Paintballing is a competitive team sport where you eliminate opposing players by shooting them with a gelatine ball filled with paint, or dye. The balls then break on impact allowing participants to clearly see who has been eliminated from the game.
Paintball can take place indoors or outdoors in custom arenas designed specifically for the sport, or in professional competition layouts with inflatable objects as cover. The use of tactical cover, from the natural and unnatural terrain in the arena, is key to progressing further in competitive paintball, with various slides and shoot-and-move techniques used by professionals to secure victory. Paintball has different competition stages with players competing at varying levels of competency and age. The game types can vary greatly when paintballing and can include anything from capture the flag, defending or attacking a particular area, capturing hidden objects of interest within the playing area or a straight up elimination game. Paintballing has also been adopted by military, law enforcement and security agencies as a way of improving tactics in a non lethal environment.
So, does paintballing sound good to you? If it does, and you are thinking of taking part in paintballing days with friends, here are five professional tips to help you improve your experience.
Clothing is key
Always plan what you are going to wear, and make it specific to what you are doing. If in doubt, go with something dark, because your brand new bright white trainers and that white t shirt are not going to help camouflage you with your surroundings. If you can’t find, or don’t have, any camouflage clothing, don’t worry. Black or dark grey clothing would be sufficient and can sometimes be more camouflaged than a green camouflage shirt in certain urban environments.
Always think about the type of clothing you are wearing. Is it suitable for the sport of paintballing? Are you going to be able to move sufficiently when running from pillar to post and are you going to be comfortable when doing it? Will it keep your skin safe from paintballs? These are all key questions you should be asking yourself when thinking about dressing appropriately for paintballing days.
Something like a long sleeve t shirt coupled with a long sleeve sweatshirt should provide sufficient cover and manoeuvrability on your top half. Not to mention enough cushion for the impending paintball hits. A pair of comfortable and slightly stretchy jogging bottoms or combat pants should provide sufficient cover and manoeuvrability for the bottom half.
Think about your feet. You are going to be running, climbing, sliding or even possibly crawling to your cover when paintballing, so wear suitable footwear. A pair of combat boots are ideal for this type of activity, but might not be suitable for you.
Remember it’s not a style war. It’s a paintball game, things are going to get either muddy, dusty or covered with dye from the paintballs. So think about your safety and comfort first and foremost. A lot of venues do also provide protective overalls to prevent you from getting dye on your clothing during paintball days.
Look after your equipment
Your equipment is your key to victory. How many paintballs do you have in your gun? Is the gun barrel clear of debris and firing true? Ask yourself these questions when you are safely behind cover during the gameplay. Top up your paintballs in your hopper. There’s nothing worse than going to fire your gun in a win or lose situation, than to find that you are out of paintballs. Keep them topped up, so you know how much of a gun battle you can get yourself into at any point in the play. Don’t forget to check your gun barrel and swab it if necessary with a pipe cleaner. This just cleans off any excess paint or dirt in the tube so you have a greater chance of remaining accurate with your shots. Do your maintenance checks; they can win you a game.
There are a few keys to communication, but the most crucial aspect is ensuring you convey your message clearly and concisely. When you are spread out as a team, it is a lot easier to convey smaller messages than to be long winded. Name the various locations on the map and ensure your team knows the names. This can reduce the amount of time to convey the location of an enemy to your team drastically and can speed up your gameplay. If you are close to an enemy, have defined hand signals that can help a team plan remain covert. There’s nothing worse than having to shout your game plan across to a teammate with the enemy in earshot.
Have a game plan with your team
These are key points to remember when preparing for any type of gameplay situation. Know where you are all going to be, how you are going to spread out and which zones you need to watch and attack. Go over the fundamentals of the game type you are about to play and pick a role for each team member to take. Talk with your team about body positioning behind certain types of cover and how to have as little of yourself as possible exposed to paintballs being fired by the enemy.
Listen to the centre manager or paintball marshalls
There is one especially important piece of advice for anyone participating in paintballing days; always listen to the centre manager or paintball marshalls. They usually have a lot more experience paintballing in that venue than most and can give away some crucial hints and tips about how to play in their arena. They also have your safety in mind and will be there to ensure you have a good time and can enjoy an accident free experience.
Always keep in mind these five tips when partaking in paintballing days.
- Your clothing should be dark if not camouflaged and comfortable to wear for a sporting activity. Wear suitable footwear.
- Always look after your equipment and keep those paintballs topped up.
- Good communication can win games and speed up your gameplay.
- Always have a game plan and cover the fundamentals of your game type with your team.
- Always listen to the centre manager or paintball marshalls.
By following these tips, you’re assured a brilliant, fun experience!