Paintballing: How to get started

Looking to get out for some fun with a group of friends? One way to have a great time is paintballing. Although it seems like a difficult sport to get into because of equipment required, it is easy to rent equipment, cutting down the cost of having fun with your friends.

Even if you have never been paintballing, it’s easy to try. All you need to do is go to a sporting goods store that has all of the supplies and rent paintball guns which usually come with CO2 canisters and masks (around $15 per day). Then, buy some paintballs and you are ready to go.

You should also consider protective equipment before playing. Masks are essential. Do not ever play without a mask and even after being tagged, keep your mask on until you have reached the designated safe zone which should be far enough from the field that no stray balls can hit anyone. Beyond a mask, no safety equipment is needed; however, many people prefer to wear thicker clothing such as sweatshirts to avoid welts.

There are many places around Bozeman that are easy to access and utilize for recreational paintball. Once you have the equipment, drive to a spot, such as up Hyalite and play.

Once you have a location, all that is left is to choose from a variety of ways to play. If you have enough people, the options are endless: Look below for some ideas on ways to play.

Deathmatch: The classic game style, where players spread out on the playing field and fight all against all until only one person remains standing.

Team Deathmatch: The classic game with teams. Players split into two or more even teams. Each team goes to one side of the designated playing field and, once ready, the teams fight until all of the players on one team have been shot.

Capture the Flag: Players split into two even teams and each team is assigned a base where their flag (or some easily transportable object) is kept in an open area. Then, the teams try to move the other team’s flag from the opponent’s base to their own. Finally, a spawn point should be established for each team within their own territory where the players go to respawn after being hit.

Presidents: Players split into teams, with each team assigning one player to be the “president.” The president does not carry a gun and, if he is hit, the game is automatically over. In this game style, players have to find a happy medium between defending their president from the opposing team and trying to take out the other team’s president.

Civil War: Players split into two teams and line up facing each other in an open field.  Each team takes turns shooting from the hip at the other team. When a player is hit, they are not out; however, players can choose to leave the game at any time. After each shot, both teams move forward one step. The game is over once there are no players willing to be shot on one of the teams.

So, what are you waiting for? The equipment is easy to acquire and use, there are many great places to go around Bozeman and loads of fun can be had. Get up, gear up and go paintballing!