Do you lack excitement in your day to day life? Looking for a thrill to shake up your daily routine?
Here’s an interesting idea – have a paintball match!
A lot of you have probably been in a situation where your friends or co-workers invited you for a game of paintball, but you always found an excuse not to join them. You’ve never done it before, but you know that there are running and jumping involved, it’s dirty, and people shoot at you. Naturally, you’re afraid not to get humiliated or hurt because of your inexperience or condition.
Today, I am inviting you to change your perspective on this matter.
Think about your inner warrior who has been asleep for too long. Imagine the rush you will get when you find yourself in the midst of combat, charging along your teammates to defeat the enemies. Fighting is in your DNA, and now, there is a way to do it without any victims, while having the time of your life. I have put together a few tips which will help you get a serious head-start in this game. Here are some things that you need to know as a beginner.
History of Paintball
Let’s learn something about the history of this game. Foresters used to mark trees that they needed to cut down with paint. A man by the name of Charles Nelson invented a gun (marker), which could shoot paint over longer distances, to mark trees over a stream or in inaccessible places. Ideas about using those guns for something else started developing in the 1960s, but the first paintball match didn’t happen until 1981. It took place in Sutton, New Hampshire, and twelve players participated in it. Of course, this sport has come a long way since then, and today it has quite large and dedicated fan base.
Benefits of Paintball
Paintball is a team game, so it gives you a chance to spend some ultra-quality time with your friends or colleagues. Since teamwork is one of the best ways to bond with others, you’ll be able to form strong relationships with your “brothers in arms.” Besides that, it is also a nice opportunity to meet new friends in an unusual setting (let’s face it, it’s different than socializing in a bar). This game is all about people and interactions, and even if you’re not a very social person, I am sure that you will enjoy it.
2. Adrenaline, Excitement, and Fun
Think about the things in your life that you honestly enjoy doing. Those activities usually involve fun. Once you start a paintball game, you’ll find yourself running, hiding, breathing fast, shooting and avoiding shots, all while making strategies with your team. Sounds like a real party cocktail, right? This mixture of joy and adrenaline is seriously addictive; it will leave you wanting more, and returning again and again. The primal human nature and survival instinct comes into play here, and it just feels so good to experience that part of our being. And when you develop rivalries with other teams, that’s when you raise the bar.
Not a huge sports fan? The gym isn’t quite right for you either? Well, luckily neither of those are necessary to stay healthy and in shape. A paintball match is physically demanding, and you will be breaking a sweat without a doubt. The great thing is that you will get the same benefits of exercise, but it will not feel like a standard, boring workout. Your heart rate will jump, the muscles are going to do some work, but it all just feels thrilling and fun. This is a brilliant way to exert energy.
Types of the game
The game of paintball can be played in dozens of ways with specific scenarios and different types of teams and rules. More than ten players can have a ton of fun playing paintball; depending on the style and type of the game, the hours pass incredibly fast.
Here are some of the types of paintball games:
- Deathmatch – Free for all, every man for himself
- Team Deathmatch – Two teams divided one against another until one team is shot completely
- Capture the Flag – Both teams have a base with a flag and a common goal: Bring the enemy’s flag to yours to capture it.
- Central Flag Push – Teams don’t have a flag in their base at the start. They fight over one flag to capture it.
- Bomb – One team starts off with a “bomb” which they need to place to the bomb site and raze it. The other team prevents them in this mission.
- Hostage Situation – Some players are chosen to be the hostages, and you have a classic terrorist/Swat team situation where one team fights to extract the hostages to the safe zone, and the other side prevents this.
- Hunter & Prey – Some players become the prey, and they go to hide somewhere in the field. Others are trying to hunt them down.
- Extract The VIP – Similar to the hostage situation, with one person being the VIP, aiming to get out of the danger zone. One team defends the VIP, while the other tries to kill him.
To play the game of paintball, you’ll need to have gear in mind, for the obvious reasons. Personal security is the imperative here, simply because you want to get entertained, not hurt.
It is of utmost importance to have proper clothes for the game. Remember always to wear long sleeve shirts and pants, and you should leave no skin exposed. Multiple layers of clothes are the way to go, to absorb the impact of paintballs. Make sure that the clothing is comfortable and baggy so it will not restrict your movement. The best and the priciest option is to buy special padded shirts, cargo pants or jumpsuits made specifically for paintball.
Comfortable sneakers are desirable to keep your ankles stable and safe. You’ll get the specialized clothing for paintball in the paintball camp where you’ll gear up and get ready, of course. Try to find light, yet firm clothes, and prepare for some sweaty fun.
2. Head protection and extra padding
A helmet or a mask is a must. You have to wear it, because if a ball hits your unprotected head, it will most certainly hurt. Other than that, goggles are also essential to protect your eyes. Check if the goggles are compatible with the helmet. As far as extra padding is concerned, some people wear knee, elbow or shin pads, because there is a lot of jumping, falling and rolling on the ground involved. Finally, remember to protect your neck with a bandana or special neck protector, and you might also want to get a cup for your groin.
There is a common problem connected to a paintball mask usage, and that is fogging. That usually happens when you’re sweating too much, and the sweat from your face vaporizes, creating a foggy lens in front of your face. Fogging is avoidable by
- Wearing headbands
- Using anti-fogging sprays on your mask lens
- Using anti-fogging mask. This is the most efficient solution, as those covers include ventilation shafts for you to breathe through, which prevents fogging the best.
If your mask still gets foggy at a time, you can try concentrating on your breathing and forcing exhale downwards. As a quick relieve, you can lift the lower part of your mask for a brief period while you’re hiding somewhere.
3. Paintball Gun
There are many types of paintball guns, but the main two categories are mechanical and electronic. Pump gun and semi-automatic are the mechanical kinds, and they’re also the most widely used ones. In the electronic group, there are fully-automatic, three-shot burst and ramping guns. Most paintball clubs allow you to bring your own weapon, which is great, particularly since many people fall in love with their guns and want them personalized and “their own.”
If you get hooked on paintball (which is very likely), you’d want to get your own gun, and to make sure that you’ve found the best one for yourself, check out this paintball gun buying guide. Finding a gun that suits you will make it easier, and more fun to shoot. Your reaction times might get better as well.
How to shoot
Paintball guns, or markers, usually have a hopper with paintballs in it, standing above the weapon’s body. The balls fall into the barrel using gravity, so you have to keep the marker in an upright position for it to work properly. Your upper body should be stable. Finding the trajectory of the balls might also be problematic. I advise you to shoot at some targets for practice so you can get the feel of it.
The trigger is very sensitive, depending on the type of the gun. Sometimes it fires only by a slight touch, and to reach high firing rate, pro players use two fingers in constant rhythm to shoot like they have a machine gun.
Last but not least, you should have both eyes open for best possible precision. The gun doesn’t have a kick like a regular firearm; it’s more like an air gun. With a firm grip, you can get used to firing singlehandedly while hiding behind the corner, or even trying some Max Payne or Matrix-style moves. Still, remember that you’re in a real world, and you’ll get shot in this scenario, and land pretty hard on the ground.
Preparing For a Match
Good execution needs proper preparation; I’m sure you already know this. So let’s get into it.
Safety first people, this means having all the necessary protective gear in check. See that your face and neck are well secured. Secondly, you need to test the marker and make sure that it is working properly. If it needs some cleaning, do it, to make sure it is in the best firing condition. Check out your CO2 tank as well, and look the pressure adjustment, as it impacts the velocity of your paintballs. Someone could get injured if it’s too high.
Warm up your body and stretch a bit. You don’t want to be rusty and stiff in the middle of a match. Bring at least 200 balls for the first game, as you don’t know if you’ll run out, especially if you’re trigger-happy player. Finally, get into tactics with your teammates, and discuss everything in detail. A positive, firing-up speech is always a good idea.
Getting Good at Paintball
1. Condition, condition, condition
To be a good paintball player, you got to be in shape. It’s simple; if you can move a lot and quick, you’ll be harder to hit, and you’ll be a much better, valuable player, no matter what. Everything starts with conditioning. If you’re in good shape, you’ll storm the field quickly and take the best strategic position to score points and take people out.
Same goes for the objective-based games; you’ll be the valuable asset if you can run and play the game with a lot of agility. So, if you’re not in a good running shape, don’t expect to perform like a pro. Hit the treadmill or run some miles and sprints to prepare yourself.
2. Don’t be afraid
What’s common with new paintball players is the overblown fear of getting hit by the ball. To be honest, it stings a bit, but not nearly as much as you think it does. This fear usually makes people freeze up and keeps them hiding behind an object. Because they’re so static, they become an easy target for experienced participants. Once you take a shot or two, you’ll get used to it, and it won’t be a problem anymore. Get accustomed to discomfort and focus on the objective.
3. Always stay alerted
One of the first things to you should know to avoid tunnel vision. Focusing on only one point is easy. Know that this is a fundamental mistake, so don’t do it even if you think that there is an opponent hiding there. That tactic would be okay if you played against one person, but keep in mind that your enemies are all around. Besides this, someone could be sneaking up without you noticing. You should look around every few seconds, and maybe you will spot some movement.
4. Maintain communication with your team
Having a good strategy before the game is crucial for the victory. Once your team makes one, be sure to stick to it, and you can do this only by communication. Whispering and body language is the best way to do it.
Shouting or shouting will most definitely increase chances of blowing your cover and put you and your teammates in trouble. Also, a good thing to remember is to keep the communication simple. Establish a few phrases or hand signs, and stick to them, since confusion is the last thing needed in combat.
5. Game tactics
Although there are several types of games that you can play, certain tactics and strategies can be applied to most of them. When playing in teams, there are two main game styles – multi-squad play and free for all. The idea of the first strategy is to divide your team into two squads.
One team moves forward, while the other one stays back and covers them. In an objective-based game, your team needs to develop strategies to use and a plan for execution. A good plan consists of three stages: Infiltration, Setup, and Execution. You have to be efficient at every stage to defeat your opponents. Some excellent shots are good to have, but coordinated team play is always better than having a good individual game.
Now, it’s time for action.
Geared up, informed to the teeth, and confident, you’re one step closer to winning in a game of paintball. Even though you might seem like a rookie to your colleagues, they are in for a surprise.
Honestly, this is not just about giving paintball a try; it is about overcoming fears. No matter how small or insignificant the fear is, it takes a giant step to get over it. Once you conquer it and feel the sweet taste of victory in your mind, you can apply this action to other areas of your life.
If living is a constant battle, make yourself into a good soldier.