Indian Creek Design - Paintball

Visit NextTime's ICD 'Cats Page.

Yes, I play paintball. I get killed a lot, but I do get a few kills every time. It's fun and it's good stress relief.

Try these links:

Lately I've been playing at a small time indoor place in Albany, NY called First Prize Paintball. It's smallish, but it's run by a bunch of fairly easy going guys and it's cheap. You tend to see everyone from first timers to guys with $1500 guns that belong on pro teams. If you're in the New York Capital District area and are looking for a nice masochistic night out, look these guys up. Open games run every Friday and Saturday night starting at 7:00 PM or so. You can call them at 518-446-BALL.

Here's a quick list of the equipment I'm using at the moment:

Everyone else seems to have paintball questions on their pages, so why not me too? I'm no expert on the game, but I can give insight to new players since it hasn't been too long since I was there myself. So, here it is:

Does it hurt?
The single most common question, and the simplest answer...YES. Good, now that I've scared off those who would get a little sting and run crying off to mommy, I'll give a real answer. It can hurt a lot, or not at all. It depends most on where you get hit, and also from what range. A long shot to the abdomen might bounce off or break so softly you won't feel it. A close shot to the head can feel like you've been shot with a real bullet, for a minute or two at least. Don't let that scare you off though. If you've ever fallen off of a bike, banged your knee on a piece of furniture, or gotten sucker punched, you've felt MUCH worse. Besides, you usually ignore the pain because it's accompanied by someone running at you wanting to hit you again.
Does the paint wash out?
Usually. The paint is water based and made specifically to wash out of clothing. It can stain certain fabrics, and some paint just doesn't wash out well. I've never had more than a shadow of a splat left after washing my BDUs.

Recently I've heard stories of tournament paint that is made to be very difficult to wipe off, and therefore doesn't wash out very well. The one I know of by name is RP Scherer "All Star" (Evil Paint). If you see someone using this stuff and don't want permanent stains on your clothes, don't play against them.

What should I wear?
Looking at the last question, I'd hope you'd realize that it shouldn't be your best suit or dress. Actually, something much better would be clothes you wouldn't mind wearing to work in the garage or garden. Multiple layers of loose fitting clothes work best, and colors that are similar to the playing field will help keep you from being seen. Probably the most common outfit for non professionals is a military Battle Dress Uniform(BDU), also known as fatigues, camoflague, GI Joes, etc. They're relatively cheap, fit loosely when worn properly, and no one really cares how they look. A pair of shorts or sweatpants worn underneath will make changing after the games much easier.

It's also a good idea to wear a hat or bandana and gloves. Males should seriously consider proper, ummm...personal protection.

How old do you have to be?
This depends on the field you plan on playing at. For most, if you're under 18 you'll need a parent to at least sign a form. The minimum age I've seen anywhere is 10, and in most cases anyone under 16 has to have a parent around for the whole time. It's best to call ahead and ask if you're not sure.
Do I need my own equipment?
For the first time, definately not. I wouldn't even recommend buying anything until you've played at least a few times. Every field I've seen offers rentals and most will have a couple of different guns to try. Play with a few different guns, wear a few different masks, and listen to what the other players say about their equipment. When you're ready to buy, shop around to find a good price, but remember that buying from a local shop instead of mail order can get you a lot of extra help down the road.

If you're only going to buy one piece of equipment, I'd advise a mask first. Most fields have decent guns, and you can usually fiddle with a rental enough to make it work great for you. On the other hand, rental masks are usually marginal at best. Renters tend not to be real careful about how they clean the lenses and the fields don't want to replace them until it's necessary. It's nice to have your own clear, clean mask rather than a blurred mask with someone else's sweat on it.

Do I have to wear one of those masks?
Yes. Seeing is a good thing.
What kind of gun should I get?
Don't you listen? Play with a bunch of different guns and make your own judgements. I like my Alley Cat a lot, but some of the "good" players sneer at it.

I have one recommendation as to what NOT to get. Avoid the Kingman Spyder Compact-P. The "P" means it has a plastic trigger frame instead of aluminum. A slight misstep on the field can lead to spending an extra $20 to replace the frame. (Check out what it looks like!) The Compact-A has the metal frame standard and is only $5-$10 more to begin with.

What kind of paint should I use?
Again, this is a matter of personal preference, and which gun/barrel combo you're using. I've had good luck with RP Scherer Marballizers, and bad luck with Zap Select. A good rule of thumb is to avoid paint that has an obvious, measureable groove in it. I'd avoid paint that has a lot of broken shells in the box/bag. That can mean cheap or old paint, or just rough handling.

First Prize usually sells Nelson Challanger paint. This stuff ranges from poor to awful in quality. I'd avoid it, and any field that forces you to use it. Nelson paint is the main reason I no longer play at First Prize regularly.

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