Does Paintball Hurt

Does Paintball hurt?

If you want the quick answer to the question, does paintball or airsoft hurt, then the answer is no, not really. But if you want to know why they don’t hurt, then read on.

If you were to ask the question, will I get cold if I walk 5 miles at -1 degrees in just my underwear?, you probably already know the answer to the question. But what about if you asked the question, will I get cold if I walk 5 miles at -1 degrees. It’s the same question but with an additional parameter removed.
The answer to that question is, not if you wrap up warm, or wear the correct clothing.


So to go a bit deeper into the question, does paintball or airsoft hurt?, the answer is not if you are wearing the correct clothing.
If you decide to play paintball in just your boxer shorts, and you get shot, then it’s probably going to raise an eyebrow, but if you are wearing sensible clothing and also wear a coverall, then no.

Does paintball hurt, convincing mum that it doesn’t.

But how would that convince an over protective mum that her little soldier isn’t going to come home black and blue. How do you convince her that paintball and airsoft don’t hurt, after all, when mum played paintball when she was at school in the late nineties or early naughtiest, she thought it hurt and came home bruised.

You have to know some of the innovations that have come into paintball especially over the last few years.

Does Paintball hurt at the Yorkshire Paintball Centre.

Lets take the example of the Yorkshire Paintball Centre. Set up in 1988, YPC used standard .68 cal paintball guns as that is all that was available. Paintball didn’t hurt that much as long as players wore the correct clothing, but during the summer months when players wore less clothing, there was a real possibility of bruising and breaking of the skin. Welts as they became known.

In 2012, a smaller paintball became available and so did the guns that fired them. This became known as Paintball 2.0. The second generation of paintball and YPC were the first centre in the UK to completely convert to the new paintball format. Other good quality centres followed and paintball became “Family Friendly”. Unbelievably, there are still some paintball centres out there that use the old fashioned .68 cal paintballs. At these venues, if you ask, does paintball hurt, the answer would be very different.

So why is this paintball 2.0 so good?

Well, here is the great thing about Paintball 2.0 played at Centres like the Yorkshire Paintball Centre. Because the paintball is lighter, it hits with less energy. Imagine being hit with a table tennis ball at 100mph or a squash ball at 100mph.

Does Paintball hurt. Now for the science.

An old fashioned Paintball (.68 Cal) at 300 feet per second will hit you at 13 joules of energy. Now that doesn’t mean anything until you compare it to the new format Paintball 2.0
A new Paintball 2.0 paintball (Smaller calibre) at 350 feet per second will hit you with 5 joules of energy. They hit and give you a nip so you know you have been hit, but they do not leave you with bruising or welts. (A complete no brainer as to which you should play)
Now, for mums worried about their kids and asking, does Paintball hurt?

There is a version of paintball called Junior Paintball, again played at the Yorkshire Paintball Centre. This uses spring powered pump action paintball shotguns using the new Paintball 2.0 paintballs.
They fire a paintball at around 120 feet per second with an impact of about 1.7 joules of energy. Compare that to the 13 joules of energy that mum or dad played when they were young and you will see how far paintball has come.

Does airsoft hurt?

Using the above energy levels as a bench mark, airsoft guns have a legal limit in the UK of around 1.3 joules of energy. That’s a lower energy than even a kids version of paintball. And that is at 350 feet per second.


The simple answer to the question, does paintball or hurt? is no, not if you are wearing the correct equipment and playing at a venue that uses the new Paintball 2.0 paintball guns. This is exactly the same for airsoft.

Both paintball and airsoft are very healthy pastimes, played using teamwork and out in the fresh air. Players will learn new skills, the ability to work as a team and maybe, just maybe, they will return home a little bit fitter than when they left home in the morning.

More pages you may find interesting

Paintball Leeds
What to wear at a paintball party at Yorkshire Outdoor Activity Park

Where can I play paintball and airsoft in the UK?
Childrens Paintball

Some of our most frequently asked questions

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