Those paintballs can hurt, right? And the equipment can get expensive, so between the drain on the wallet and the pain of the paintball, how fun is the sport? Should you even give it a try?
Paintballing is fun. You should give it a try because you will have a memorable experience where you get to exercise, play with others, and relieve stress. Paintball has something for everyone—from an occasional game to tournament play.
Insurance statistics show that more people get hurt playing tennis, bowling, and golf than pinball. Yes, if you get hit, it can sting, but the sting is short-lived, but if your adrenaline is flowing, you might not even feel it. Estimates are that annually 10 million people play paintball, so keep reading to find out why you should try it out.
Paintball Helps You Relieve Stress
It’s easy to build up stress over a week, between work, family, finding enough time in a day to fit everything in. Exercise is an excellent way to reduce it. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise activates the feel-good endorphins—a process often called a runner’s high.
Our bodies often respond to pressure with a stressful flight or fight response. When you play a game like paintball that has stressful elements, you are teaching your body to deal with stress in a constructive way.
And if you are the type who makes plans to exercise more and then don’t follow through, doing a physical activity with friends is an excellent motivator.
Paintball Is Excellent Exercise
Paintball is more physically demanding than you might think. You get a full-body workout from playing. The game is fast-paced, and you will be running, crawling, diving, and dodging. You will be doing this while wearing safety gear and carrying around a paintball gun. With a gun, helmet, and other safety gear, that can be an extra twenty pounds you’re lugging.
Some trainers estimate you burn up to 420 calories per hour playing paintball. That’s close to the calories burned jogging, but you get to shoot at other players with paintball.
You Gain Memorable Experience
Not to knock other sports, but what is more memorable than getting paint splattered over your mask? The game is intense and a little nerve-racking. There’s plenty of action, sound, and that stinging sensation when you get hit.
As paintballers love to say, we don’t catch or kick one ball at a time—but dodge 250 at once.
Paintball Requires Teamwork
Teamwork gets mentioned often as a benefit for any team sport, including paintball. But besides the fun of playing with others, how else does teamwork benefit us?
Numerous studies have shown that teamwork can help us feel connected, increase our resilience, and generally have a positive outlook. Paintball builds communication skills and encourages players on a team to work together. Companies who want to develop a culture of teamwork sometimes send groups of workers to a paintball arena.
There Is Something for Everyone
You might want to play a game occasionally for fun, so take a few friends, and you will have a great time. Or you can make it a weekend hobby, and many paintball fields sponsor local or regional leagues.
Some players join nationwide leagues such as the National XBall, the Social Paintball, or the International Classic Paintball League and compete in weekend competitions, often with cash prizes.
And if that is not enough, there is the annual D-Day re-enactment. Thousands of participants show up to re-enact the battles of D-Day and participate in other battles and activities.
If You Love Gadgets and Weapons, Then You Will Love Paintball
The minimum necessary equipment is a mask, paintballs, gun, hopper, and air tank. But each piece of equipment has many options.
Take masks, for example. Obviously, the mask should be comfortable and durable. Some masks have fog proof lenses, while scratch-proof lenses are an advantage. If you wear glasses, you want one that is glasses friendly. Players yell a lot, so scream ventilation is a cool feature.
And for the YouTubers, some masks have integrated cameras.
Guns involve even more options. Will it be a pump, electronic, or mechanical gun? Barrel size and material are important. A player needs to decide whether to use CO2 or Nitro gas. The material of the barrels and their porting, as well as your style of play, are vital in selecting a gun.
Even bullets do not come one size fits all. Caliber, color, and quality are all considerations.
The good news is that first time players don’t need to worry about all that. But once you get hooked on paintball, you will discover the pleasure of exploring gadgets.
You Get to Learn and Apply Strategy in Real Life
Being able to apply strategies you learn in a game is helpful in real life. Here are some of paintball’s strategies that can be used in real life:
- One is not to give your position away too soon. In paintball, you do not want to fire too soon. Once you do, then the other players know your location, and you can expect paintballs fired at you.
- Also, do not shoot at a player who is too far away. You will risk giving away your position and wasting paintballs. Instead, work with your teammates to get closer to an opponent.
- Once your team has gotten closer, create a distraction by shooting at your opponent. You might miss, but while the opponent is aiming at you, one of your teammates has a shot.
- Never expose more of your body than is needed.
- Vary how you move out of position. The element of surprise is critical.
- Finally, communicate with your teammates about your position, if you spot an opponent, or if it’s a good time to ambush.
There is far more to strategy in paintball, but these are some basics to help you get started.
Tips for a First Time Player
Even though the basic rules of paintball are not complicated, if it will be your first time playing, then you should know the basics of the game.
We have already covered the necessary equipment. Paintball locations will have their own rules. Although they can vary from one location to another, the rules usually include:
- Always wear a mask while playing
- Allow surrenders
- No blind firing
Some paintball locations will have rules about what kind of plugs to use and how many paintballs to shoot at once.
- Learn the field’s boundaries and location of the dead zone. This is where players go once that they have been eliminated.
- Be clear about the game’s objective. Popular games include capturing the flag or eliminating all the players on a team.
- Learn the location’s starting procedure or make sure that both teams agree on it. A common one is for one team to call when it is in position, and the second team does the same. Then someone on the first team shouts, “Game On,” and play begins.
- Be clear about what counts as a hit—usually, a hit on you or your equipment counts but not another player’s splatter.
- If you are hit, raise your gun and shout that you have been hit. Continue doing this while you move to the dead zone.
Expect to get hit. If it is your first time playing, you might want to have a friend hit you (after you get your mask on, of course).
Players like to say that it only matters when it splatters in paintball, but there is more to the sport than hitting another player with a paintball. Teamwork, exercise, and strategy are key to the game. Most importantly—have fun.