PaintballX3 Magazine September 2013 - Page 92

interview Josh: We’ve seen you hanging around with Omaha Vicious lately - in the pits, at UWL events, etcetera. Why them? Simon: The people. I have been nothing but impressed by everyone and everything to do with the Vicious organization, that goes from the owners, to the management, to the team and to the fans. For fun when I have spare time you will find me on my forums or in the Vicious OT on PBNation. I have probably posted more there than anywhere else in a long time, and it’s because I enjoy it. I am sat in the airport now returning from the Vicious Streetball event which I wanted to attend to meet some people from the OT and because I just knew it would be a great day of paintball. I recommend anyone that hasn’t attended it, or is thinking about it, to join us next year. It was awesome! In a world of “Professional” Paintball I see Vicious as a stand out that truly deserves to use the world Professional. Many teams simply do not and are far from it. I also like the fact that they all use products I have been responsible for, Axe, Vanquish, Z2 and E-Flex goggles. Even though I no longer work for KEE/Empire I still care about every product I ever made there and the customers using them. I want them to be successful. I designed and wrote the CNC programs to make the Vicious Axe, the grip frames they have are designed after a “Simonized” Axe I made for myself. I actually went back to KEE even after I left to make sure the project was finished and went to plan. I love the technical side of paintball, and Carl and Karen Bortol who own Vicious appreciate that the details are important and that makes it fun and 92 interesting for me to work in the pits with them. The goals and story of the team is also compelling and moving, and I have no doubt that the team has the ability to win the major PSP events. I want to support them in that goal and be there when it happens. Josh: Who are some of the people you’ve drawn inspiration from, or that you look up to, in paintball and why? Simon: In paintball, there is really only Tom Kaye on the technical side. I almost went into business with him when I left university and was working on force feed loaders. I appreciate his scientific approach to what he did and try to emulate that in my actions. I look to have data and use real engineering and science in what I do to make the best products I can with data and facts to back them up, not hype and lies. I also appreciate the companies that care about what they do and are paintballers and part of what is going on. The team at Planet Eclipse are a good example of that. Otherwise I try to lead, not follow. I have never been interesting in copying someone else’s work. We are all standing on the shoulders of the giants that came before us, but I am always trying to innovate and improve with everything I do, sometimes it’s just small steps, but every step forward is a step in the right direction. I have a couple of concepts right now that if they work, could be some of the most exciting innovations I have ever made. We shall see! PAINTBALLX3.COM