Ouch! I was just looking over some of the recent photos we got in and found the snap above. Two words springs to mind – stag party. Obviously cutting loose and having fun means sometimes pushing the barrier a little bit further to get a dig in to your mates when the opportunity arise, but paintball really doesn’t have to be painful.
Truth is, paintball is a relatively safe sport, with most injuries occurring when players trips over obstacles on the course, rather than getting hit by paint. If you want my advice though, it’s worth avoiding the paint too though, as it won’t injure you at all, but it sure as hell can sting if you’re not prepared for it.
The easiest way to do this is to either keep the safety on when your marker’s not in use, or use a barrel cover. Most markers, except perhaps stock class examples, use sensitive electronic triggers, so all it takes is the slightest slip on a wet leave and suddenly your girlfriend looks like she’s been attacked by angry wasps.
My next tip hopefully goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. We all remember Byker Grove (where Ant and/or Dec broke the golden rule and removed their mask mid-game)? Let it be a cautionary tale. Paintballs fly at an incredible speed, so always keep your mask or goggles on and never, ever be tempted to remove them until you get the all-clear.
There’s an old buccaneer’s saying which goes ‘every rock is slippy’. I don’t think it’s supposed to be particularly philosophical, it just means watch where you put your feet. Tree roots, half-buried stones, logs, marshland and man-made obstacles are all there to provide cover, but they’re also really good at tripping up unprepared players. Because of this, I recommended you find a pair of sturdy but comfortable boots or walking shoes before you next take to the paintball field, the extra grip will give you all the advantage too. Actually, I know I’ve mentioned it before, but wearing a couple of layers can really help take the sting out of a hit too!
Finally, only play on accredited paintball sites that you trust. There’s a lot of fly-by-night paintball providers popping up around the country, so don’t be tempted to risk injuring yourself just for a slightly cheaper day’s playing.
See you next time paintballers!