Are you a weekend warrior who likes nothing better than to gather with your buddies for some serious paintball adventures? Maybe you’re an advanced player and are part of a team that competes. Either way, filling the gun with paintball projectiles, taking aim, and putting a multi-colored hurts on the opposition is a complete blast. Have you played at an indoor facility? While some love the indoor paintball game, still most competitors enjoy the authenticity of an outdoor setting. Whether you play for fun or for keeps, like your paintball inside our outside, you’ve got to keep it safe. Like the old guy next door used to warn every time you were doing anything in the back yard – “Watch out, that could put an eye out!” So, let’s refresh your memory about the basics of paintball safety. The reminder won’t hurt, and perhaps you’ll pick up a pointer or two to make your paintball experience more enjoyable and less risky.
First off, today there are warnings about drunken dialing leading to embarrassment, and Google offers you a chance to rescind emails if drunk while writing your old girlfriend. Paintball is not a game for drunk people either, or high, overly medicated, or generally under the influence moments. If you proceed incautiously here you may find yourself neglecting basic safety and any number of bad things can happen. Paintball is safer and more fun when sober, and besides, you’ll shoot a lot straighter.
Secondly, the safety gear is made to be worn. Don’t leave it at home! Keep your mask and goggles on. Never pop off the goggles to more clearly see if you hit the opponent. Someone might be taking aim at you. If you can’t see well out of your current goggles, then upgrade them and stay safe and fully sighted. It’s not a bad idea to keep your goggles on after play has stopped and all guns have been plugged or emptied.
The third foundational paintball safety rule is to keep speed down. Paintball velocity of 250-280 fps is plenty. You won’t notice much difference than setting your gun at 300 fps, and if all keep speeds down it will level the playing field and prevent injury. Along these lines, go by the 20-feet / 5 meter rule requiring surrenders within that range rather than hits. The closer the shot the more it will hurt for sure, but also the greater the risk of injury.
Finally, avoid blind firing. While it may be tempting to unload into the dark when you think the opposition is lurking, you may easily hit a referee, a player leaving the field who removes a mask too quickly, or an innocent bystander who is somewhere they shouldn’t be.
Keep it safe and sober, and everybody wins.