What if they gave a war and nobody got hurt?
That’s the appeal of paintball — shoot your opponents with paint and they live to play another day. It’s a way to satisfy an innate instinct for combat, but without the blood and violence. Think of it as war that’s good, clean fun. Okay, maybe not so clean. But the appeal is undeniable. Paintball started in New Hampshire in the early 1980s and today more than 11 million people take part all over the world.
The Paintball Arsenal
The basic equipment for a paintballer is the same as for a soldier — weapon, ammunition and safety gear.
The weapon is a gun that uses compressed gas order cialis to propel the paintball. (Paintball equipment manufacturers prefer the more civilized term “marker”). One mistake beginning players often make is to shoot too quickly. That’s not just bad strategy — buy cialis online it can get expensive. “With an automatic marker that can shoot up to 20 balls a second, you can go through a lot of paintballs,” says Tippmann, which developed one of the first semi-automatic markers. More controlled firing means less money spent on paintballs.
The balls themselves are gelatinous capsules filled with water-based paint, similar to bath beads. They explode on impact, and the resulting paint splash makes it clear the “victim” is out of the game. The balls are biodegradable and water washes away the paint from most surfaces.
Paintball is not a dangerous game, provided you use common sense and proper safety equipment, which begins with goggles. Eye protection is extremely important, but paintball goggles have evolved to also offer protection for the ears, temple and all the way down to the chin. It’s very important to get a good fit, not
just for safety, but for comfort on a long afternoon of combat. That’s why when purchasing goggles, the player needs to try them on in person.
Let the Battle Begin
There are no set rules for paintball. Usually there is some sort of “capture the flag” element, and just like in real combat, offensive and defensive strategy, teamwork and physical performance will determine the winner. Paintball can be as basic or as sophisticated as you want it to be. At paintball parks you can pay to play on a specially designed course that will allow a challenging test of your abilities.
The number of participants also is flexible. In “woodsball,” groups of about 50 compete in wooded areas, but the scale can get much higher. The Oklahoma D-Day and Invasion of Normandy Events attract about 4,000 participants each.
“Speedball” takes place in smaller fields with 3-, 5- or 7-man teams in a variety of games.
How sophisticated can paintball be? Professional leagues, nationally televised tournaments, and endorsement contracts; that’s how sophisticated. In fact, in 2006 Oliver Lang signed an endorsement deal for $100,000, making him paintball’s highest paid player. Call him the ultimate paintball mercenary.
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