May 2007
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Paintball last Saturday

For the first time last Saturday I went paintballing with some friends. I had never gone before and in reality when I was younger I was scarred of getting hit. My friend Jemaal had planned it for the birthday party of his niece and we were supposed to have an entire field just for ourselves. Unfortunately, there was a death in her side of the family so the party was canceled. Jemaal was still available to go so he, my friend Brandon and myself were the small group of friends that showed up.

Jemaal has been going for a little while so he has his own gun (marker, in paintball speak) and gear. For Brandon and I, it was our first time so we used the rental gear. You get a mask with goggles and free refills on air all day. You have to buy the paint at the field so that people can’t bring unsafe paint in. Another safety feature is that every marker has to be chronoed-in which means they check the speed in FPS. I believe it has to be around 270 FPS to be safe. Once all that is done and they give the safety speech, we split into teams with the other people that day and then head on in to the field!

We played a little woods-ball first and then some speedball and alternated between the two all day. Woods-ball was out in a lightly wooded area with a hill, some old vehicles, tractor tires, pallets, stacks of wood and makeshift shelters strewn about. Before any shots were even fired, I could feel my heart beating in my chest with the adrenaline pumping out. The first time out I was shot in the hand which can be one of the worst places if you don’t have gloves. It stung a little and actually broke the skin some. It was nice to get it over with and realize it wasn’t that painful though.

knuckle shot

Speedball is a smaller area with several rubber inflatable barriers to hide behind. The object is to run out firing and hit the other team as fast as possible. With us non-professionals, it didn’t really go as fast because we spent too much time hiding behind the barriers but it was still interesting. Oh, one thing is if you are hit and the paintball breaks then you are out or dead. You hold your hands and marker up in the air, say “I’m hit!” then walk off the field as quickly as possible and the others should stop shooting at you by then. Works pretty well actually. I got hit once on the arm while leaving the field but it was really an accident. So as I mentioned, the paintballs don’t always break and when they don’t it’s a little more painful. The worst hit I got was one that glanced off the side of my stomach and left a nasty looking welt. It really doesn’t hurt so bad but it looks cool so I’m showing it.

welt on my side

All in all, it was a nice outdoor experience! My legs were still sore for a couple days from all the diving and crawling around in the dirt. Brandon and I both want to go again sometime and hopefully it will be fairly soon. I recommend it and really it doesn’t hurt bad at all so give it a shot!

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