All the stuff on this page was written by and is property of Durty Dan, and was used with permission.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT PAINTBALL
This may be old news to you, but there are still people out there who nothing about paintball, my mother, for example. Although I am old enough to play without parental permission (am I ever) this came in handy when I explained my bizarre fascination with the sport to her.
What Is Paintball?
Paintball is simple game in explanation, but difficult in mastering. Basically two teams start in flag stations, their objective is to capture the other team's flag and return it to their starting flag station to win.
During the game, players attempt to eliminate opposing team members by marking them with a paint-filled projectile which (usually) breaks on impact. This projectile, or paintball (where the game gets its name) is fired from a CO2 powered airgun, which is set at a safe velocity, so as not to injure players
Is It Safe?
Paintball is the safest sport in the world. According to insurance and medical statistics, paintball is safer than bowling.
The reason for this is that players MUST wear the proper protection and MUST adjust their paintmarkers so that the paintball will not cause severe pain, upon impact.
Doesn't It Hurt When You Get Shot?
Just slightly less then a branding iron.
It feels like someone snapping you with a wet towel. It stings, and MAY leave a small bruise, but will not permanently injure you, as long as you are wearing the proper eye protection. Usually you don't feel any pain until long after the hit, due to the adrenaline rush you get while playing.
How Are Paintballs Made?
Paintballs are made by dye encapsulating machines. These machines, worth millions of dollars, also are used to make encapsulated drugs, such as gel-caps, "Contact C"-type drugs and even bath beads. It is not surprising, then, that most (if not all) paintball manufacturers are pharmaceutical companies.
The actual process is rather involved and technical, but in a nutshell here it is. Two wide ribbons of softened gelatin are fed into the machine. These two strips are joined by two counter rotating drums that have dozens of concave "pockets" which form the paintball. At the same time the drums also inject fill in between the gelatin strips and seal the seams, making the paintball. The paintballs are still very soft, because the gelatin of the shell is still warm, and are placed in a tumblers (to ensure roundness) until they are cooled and hardened enough for the next stage. They are then set on trays and left out to continue hardening.
A special machine packages the paintballs by weight, although a case of paint is sold by quantity. In a case of 2500 you will get, on average, from 2490 to 2510 paintballs.
Can I Get The Paint Out Of My Clothes?
Yes, it's water soluble. Basically it is mineral oils, food colouring, calcium, ethylene glycol, iodine and other harmless chemicals. If left in clothing for a period of months, it will stain.
Do I Have To Be On A Team?
Not for your first time. You can try to organize a group of family, friends and co-workers for your first outing.
What Should I Look For In A Field?
Choosing a filed is not as simple as calling and booking a date. The best price in town may not be the best field in town.
How Much Does It Cost To Play?
Contact your local field. They can be found under Paint games, or Adventure in your yellow pages. Also paintball publications will have field listing in the back of their magazines.
The average field in North America will cost approximately -30. This will usually include:
ï‚· rental of goggles,
ï‚· rental of paintmarker
ï‚· and some, usually between 500 and 1000, paintballs.
ï‚· Extra paintballs are available at the field. (Plan on using 1000- 3000 paintballs. Paint averages between five and ten cents per ball.)
ï‚· Better markers and facemasks are usually available at an additional cost.
A day of play is usually 9:00 am to 3:30 pm.
What Do I Need To Bring?
Clothes that you don't mind getting sweaty, and that are suitable for the weather conditions on play day.
You should bring some snacks, and plenty of water.
How Can I Play Safe?
For this see our Paintball Safety page.
Also, notify the field owner or manager of any medical conditions, allergies etc.
The field should provide everything you need, in the way of safety equipment. However it's a good idea to think about throat protection (a t- shirt around your neck will suffice) and protection appropriate to your gender, if you know what I mean.
Do I Need To Be Physically Fit To Play?
Not especially, but it can't hurt. As for any strenuous exercise, I strongly recommend consulting a doctor.
Do Women Play Paintball?
Yes, in fact there are a few all-women teams in the professional paintball circuit. The three that come to mind are the Lady Treedancers, The Tippmann Paintgirls and the Puffs. The Puffs have an interesting trademark; their paint sponsor, RP Scherer, adds Channel No 5, to their bright pink paintballs. There's no denying "who-marked-who" with those paintballs.
How Can I Find Out More About Paintball?
Pick up a paintball magazine or two. If you have access to the internet check out the newsgroups rec.sport.paintball and alt.sport.paintball. You can also to a search with your browser with the word "paintball"
Reading the rest of this section won't hurt, either.
How Can I Convince My Parents/Significant Other That Paintball Is Harmless?
Get them to read What Paintball ISN'T