Paintball for kids

Let’s face it, some people wonder about paintball for kids and if it’s right for their family. It’s an adrenaline sport, and it’s understandable that you might be a little cautious before letting the kids jump into a paintball game the first time. You’re not alone, but a lot has changed over the years.

Yes, paintball used to hurt

Years ago paintballs were lower quality, the shell was not as brittle and it used to hurt. If you ever google paintball bruises (don’t) you’ll think that people are crazy to play. Today, however, paintballs are much better. The shell is thinner, more brittle, and it just isn’t nearly as intense as it used to be. While some paintball fields still use low quality paintballs, Urban War Zone uses only the highest quality gear and paintballs.

The Trend to reduce impact

There is still a movement in the paintball industry to reduce the intensity of paintball even more so that it’s even more accessible for people of all ages. For years, major manufacturers have been testing different ways to reduce impact while keeping paintball fun, exciting and affordable. Results have been mixed and there are two conventional ideas today.

Low Impact Paintball Today

What is it? Why do we need it? Who is it for?

There are two types of low impact paintball. The first type is called .50 (pronounced fifty) caliber paintballs. 50 caliber paintballs are about 40% smaller than a standard .68 paintball. The other type of low impact paintball is done by using the standard .68 caliber and making the shell thinner, more frangible, and more uniform in shape.

.50 caliber paintball comes in two variants, Traditional and SplatMaster, and both have drawbacks. One drawback they both share is how quickly humidity causes them to swell and break in the barrel when you try to shoot it. .50 caliber paintballs are frustrating to use in the Houston humidity.

.50 Caliber Variants

Traditional vs SplatMaster

Traditional .50 caliber

.50 caliber paintball uses a traditional air driven system to shoot a smaller paintball. The idea is that the smaller, lighter, and more fragile paintball will hurt less. Traditional .50 caliber uses a heavy paintball gun built for 11+ kids and adults.

  • Better accuracy
  • Better range
  • Fewer bounces
  • Heavier equipment
  • Hurts more
  • Fast rate of fire

Splatmaster Paintball

Splatmaster uses a spring driven system to shoot a .50 caliber paintball at slower speeds. The idea is that reduced flight speed will further reduce impact. The Splatmaster gun is difficult for small kids to use though because the spring is very strong and it’s difficult to pump.

  • Reduced accuracy
  • Reduced range
  • More bounces
  • Lighter equipment
  • Hurts less
  • Low rate of fire

Is there a better way to play paintball for kids?

The short answer is yes!

Low impact paintball isn’t for kids, it’s for everyone!

There are two types of low impact paintball. The first type is called .50 (pronounced fifty) caliber paintballs. 50 caliber paintballs are about 40% smaller than a standard .68 paintball. The other type of low impact paintball is done by using the standard .68 caliber and making the shell thinner, more frangible, and more uniform in shape.

We use .68 caliber paintballs at Urban War Zone

There are some advantages to shooting a .50 caliber paintball, but have 2 major drawbacks really suck the fun out of it. First, .50 caliber paintballs are very temperature sensitive. The gelatin shell swells and shrinks with heat and humidity. In Houston we have to keep the paintballs temperature controlled right up to the moment they are put into the paintball guns or they will break in the barrel. Second, .50 caliber paintballs can actually hurt more than a very high quality .68 caliber paintball because their small size distributes the entire force of the strike onto a very small area. While it’s true that the overall force is less, the “perceived” pressure can often be more dramatic with .50 cal.

What paintball should you use?

The bottom line is that we want you to have an amazing time playing paintball here at our park. It’s no fun to go out and be worried about getting hit, so we offer two types of paintballs for your shooting pleasure.  On the one hand we have a standard bag of 500 paintballs for $18. This is great for most players.  For those who worry that it might be too intense, you can get a high-quality low impact paintball for only $2 more per bag of 500 paintballs.