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Do It! - Paintball

Hunkered down under a moonlit sky behind a sandbag bunker with a remorseless “enemy” bearing down on you or running like mad through the scrub forest from barricade to barricade, with bursts of gunfire going off all around, you begin to understand why paintball has been called “the ultimate adrenaline rush.”

Paintball lets you play John Wayne (or Rambo, or Chuck Norris) in refereed “battles” that last about 15 minutes and pit two teams of five to eight players against each other. The challenge — and the fun— comes in the form of the tiny paintballs that give the game its name. Fired from small CO2 powered guns, they zip along at 190 miles an hour, splatting against whatever they come in contact with, leaving a telltale mark. They hit with quite a sting and raise a lovely red welt so when you get hit, you’ll know it. The games are highly structured with an emphasis on good sportsmanship and safety. Anyone breaking the rules will be removed from the game. According to paintball promoters, paintball causes fewer participant injuries than bowling and golf. And, lest you think paintball is a game just for young boys and grown men who act that way, a surprising number of women play — and play hard.

Most games are played outdoors, although there are some indoor courses. Some fields use inflatable barricades to provide cover, others use hard plastic; best of all, in my opinion, are the woods courses, in which most, if not all the cover, is natural. The fields I have played are very imaginatively designed, well executed, and meticulously maintained. The length of game session varies and sessions can last four or five hours. Night games are especially exhilarating and highly recommended.

There are a number of paintball fields in the Orlando area. Most are fairly modest operations and locations can change regularly and without notice. So can hours of operation. Schedules are somewhat loose and fields are sometimes booked by local groups. There’s always a possibility that you’ll be able to join a private group, so it’s worth dropping by or calling in to check. Kids as young as ten can play at some courses with signed parental approval.

Prices vary from place to place. Some charge a basic fee, others don’t. The real money is in the paintballs, which can cost upwards of $60 a case of 2,000 rounds. Most places sell them in batches of 500. If you don’t have your own paintball gun, not to worry. You can rent one for $10 or so; many rental packages include ammo. Budget a minimum of about $40 per person for your paintball adventure. Make sure to dress down for your game and make sure to wear the required footgear, either boots or athletic shoes. Some places rent jumpsuits, many of them camouflaged; they are highly recommended. They provide concealment and some protection from the sting of a direct hit.

Since the paintball scene changes so often, I strongly recommend you call to check location, hours, and pricing before driving long distances. Note that the addresses given may be the office location and not the field location.

Epik Paintball

Orlando Paintball

Osceola Extreme Sports

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