Brief History of Ninja Paintball at 2018 Paintball Extravaganza | Lone Wolf Paintball

Brief History of Ninja Paintball at 2018 Paintball Extravaganza | Lone Wolf Paintball


(intense rock music) – Hey, guys, what’s going on? It’s Tony from Lone Wolf Paintball. Today, I’m here with Ray
from Ninja Paintball. 2018 Paintball Extravaganza. We’re gonna do a quick
history of Ninja Paintball. How you became, what it is now. So, without further
ado, let’s dive into it. – I actually started my
first game of paintball in February of 1988. – Okay. – I was in high school. And one of the Army recruiters put together a paintball game. And I went with him,
and it was a blizzard. It was snowing like crazy,
but we drove to the field. We played, and I was hooked. I was hooked ever since. I’ve played since high school.
– That’s all it took, huh? – That’s all it took. One game, and I was hooked. I played sophomore year,
I played junior year, I played senior year. I played every weekend I could. I played nonstop.
– Just addicted. – Nonstop.
– Just addicted. – I was addicted. Joined the Army, I left. I came back, and I started playing again. And I played ever since. – How did you get involved with
actually the business side? How did you get hired with Ninja? How did that start? – Well, I was working in restaurants, and when you work restaurants, you work a lot of
weekends, and I wasn’t able to play paintball like I wanted to. It wasn’t like, “I need
to play paintball,” but I really wanted to play paintball. So a job opened up at a local
factory called the Hose Shop. And I knew they made paintball things because I ran a local field at that point. I switched over, and I changed some hours, so I was helping a local field, and I was managing the field. And they needed a tech. And I have some mechanical
knowledge, so I was like, “You know what? “I’m gonna give this Monday
through Friday thing a try.” And I started there as
a tech in production, and just started there in 2001. So I’ve been in a current
job, Ninja, if you will. Pressure specialist, Hose
Shop, for over 16 years. – That’s a long time.
– At one location. – That’s a long time. So how did Ninja, how did
it first become a thing? – Ninja started, because my
boss, an outside sales rep, selling hydraulic parts, would walk around an industrial park. And he knocked on a door,
and a guy answered the door in Wheeling, Illinois. Some of you may know why that’s important. He knocked on a door, and
a guy answered the door in a face mask, a goggle, holding a paintball gun in coveralls. And my boss is going, “I’m gonna die.” ‘Cause nobody knew what
paintball was back in 1986, 1987. Really small. And he goes, “I’m going to die.” And the guy goes, “Yo,
what can I do for you?” And he looks up, and on this paintball gun is this stainless steel hose. And some elbows and fittings. He’s like, “Where do you get that at?” And the guy told him, and he
goes, “I can supply you hoses.” And the guy goes, “Oh, well
here’s my business card.” “Here’s my business card.” Next thing you know, he sells 100 hoses. Hundred becomes 200. – So this guy answers the door, he sees the hose hanging from the gun. – From the gun, and he goes,
he goes, “I’ll sell you hoses.” It’s Tom Kaye with Airgun Designs. In Wheeling, Illinois. He doesn’t know who Tom Kaye is. So he sells him 100, he sells him 200. And that point, Tom Kaye
puts in an order for 500, and my boss’ boss at the time said, “What are we making, and why?” And he goes, “We make stainless
steel hoses for paintball.” And the guy goes, “This is nothing. “I want you to sell
thousands of importage. “You’re selling hundreds. “I don’t want to do this business. “Tell the guy he’s done. “Go somewhere else.” And my boss goes, “Hey! “What if I make the hoses? “I’ll buy the hose,
I’ll cut it in my house, “I’ll put the ends, I’ll crimp
it, and I’ll sell it to him.” Guy goes, “Whatever.” His boss goes, “Whatever,
do it on the side. “You have my permission.” So he starts making hoses in his basement with his wife and his two daughters. So they’re making hoses
is in his basement. He’s still selling parts. Five hundred becomes a thousand. Another manufacturer looks into it. “How do I get hose?” “Contact Sean.” Next thing I know, he’s
making so many hoses, he quits his normal job, and he’s making hoses in his basement. Well then, my boss,
who’s a smart guy, goes, “What goes through this? “Air.” “Well, how I do get air into it? “Well, I’d love it if
somebody made this long thing “so I could put air back here.” – A remote line? – Yeah! And so we made the first stainless steel four-foot long remote line. “Well, how do I get air into
the tank when you need a UFA? “I’ll go out and have a UFA made, “and I’ll make an adapter
to screw it into the gun.” Somebody said, he knew about the coils from the hydraulic industry. He said, “Hey, is there
this long, straight remote? “How about we make it as a
coil so it’s like a flex?” – Stretchy, yeah, yeah, yeah. – Started selling coils. Then he said, “Well,
what goes into this gun?” “CO2 valves.” “Maybe I’ll start making CO2 valves. “Maybe I’ll start making air.” So he grew, just like you,
just like any small business. He found an idea, he found his niche, he worked hard in his basement until he grew it into what
we call the Hose Shop. At one point in time,
you won’t believe this, one point in time, we
had 10 people in a room making stainless steel hoses. Each person made 500 hoses a day. We made 5,000 hoses a day five days a week because we supplied to Tippmann, we supplied to PMI, we supplied to Spyder, we supplied to DYE, we
supplied to all these guys, bought all their stuff
from us for years as OAM. People who played paintball
for any length of time have probably used our equipment
and just never known it. – That is amazing. The things you learn every day. Come to the door, and there’s Tome Kaye dressed up in a suit. – Now you look back at
it, and you say, “Wow.” But at that point in time, he had no idea. – That’s awesome.
– No idea. It all started with one hose until we grew into what
we are now, until today. – So, for you guys out there, that was, honestly, that kinda blew my mind. I didn’t know any of that. That was some great knowledge
from Ray from Ninja. Wow. That’s awesome. – People think, “Hey, you
just make a business.” No, but it–
– People think, right now, people think
you guys are the SL tanks and the Pro V2 regs.
– That’s it. But we all started with
the stainless steel hose. CO2 valves, for heaven’s sake.
– You gotta start somewhere. – You start somewhere,
and you build it up, and you work hard at it, and we do. We’re a small business. We don’t have a ton of employees. You or anybody in the Chicago Lake area, Crystal Lake, Illinois, you come on by. If we’re not busy, we have no problem showing you our factory
where we have the machines. – We would love to do a walkthrough of it. That would be awesome.
– You’re more than welcome. And you can see our
machine shop, our material, our American made product,
where the jobs come in, from the scrap, the tools, the oil. All those are jobs in our area to support our industry of paintball so that money stays in America, and that money stays here, and we’re still supplying
equipment out there. And we do it all in one building. And like I said, love
to have you guys out. – That’s awesome, we’ll certainly
come by within this year. Do a walkthrough of the facility. So, guys, once again,
this is Ray from Ninja. Tony from Lone Wolf. We’re at 2018 Paintball Extravaganza. That was a quick and great
history of the company from the ground up. So, guys, give this video a like. Subscribe to the channel
if you haven’t already. And thanks for watching. Thank you so much. – Thank you.
– Certainly appreciate it. (high-pitched feedback)
(keys clacking) (static crackling)

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