Getting Started in PaintballPaintball is an extreme sport with an excellent safety record, but is still intimidating to many people. This page is intended to help potential new players decide if paintball is something they want to try and how to try it. First thing we want to do is clear up some misconceptions that some people have by answering some frequently asked questions:
Does Paintball hurt?Yes, it hurts a little. A bad paintball hit will feel about like being snapped with a wet towel. Most hits from a paintball will feel like a hard snap from a rubber band, and some hits can feel as weak as a tap on the shoulder! Paintball hits typically leave a “welt” which is a slightly raised bump of skin with a bruise of varying severity. These marks typically disappear within a week or two. Extreme hits may break the skin slightly and cause minor bleeding, but these are uncommon. How much a paintball hurts depends on a few factors.
How close are you to the shooter?The further away you are, the less it hurts. Paintballs exit the guns between 250-300 feet per second depending on the regulations of the field you are playing at. (JAEGERS velocity limit is 275 FPS). This is around 200 miles per hour! As the ball travels further it loses velocity due to air resistance and slows down. The slower the ball is moving, the less energy it has, so it hurts less when it hits you.
What quality grade is the paintball?A higher quality ball breaks apart easier. This ensures that the target is marked and eliminated from the game instead of “bounced” and still in the game playing. Since the ball breaks open easier it hurts less, but typically requires a higher-end paintball gun to shoot the ball without it breaking apart in the gun. Old or improperly stored paintballs will go bad as well. If you throw a paintball onto concrete and it won’t break, then that paintball isn’t suitable to use when playing.
Where on your body is the paintball hitting?Some areas hurt more to get shot in, and bare skin hurts more to get hit on than areas protected by clothing. It is recommended players wear athletic shoes that can get dirty, long sleeves, and pants to minimize the exposed skin. Gentlemen may want to wear an athletic cup, and ladies may want to wear a padded sports bra. JAEGERS provides free fabric gloves, neck guards, and team color differentiated hard hats to all players at our facility, but we ask that you please return them when you are done so we can wash them for our next guests.
Can paintballs be frozen?Paintballs don’t freeze very well. Most paintballs use a biodegradable oil substitute with a few added ingredients to create the filling, and use dried gelatin for the shell. These freeze at very cold temperatures, much colder than most freezers are capable of. Paintballs that are placed in the freezer typically become very brittle and blow apart in the gun when someone tries to shoot them. If they do shoot out of the gun, they typically break apart very easy on impact and feel like a regular paintball hit. Many paint formulas will swell in very cold temperatures, and the balls won’t fit into the gun. Most stories from “frozen paintballs” are just regular paintball that bounced off a player under normal conditions. A ball that bounces typically hurts a little more than a ball that breaks open and splats. It a common misconception that if a ball hurt a little more when it hit, and it didn’t break open, then it must be frozen! To further prevent this possibility most fields do not allow player to bring their own paintballs, you must purchase you paintballs at the field! JAEGERS Paintball does not allow any paintballs into the facility except our JAEGERS Paintballs.
Is Paintball safe?Yes! Paintball is a very safe sport with an excellent safety record! Majority of Paintball related injuries are twisted or sprained ankles or the occasional broken wrist or arm from falling. Be sure to watch your step and look where you are running! However, Paintball guns, or “markers” can be dangerous if mistreated.
- Whenever a Paintball gun is being fired the user and all people within range must be wearing paintball specific masks to provide eye and face protection.
- Paintball guns are not toys! A paintball can shoot your eye out resulting in injury, blindness, or even death.
- Whenever a Paintball gun isn’t in use it should have a barrel cover or plug on it. This cover or plug is only removed when everyone has their masks on, or if the air source is removed from the gun and the gun is cleared of all paintballs.
- Never play Paintball unless you are on private property with permission from the property owner or at a sanctioned field
- Always make sure everyone is wearing Paintball specific masks with ASTM certification that are not modified. There are no acceptable substitutes for this! Airsoft masks, motor sports helmets, ski goggles, shooting glasses, etc. are not rated for paintball use. ONLY ASTM Certified Paintball masks are acceptable!
- Always make sure there is no risk of anyone not participating being hit. Shooting someone who is not playing Paintball is assault and misuse of Paintball guns can cause property damage and vandalism.
Who can play Paintball?Almost anyone! Most fields have a minimum age requirement to participate. JAEGERS minimum age to play paintball at our facility is 10 years old. We do offer Lazertag as an alternative that is available to players 5 and up. All participants must sit through a safety presentation that explains rules for play. The presentation is given by a JAEGERS referee. If any member of your party does not understand English then they will need an interpreter from your group to ensure they fully understand all safety rules. Following these rules is each player’s responsibility, and violators will not be able to continue play and may be asked to leave without a refund. Although not recommended, we have had deaf, blind, and wheelchair bound participants play paintball with just their group in a private party with the assistance of guides from their party. Please contact us if your party has any additional accommodation needs and we will do our best to see if paintball is a possibility for your group!
Why play Paintball?Because it’s fun! Paintball is classified as one of the only team-based extreme sports. Playing often gives an adrenalin rush and is very exhilarating. Players expend quite a bit of energy too, playing is a fun way of getting in some physical activity in. Overall, Paintball is an awesome experience and good exercise!
How do you play Paintball?Playing paintball is fairly easy, but becoming skilled takes experience! At the basic level, Paintball boils down to “Shoot the opposing players” and “Don’t get shot”. Beyond that, more advanced game types can be played. These can include flags to capture, “VIP” players to protect, “multiple lives” games with respawns, or anything else you can think of! Most games have 2 teams with some method of telling teams apart. This can be colored hats, armbands, or even matching jerseys at the competitive levels. A team starts at a start point on opposite side of the field, and the referee starts the game. The game is played until the referee stops the game. During the game if you are hit by a paintball that breaks open yell “Hit!” and raise your gun above your head to show you are eliminated. Head towards the exit of the field or “deadzone” and keep your mask on and gun over your head. It is best for the referee to have a whistle or some other effective method of signaling the end of a game in case the game has to be ended early in the event of an emergency. If the game ends, be sure to put your barrel cover/plug on your gun and keep your mask on.
- If you’re hit, be sure to keep your gun over your head so player know not to shoot you anymore
- Be sure not to shoot eliminated players
- Be aware that paintballs are still flying around the field. A stray one may still hit you. Always keep your mask on, even if you are out of the game!
- Games can be loud. If you are behind cover and get hit, waving you hand or gun out where you opponent can see it can be useful to show an opponent you have been hit and are going to step out into the open, rather than stepping out into an opponent’s fire. You opponent may not be able to hear you yell hit!
What do I need to bring to play Paintball?If you are renting at a field you will need to bring the following:
- Closed toed shoes that can get dirty
- Clothing that can get dirty. We recommend a t-shirt with long or short sleeves and a hoodie or sweatshirt on top. For pants a pair of jeans or other long pants work well, a pair of gym shorts underneath can be good too. Layers can take away some of the paint and impact from a paintball hit. Many players choose to remove their outer layer after a few games once they realize it doesn’t hurt as bad as they thought and they start to get hot and sweaty running around with the extra layers on. (JAEGERS paintballs are non-staining, but you will still want clothes that can get dirty)
- JAEGERS recommends bringing a spare set of clothes and shoes to change into before leaving to prevent getting the car dirty.
- Money for rental equipment. Most fields offer rental packages which include everything else you need to play. A gun, a mask, a hopper, a tank, a barrel cover, and some paintballs to get started, as well as the entry fee for the day (usually called the “Field Fee”. JAEGERS offers this basic package for $30 and includes 100 paintballs as well as other packages that may include different rental guns and additional paint. Additional paintballs can be purchased to continue playing if you run out, visit our prices page for more info and to see discount group rates! JAEGERS also provides free fabric gloves, neck guards, and team color differentiated hard hats to all players at our facility, but we ask that you please return them when you are done so we can wash them for our next guests.
And that’s all there is to it! If you haven’t played paintball yet, come on out and give it a try! Most players have a great time and definitely want to play again! Many end up pursuing paintball as a regular hobby!