Paintball is a sport that involves nothing but having fun. You propel .68 or .50 caliber gelatin spheres/balls that are filled with a water soluble fill that bursts on impact using an air pneumatic marker/tool at anywhere from 260 FPS to 300 FPS. There are generally two forms of paintball; Speedball and Woodsball. They also have smaller categories such as hyperball, supair, and more.
Paintball is not a form of violence, an act of war, recreation of warfare, or simulation of warfare. It is an hide and seek and tag game mixed into one. It does not support killing, shooting, hunting, etc. It is a sport of where all ages ranging from 10 years through 60+ years can play.
The game is also one of the most safest sports out there. Much more safer than motocross, mountain biking or skateboarding. However, it is mandatory that everyone playing paintball, practicing, or just playing around to wear the safety gear such as masks, headgear, and knee pads.
It is also very big. Bigger than snowboarding in fact. People from countries all over the world play paintball including Japan, Croatia, and Russia. There are also massive events for it like the World cup, NPPL (National Professional Paintball League) tournaments. Referees are in every game to make sure players have fun and follow the rules.
Five Basic Paintball Equipment
Getting started in paintball is not difficult. You only need some basic paintball equipment and you will be ready to play. It doesn't have to be expensive, you can spend as little or as much money as you want. Here are the basic paintball equipment that should be on your list:
- Gun or Marker. Paintball guns or markers are the very basis for the sport of paintball. They come in all shapes and sizes, but to play you only need something that propels paintballs in a somewhat straight line.
- Mask. Paintball masks exist for the simple reason of protecting your face. A flying paintball can leave a small bruise if it hits your body, but a direct shot in the eye can blind you. Make sure your mask is approved for paintball and then use it as if your eyesight depended on it.
- Hopper. Paintballs need to get into the chamber of your gun before you can shoot them and the best way to do this is with a hopper. A hopper is a small container that sits on your gun and feeds paintballs into your gun.
- Air Tank. The propellant to fire a paintball comes from compressed gas - usually either compressed air or compressed carbon dioxide (CO2). Guns require one of two kinds of compressed air tanks: small 12 gram tanks that also are used in BB guns or larger tanks that screw onto the gun. A larger tank of CO2 or compressed air will be able to shoot hundreds of paintballs.
- Paintballs. Along with paintball guns, paintballs are what make paintball possible. These spherical containers of paint are loaded into your gun and then shot by the expansion of compressed gas. Many different brands and colours exist, and more expensive usually means a better ball. For a beginner, though, they all perform about the same as long as they are not too old, so pick what looks good to you and use it. Be sure to bring enough to last as long as you want to play.
- Don’t be afraid of the paintball. Getting hit by a paintball hurts less than you might expect. Yes it can sting, yes it can even leave a little mark, but a moment or two later and you’ll have forgotten all about it and will be raring to get back in the game. If you are really worried about getting hit, try wearing some light gloves and a couple of extra layers under your overalls. You might get hot, but you probably won’t feel a thing.
- Do remember to keep your mask on at all times in the paintball zone. Keeping your face protected is the best way to ensure that your first game of paintball is as safe and enjoyable as it can possibly be.
- Don’t give away your position if it will put you at a disadvantage. Don’t waste paint by firing at opponents that are too far away or too deep in cover. Instead, stay quick and quiet until you’ve found yourself a better position.
- Do remember that spotting your opponent is an important advantage. Remember to scan the field quickly and carefully to identify enemy players and strategic positions. Ideally, try to do this in under three seconds. This is because it takes one second for an opponent to notice you, another second for them to take aim, and one more second for them to cover you in paint!
- Don’t expose more of your body than you have to. When you are popping out of cover for a peek, try to expose as little of your body area as possible to the opposition. Preferably just enough to see and fire.
- Do talk to your teammates as much as possible. Communicating before the game is essential. By devising a simple plan, such as allocating players to different positions on the field, you make your team a much more effective unit. Communication during the game is also key. Whisper your plan to the person next to you before you make a run for it, and they’ll be able to provide covering fire.
- Don’t call yourself ‘dead’ too soon. If you get hit by a paintball, it will either break, meaning that you are out, or bounce, which also means that you are still in the game.
- Do keep your eyes on the prize. Different paintball games have different objectives. In most games this means covering the enemy in paint while avoiding getting tagged yourself, but sometimes you’ll have to defend certain positions, capture flags, or rescue a hostage. Make a plan, appoint a team captain, and work with your allies to achieve your goals.
- Don’t get pinned down. It’s much better to try and think two moves ahead about your cover, and avoid choosing a dangerous position in the first place. However, if you do find yourself pinned down, there’s no point staying quiet! Shout to your teammates and see if they can give you covering fire.
- Do enjoy yourself! Don’t forget that the number #1 reason that everyone’s there is to have a good time. Paintballing is an electrifying experience and following these ten tips, will not just make you a better player but will let you enjoy the entire game as well.
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