Paintball is a strategy game where you run around with guns that shoot paint pellets. You know when you have been hit, as it leaves a paint mark, and also hurts! Still, it is fantastic fun!
Paintball is a sport that combines strategy, teamwork and skill into an exciting action packed day. It is usually played outside in woodland areas or fields.
Players are supplied with a special marking paintball gun that fires biodegradable paintballs. The paintballs are propelled by compressed air making them very accurate up to a range of 60 metres. And yes, you get to shoot them at the other team!
You do not have to be super fit to play paintball; all you need is the ability to have fun and a sense of humour. Paintball is an exciting outdoor leisure activity, suitable for both sexes from the age of 12 upwards. It is ideal for birthday parties and groups from youth clubs or a bunch of school or college friends.
On arrival at a paintball site you will be given full instructions and tuition, including a full safety briefing. At all times you will be totally supervised by experienced marshals who will accompany you throughout the day explaining everything you need to know about the paintball games and keeping you safe.
You will need to be quick thinking and resourceful as you attempt, with the rest of your team, to outwit the opposing team. During the day you will be set an exciting variety of objectives and missions, all designed to test your abilities in a friendly atmosphere.
Playing in a range of purpose built game zones, with names like The Alamo or Chemical Alley, combining man made structures with natural cover. You might be tasked with attacking then defending a fort or bridge, protecting a convoy of vehicles, ambushing your opponents or capturing and recovering a flag.
If you manage to hit a member of the opposition with a paintball they are eliminated from that round of the game, and the same goes for you. So you need to have your wits about you and work out the best time to make a move, or dive for cover and keep your head down!
After each game you hand in your paintball guns for checking and cleaning and return to your base for the day in the ‘Safe Zone’ where you can wipe of the paint (unless you’ve cunningly avoided being hit), re-load, grab some refreshment or stay for lunch and discuss your team tactics for the afternoon missions – having learnt from your mistakes in the morning!
A typical half day playing paintball will cost from around £20 including all your equipment, protective clothing and goggles, and plenty of paintballs to splatter your mates with. If you’re a budding Rambo you can always buy more to complete more missions.
Paintball is one of the fastest growing sports in Europe with over a million players last year. It can be an addictive adrenalin rush, so you might find yourself becoming a regular player and joining in competitive tournaments around the country.
Does Paintball Hurt?
Yes it does. A lot! It usually hurts as much as if someone flicks you hard on bare skin with their fingers. The rules are that you should not shoot close up, but in the heat of the battle you will usually get some vicious opponent who will get you. One game I went to, quite a few people left with large blood blisters and welts where the paintballs had damaged the skin.
However, if you find play strategically and work well with your team, you can usually come out with just a few slight bruises or none at all.
What to Wear for Paintballing?
Wear old clothes. You should be given full overalls to wear when going paintballing, with a neck protector, head cover and full face mask. If you don’t like the idea of getting hit by a high velocity ball of paint, you might want to wear some thick clothing underneath for padding, but be aware that once you move about, you get quite hot. You are usually not allowed to run about (trip hazards), but the adrenalin usually makes you feel hotter.
Places to go Paintballing
There are paintball venues all over the country. Whichever one you choose, check whether they provide all the safety gear, such as full face masks, neck protectors, and overalls. Paintball is a real adrenalin sport that gets the blood and paint pumping.