Paintballs are a popular recreational activity, but most people don’t know much about them beyond the basics. Here are seven surprising facts about paintballs that you may not have known.
7. The Name “Paintballs” is Actually Trademarked
The term “paintball” has been trademarked by the JT SplatMaster company, which manufactures equipment for paintball enthusiasts. This means that no one else can use the term on their product without permission or risk legal action. They are not the only manufacturer of paintballs, but the name “paintball” is exclusive to them.
6. Paintballs Explode When They Hit a Surface at High Speed
Most people think of paintballs as exploding on impact with a target, as though they were filled with an explosive substance that causes them to burst upon contact. In fact, they only explode when they hit a surface at high speed.
This means they explode on impact with most solid surfaces and when shot against trees and the ground in an outdoor setting, but not when they come into contact with each other or with soft materials like clothing.
5. You Can Play Paintball With Stock Paintballs
Just because paintballs are trademarked doesn’t mean that they are the only ones you can use in a paintball set. You can play with your paintballs as long as they meet certain requirements, such as size and hardness. In fact, most experienced players do not use stock paintballs because they are known for their poor quality.
4. Marker Ball Velocity Determines the Force of Impact
The velocity of the gun determines the force of impact when you are struck by a paintball. For example, higher-end markers shoot paintballs at 280 feet per second while entry-level ones do so at 200 feet per second. The difference in speed results in a less painful hit because it spreads out the kinetic energy over a wider area.
3. Paintballs are Biodegradable
Paintball enthusiasts often argue about whether or not paintballs are biodegradable, but the verdict is clear: they are completely biodegradable. Of course, most paintballs hit an object and explode before they have a chance to separate into their different components, but any that are not burst will quickly decompose outdoors.
2. Paintballs Are Marked as Hazardous Materials
Paintballs are classified as hazardous materials, which means that they have to be shipped under special regulations. This is because of the liquid used in them and the risk that the paint could come into contact with a person’s skin. It is best not to order paintballs online unless you are ordering them in bulk, which you should only do if you will use them quickly.
1. Paintballs are 80% Water
Most people do not realize this, but paintballs are mostly water. They contain gasses that cause them to expand after they are fired from the marker, and then these gasses dissolve into liquid when they come into contact with air. This means that there is no way you can actually shoot someone and hurt them with a paintball unless you bring along a paintball gun with an extremely high velocity.
Some of these facts are more surprising than others, but this list took me completely by surprise. I had no idea that paintballs were mostly water, or that they exploded on impact with anything at high speed. Have you ever shot anyone with a ball before? If so, you know how blue and wet everything gets. I would think that getting hit by a paintball would be like getting pelted with small berries.