How to Prepare to Play

xxxBefore playing many players have their own rituals or processes that they do each time. Although there may not be an exact right way of doing it there are some things that you should never forget to do. Let us start with when you first get to the field. You pull in and being to look for a parking spot. Many of the fields I have played at have grass parking lots that leave the where to park up to you. Typically teams will all park near each other or in a circle by each other to have their own little base camp to come to after each point in practices and each match at tournaments. There is where they can go over strategy and game play and offer each other advice on what they saw the person doing right or wrong. Once you have your little base camp most people begin to get their gear on to play. Always put your knee and elbow pads on first. I can not tell you how many times I have gotten almost all the way geared up to realize I forgot that very crucial step and I had to strip back down to get them on. Follow that with your pants, cleats, and jersey. This all seems quite self explanatory but there is a reasoning behind it all. Now that you have gotten most of your equipment on go buy yourself a case of the finest paint balls they offer and pay the entry fee if your field requires it. If you are anything like me this means the one that is the most bang for your buck. There is no sense in shooting the most expensive paint in a practice because you will need a lot more than anyone has previously told you.

Now run out and play right? No that is so very, very wrong. You still have a lot to do before you are even ready to step foot onto the field. Pods are your livelihood on the field and if you forget to fill a few of those bad boys up you are in for some trouble. That sounds simple enough, put paint balls in the pods. It is almost that simple but you must make sure to pack them correctly. Fill the pod up and then shake it so the paint balls can settle and fill the gaps. After that add a few more paint balls so that they do not rattle when you shake them up. Often times the lid of the pod will actually compress the paint balls ever so slightly down. A quote that applies to paintball probably more than what it was intended for is “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”. Bring enough pods onto the field with you so that it will match your position and job on the field. Back guys typically carry more and should really be shooting their guns the entire point. Front players have a lot of moving to do and shoot a little less. Either way you can not hit what you do not shoot at. Also be sure to store your paint in the shade or out of direct sunlight because it could cause them to swell. Now toss those pods into your pod pack in the way yours is designed to hold them and strap it around your waist.

Now that you have most of your gear on and ready, do some stretches. You are going to be running, sliding, diving, crouching, and tucked into all sorts of little spots that will strain your body if you do not prepare. Do not get stuck sitting out because you pulled a muscle from failing to stretch. Depending on the field, some places have the a period before practice or games start to check out the field. I highly recommend doing so because although it is probably set up to a layout even an inch off can open and close shots. If you do not walk the field you may think a shot will be available but then once you start playing you may find that it is not there. This can work alternatively where you can think you are safe in a certain position but due to the way the field is set up that day, you may be right in the line of fire. Knowledge is power, do not forget that. Now get back to base camp and talk over what you have seen with teammates so that you can get a good understanding of the whole field, not just the position you play.

Now if you did not already do so get your gun setup put together. Match the paint to the barrel and fill up your loader. Even more important than that make sure you fill your tank. Have you ever tried to drive a car without gas? Unless you have an electric car it probably did not go so well. Well if you do not fill up your air tank you are going to feel the same way. You will not be able to shoot paint balls with an empty tank. If you wear any head ware now is a good time to throw that on and your mask too. It is time to chronograph your marker. This means shooting over a chronograph to read what velocity your gun is shooting paint balls at. Somewhere between 280 and 300 is ideal but make sure not to go over because it could result in a penalty in a tournament. Once you get that all set and ready to go after making necessary adjustments, you are ready for game time.

How to Join the Sport of Paintball

paoMany people wonder how players go from the occasional recreational weekend warrior to the dedicated athlete that competitive players are. To be upfront about it, there is no exact formula for it. However, there are steps you can take to get moving in the right direction.

Most players start by playing with friends and renting equipment from the field. This is the best first step because like anything, paintball is not for everyone. After giving it a try, if you’re anything like me, you will fall in love with it. At this point you may want to consider buying some of your own equipment if it is something you would like to do more often. Then just play as much as you can as often as you can. The only way to get good at anything is to practice. Not only will playing often aid in that way but you will also begin to make personal connections at the field. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, you will be surprised to see how many people are willing to offer helpful advice. You might even find yourself a few new buddies to go play with.

Some players will find they love the friendliness of recreational play while others may want to get into a more competitive environment. This is great except there is some preparation that should be done. Watch videos on professional players and study how they move and hold their paintball “markers” (guns). also, you will probably notice players at the field wearing custom team jerseys. Get to know these guys because they will be your ticket onto a team. Ask if they have practices you can come watch or participate in. Many teams need new talent so a new face is usually highly welcomed. This is where all the cards begin to fall into place. The team you are watching will see you trying to get into competitions and can help you do that. They will also be practicing with other competitive teams that may need an extra player too. You may also want to peruse online forums to find out information on team try outs and practices in your area. Overall, it’s all about putting in the practice and making friends at the field. If you can accomplish those two things you will be well on your way to a national competition and a new group of friends.

Best and Biggest Thrill Rides In Orange County

dhThere’s no shortage of heart-stopping excitement in Orange County. If you live for the adrenaline rush, if you have the need for speed, you’ll find it among the many fun rides throughout Orange County. Here’s just a sampling of what you can experience in the OC.

Knott’s Supreme Scream

Knott’s Berry Farm keeps reinventing the big-G thrill ride and its Supreme Scream is no exception. Located on the park’s boardwalk, this white knuckler lasts an adrenaline rushing 45 seconds and reaches speeds up 50 mph. The ride has separate Turbo Drop towers arranged in a triangular fashion. And being 312 feet tall, it’s the tallest freestanding structure in Orange County. Seated in a carriage with 12 other brave souls, with your feet dangling beneath you, you ascend to a “nose-bleeding” height of 252 feet. After a momentary stop at the top, a quick blast of compressed air rockets you straight down in just three hair-curling seconds. Unlike traditional free-fall rides, which end after the drop, Supreme Scream takes thrills to a new level by rebounding each carriage back up the tower for a second drop. The sudden upward rebound creates a positive 4G-force, followed by a second free-fall. The ride ends with a number of smaller up and down bounces until your carriage comes to rest at the base of the tower.

Disney’s California Screamin’

A classic up-down-sideways high speed thrill ride that has you hanging on for dear life, California Screamin’ is a wood-mimicking steel roller coaster located at Disney’s California Adventure park. Reaching a top speed of 62 miles per hour, it’s the fastest ride at the Disneyland Resort and one of the fastest rides at any Disney theme park. In fact, it’s pretty intense for a Disney park ride, with a power blast take off that accelerates you from zero to 55 miles per hour in a heady four seconds after launch. The Paradise Pier themed ride has become the longest looping coaster in the world.

Sports Car Thrills

Instead of an amusement park, why not experience the ultimate racing thrill and have a professional driver take you for the ride of your life in a fast car at Auto Club Speedway? After you buckle up, you better hold on tight for two heart-pumping laps through the Auto Club Speedway Exotics Road Course. You’re next to a professional driver as he pushes the limits of a meticulously prepared, 505 horsepower Corvette Z06. If you think you have what it takes you can also drive an exotic car yourself-when you sign up for their Race a Ferrari or Race a Lamborghini experience.

Aerial Thrills

Not for the acrophobic or faint of heart, Sky Thrill in Fullerton lets you take control of a world-class aerobatic stunt plane-and fly it like a stunt pilot. They offer several flight experiences from short intro flights to over-the-top “World Aerobatic Champion” thrillers. You don’t need a pilot’s license or prior flight experience to fly in any of their programs. You fly the aircraft of your choice for up to 90% of the flight time at speeds up to 250 mph pulling up to 6 Gs! Sky Thrill pilots brief you on everything you need to know before your flight during a short safety briefing. They also teach you how to perform each aerobatic maneuver and what to expect from your instructor pilot. Once airborne, they talk you through every maneuver, step by step. Flights start at $365 for a 1- hour, 35-minute flight.

Is Paintball Safe?

ceThere is a common misconception that paintball is a very dangerous and painful sport. The word paintball “gun” strikes fear into many uninformed people. It sets off signals of danger and pain in peoples’ minds. It is a word that has many negative connotations associated with it. However that is exactly what it is, a misconception. Paintball, in fact, is much safer than a majority of other sports out there. You would be surprised!

In my decade of experience, I have seen very few injuries in the sport and not a single one was attributed to getting hit with a paintball. These injuries can be attributed to tripping, weather, or failure to stretch out before a match. Keep in mind, these are the type of injuries that occur in most outdoor sports and cannot be completely avoided. However, pain is another story. Every person has their own interpretation to pain.

Some people have higher or lower pain tolerances for different types of pain. When I began playing as a kid I was nervous. The guns are loud, and they shoot fast. It was intimidating. However, all of these factors contributed to me believing that it was going to hurt, and rightfully so. What I failed to realize is that none of those things actually had any tangible effect on my body. I was essentially afraid of the new surroundings and change from what I considered normal. Once I finally was hit for the first time I did think it hurt, but for all the wrong reasons. The pain associated with the hit was from the shock value of not knowing when it is coming. It was a surprise. The pain itself was actually very minimal. Yes, you are being hit with an object so there is some level of pain associated with that whether it is a pillow or a paintball.

However, in all actuality it is more of just a surprising jolt similar to if someone were to jump out from around a corner and scare you. If you knew that person was going to try to scare you it probably wouldn’t work as well because you expected it. That’s really what it boils down to, your own personal expectations.

Remember, paintball is a safe, family fun activity that a variety of ages can enjoy. I recommend using caution on younger kids and use discretion when you think they are ready to start playing.