The first paintball game is the “never fade away” memory for every paintballer. I still remembered how much fun I had playing my first paintball game with my buddies back in Sept 01, 2009. Since then, I got “addicted” and spent my following 8 years in this most exciting adrenaline rush sport.
Fortunately, I get to met mentors and industry people along my learning curve. Their experience and knowledge avoided me from being a lost soul like most of the new comers I met these years. This is the reason I wrote this post hopefully to provide some guidance to the beginners or who is interested in the sport but has no clues how to start.
This basic guide will provide information to the beginners as a starting point so you are not feeling helpless, get bored and eventually leave the sport.
What is paintball sport?
so, what is actually paintball sport or we commonly called it as paintball.
Paintball is a team shooting sport where players in each team of five or more(depends on variants of the game) eliminates opponents by shooting paintballs (spherical dye-filled gelatine capsules) that breaks on impact. Paintballs are discharged from paintball markers powered mainly by high compressed air (HPA) or CO2.
Paintball commonly categorised as an adrenaline extreme sport. It caused “adrenaline rush” during the gameplay where most of the players find excitement and fun in it.
How safe is paintball sport?
I often came to a question on how safe is paintball sport.
To answer the first question, you will be really surprised on how safe paintball sport really is. According to study by the National Injury Information Clearinghouse (U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission), paintball is safer than sports like tennis, football, basketball, or running. With the estimates of per 1000 participants, the yearly injury rate for paintball sport is only 0.2 . Can you see that? It is less than an injury per 1000 players injured playing paintball annually in US. You get injury easier by just staying at home or on the street!
- tennis is having 1.1 injuries per 1000 players
- football is having 3.8 injuries per 1000 players
- basketball is having 1.9 injuries per 1000 players
- running is having 0.9 injuries per 1000 runners
- 93 injuries per 1000 persons staying at home
- 19 injuries per 1000 persons at the street
I can easily conclude that as long as you playing paintball by the safety rules, you are close to 0 injury. The 0.2 injuries from playing paintball are probably not due to paintball shots. The major injuries usually caused by running around the field carelessly such as ankle twist or fall.
Another common mistake players tend to make is removing their safety goggle in the field. We can’t stress enough how important it is not to do so for the sake of your safety! Remember one and only one rule regardless how new or experience you are in the sport, follow the safety rules!
Is getting hit by paintballs pain?
I have to be frank with you, it is pain but never hurt. The level of pain really depends on individual. I personally feel that getting shot by paintballs is like a mild ant sting. In average, paintball shots to most of the people is nothing painful than a bee sting.
Variants of paintball game
Paintball sport can be played in several variants, I will name three main variants below.
Two teams consisting of 5, 7 or 10 players competing each other in a shorter length field setup with inflatable bunkers. Inflatable bunkers are setup symmetrically on each side of the field so both teams are competing fairly. Speedball, as its name tell, played in a relatively fast pace demands a high level of team works, communication and game strategy. Speedball is sometimes use interchangeably with the term tournament paintball.
In contrast to speedball, woodsball, also know as recreational paintball, bushball are played in a natural outdoor area. Field sometimes built with addition items such woods pallet, oil barrels, wood shack to enhance a realistic gameplay. Woodsball can accommodate more players from 20 to few hundreds depends on field area. It usually simulate military combat situation where team players get to play a specific tactical roles.
Scenario paintball played in a similar field condition as woodsball. The different is that scenario paintball play in conjunction with historical battles or mission based scenarios. Teams are to accomplish objectives throughout the gameplay to win a game, such as fort holding, hostages rescue and etc.
Steps to get started!
At this stage you should briefly know about paintball sport. Get excited and wanting to try paintball?
Let’s get into how you can start playing paintball and step further into knowing more about the sport. Follow the simple 4 steps and you are probably on the right track!
Step 1: Find a local paintball field near you
Google is your friend. You can throw an online search for paintball fields in or near your area. Most of the paintball fields today either has their dedicated website or Facebook page to get in such with customers. Since I am based in Malaysia, we will put a list of paintball fields around Malaysia at the end of this article. I do not personally attach to these fields neither getting a cut from your booking.
Once you went through the paintball fields available to you, get a group of friends and ready to make a booking. Check out the packages offered by the field and it is wise to compare it with few other fields. Fields often offer beginner packages including full set of gear such as facemask, paintball marker set and chest protector.
What if you are alone? No worry, you can still call up field and put a remark to the field operator you are coming alone and I am sure they will arrange to get you join up with other group. It is a good way to make new friends, isn’t it? One good thing about paintball sport that I am enjoying so much is that everyone is so friendly and ready to make new friends.
Step 2: Try the sport and have fun
You are now done with the booking and getting excited for the day to come. Some may ask what should I wear and prepare for the game day? Is singlet with shorts and sandals okay to play the game?
It is not recommended to dress so as singlet and shorts provide least protection. I would suggest track suit and a pair of running shoes as your dress code. Some field provides shower facility so you can prepare a set of clothing and towel to take a shower after games. Please make sure you keep yourself hydrated along the day, a bottle of H2O is good or fields usually have drinks for sale.
Head to paintball field at least 30 minutes before your booking. Being late is a bad impression for yourself and you are going to delay your games and the following booking of the field. Field coordinator will give briefing for the field and safety rules prior game. You are to pay 101% attention to avoid unforeseen events during gameplay that might get you and others injured. If you have questions, ask the coordinator to clear your doubts.
After briefing, you will be gearing up to start your games in the field. Make sure equipment such as facemask and chest protector fit well on you and if they are not, ask for a correct size or fit. Be sure to look for marshal or referee for help in case your equipment failed during gameplay. DO NOT attempt to fix your equipment, especially the paintball marker.
It is good to social around and make friends. This is the best chance you can get to know more about the sport talking with field owner/staffs and regular players. Have fun at the field and you will back home safe.
Step 3: Your first paintball gear
A lot of time I saw new comers heavily gear up themselves for the next game after their first try. After a month or two, they found out paintball is not really their thing and leave the sport. End up spending a lot of money playing once or twice.
Consider getting your first piece of paintball gear only after few more times playing. Why? First, it is to make sure paintball sport is really the hobby you wanted to explore. Second, is getting to know more about the game such as gameplay, rules and equipment.
After you tried enough playing and decided that paintball is your next hobby, it is time to consider about getting your first paintball gear. This is another common mistake new comers that they think paintball marker is the first gear they are going to get. No, it is not. Always consider the most important safety gear as your first paintball gear to purchase, which is paintball facemask or also known as goggle.
The reason paintball facemask should be your first gear is that it protects your face from paintballs hit. One can temporarily or permanently lost his vision shot by paintball. Yes, this is the fact and consequence to bear if you ignore the rule of not wearing or removing your paintball facemask during gameplay. Secondly, facemask is a personal hygiene equipment like your motorcycle helmet. No one really like to share the sweat with you!
Do some research on different types and price range of paintball goggles. Drop by your local paintball store, try all available goggles. Pick one that you feel most comfortable and fit your budget. I will put another list of paintball stores around Malaysia at the end of this article. Then, you can slowly progress to get more protection gears such as knee and elbows pads for maximum protection.
Paintball marker will always be your last piece of gear and make sure you have enough knowledge on how paintball marker actually works, type of paintball markers and the price range of them.
Step 4: Go further.
You probably playing better paintball and gain some experience at this stage. You make more friends at field and learnt about tournament paintball.
Wondering how you can involve in playing tournament paintball? Do talk with regular players or operator at the field you frequent a lot(we call it your home field) and check with them about how you can further improve your playing skills. You may expose to terms like joining a team, training to enhance your gameplay and participate in paintball tournament.
I am keeping this step short as this is beyond the beginner guide. You are going to embark on a new chapter whereby better guidance and challenges await you! All the best and keep balling!
Paintball fields in Malaysia
Northern Peninsular Malaysia
Central of Peninsular Malaysia (Klang Valley)
- 89 Arena Paintball, Klang
- Canyon Paintball Park, Bandar Utama
- Cyberjaya Paintball Park, Cyberjaya
- Kem Isi Rimba, Ulu Kelang
- Mudtrekker Paintball Park, Shah Alam
- Southern Legion Paintball Park, Kajang
- Sri Awana Paintball, Bangi
- Werd Training Facility
- Xtion Paintball Park, Bukit Jalil
Southern Peninsular Malaysia
Sabah & Sarawak
Paintball stores in Malaysia
I hope this article will be an informative one for beginners or anyone interested in paintball sport. Please comment below if you have questions and let me know what you think about the article. Thank you!