This archived article was written by: Zak Konakis
Breath comes in deep with low exhales while the adrenaline is pulsing through the veins and your senses are on edge and a feeling of weightlessness becomes euphoric dodging marble-sized paint balls. Clinging to the hope of spotting the enemy before they see, your paint flies and you can’t help but feel self-satisfaction as you kill (artificially, of course … or else your paint ball career would be insanely short otherwise) your enemies (or friends … depending on personal politics.) The constant thumping of pneumatic bolts is nearly poetic as the struggle for victory ensues; breeding a new kind of urban soldier.
Paint ball, a sport that is emerging more into the mainstream and is becoming not only a player loved but spectator friendly sport as well. With a sport that is this action packed and fast paced, the endorsements are coming in droves as the action packed sport is now moving into television on ESPN and WGN networks. With teams like Dynasty and Naughty Dogs moving to the forefront and becoming recognizable to players and fans-alike, the want to play paint ball is becoming more and more contagious.
Guns in paint balling are called markers and each marker is fitted with an air supply consisting of C02 or compressed air depending on the player’s discretion and cash flow. Markers are fitted standard with an apparatus attached to the top or side of the gun, depending on model, called a hopper. The hopper is vital to success because it holds the ammunition for the marker. The rest of the gun is completely customizable as well; being able to change barrels and gun skins are making the marker a Frankenstein’s monster style of individuality on the field.
Despite the seemingly violent nature of paint ball, it is actually by far one of the safest activities players can engage in with safety equipment that is as vital as a football player’s helmet or a soccer players cup. Face masks are the only real safety equipment needed and the rest of it is all dependent on the participant’s threshold for pain. Just like any other game, there are rules for safety that have to be followed in order to keep the game fun and friendly. Make no mistake, when shot it will be different than expected. Some say that it will hurt and others say that it won’t, it is completely on the individual and how “hard core” they want to appear to their friends. “It just feels different to different people,” says Alan Milburn, a freshman. “Some think that it is like a bee sting and others just feel the pressure and then a stick like someone has slapped you.”
“Paint ball is just fun … It gives me a rush with the paint flying by my face. I like playing it with my cousins; it’s just an unexplainable rush,” says Trevor Harting, another freshman. “[Paint ball] is a game like no other; you can actually shoot people and get away with it. What’s not to love about that?”
So whether it is killing your friends (still artificially) or just getting your thrills paint ball is creeping into the mainstream, because it is just plain old-fashioned fun.