translate into a lot of bounces but that's just the opposite. The shell has been designed in such a way so that the extra thickness protects better against swelling and shrinking due to temperature and moisture, yet still breaks reliably on hard objects. I've actually had more bounces with thinner shells than I have with Ice. Wood bunkers, empty water bottles, goggles, padded hind quarters, it really doesn't matter. This stuff just doesn't bounce easily ( I don't understand why so many others claim to have a lot of bounces. ) In the summer when many others had problems with swelling balls and had to re-adjust their backs and inserts, the Polar Ice was handling just fine. To say that it didn't balloon up at all would be a lie, but it definitely handled the heat well. But true to it's name, this stuff just can't be beat in the wet and cold. Back in mid September, some of the first snow of the year dusted the Utah mountains. About 10 of us went up to the SpecOps field for a very cold game. The air was a brisk 40 degrees with snow in patches on the ground and the lingering humidity that follows the tail end of a storm. That game everyone broke paint. Everyone had to swap and squeegee their barrels and breaches. Except me. Even players with reliable markers like Tac-Ones and A-5's were breaking balls. But I was shooting straight and true the whole match. Other players were simply astounded.

The extra thickness also has an added benefit of being able to penetrate light brush and scrub better than most paint. It won't necessarily shoot through small branches and saplings, but light bushes and thick, tall grass can don't prove to be much of a barrier. If you regularly play on a field that offers a lot of "soft-cover," Polar Ice can definitely help out there by flushing your quarry easier.

The fill is thick and vivid green and marks very well without staining cloth, something any baller can appreciate. Having your nice forest camos start resembling a 3 yr-old's painting is not something many people enjoy.

The only downside I've had with this paint is the cost. At $60 a case, it's definitely one of the most expensive paint available. However, if you're going to be playing in some very hot or cold conditions, think off it as a maintenance cost. A couple extra bucks is well worth it to not have to worry about chopping, swabbing, and bouncing throughout the day. It's only marginally more expensive than Evil and still cheaper than Marbs.

Overall, I'm very pleased with this paint. While those who blow through a case every other game will find cost a bit high, those that only fire a couple hundred balls per match will find it very manageable. Also, for anyone with larger bore barrels ( Stiffi, Tac 8, etc ) the paint-bore match is excellent. Winter's coming up fast, I'd recommend you get some paint for the job.

This post has been edited by Jaron: 25 October 2006 - 02:12 PM

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#2 User is offline   yankeefan03 

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Posted 11 November 2006 - 09:19 AM

WOW.. man great review. I am really looking into the Polar Ice paintballs now.
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#3 User is offline   paintballer013 

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Posted 11 November 2006 - 10:18 AM

yea i remember using these in my tippman 98 back when i used that i never had a break there good balls for cheap
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#4 User is offline   BrutishOpus 

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Posted 11 November 2006 - 10:58 AM

wow, you must have gotten fresh paint, even though Polar Ice is made for the winter I have used it extensivly and have had nothing but problems from it, it does bounce like crazy and even though its made for cold weather I know paints that preform way better in cold weather than Polar Ice, its just a mid-grade paint that they made a little diffrent and claim that it works better in cold weather, but it doesn't, its just normal mid-grade paint
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Posted 11 November 2006 - 03:04 PM

This paint is excellent!

My local field uses it, and I haven't had a single problem with it. It breaks when it hits something, but doesn't break in your barrel. When you complain about it not breaking on someone, just be glad it didn't break in your barrel - especially in the wintertime. I wouldn't use this paint in the summer though, it's more expensive and regular Premiums work for me.

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#6 User is offline   Jaron 

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Posted 11 November 2006 - 07:38 PM

View PostBrutishOpus, on Nov 11 2006, 10:58 AM, said:

wow, you must have gotten fresh paint, even though Polar Ice is made for the winter I have used it extensivly and have had nothing but problems from it, it does bounce like crazy and even though its made for cold weather I know paints that preform way better in cold weather than Polar Ice, its just a mid-grade paint that they made a little diffrent and claim that it works better in cold weather, but it doesn't, its just normal mid-grade paint

Actually I was using this from the end of winter right through the summer. Toward the end, even when it was old, it was still doing well. Only the last part of it I was using in the last few weekends started having performance problems.
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#7 User is offline   yuppiejr 

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 03:19 PM

View PostBrutishOpus, on Nov 11 2006, 11:58 AM, said:

wow, you must have gotten fresh paint, even though Polar Ice is made for the winter I have used it extensivly and have had nothing but problems from it, it does bounce like crazy and even though its made for cold weather I know paints that preform way better in cold weather than Polar Ice, its just a mid-grade paint that they made a little diffrent and claim that it works better in cold weather, but it doesn't, its just normal mid-grade paint


I had a similar experience after playing with 14 coworkers yesterday on a balmy 40 degree day in MN. The number of breaks, misformed balls and bounces was terrible with the Polar Ice we used. I don't expect much from field paint but this was the worst I've ever used. We tried swapping with different case lots and fill colors with no change in performance.

Running compressed air and cronoed to 275 FPS with my A5, I tried different barrel backs, the stock barrel and adjusted the velocity up/down to try and improve the paint's performance without success. In addition to the many Tippmann 98c renters, the other A5 user (teardrop barrel) and stock Spyder Xtra we brought along all exhibited similarly poor performance.

For comparison I pulled out some 3 month old PMI Stingers that had been sitting in my car all day and they worked perfectly in the cold weather... even when the temp started to drop into the low 30's late afternoon.

I might give the Polar Ice another try if I can direct order it from a reliable vendor to ensure freshness... but for now I have to say my experience was not favorable with this paint. I can understand some strange behavior the first hour of play as barrels and the paint adjust to the cold weather, but the performance was consistently bad all day with the Polar Ice.

This post has been edited by yuppiejr: 16 November 2006 - 03:26 PM

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#8 User is offline   Jaron 

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 04:31 PM

If you've used it recently, there's a good chance it's the left over stuff from last year. I understand it's only manufactured during winter.
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#9 User is offline   yuppiejr 

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 05:27 PM

View PostJaron, on Nov 16 2006, 05:31 PM, said:

If you've used it recently, there's a good chance it's the left over stuff from last year. I understand it's only manufactured during winter.


We used it yesterday so if it's only manufactured in the winter I'm guessing we just dumped good money into last year's crappy paint. Based on some funny business at the pro shop with pricing for our group when we checked out combined with the paint fiasco that was my last trip to North Side Sports in Ramsey...

Since I plan to play through the snowy MN winter there will be other opportunities to try it out Polar Ice in the near future if I can get my hands on some fresh stock.

Good job on the review, btw. Cheers -- J
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#10 User is offline   Flippy the Wonder Bunny 

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 01:37 PM

Wow I'll defianetely look into getting those.
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