When you are on the paintball field, you are either the predator or the prey. In a game like Woodsball, you are in the woods and your job is to hunt down your enemy before he finds you and shoots you. Does that sound like a good time to you? For dedicated paintballers, the answer is a most definite yes. Nothing gets a dedicated player more excited than the adrenaline rush of playing. With their camouflage and tactical gear, they feel like nothing can kill them. For most people considering the sport, it can sound a bit intimidating and they have a lot of questions.
One of the questions that I get asked the most is “Does Paintball Hurt?” It is a difficult question to answer because it is a bit subjective. If I have to answer it on the spot though I would say that it does sometimes but most of the time it doesn’t. Every player has a different pain threshold and it also depends on how far your enemy is that shot you. With this guide, I will go deeper to answer this question in more detail and hope that convinces you to still play.
What Factors Make Paintball Hurt?
I would like to discuss some of the reasons why getting hit by a paintball might hurt. Once I get this out of the way, I can answer the first question in the initial paragraph with more certainty.
Quality of the Paintball
Most paintball venues provide their own paintballs and ban specific brands. The reason for this is because they don’t want players bringing in cheap quality paint. The quality of the paintball is a big factor because getting hit by cheap paintballs hurts. The paint inside of a low-quality ball is dense and doesn’t always burst upon impact. Make sure the venue you are playing in only uses well-known brands that the community trusts.
The speed of the Enemy's Marker
Paintballers with high-end guns that pack a lot of power are the most feared. The good thing is that the majority of venues have velocity limits so you don’t have to worry about this. It is always good to play it safe and make sure that a specific place does have limits though.
Location You Get Shot
The severity of the pain you feel when you get hit by a paintball depends on where you get hit. The areas on your body with the least amount of muscle to protect you will hurt the most. Also, if you don’t cover up and get shot anywhere your skin is exposed, that will hurt a lot more. Seasoned paintballers no the importance of making sure every inch of skin is safe.
Amount of Times You Get Hit
It is not always the initial shots that hurt. The real pain comes from getting hit in the same area numerous times. If this continues to occur, reevaluate how you play and find weaknesses you can work on. When you do this, you grow as a player and it becomes harder to hit you in the same places on your body.
How Much Does It Hurt?
You can play for many years and become a true professional in the sport but it doesn’t matter. You will still get hit on occasion and it will hurt so it is a reality that you have to accept.
If you ask several players about how much getting hit hurts, they will all give you different answers. Some say it stings the way getting hit with a rubber band felt like in elementary school. Others claim they feel nothing which shows you that degree of pain can vary. The one thing they can all agree on is that the pain is short-lived and doesn’t last long. You feel a bit of pain and then within seconds you recover and get back to the game.
The way to feel the last amount of pain on the field is by following all the rules of the game and wearing all the gear you can. Breaking a rule like taking off your paintball mask in the middle of a game can have deadly consequences. If this happens, the pain will be the last thing on your mind. I have heard of paintballers bursting an eye socket or losing their eyesight for life. Follow every single rule and you will never have any issues.
How to Prevent The Pain
The best way to avoid the pain of getting shot by a paintball is to not get it at all. Of course, this easier said than done because as mentioned before, you will get hit no matter how well you play. But if you start to notice that you are being hit more than the average player, you need to change your style. Once you do that and start getting hit less, your next goal is to make it hurt less the times you do get shot.
There a few things that you can do to minimize the pain of getting shot with a paintball. I cannot repeat this enough but the best way to do this has to do with what you wear when you play. Fools who play paintball in shorts and a t-shirt will not last long in this sport. They will have large amounts of skin exposed and getting hit will be excruciating.
Your typical team will wear matching pants and long sleeve shirts that are a baggy fit. If you join a team, you will have to make sure yours matches with theirs or they will most likely give you a team jersey. Some of the team clothing you wear will come with padding which is great. The more padding they have, the less pain you will feel when you get hit.
Don’t forget that overdressing could be harmful if you do it in climates that are hot. The combination of sweat and a higher risk of passing out from dehydration is dangerous. Buy clothing that is breathable while still managing to be thick enough to keep you from harm.
Another way to keep the pain as minimal as possible is to always keep your distance from the enemy. The closer you are to them when they fire their marker, the more it will hurt you. If you are a good distance away, the speed of the paintball will be less so it won’t hurt much. This is great advice for Woodsball style games. During Woodsball games, this will be harder advice to follow.
What About Children?
Children will complain a bit more about getting hit than adults. Of course, some of them can handle pain more than others. Always be sure a paintball venue matches your kid up with children their own age. At no point should you ever agree that they can play with adults because that should never be allowed. Another question to ask a venue owner is if they use low-velocity markers for children’s games. Low-velocity paintball guns will hurt a lot less.
Every state and paintball venue has its own rules when it comes to how old your child can be to play. Most fields will only allow children older than 12 to 14 years of age if they want to play. To be honest, what really matters is maturity. Your child needs to be mature enough to understand the rule and have the ability to follow them.
The best advice I can give you after you follow the safety and gear rules is to stop thinking so much. Stop waiting around and worrying about getting hit because it will kill the fun. Enjoying the game and letting loose will help you perform better. And the better you perform the less you will get hit.