When Did Shooting Paint At Your Friends Become A Thing? The History Of Paintball

Paintball is a relatively new sport that has come into popularity since its inception nearly 30 years ago. The main idea? Recreate the excitement of outdoor hunting and survival of the fittest!

A group of friends, Bob Gurnsey, Bob Jones and Charles Gaines, thought it would be great to start some kind of stalking game where they pondered if survival in the woods is a product of environment or a deeply-buried instinct.

In May of 1981 in New Hampshire, the creators discussed the idea of finally having the first paintball game. The Nel-spot 007 marker was purchased and subsequently tested on its first human (by the way the gun was invented to mark trees and cattle).

Game-day was June 27, 1981 and the 12 players were armed; half were hunters and the other half was formed by a writer, surgeon, golden gloves boxer, venture capitalist and forester…Go figure!

The prediction the night before was that the hunters would beat all of the city boys. Can you imagine why they thought of that?

The first paintball game played was “capture the flag”, very similar as today. The New Hampshire forester was victorious!

After the concept of paintball as spotlighted in Sports Illustrated, interest increased.

The first major paintball tournament was held in 1983, with the team based in Canada. Paintballs have developed over time; when the game began, paintballs were oil-based but today, paintballs are filled with a gelatin coating of vegetable oil and the dye.

An example of the developing of Paintball is our amazing Paintless Paintball in Planet Air Sports, combining Paintball with laser tag: all of the adrenaline and same rules, without the mess!

We also got a little something special for the little ones. If your children are between 6 to 10 years old, they can play with the Bazooka Ball-high quality Bazooka Cannon which fires soft foam 2″ balls- that getting hit doesn’t even hurt!

What are you waiting for? Be part of this great history trying this new and exciting way of playing Paintball!