What have you been up to lately?
I have taken this month off to visit family and friends up in the Pacific Northwest. I had a wedding in Portland just before my trip to Malaysia, and I got to catch up with a lot of great friends. This week has been mostly catching up with family that I haven’t seen in awhile.
I heard your journey was quite the adventure getting to the event, could you walk us through your series of random and misfortunate events?
Once you got to the tournament what was your experience like?
It was really surreal. First I got to the hotel that the team was staying at and we all met up for dinner, introduced ourselves, drank a bit etc. If I remember correctly, I got in on Tuesday night and then passed out pretty quickly. On Wednesday some of the guys got linked up with Mark Kressin and Damien Ryan who had rented some boats, and “lots of princess floaty toys” to head out on an island tour. So we all got together and about 30 of us headed out to some island full of wild boars and long tailed macaques which is an “old world species of monkey”. As soon as we hit the beach, we set down a couple of cases of beer and then as soon as we turned around to get the rest of the gear, one of the macaques ran down and started stealing our beers! It was so funny. Of course Mark and the boys had to get videos of it all so we tossed a group of about 7 or 8 individuals a couple of cans then cracked some cold ones for ourselves and shared them with the bravest monkeys to come over. I’ve known that various species of primates have been known to pick fruit and eat if after fermentation to get drunk so the alcohol isn’t specifically damaging to their systems.
What were some of the memorable things you experienced while in Langkawi?
The entire trip was to be honest. Every day was a new setting of beautiful scenery, amazing food, warm water, soft beaches and great friends. The most memorable moment may be the one that I don’t remember much of at all. Joe Barrett and Arturo Andrade had found a road leading up to the mountains with a few waterfalls and natural springs that we drove up to on our mopeds and hung out for a few hours. Some of the guys found some ledges on the cliffs to climb up. The natural platform at the top was perfect to jump off of, which was about 30 feet above the water. Of course after jumping once, the next logical step is to do a flip right? So Joe does his perfectly timed and lands no problem. I’m used to flips and rotations over water so I wasn’t worried about mine but what I wasn’t used to was the height. I jump off and immediately put WAY too much rotation on my flip, so about a rotation and a half into it I hit the water straight on the right side of my face and knocked myself out cold. I was pretty dazed for about half an hour afterwards but luckily Arturo caught the whole thing on video, which I’m sure will be posted soon, and we all got a good laugh out of it.
Going into the competition after everything that happened, where was your head at?
For me, it wasn’t as pressured as I was imagining because I knew I was going to be a 2nd string player. We had Travis Putnam, ex Oakland blast player, Joe Barrett who played for NY outlaws, I dragged up Thomas Kim from DMG and we snagged up Arturo and Penguin from the TJ All Stars who were playing for team Mexico in nations cup. So I knew I was going to be pit help who grabbed a gun once in awhile. It was all pretty crazy being around all of these teams I’d never seen and spending time on the center stage of the event. Before the games started we did the nation’s cup walk around and I got the shake hands and meet with the prime minister of Malaysia and that was all pretty crazy.
What was the competition like?
It was like old school super aggressive ball. Paintball in Asia seems to be all about attack attack and less about contain. We lost our first game 0-4 which was…… an eye opener to say the least but we had I think 8 hours in between matches so we took the time to re evaluate our game plans and make some better match ups. We ended up playing very heavy zone contain paintball. Just dumped pods onto lanes and let them run into our guns before gutting them down the D side. Once the team got rolling it was like a well oiled machine. Arturo and Penguino played together on the d side and we sent Joe and Thomas into the stand up spots across field to lock off zones and help our attackers move down. We ended up winning every match after that other than 1 tie until the finals.
Which matches were some of the more memorable ones?
The preliminary rounds ended up as a blur for me. When we got up on bodies I got a few spins in, and helped close the door on a lot of teams. But we played the same game all weekend so not much of it stands out.
What was that finals match like?
I know you also do commentary for the Almost Famous Paintball League and got to do some commentary in Langkawi at Asia World Cup. Whats it like being a paintball commentator?
I always have a blast with it. On Friday morning I found out who was in charge of the media for the event and really just kept bugging her and her coworkers until finally they let me sit in for a match on Saturday afternoon and then luckily really liked how I worked so they pulled me in on Sunday as often as they could. Commentary for me has been a very good way for me to stay involved with the sport when I can’t afford to play it. The work I did with the National Speedball League paved the way for what I do now with AFPL and that experience has really been some of the most fun I have had with the sport. Knowing the body language of allot of the players and having experience on the layouts helps give me an edge when predicting moves and describing key aspects to games. It’s something that a lot of commentators can’t do in this sport.