I have always had a love-hate relationship with the idea of paintball. On one hand it seems like it would be fun to run around in army gear shooting high-velocity projectiles at your friends/family/co-workers. On the other hand the thought of being shot by a 10mm paintball in a hard casing moving at 270-300km/h with 4500psi of force behind it hardly seemed worth it.
Well, do I have news for you. On a recent trip to Brisbane to visit family it was one of my cousin's mate's buck parties, instead of strippers and too much booze they had opted for paintball.
We were greeted by the friendly staff who briefly ran through the safety precautions, simply don't lift up your mask or goggles for any reason if you aren't in the safety area as a paintball can easily break teeth or make you lose an eye. All this said, though, it was very straight forward. Walk-in, sign a disclaimer, pay, get your gear (overalls, tactical vest, gun, paintballs and for ladies, a body armour vest), suit up and then play for 3 hours.
The playing itself was cleverly designed on a number of different fields with different objectives and obstacles. Varying from capture the flag, hold the fort to all out mayhem in speed ball.
So back to my original qualm about the paintballs hitting you, I'm not going to lie and say that it doesn't hurt. It does hurt, imagine being flicked really hard with an elastic band. But the pain subsides quickly and somehow the added adrenaline of being shot makes your paintballs go straighter and further than before. I did get hit once on my exposed neck and let out a mighty profanity, but now a day later there is barely a mark and the rest of my welts have subsided to tiny blanched bruises which will clear up in a couple of days.
In all, the day cost me around $170, but I am a little trigger happy and the packages range from $50 - $170, depending on how many paintballs you want. There are more available for purchase on the field and you simply pay later. For a day of unrivalled fun it was more than worth it.