Frequently Asked Questions
What is paintball?
It's a sport in which people go out in
the woods and play combat style games. Only, in this game each
player has a gun that fires gelatin capsules filled with a water-soluble
food coloring and vegetable oil. If you're shot and marked, you're
out of the game and have to wait until the next one starts. Games
last approximately 15 minutes.
Is it safe?
Like all action sports (football, basketball,
etc.) paintball is very dangerous unless adequate protection is
worn and safety rules understood and followed. That’s why our
games are always refereed. Most paintball guns shoot
a 68-caliber paint pellet. The pellet is a thin gelatin shell
filled with a water-soluble food coloring and vegetable oil. Guns
shoot the pellets at a speed of 200 to 300 feet per second. Since
the paint pellets are fairly light (only weighing a few grams
each), they have little momentum while in flight, and thus are
not lethal like the heavy lead projectiles fired from conventional
firearms. In addition to using a non-lethal projectile, paintball
players always wear protective goggles to protect
their eyes. Safety is highly stressed at most fields. Most fields
require goggles be worn at all times unless in designated areas.
Most fields also require that barrel plugs (plastic inserts that
prevent projectiles from leaving your gun's barrel) be used while
players are in certain areas. Ignoring safety rules is a good
way to get yourself ejected from a field.
Does it hurt when you get shot?
The paint pellets break open upon impact,
and generally cause very little pain. What pain is experienced
is more of a stinging sensation from the pellet's impact against
the skin or through clothing. In my experience, the stinging pain
goes away after a few seconds. Of course, the closer you are to
the muzzle of the gun, the higher the velocity of the pellet when
it hits you. Thus, more pain may be experienced when shot at close
range rather than farther away. We do apply the “point blank rule”.
In general, one can count on coming off the field with a few welts
from paintball impacts, but your most annoying injuries are more
likely to be scrapes and bruises from the local terrain.
Do I have to be on a team?
You don't have to have an organized team
or go to an organized field in order to play. If you have some
paintball guns, paintball goggles, and a few friends, you can
simply get together and shoot at each other. Most commercial fields
allow walk-on games, where anybody can show up and play. We welcome
new players! We can supply you with everything you need to have
the time of your life!
kind of paintball field should I look for?
For the first few games you should play
on a well-organized field. Size is not the best way to judge the
field. The field should be clean and organized with well-placed
bunkers and no hidden hazards. The things to watch for are the
number of referees on the field for each game and the explanation
of the rules. The rules of safety and specific rules for the field/game
should be clearly stated by a referee before anyone steps foot
on the field to play. There should also be a sufficient number
of referees for the number of players; one referee can not handle
a field with fifty people on it. If these conditions are not met,
you should seriously consider waiting for your first day until
you find a field better suited to a beginner.
How much does it cost to play?
The average field in will cost approximately
$27+ for 1-day rental of goggles, gun and usually some paintballs.
A beginner should plan on using 400-600 paintballs for the first
few days with rental guns. A day of play is usually 10:00am to
5:00pm. If you start playing regularly and would like to have
your own equipment, you have several options open to you. You
can buy an entry-level semi-automatic for $100 to $300. A new
pair of goggles might cost $35 to $70. Buying yourself a new pair
of goggles designed specifically for paintball is a must. Paint
costs about $.05 to $.09 per pellet. You may go through several
hundred pellets of paint over the course of a single day, so this
cost should be a long-term consideration. Depending on the type
of gun you're using, the cost of CO2 should also be a long-term
consideration. If you're using a 12-gram gun (see list of terms,
below) you can buy disposable 12-gram "powerlets" or larger CO2
tanks which are a much better value. If you're using a compressed
air tank or a CO2 tank, you should be able to get it refilled
at your local paintball shop or field for about $3-$5, depending
on its size.
What do I need to bring?
Some Fields may not supply food or
have facilities where food can be bought so a lunch and snacks
should be brought just in case. Bring water, lots of water. Bring
old, sturdy, dark clothes and shoes or boots with some sort of
ankle support. Hueston Woods Paintball does sell a large variety
of food and non-alcoholic beverages.
safety equipment do I need?
The minimum safety equipment necessary
is goggles, throat protection, and, for men, a protective cup.
How can I play safe?
- Do not shoot animals or wildlife.
- Do not fire your paint gun anywhere
except on the field during the game or in the designated chronograph
- Inspect the lens of your goggles for
cracks or signs of weakness.
- Make sure your mask is well seated and
will not come off during the game.
- Make sure the velocity of your paint
gun is below 280 feet per second or less.
- Always assume the gun is loaded even
if you know otherwise.
- Always assume safety devices won't work.
- Unload the gun when not in use.
- Upon receiving or retrieving a gun,
check to see if it's loaded.
- Anytime you are carrying a paint gun
in a 'safe zone' such as the parking lot or staging area where
people are not wearing goggles; you MUST have a barrel plug
in the barrel.
- Know the rules of the game and abide
- Never remove goggles while on the field.
- Do not play when very tired or hungry.
Bring food or money to buy food from field. Most injuries occur
at the end of the day when players are exhausted.
- NEVER look down the barrel. Not even
with protection. If barrel needs checking remove from the gun
and check. If the barrel cannot be removed, disconnect all CO2/CA
equipment, test fire the gun downrange until no more gas is
left in the gun, clear the breech or ball loading area, and
then, carefully and while wearing goggles, glance down the barrel.
Notify the field owner or manager of any medical conditions,
Do I need to be physically fit
Not really, but it will help. As with all
strenuous exercise participants should stretch and warm up before
playing. Since typical games require quick sprints followed by
a rest having good an-aerobic fitness is beneficial. Players should
gauge their play to their level of fitness. All players in poor
physical condition or with physically limiting conditions should
consult a physician before playing. Proper footwear is very important.
Some players find that lightweight canvas topped army boots or
leather work boots protect feet and ankles in the woods. Other
players prefer the support that sneakers give as paintball does
involve running. Some wear spiked athletic shoes for better traction.
Personal preferences vary, but footwear should not be overlooked.
Can I get the paint out of
is water-soluble and should wash out as normal.