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