Tuesday, May 4, 2010

11 Tips for Paintball Beginners

  1. Masks: Do not take off your mask. Ever. Seriously, paintballs moved at approximately one-third the speed of an actual bullet, at that is powerful enough to do serious damage to an eye or any other part of your face. You could lose an eye. You could have a busted lip. You could get a busted ear drum. The only time to remove your facial protection is in a designated area once you are out of the game or once the game is over. If you're not sure of where a designated area is, ask a game official or possibly a veteran player.
  2. Footware: You're going to be running around a lot, probably in the woods. There are going to be ditches to jump, fallen trees to climb around, who knows what else. You are going to want to wear something appropriate to offer protection to your feet and ankles. No need for a twisted ankle or broken foot. Hiking shoes or boots are excellent choices. Running shoes and tennis shoes are okay, but they often don't rise high enough to offer protection for the ankles; still, such shoes would be appropriate for an indoors paintball session. Military boots are a solid choice. Work boots can be good, too, though some people find them too heavy, especially the steel-toe variety of boots.
  3. Move: When in the game, try to keep moving as much as possible. Don't stay behind one great big tree the whole game because it seems like a good hiding spot or a great place to shoot from. It's not. It might protect you for a few minutes, at most, but eventually you could wind up on your own and surrounded. You will lose. Eventually you'll run out of ammo. Your best bet is to keep moving. Moving targets are much more difficult to hit than stationary ones.
  4. Honesty: If you are hit with a paintball, be honest about it. Don't try to lie by saying you weren't hit. Don't try to cheat by wiping away the paint. Other players will catch on to what you are doing. Then those other players won't want to play with you anymore. That could be the end to your paintball fun.
  5. Communicate: Talk to your teammates. You don't have to scream, because you don't want to give away your location, but you need to be in pretty constant contact with the others on your side, especially those right around you. If you're in constant communication, you can help to formulate plans with the others. This helps to build a strong offense and defense. If you're out of paintballs and/or CO2, make sure your teammates know; maybe someone will have some spares they can give you. But again, don't yell out. You don't want the opposing team to know you're out of ammo. Even without paintballs, you could still prove effective to your time by working as a diversion or something else; the enemy won't necessarily know you're out of paintballs unless you tell them. And don't forget to ask questions of your team captain and other mates; better to look unexperienced that to lose out early.
  6. Learn to crawl and hide: The fastest way to get targeted in paintball is to be standing up in the open. Stay on the move, but try to do so behind trees and brush and the like. And remember to crawl. Even if you are out in the open on flat ground with nothing to hide behind, you make a much more difficult target if you are flat on the ground.
  7. Don't get tunnel vision: Stressful situations tend to give people tunnel vision, where they focus on only one direction or one object. You don't want this. You need to be aware of your surroundings at all times. That guy you think you've got pinned down behind a tree might have a buddy flanking around to get you in the back.
  8. Learn your equipment: Make sure you are familiar with your gun before you get out on the field. You need to be able to reload swiftly, and you need to know the limitations of your paintball marker? What's its maximum range? If you're walking into a game with a gun unknown to you, you're in for a lot of trouble. At the very, very least, try out the marker a few times before getting onto a field.
  9. Wear appropriate clothing: Paintballs can sting when they hit. Maybe not immediately, but they could raise up a welt the next day. And you're likely to be running around in a wooded area where branches and thorns could be brushing at your pretty often. So you won't want to wear that short-sleeve T-shirt to a paintball game. Long sleeves are better. And definitely don't wear shorts. You might end up having to crawl or climb, and long paints will work better. Color is important, too. White will make you stand out on the field. Darker colors will make you a more difficult target to find and it. Camouflage isn't absolutely necessary, but it's not a band choice at all. If you wear jeans, just make sure they're not too snug. You need to be able to move and move quickly, after all.
  10. Follow orders: Often times a team captain is chosen by the team. Sometimes, in more informal matches, the team captains are veteran players who sort of naturally take control of the situation. Regardless, you need to follow orders. If orders aren't being followed, chaos will ensue and your team is going to lose. And don't questions orders in the middle of a paintball fight. Maybe if it's the very beginning of a match and the teams are far, far away from one another, but never once the game really gets under way.
  11. Have fun: That's right. Enjoy yourself. Paintball came seem stressful at times, but keep in mind, it's only a game. It's there for your amusement, not to stress you out.
Related link: Lessons I've Learned from Paintball

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