The vast majority of paintball arenas are outside, and although we can predict the weather, we certainly can’t change it.
Sometimes the clouds burst, and outdoor activities can be a washout.
But can you still play paintball in the rain?
Yes, is the short answer. However, you should be taking some extra precautions, and there are some tips and tricks you can use to ensure everyone has a safe, and successful day.
Read on to find out how to make the best of playing paintball in wet weather.
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- Can You Play Paintball in the Rain – Too Long, Didn’t Read
- Paintballs and Water – What You Need to Know
- Is it Safe to Play Paintball in the Rain?
- What to Wear for Wet Paintball
- How to Protect Your Guns and Gear
- How to Play Paintball in the Rain
- Paintball and Bad Weather – When to Call it a Day
Can You Play Paintball in the Rain – Too Long, Didn’t Read
For anyone who doesn’t have the time to read the full article, here’s a brief summary outlining the main points:
Yes, you can play paintball in wet weather – provided you wear suitable clothing, keep your balls dry, and you take care when negotiating hazards and obstacles.
Obviously, there’s a lot more to it than that, so stay with us as we explore each point in more detail, with some expert advice on how to get the most out of your rainy paintball experience.
Paintballs and Water – What You Need to Know
Paintballs are made from food-safe, water-soluble ingredients, and as such they will deteriorate if they come into contact with any kind of liquid or moisture.
This means they have a shelf life, and you should always try to make sure you’re only firing fresh paint, well within the expiry date. This article on prolonging paintball life will tell you all you need to know.
It’s also good news, however, as their biodegradable nature makes them easy to wash out of clothes. Read this article for more information on taking care of your paintball gear after a game.
But what does that mean for rainy weather paintball?
For the most part, providing you “keep your powder dry,” (AKA – your paintballs) you shouldn’t see much of a difference in how they perform.
But that means taking care of your equipment and preventing water from getting inside your marker. Tips on how to do that are coming up, below.
Is it Safe to Play Paintball in the Rain?
Perhaps the main concern with playing paintball in the rain should be if it’s actually safe to do so.
The ground could well turn muddy if it hasn’t already, which will make it treacherous underfoot, and easy to slip, trip, and/or fall.
Especially when you’re running through the undergrowth, diving for cover.
Good quality footwear can help – more on that topic coming up.
And while there’s not much you can do when it comes to the conditions of the paintball arena, you can look for fields or areas with less challenging terrain.
Take care when negotiating obstacles – refrain from standing or climbing on fallen trees, slippery rocks, etc.
If the terrain is hilly, look for brush and undergrowth that will help you climb. Exposed areas with little or no ground cover will be very slippy.
In general, you should be present and aware in the moment. Stay focussed, be sure of your footing, and slow down. Keep reading for more advice on how to actually play paintball in the rain.
What to Wear for Wet Paintball
One of the most important factors for comfortable wet-weather paintball is going to be what you wear during the day.
Familiarize yourself with this general article on what to wear for paintball to start with, or bookmark the page to read later.
As with playing paintball in all conditions – you should be wearing something you don’t mind getting ruined.
But this is especially true in the rain, as there’s a strong chance you’re going to get unavoidably filthy. Donning your best hoodie for a match isn’t a good idea at the best of times.
Loose fitting clothing is a good choice when it comes to what to wear for paintball in the summer – but when it’s raining, the opposite is true.
Loose clothing can become waterlogged, and weigh you down, so pick something that isn’t as baggy as what you might normally wear for a match.
This article on the best pants for paintball should give you some excellent options – many of which will offer good protection from the elements, as well as being practical for gameplay.
The right choice of footwear is very important – regardless of the conditions, you’re playing in. But in the wet, it’s particularly vital. Choose boots with a deep, grippy tread, and avoid running sneakers.
Make sure you pack extra clothing for the journey home, or for when you get totally soaked to the skin during play. Sometimes, a third change of clothing is advisable for when you’re completely done for the day.
Socks, socks, socks. Have a minimum of three pairs. If your feet are comfortable – you’ll be comfortable. Look after your feet, and everything else will follow.
A wide-brimmed hat is a good idea, as it will help keep the rain off your goggles. A mask with a visor will also help, and you should be able to find one at this article on the best paintball masks on the market.
Rain will make it very difficult to see, and you should use an anti-fog spray on your goggles, and keep a lint-free cloth to hand for regular wipes. A top-tip for keeping rain out of your eyewear is coming up.
Never remove your goggles during a match – no matter how wet or foggy they are. Raise your arm to signal you have a problem, and make your way to home base/the safe area before removing eye pro.
Bring trash bags with you so you can throw all your filthy, wet clothing in at the end of the match – the back seat of your car will thank you for it.
And a couple of towels is also a good idea – which will help dry you and your gear off before the drive home.
How to Protect Your Guns and Gear
During play, you should try to keep your paintball hopper dry. A good way to do this is to cover it with a plastic bag.
Top tip – use electrical tape to help keep the water out of your gun/goggles. Use it to create a seal anywhere that might otherwise allow water/moisture in.
Look for cover whenever you’re reloading your hopper, as tipping in a new batch of paint out in the open will let the rain right in, and is a recipe for disaster.
Remember, once there’s water inside your hopper/gun, your paint is going to be ruined, and you’re out of the game.
If, at any time, you suspect water has compromised any part of your marker, you should stop play, find shelter, and take it apart.
The inner workings of your paintball gun need to be thoroughly cleaned and dried before you can continue.
Only then should you be reloading with fresh paint.
Take a look at this article on paintball gun maintenance for general information and advice on how to properly take care of your marker.
Top tip – make sure you bring your own squeegee, so you can clear out/dry your paintball barrel. That way, you can avoid risking the ire of a team member who has come better prepared.
Never use your marker for anything other than what it was designed for – especially in rainy, muddy conditions.
It amazes me how many times I see rookies or casual players resting on their markers, sitting on them, using them as walking sticks, etc.
It’s painful to watch – so don’t do it.
How to Play Paintball in the Rain
When it comes to tactics and general paintball play, wet weather can hamper your normal approach.
It certainly poses new challenges in the field, but there’s one key piece of advice that will help everyone stay safe and still have a good time:
Slow it down.
Sure, it might be hard to do in the heat of the moment when adrenaline is pumping – but you should try to dial down your usual level of exertion. Take your time, and enjoy a slower pace.
One way of doing this is to take regular breaks, and keep games shorter. Everyone will appreciate the time to have a breather and dry off before the next round.
When it comes to scenarios, it’s a good idea to pick games that aren’t quite as hectic as the more fast-paced, speedball-style match-ups. A basic attack/defend match is a good starting point.
This article on airsoft game modes should help you choose a more relaxed game (most, if not all, work just as well for paintball.)
Paintball and Bad Weather – When to Call it a Day
With the best will and preparation in the world, sometimes, the elements get the better of us, and we can’t or shouldn’t continue with play.
If the weather is particularly bad, then err on the side of caution and save it for another day. Torrential rain is going to make everyone miserable, and possibly ruin clothing, equipment and paint.
Unless everything is made to be submerged, water will get in eventually – especially if it’s really coming down.
Likewise, if it’s blowing a gale. Playing paintball in windy conditions is actually far more dangerous than it is in rain.
The wind can easily make those paintballs fly where they’re not originally intended – and aside from a safety point of view, it just takes the enjoyment out of it when you can’t hit your targets.
Many parents will be understandably concerned if it’s safe to play paintball in rainy weather, and if it gets particularly bad, remember that tomorrow is another day.
Use common sense, and choose to stay indoors if conditions are too wild.
Can I use an electric paintball marker in the rain?
Yes, you can – providing you’ve adequately prepared your marker for the weather conditions.
But having said that, I really wouldn’t risk it. Electricity and water don’t mix, and it’s not worth the possibility of ruining your expensive gear just to play for one day in the rain.
Should I play paintball in the rain?
That’s a very good question. Just because we can do something, doesn’t mean we actually should.
Some people enjoy playing paintball in wet weather, others – not so much. But at the end of the day, it’s nowhere near as enjoyable as a match in more suitable conditions.
You can see anything, you can’t hear anything, you’re going to get a soaking, and you run the risk of your gear getting damaged.
But it can still be a blast, and by all means, give it a go.
The video below contains even more pro-tips for rainy paintball:
Can you play paintball in the rain? You most certainly can! In fact, it can be an exhilarating addition to your day, and add to the camaraderie and team bonding experience.
Providing, of course, you’re well-prepared, and you know what to expect.
Let us know if you have any rainy paintball tips and tricks, or if you’d like to share any wet weather combat sport stories with the community.
Stay safe out there, stay dry, and happy paintballing!