Paintball and Airsoft provide the thrills without the danger

Photo: Thinkstock

Pssht, pssht, pssht. A trio of shots whips through the air as a camouflaged figure ducks behind a corrugated steel bunker. At one end, a masked gunman crouches behind a mountain of tires. Nearby, a silent predator sits still against a stack of logs.

Like a scene out of a zombie apocalypse, paintball players maneuver along a playing field dotted with obstacles, shelters and armed opponents. This may be mock warfare, but the thrill is real.

Competitions range from basic elimination to elaborate team events. Most often, two teams equipped with paintball guns begin on opposite ends of the field. When players are shot, they must leave. The last team standing wins.

As in paintball, airsoft involves shooting opposing players. A major difference is the equipment: Paintball guns are highly stylized, whereas airsoft guns resemble real-world firearms. If you don’t own your own equipment, most facilities offer rental weapons and protective wear.

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Hawaii Business,June