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Paintball warriors reach for extreme toys

Charles Davis stands before an assortment of paintball guns he stocks in his new Extreme Toys store between Silverdale and Bremerton.  Davis stocks more than 35 models of paintball guns.  On the panel board behind him are paintball guns ranging in cost from an economical $69 to an eye-opening $1,499. - Photo by Tracey Cooper
Charles Davis stands before an assortment of paintball guns he stocks in his new Extreme Toys store between Silverdale and Bremerton. Davis stocks more than 35 models of paintball guns. On the panel board behind him are paintball guns ranging in cost from an economical $69 to an eye-opening $1,499.
— image credit: Photo by Tracey Cooper

Ready, aim, splat.

Paintball, the fastest growing sport in the nation, and archery a lifetime passion for Charles Davis meet at the intersection of SR 303 and Brownsville Highway.

Davis’ store “Extreme Toys” has been open since February and features head to toe gear and guns for any paintball or archery enthusiast.

“It’s an adrenaline rush, fast-paced and good exercise,” Davis said of paintball.

He has customers as young as 8 years old and as mature as 60. The sport, according to statistics, is mostly played by the younger crowd.

“We’re more of a small business and can offer more to our customers,” Davis said. With that comes one-to-one service.

“I know my customers are being taken care of,” he said.

If his store doesn’t have something in stock, he can have it there in a matter of 2-3 days, he said.

In recent years paintball has gone from extreme to mainstream. According to American Sports Data Inc., paintball is the fourth largest alternative sport in the United States. More than 8.7 million people played paintball at least one time in 2002. Davis predicts paintball will make its Olympics debut soon grouped with the other extreme sports.

Davis is the store’s only employee, therefore he says he can offer some of the lowest prices around.

He points out he’s got four different varieties of paintballs at $40 a case. His store offers gear packages and rents guns as well. He became interested in the sport when his 11-year-old son got involved.

While only 10 percent of his sales come from archery supplies, the sport has been a passion for him since he was 10 years old. A friend got him into the sport and then he became interested in hunting.

“It’s relaxing,” he said of archery.

At the same time, Davis saw archery as something to challenge himself with. He prefers the hunting route to competing, he said.

Davis was born and raised in Bremerton. Before opening his own business he was the assistant manager for Boater’s World in East Bremerton for about two-and-a-half years. Previous to that he worked for a phone company.

“I love Washington. I don’t like the heat. It has good hunting and good fishing,” Davis said.

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