Proper equipment will go a long way to learning the sport.
Diving into the sport of paintball is sometimes intimidating for a beginner. With all the equipment, rules and terminology, it can be downright frustrating to learn your way around. If you’re a relative “noob” to paintball, there are a few tips and techniques you can focus on to simplify your journey toward becoming an advanced player.
The first thing any aspiring paintball player should learn is proper safety. In this sport, your mask is your most important piece of equipment. This facial protection will prevent damage to your vision. Never remove your mask unless you’re inside a designated safe area. Make sure you locate these safe areas and familiarize yourself with the layout of the paintball course before you begin playing. Many paintball fields will also require the use of a barrel condom while you’re not in the playing area. This item fits over the gun barrel, preventing injury if the gun accidentally fires.
Choosing a paintball gun can be a daunting task for a beginner. There are many different types to choose from, and most will be a significant monetary investment. Shop around before selecting a gun so that you can get the best deal for your situation. Some guns come packaged with the necessary accessories, which can be more cost-effective for getting started. You can also rent guns from professionally run paintball courses. This will give hands-on experience for determining the style of gun you prefer. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and advice of employees and other seasoned paintball players. You’ll find that they are more than willing to help.
Clothing and Equipment
When selecting your paintball outfit, choose items that will help you during the game. Wearing darker colors will prevent you from being spotted, so stay away from white clothing. Footwear is important also; pick shoes that are light and give extra traction in muddy or wet areas. Football or soccer cleats work well. Once you’ve gained some experience as a paintball player, you may want to invest in additional safety equipment and accessories. Some of the many add-ons include helmets, gloves, neck guards and specialized paintball clothing.
The Games and Rules
There are two main types of paintball games: woods ball and speed ball. Both are similar in the objectives for winning, but the terrain and style of play are different. In speed ball, a course consisting of bunkers is laid out over an open field. Players navigate across the area, shooting rapidly in an effort to eliminate all members of the opposing team. Woods ball occurs at a relatively slower pace, with stealthy and patient advancement through wooded terrain. There are variations on both playing styles, which modifies strategy. “Capture the flag” is a popular game, with players infiltrating their opponents’ territory to claim an object.
Before the game even starts, you should be thinking about strategy. Inspect the playing area for places that will provide adequate cover. During the game, keep your eyes and feet moving. The longer you remain in one spot, the easier it is for opponents to find you. If you are discovered by the other team, don’t be afraid to yell to your teammates for help. Not only will this give you an opportunity to escape the situation, but it will reveal your opponents’ positions as well.
Sportsmanship and Integrity
One aspect of paintball that shouldn’t be overlooked is good sportsmanship. Always be respectful toward your fellow players, and you will earn respect in return. Be honest when you’re playing; if you are hit, don’t try to cheat by wiping the paint off your clothes and continuing the game. Obey your captain’s orders and contribute what you can to your team’s success. Above all else: have fun! You’re much more likely to stick with the sport and gain experience if you enjoy yourself.