Tuesday, September 15, 2009

California Paintball Park – Friendly Fire!!!!

Paintball wars seemed to us to be the ideal setting for our son’s 13th birthday party as none of the boys had ever played before. (Click here to see Cody’s review of the park) We contacted California Paintball Park in Castaic to arrange the group of 5 kids to play for the day. The owner, Les Vido, was extremely helpful and a pleasure to work with.

Driving, the hour from Santa Monica, was quite comical to us as the ride began with the 5 kids in the back all boasting and talking about how badly they were going to “destroy” one another. Then there was the last portion of the ride where everyone seemed to get kind of quiet. The anxiety and concern was obvious by the intermittent questions that popped out of the kid’s mouths…. “So, who are we going to play against?” “Can we play on our own field?” “Will they out us with kids our own age?” We answered as best we could but all we could really say was that we did not know and would have to find out when we got there.

Making the last turn into the park almost made me burst into laughter. We past the sign for the park and immediately off to the right was a group of 20 and 30 something men and women dressed head to toe in fatigues with amo belts and paintball machine guns slung over their shoulders. I thought it was only right that I slow the car down and pull to the side and announce to the boys, “OK guys this is who you are playing.” My glance through the rear view to see their faces was humorous…to say the least.

We then continued into the parking lot and got ourselves over to the check in counter. The set up at the park is done in a way to help folks get into the park in a pretty quick manner. There are 3 counters that you need to check in at; one to sign the waiver forms, one to pay for your rentals and one to collect your gear. Once we had gone through the series of counters and the boys had their weapons, face masks, amo belts, chest / back protectors and jumpsuits we moved of to the side to get them filled up with the paintballs.

As we were not a private party, the boys were what are called “walk-ons” this is just the collection of all of the people that come out to play on a given day. We were then approached by a guy in a black and white stripped referee shirt who proceeded to run through the park rules, gameplay and overall strategy for playing at the park…as well as the warning to keep their face masks on at all times as the paintballs travel at 280 feet per second (or 160 MPH) and if hit in the face….might hurt. Once everyone was ready we made our way up to the first of the fields that the boys played on that day, “Terminator City.”

Once up at the entrance to the first field, there seemed to be about 50 players up there waiting to get their guns a blazing. The referee came up and divided the group into two teams, giving orange arm bands to one side. The park staff is very aware of the regular players and does a great job splitting them up so that the teams end up being pretty fair. We watched as the boys hit the field. Once the ref was signaled that both teams were ready, he counted down from five and then Yelled, “Open Fire!” The game was on. It was actually quite fun to watch, although being in the field area, we had to have on the face masks for safety. It looked similar to a skirmish in some old time war movie. Advancing, and hiding behind whatever could be found, but blasting away with the semi automatic guns the whole time. After a few minutes many of the participants were “out.” Once you are hit with a paintball, you are instructed to raise your gun high in the air and quickly move to the sideline as to not get attacked by the other team. When it got down to about 10 people per side, the strategy seemed to kick in. Lots of scampering about and people taking up sniper positions. It was all I could do to not start yelling, “quick, look to your left. Move up. Fire!”

The walk-ons, if they get to the park early, can play as many as 12 to 14 games throughout the day. The walk-ons that day were a huge mix of people. We saw kids from 10 years old (the minimum age) to adults in their 30s. There were team players wearing their team gear and toting their $200-$300 weapons and there were a large number of 20-something couples and friends enjoying battle after battle.

While the kids were off fighting their wars, Mariah and I sat down with the park owner, Les, to get some further details. After walking around the park and seeing all just about every color of the rainbow splattered on the ground, one of our first questions was about the paint. What was it? Does it stain? What is the park clean up like? Les explained that the paintball is an oil-based paint inside a thin shell that are both biodegradable. Les told us that he loved his clientele but that his mission was to provide a safe, fun family atmosphere for everyone. “When was the last time you got together with your friends and family and were able to, safely, shoot them all?” Les said with a smile.

California Paintball Park has been open since 1990 and has been operating under the new ownership for three years now. The park is a 38 acre facility that is home to more than a dozen playing fields, a concession stand, covered, private party areas and the gear and staging areas. The park has anywhere from 10 to 20 staff on the grounds on any given day, depending on the volume of players. The park is open every Saturday and Sunday for walk-ons and open every day of the week for private parties and corporate events. If you are interested in holding a private party or event at the park, make sure to contact the park at least a week ahead of time, but preferably two weeks out. The park is also a regular training and event location for local law enforcement, fire department and the military.

At 4PM, when the park begins to shut down, we gathered up the boys and could not keep from laughing. They were BEAT UP!!! It was quite funny. They were sweaty, dirty, exhausted, and covered with paintball spatter. They all said that they had a great time and that they’d love to go again. With only a few welts and bruises, I have to say that it was quite a successful day.

If you plan on spending the day at the park on warm or sunny days, call and reserve a covered picnic area for your group. It gets HOT! Also, bring a picnic lunch and lots of water. There is a food stand with limited offerings, but we would suggest bringing your own.

Thank you to everyone at California Paintball Park for a great day!

California Paintball Park is located at: 31050 CHARLEY CANYON RD CASTAIC, CA 91384
And can be contacted at: http://www.paintballpark.net/ or (310) 883-3517

Below is the listed pricing information, but be sure to call ahead as pricing changes from time to time.

WALK-ONS - $20* includes:1. All-day admission (9 a.m. - 4 p.m.) 2. Use of paintball target range 3. Use of shaded picnic area*WALK-ON SPECIAL: WHEN YOU BUY ONE CASE OF PAINTBALLS, YOU'LL EARN ONE FREE ADMISSION!-For Weekend only

Arena/Tournament - $20.00 Saturday and Sunday only
1. All-day admission for the arena's only (9 a.m. - 4 p.m.)

Arena/Tournament Thursday night!!! - $20.00 (Winter/Spring)
1. Admission for the lighted arena only (5:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.)-Air Included

Arena/Tournament Thursday night!!! - $30.00 (Summer/Fall)
1. Admission for the lighted arena only (5:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.)-Air Included

We offer several money-saving DISCOUNT packages: "On Rentals Field Paint Only"

WEEKEND WARRIORS I Packages- $43.00 includes:
1. Half-day field admission. 9 a.m. - Noon OR 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. 2. Use of a semi-automatic machine airgun 3. Complete camouflage outfit 4. Goggles and face mask 5. 100 paintballs and free CO² all day (plus lunch included)

WEEKEND WARRIORS II Packages- $53.00 (Value!) includes:
1. All-day field admission 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. 2. All day use of a semi-automatic machine airgun3. Complete camouflage outfit 4. Goggles and face mask 5. 500 paintballs and free CO² all day (UPGRADE TO 1,000 PAINTBALLS FOR $20)(plus lunch included)

JR. WARRIOR SPECIAL Package for Kids 10-17 ONLY- $39.00 (a $55.00 value!) includes:
1. All day use of a semi-automatic machine airgun2. Facemask and goggles with ear-protection3. California paintball Park decal or emblem4. 100 paintballs and free CO² all day(plus lunch included)

EQUIPMENT RENTAL-(All Rental guns must purchase paintball at CPP)
1. Gun Rental: Semi- Automatic Machine Airgun - $10 1/2 day $15 Full day (Free air fills on all constant air gun/mask/camouflag rentals) 2. Goggles and face mask - $53. Complete camouflage coverall - $10 4. 100 paintballs for $10 and 500 paintballs for $255. ½ Case (1000 - CPP Balls) - $49 6. 1 Case (2,000 - CPP Balls ) - $69 (WHEN YOU BUY ONE CASE OF PAINTBALLS YOU EARN ONE FREE ADMISSION- Self Equiped only 7. CO² 9oz, 12oz and 20oz $10 for all-day. NITRO fills cost $10.00 for all day.

Party Rental Group-not combined with any other discounts
1. Tactical Package 20+ People $25.00 per person (Self Equiped players only) * admission to the park *Unlimited Air *100.00 for the referee *Private party booth
2. Jr. Warriors Package 20+ Kids $35.00 per child 500 pbs (Paintballs must purchase at the park)

* admission to the park *Full day rental*Unlimited Air *100.00 for the referee *Private Booth *Free Birthday Gift

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