Have you ever played paintball? Ever wanted to? A paintball competition is basically an amped-up version of capture the flag, a little bit of hide-and-seek, and a little bit of “tag” – all rolled into one totally awesome game.
If you’re in the central Florida area, then Action Paintball is the venue of choice, but even if you aren’t, take a look at these seven things about paintball that you’ve always wanted to know:
Well… not really – but it was first used in caves in order to mark dangerous areas, and other areas that needed to be tagged for destruction. Paintball guns also gained popularity as an efficient way to mark trees and tag livestock on cattle ranches. Now, while paintball guns are still used for utility purposes, they are more widely known as a fun way to knock off a few friends (…and co-workers and strangers, too) without doing any permanent damage. Enjoy!
OK, yeah, that’s not true, either. But, that’s what makes paintball so exhilarating – you don’t really want to get hit with a paintball, but you sure don’t mind hitting everyone else! The truth is, the average .68 caliber paintball is actually weighing approximately the same as a couple of large feathers. But, even a feather shot out of a gun at over 100mph might make a little mark.
Depending on where you decide to go play paintball, you might find a few different types of guns (also called “markers”). The most basic of all markers is the pump gun. With this model you pull the pump handle back and forth between each shot to prepare for the firing of your paintball. These aren’t too common anymore. There are also semi-automatic guns, 3-shot burst guns, “ramping” guns (those that gradually increase firing rate), and fully automatic guns, to name a few. When you go to a decent paintball facility, however, the guns they provide are easy to use and will be powered by compressed air, so you won’t need to do a lot of physical work to get your paintballs shooting. Action Paintball in central Florida has the best paintball facility in the area, and aside from providing our customers great rental equipment, we also give you a discount if you want to bring in your own.
Who knew that playing paintball was actually a life lesson in disguise? Aside from coining their own set of terms to define actions and their outcomes, those who play paintball also learn important skills that are applicable to life as well. Playing paintball helps build leadership skills, promotes teamwork, and builds self-confidence. As far as the vocabulary goes, paintball lingo has grown to be pretty extensive, but here are a few examples:
Bunkered – when you run up on someone hiding behind a prop and shoot them… big surprise! They just got bunkered.
Gogged – Shooting someone in the mask
Marker – another name for a paintball gun
Hopper – it’s that little apparatus that holds the paint balls and feeds them into your gun
Barrel Plug – you have to know what this is, or you shouldn’t be playing. The barrel of the gun should remain plugged while not in use.
Lane holding – this is when you keep a steady stream of paint on a specific point in order to deter players from advancing up the field toward your flag.
Mirror – one way to let your teammates know exactly where the enemy player is, is to call out that he is in your “mirror.” This means he is in the exact same place you are, only on the opposite side of the field.
That’s right, rock-and-roll “hair” bands and paintball began in the same decade. The game was invented by two friends who were looking for a little excitement. They were Charles Gaines and Bill Gurnsey, and after a little research and rule-making, they and 12 friends played the first game in 1981. Following that, the first national competition was played about a year later in 1982, and it grew exponentially from there. Now, over 15 million people a year play paintball in the United States, recreationally, collegiately, and competitively, even in a professional capacity.
While the whole premise behind getting into a little paintball competition is for fun, participating can be dangerous if you don’t take the right precautions. No one needs to get hurt (aside from maybe a little light bruising, of course), but not wearing your protective gear or handling your paintball gun improperly can do damage. Always wear your mask, goggles, and a chest protector (women and children). Action Paintball provides all your safety gear for you if you don’t have it, because getting hit with a paintball is pretty harmless – but you don’t want it to hit you in the eye.
An actual game of paintball may only last as long as five to ten minutes. That’s because once a player is hit with a paintball, they are out for the remainder of the game. Thus, paintball competitions are played in rounds, and every player is able to re-enter for the next game. Some helpful tips for remaining in the game longer include:
Know the field — Walking the field before you begin helps you navigate the area better.
Move – a moving target is harder to hit, and moving around makes your location harder to identify.
Plan and Communicate – this means teamwork. The better you plan and work together, the better your chances of winning.
Paintball is probably one of the most exciting ways to fill your day with a little adrenaline! So, if you want give yourself a little thrill, and you happen to be in the central Florida area, Action Paintball is the place to be. If you’re not in the area, well, keep us in mind – someday you might end up in the vicinity, and you won’t want to miss the fun!