Paintball Forest My Life | Sport & Health 10 DEC 2008

You know, you would think that going to a bachelor’s paintball session would involve you playing against at least one or two people looking like this: (with or without a rabbit’s tail stuck behind them mind you)

Sexy Paintball Babe

Sadly I have now verified that this is NEVER the case. Generally the only wildlife you get to shoot at is some other mate’s big toes – or boep (basically whichever you spot first from behind your chosen tree trunk).

So apart from watching Madagascar 2 on Friday evening, getting engaged and having breakfast in Pringle Bay on Saturday morning, enjoying a big family and friends birthday braai for Chantelle’s birthday on Saturday evening and then spending most of Sunday in Tygervalley wrapping up our Christmas shopping, the other exciting thing I got to do this past weekend was join up with Wayne and the guys for Wayne’s Bachelor’s paintball session.

Now I must admit to thoroughly enjoying the game, (even though I’m pretty terrible at it – apparently) but don’t exactly get around to playing it all that much – essentially I only get to don the mask and unleash some havoc at bachelor’s occasions. And seeing as I haven’t laid eyes on Wayne and Duncan in SUCH a long time, this was the perfect opportunity to get back in touch with them – even if by touch I mean splatter of course!

The field for Saturday’s event was ‘Paintball Forest’, a small little arena tucked behind the Bottelary Sportsclub, just off the Bottelary winelands road that connects Bellville to Stellenbosch. Needless to say, I was indeed almost late for the starting time, having taken a little longer to travel the Stellenbosch route than what I had originally estimated it would take, but as is always the case with any paintball matchup, this turned out to be pretty irrelevant because we started out much later than the scheduled meeting time anyway!

I must admit, I was less than impressed with the team organising the event as the guys came across very unprofessional and they were far less organised or even safety conscious for that matter than any other paintball facilitators that I’ve come across so far. That said, their equipment in terms of guns and masks are pretty top notch and it felt good to hold a marker that actually shoots pretty damn straight 95% of the time!

One thing that did throw me ever so little was the fact that this group didn’t provide jackets like most of the other organisers do, meaning that if you pitched up in a little vest, then you were going to play in a little vest. Needless to say that on learning this, quite a number of the guys scrambled back to the cars in search of just that little bit more protection!

The field itself was pretty small, a nicely wooded area with plenty of shade and obstacles, but with surprisingly few solid trees – oh how I missed the big trees of Tokai I tell you! The weather also played along nicely, no wind, no rain, but plenty of sunshine – the drawback of which was that most of us were dehydrated just from sweating within the first couple of minutes of hitting the field! Talk about a workout and a half – no gym session is going to get me sweating like that!

We weren’t a huge crowd of guys, only a dozen or so, meaning that the teams were pretty small and that suited the size of the field perfectly. Pretty soon we were going full at it, playing various scenarios including VIP (which featured some pretty cool smoke bombs) and last man standing (well actually last man of a team standing to be honest). Amazingly enough, despite his bright neon pink tutu and luminous orange vest, Wayne managed to walk out pretty unscathed, a miraculous event seeing as most of us were gunning for him just by default! :)

I on the other hand are sporting a fair number of bruises which Chantelle delights in pointing out to me, though my funniest story for the day involves me hitting a tree with one of my shots, off which the bullet ricocheted back at me, hitting me straight between the eyes. Funnily enough, it still didn’t splatter, even after hitting me in the head!

Oh, and I also got introduced to the idea of ‘shoot tagging’ basically where one of your team mates can tag you back into the game by shooting you. Essentially what this boils down to is after you’ve been shot, you call for a shoot tag, stick out a limb, cover your nuts and pray that your ally is at least a half decent marksman. I needed to employ this method twice to get back into the game

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.