Ben's birthday brought me to paintballing. It's a little odd to think that just a few hours before the late-night party snacks, easy banter around the dinner table and regular birthday festivities, we were shooting each other down in fogged-up masks. A 5-year-old's dream come true I'm sure.
We headed out to Paintball Paradise in the Northend of the city (read: boondocks). The event coincided with the city's annual Santa Claus parade, so there was a bit of weaving and strategy involved while exiting the city - all good training for the sport right (is it a sport?). The grounds were equipped with both indoor and outdoor facilities - we opted with indoor when we were told low temperatures can mess up how paintballs fire from the barrel, and it was kind of cold outside.
|Exhibit A: Corner Gas gone SWAT|
We played a few rounds and I didn't manage to hit anyone, or use very many of my paintballs (I ended up handing them out like candy between games). During the briefing we were told a paintball to the skin felt like being whipped with a towel. It was definitely a sharp pain. My gloved hand was barely skimmed and it hurt like the dickens. It bruised up immediately and to this day still isn't evenly toned.
|I tried to kneel like this guy in the magazine. It didn't work out for me.|
Paintballing was a pretty good time. If I could do it again, I would practice aiming before going in. The air tank shoots the paint a bit off kilter, and if you're a newbie wanting to try, here's what I learned: never assume you're safe and don't be afraid to shoot a lot of rounds. Then you'll be ballin.