Ever Felt Like You Just Wanted to Shoot Someone? Paintball in Buenos Aires

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It is a truth universally acknowledged that some of life’s frustrations can only be properly alleviated by taking up arms and attempting to mow down your friends (ideally in a non-lethal way). And that’s exactly what paintball offers, so the appeal is pretty obvious!

With the above in mind, I recently went with about 10 amiguitos, both Argentinean and expat, to TEGBall Paintball’s field of battle in Palermo, at Avenida Roldan 4440 (near the Planetario).

What is paintball anyway?

First a quick description of what paintball is, for those who don’t know. Paintball is a live-action war simulation game played with compressed-air guns (euphemistically they’re called ‘markers’) that fire balls of paint which burst on impact. Players divide into teams and play one or more rounds where the idea is to eliminate all the members of the other team or complete some other objective, such as capturing a flag and returning it to your team’s base. Get hit by a paintball, and you’re ‘dead,’ and therefore out for the rest of the round.

Without wanting to scare anyone, I have to say that in paintball the balls fly fast, meaning that at closer ranges they hit hard and leave a significant bruise. Personally, I like that, partly because the balls need to hit hard enough to burst – I’ve played paintball before with underpowered markers and sometimes the balls would bounce off people without bursting – but mostly because I want to be a little scared of getting hit. After all, this is war, and it definitely adds to the realism. Your mileage, of course, may vary.

Also note that while face-masks are supplied, head coverings are not, meaning that the top and the back of your head remain exposed. Get hit with a paintball in those locations and you’ll know it, so take an old scarf or bandanna to wrap around your noggin before putting on your mask. Comfortable shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty are another essential.

The TEGBall experience

At TEGBall they charge AR$50 per person to play. The fee includes 100 balls, but that’s not enough for more than a round or two, so expect to have to recharge a few times (at AR$15 per 100 balls). Because playing for longer = more balls fired and more money spent, you can play as many rounds as you like. We only stopped because it was getting dark and we were getting tired.

For their field of battle, TEGBall use the center of what appears to be a long-disused velodrome, which they’ve artfully strewn with bits of ‘cover’ (in the military sense) constructed out of old pallets and other junk. There’s just one field, running on the long axis of the velodrome, but it can be divided in half for small groups. In this case the teams start on opposite sides of the short axis. It all has an industrial decay/post-apocalyptic-future sort of feel to it, which is nicely suitable.

Before our group headed out onto the field there was the inevitable safety talk. It’s given in Spanish, so take someone who’s fluent to avoid complications; first-timers won’t want to miss out on hearing how it all works. After the safety talk it’s time to don masks and stinky, paint-splattered overalls, get a marker and a hopper full of balls, and head out onto the field of play. We were divided into two teams of about five each and spent the next few hours running around, doing commando-rolls and trying to ‘cap’ each other (in the gangster sense).

The final verdict? Paintball in Buenos Aires is adrenaline-pumping, occasionally scary, riotous fun…and as an added bonus, very good exercise! Check out the links below for more information.

Endnotes:
TEGBall’s website is www.tegball.com.ar. The other options for paintball in and around Buenos Aires can be found by pointing your browser at www.juegosdeguerra.com.ar, www.urbanpaintball.com.ar, www.bairespaintball.com.ar, and www.ciudadpaintball.com.ar.