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So you've read up on paintball, talked to your friends, and made up your mind - the ultimate rush is definitely the thing for you! So how much is this going to cost, anyway? Paintball is one of the most expensive extreme sports around but understanding the costs and going prepared can help cut costs dramatically.
If you're playing at an organized field, fees will differ among place to place. Most outdoor fields charge an entry fee of $15.00 - $25.00 dollars. Fields range between "FPO" (Field Paint Only) to "BYOP" (Bring your Own Paint). Bring your Own Paint fields give players the chance to save money by using paint they bought outside of the field and its store. Most "recreational" grade paintballs cost around fifteen dollars for a bag of five hundred. If you go with friends you may be able to save some money by buying a case of two thousand paintballs (four bags) that you can all split up.
Air fills also vary from place to place, but CO2 generally costs around two to four dollars for a fill depending on the size of a tank. Remember, CO2 tanks cannot be partially filled and have to be completely emptied before refilling. Some fields use high pressure air (HPA) systems for their rental guns. These are usually steel tanks that hold 3,000 PSI of air, and HPA fills generally cost 2 - 3 dollars for a fill.
Are you renting equipment? Ask friends who have played paintball if you can borrow any of their spare equipment to save money at the rental desk. Having a gun and pod pack and especially a good mask will make the day a lot more fun. If you do rent, make sure you keep all of your gear secured when not playing to make sure nothing is stolen. Accessories like squeegees, pods, and barrel plugs are easily lost on the field and most refs will be glad to hang onto some things while you play.
Bringing your own bagged lunch and something to drink will keep you energized and cut down on costs. Some fields do offer reasonably priced lunches, but not all fields will have food available. Don't expect fresh lobster and juicy steaks on site either - hotdogs and burgers are the norm, and lunch will probably cost around five bucks.
Depending on how much you shoot and for how long you play, expect to pay around 40 - 70 dollars for a day of recreational paintball. Field rental guns don't shoot as fast as other guns which helps keep paint usage down. Buy smart and prepare ahead of time to save money, and try to go as early as you can to get the most out of your time. Field entry costs usually cover a day of play, so why miss half of the day and pay for it? Most importantly have fun and welcome to paintball!