So you’re interested in playing, but wondering how bad does paintball hurt, huh? As always…it depends. The pain level of paintball is subjective, depending on what the paintball hits. The most painful place a paintball can hit is the face, especially around the eyes and ears. The pain level of paintball can also depend on the size of the paintball and how many fps your paintball gun shoots (the best paintball guns shoot around 300 fps).
So, does Paintball Hurt? Generally, a hit from a paintball will feel like a sting. The pain from a paintball hit is not excruciating, but depending on where you are hit, the amount of gear you are wearing, and the speed and distance the ball traveled will cause the pain to vary in degree.
To read more about the pain associated with paintball, how to decrease the pain, and how it compares to airsoft, continue reading down below. But first…
How Bad Does Paintball Hurt?
Being hit from a paintball can be described generally as a bee sting or being snapped by an elastic band, so it is definitely bearable if not just uncomfortable. Beyond the pain, you can get bruises or welts at the worst when being hit by a paintball. There are, however, different situations to consider when discussing the degree of pain associated with paintball.
Different parts of the body will hurt more or less when getting hit by a paintball. If you are hit in an area that has more muscles and fat, it will be less painful as you have natural protection and padding in those places. For example, getting hit in the back where you have less fat and muscles will hurt more than getting hit in the arm or lower torso.
The distance and speed that the balls travel will also change the degree of main associated with the hit. A shorter distance is going to hurt more as the ball will be traveling at a faster speed upon impact. Similarly, if the gun is not calibrated in a safe range the paintball will travel much quicker and thus be very painful when it hits you. Some fields will actually have specifications for calibration to be in a certain range to ensure it is firing paintballs at a safe speed.
If the paintball does not break, it is actually more painful and the force of the paintball is not dispersed and concentrated in one location. This however is a pretty minuscule pain difference according to experienced players.
The amount of clothing and padding you are wearing will also affect the degree of pain you feel. The more padding you have, the less likely you are to feel pain and get bruises by the impact.
How To Decrease the Pain From Paintball
If you are not wearing gear, paintball will hurt much more than if you were. To mitigate any pain that may occur when playing paintball, you will want to wear more gear. Beyond the standard mask that is used to protect your face, additional gear can range from just adding more padded clothes to paintball-specific gear.
At the bare minimum, you want to wear long sleeves and pants to protect your legs and arms. You do not want to get hit on bare skin when playing paintball, as this will make getting hit even more painful. You can wear a sweatshirt and pants and other types of thicker clothing to increase the padding protecting your body. This will help to prevent any bruising from the impact of a paintball. Wearing more layers increases the padding that will help to reduce the pain experienced when getting hit by a paintball.
More specific gear that players can wear are protective vests and other types of gear. These are often not required and may be bulkier, but if you are younger, have lower pain tolerance, or are just a casual player, it might be a good idea to consider borrowing, renting, or buying protective gear. If you are playing at a paintball field, they might even require you to wear protective vests regardless.
Additional gear to consider beyond covering your face, arms, legs, and torso would be gloves to protect your hands and something like a baseball cap turned backward to cover your neck.
What Hurts More: Paintball Or Airsoft?
In circumstances that are similar, such as the distance the ball travels from the gun to your body, the location of impact on your body, and the same level of protective gear, paintballs will hurt more.
Due to the fact that paintballs have a larger surface, the impact of a paintball hitting you will hurt much more. While airsoft pellets will travel faster because of their small size, both the 6mm and 8mm airsoft pellets will still have a softer impact in comparison.