For many people, sports are a good way to get out some aggression. Paintball is without a doubt, one of these sports. Arm yourself with a paintball gun, watch your back and let the fun begin.
Paintball can be classified into two different categories. The first is tournament paintball. This is for the serious player. In tournaments, players assemble teams and can spend up into the thousands of dollars for entry. The other type of play is recreational paintball. This is for those who don’t want to spend a lot of money and just want to have fun.
In the game of paintball, players are usually assembled on two different teams. Capture the flag is a popular game where one side tries to capture the other’s flag without being shot.
Another type of play is shooting as many people as you can without getting shot yourself. If you get shot while playing, then you are either “dead” – out of the game – or in a holding area where you have to wait a designated amount of time before re-entering the game.
In order to play the sport you need a gun, a CO2 or nitrogen tank, and some safety gear.
Guns can range anywhere from $150 to over $2,000. Since these bad boys aren’t cheap, renting the equipment is often a popular choice. Jax Outdoor offers a one-day rental for a paintball gun, a CO2 tank and a safety mask for $25. Paintball courses also rent out the equipment.
CO2 or nitrogen propels the paintballs out of the gun. CO2 tanks are the more popular of the two and are cheaper. A 12-oz. tank of CO2 runs around $30 and equals out to around 600 shots. Refills for a CO2 tank are around $5.
Nitrogen on the other hand is more stable than CO2, but costs quite a bit more. A basic 4500-psi nitrogen tank costs about $250. It is also harder to find a place that refills nitrogen tanks.
The last, but most important part of the paintball list is the safety gear. A safety mask and the barrel plug are must-haves. The safety mask covers your entire face and usually costs $25 to $30.
“The stupidest thing you can do, is take your mask off when you are playing. When it is done right, paintball is as safe as any other sport out there,” said Miles Roth, a paintball enthusiast and employee at Jax Outdoor.
The barrel plug is a small plastic cork-type object, which is placed in the barrel of the gun when actual game-play is not in session. The plug prevents a paintball from firing out of the gun if you accidentally pull the trigger.
Paintball equipment can be purchased at a number of stores in the Fort Collins area. Jax Outdoor and Fort Collins Outdoor World have a very good selection of products. Gart Brothers and Wal-Mart also carry paintball equipment, but don’t have as good a selection.
Once you have your equipment or are just ready to blast away, there are two courses available to play at in the general vicinity of Fort Collins. 2 Chicks Paintball is located on the border between Colorado and Wyoming. Action Pursuit Paintball is located in Greeley. In Denver, there is Hot Pursuit Mountain Paintball, O A G Paintball Games and Paintball Adventures.
2 Chicks Paintball has fields with bunkers, forests and boulders. They charge a field fee of $15 and $5 for every 100 paintballs.
Action Pursuit Paintball has 22 acres of forest and tall grass for game play. Bunkers are located all around the different fields for cover and sniper action. They also feature a “Saving Private Ryan” field, in which two teams are carried to the shores and have to race to metal bunkers while under fire by the enemy.
Action Pursuit Paintball charges $37 for a full rental equipment and field fee. If you already own the equipment, their field fee is $15.
Playing on private property is also a favorite among paintballers. Roth gets together every Sunday with a group of friends and plays for free on private property. Their only cost is for paintballs.
Roth best sums up the sport of paintball.
“It’s a total adrenaline rush. It’s like running around being a kid,” he said.