What is Paintball?
Paintball is a sport that has been around since the first game was played in 1981. Originally played with regular paint, paintball has advanced to the use of easy to clean water-based paint capsules. The paint capsules are fired from different types of air guns and rifles at other players. While there are different types of paintball games, common game types are king of the hill, capture the flag, and last man standing. When you are hit by a paintball, you are knocked out of the current round.
Is Paintball A Safe Sport?
Paintball does require a certain amount of safety equipment to keep players protected. A properly fitting mask is essential to protect your eyes and face. Unlike football and rugby, paintball is not a contact sport and the rate of injury is actually very low. The National Injury Information Clearinghouse estimated the annual rate of paintball injuries to be less than 0.2 injuries per 1,000 - one of the lowest rates of any sport. Most injuries that occur during paintball happen because someone is not wearing their mask. Eye injuries are serious, and most regulated paintball areas will eject players who remove protective eye equipment. In addition to wearing safety equipment, paintball is kept safe in the US by regulating the speed at which a paintball pellet is allowed to travel. Current rules limit that speed to 300 feet per second, but most markers keep the speed less than this.
Does Paintball Hurt?
Pain is relative to different people, and what hurts for one person may not hurt for another. Depending on where you are hit with a paint pellet, it may sting. Occasionally if you are hit at extremely close range on a particularly soft spot, you may experience a bruise left from the impact. Most people find that the sting of a paintball adds to the realism and adrenaline of a good match.
What Should I Wear for a Paintball Match?
If this is your first time out, wear loose fitting clothing in dark colors. Loose clothing will be less restrictive and allow you to move quickly over the game field. Long sleeves and pants will protect your skin. Sticking with darker, natural colors will help add a dimension of camouflage. Obviously you want to stay away from bright colors and patterns as these will mark you as an easy target in the paintball arena. If you are playing in the winter, you may wish to add long johns on underneath your clothing. You may want to add a hat to cover your head, and a pair of gloves will help protect your hands. Never engage in a game of paintball without wearing the appropriate protective mask.
Do I Need to Purchase Equipment to Play Paintball?
If you are just starting out with paintball, don't purchase any markers or equipment just yet. You may find that the sport is not to your liking. Play several games using rented equipment in a regulated paintball arena before considering purchasing your own equipment. Most entry level markers will cost anywhere from $100 - $300. This is a good range to stick with at first as you will learn how the gun works and how to clean it without making a huge investment. While markers are often the first thing those new to the sport of paintball consider purchasing, an appropriate mask should be your first purchas.
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