VIDEO: Davi's First Time - Paintballing like a pro
A few weeks ago, I learnt how to use a gun, which really came in handy at Paintball Jamaica in my home parish of Trelawny.
The company has been in operation for three years, and though originally opened to target cruise ship passengers, Najarie Ritchie, sales and operations manager, stated that their clients are predominantly locals.
I was extremely excited to, once again, get the chance to fire off some rounds, but having learnt that it is quite painful when the pellet connects with the skin, I was a bit hesitant. I am a fan of hurting people, but definitely not a fan of getting hurt.
When we arrived, I was greeted by Rayon Greaves, the paintball marshal, who had several rules and regulations for me to learn before I was allowed anywhere near the paintball obstacle course.
First, I was taught the different parts of the barrel gun and their uses. I was also told that should I be shot on the arm or leg, I would still be in the game as those do not count as ‘kill shots’. Rayon inserted 100 balls (pellets) into the gun and instructed me on how to get it ‘live’ (take off the safety).
Being me, he had to go over the instructions, as I wanted to ensure that I would come out victorious. I was given a blue coverall, a bulletproof vest, a neck protector and a mask. I didn’t think I needed any of them because I was confident that my previous shooting experience would give me the advantage. However, I had to play by the rules. “The ball travels 300 feet per second, so ensure that your mask is on at all times when you’re on the field.
The game can last up to 10 minutes, depending on how good you are. There is also a 10 feet surrender rule.
When you are at least 10 feet away from your opponent, yell ‘SURRENDER’ before opening fire on them. The closer you are, the more the ball stings,” Greaves revealed. By this time, I was ready, amped up and my trigger finger itching to fire off some rounds.
I would be going up against Greaves, and because he considered me an amateur, he decided to allow me a teammate. My friend Shari Reid was suited up and we got ready for battle.
"Two pon one a murder," I yelled out to Greaves through my mask.
"Mek wi si nuh," he replied, full of confidence.
"Arm your weapons, face the fence, and at the count of three, turn around and begin," yelled referee AndrÈ Spencer.
He had barely said the word 'three' before I turned and began firing. I spotted Greaves hiding behind some metal bunkers (obstacles) and began firing in his direction. He reeled off a few rounds at me, which had me ducking for cover, peeking out from behind a drum. By now, he had moved from his hiding spot and was nowhere to be seen. In an effort to locate him, I ran out into the open, wildly firing, hoping he would emerge.
That strategy backfired, badly, as, 'SPLAT', I felt a stinging sensation on my arm. I had been hit, but luckily, I was not out. I was left dazed and confused as to how he had accomplished this. Me, Davi, the great shooter, had almost been eliminated!
I returned fire and could hear the pellets hitting the metal drum he was hiding behind, unscathed. I ran in his direction, gun in the air, finger on the trigger, ready to eliminate him. But before I could reach him, the referee stopped me in my tracks. "You're out of bullets. You're out of the game."
I had not realised this and decided that I would return with a vengeance.
My teammate Shari had been covering me from a safe house on the field. She immediately gave me her gun and exited the area, instructing me to avenge myself.
With shots firing from every angle and Greaves able to fend me off with ease, I finally came up with another strategy. I waited quietly for him to approach the safe house, listening intently to the direction his bullets were coming from. Finally, I spotted him. I hunkered down so he wouldn't spot me as he edged closer. The moment of truth had arrived.
"Surrender," I yelled as I fired off three shots at his chest. Like Goliath, he came tumbling down. I was the winner.
"You never know seh mi a real sharpshooter?" I mocked him.
"Good game," he said with a smile.
Satisfied, I put my gun back in the safety position, and walked off into the sunset.