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Table of Contents:Plian Cement
Plain cement (floated cement) :Fields : Splatball Indoor, Eagan MN. Dark Armies, Indianapolis IN. Chicago Paintball Factory, Chicago IL. Futureworld Paintball, Racine WI.
Perks : Easy to maintain, it's cement after all. Hose off the floor every night, dry it, and go again.
Disadvantages : It gets very slick very fast. Two games, and it's an ice rink. Players who wear special shoes (Broom ball shoes) will have advantages, but players will slip and fall. And, you can't hose it down every night. It's not gonna happen.
Dirt :Fields : Splatterball, Aurora IL.
Perks : Well, it's dirt. As such, it's cheap, kinda. It absorbs paint. It gives a good traction to the players. Non-slip by nature.
Disadvantages : Dirt is, well, dirty. It coats guns, goggles, players, and everything else with a thin coat of 'dust' as the day goes on. Unless you keep it damp, this dust will kick up badly. One field I went to I saw players hacking and coughing between games, they had inhaled so much dust. It trashes thermal lenses, ruins barrels, and so on. Also, you'll run into 'mud' if you wet it too much. You may have to sift it for rocks. Key bunkers will have the surface 'pushed' away from them, making a hazard. Your players will want to have cleats. The cost of hauling enough dirt to a site is horrific, at best. Also, being an organic surface it needs to be 'rotated' or 'tilled', so as to prevent mold, fungus, or anything growing in it. (However, if you want an indoor arboretum, that's up to you.)
Sand :Fields : None visited. All information is from other sources.
Perks : Soaks up paint. Non-slip by nature.
Disadvantages : Sand ruins goggles, barrels, and almost all equipment. It gets into EVERYTHING (Pockets, loaders, clothing...) It grinds away at internals, and so on. It's hard to move through. It gets 'pushed' like dirt, but worse. This is probably the worst surfave you can use, IMHO.
Latex Paint w/ sand in it :Fields : Splatball Indoor, St. Paul MN.
Perks : Flat like cement, it won't be 'pushed' away. Offers a 'sandpaper' style of grip on the floor. While dry, it works very well.
Disadvantages : Like cement, it pools paint. While running, I slipped on the paintball residue, only to be 'grabbed' by the floor surface. I went down very hard. This creates a surface that's hard to know what's going to be good footing and what's not. It was cleaned every five games or so, which put a crimp in the day's play. It had to be kept dry, however, a tedious task.
Kitty Litter :Fields : Paintball Daves, Milwaulkee WI.
Perks : Cheap, per pound. It 'clumps' paint residue, and can be spread as per needed. It cleans up easily. It's never used as a floor 'base', but as a method of cleaning up residue or 'soaking' it up.
Disadvantages : Because it 'clumps', it creates uneven surfaces on the floor. Twisted ankles and tumbles are commonplace. It's also messy, and it gets all over clothing. It washes out, but it makes a horrifying mess while you're playing.
Sawdust :Fields : Orlando Paintball, Orlando FL.
Perks : Cheap, again. Easily found. Soaks up paint. A good traction surface, it allows for easy running, as well as a safe 'landing zone' if you turf it. Non-slip by nature.
Disadvantages : Again, the 'pushing' of the surface from key obstacles is a hazard. It also makes a mess on the players, but not as badly (It gets into a lot of gear, but doesn't scratch as badly as sand.) Being wood product, it needs to be 'rotated' so it won't rot or mold. One of the better surfaces, if you can get a good supply of it.
Wood Chips :Fields : Shooters World, Phoenix AZ.
Perks : Easily obtained at any gardening store. 'Soft' surface for players to land in. Non-slip by nature. Makes your field smell like a pine forest, which isn't all that bad.
Disadvantages : Like every other 'organic' surface, it need to be 'rotated' so it won't rot. It's also hard to move through, as players sink into it. It gets 'pushed' like other loose surfaces, and the floor will show through. (I recomend putting some kinds of 'running paths' on it, so players can try to move fast in spurts.)
Astro-turf / Carpeting / Ect. :Fields : Country Club Paintball, Glenwood IL (Tennis surface).
Perks : Offers a good surface to run on. Easy to clean. Available in several colours, so you can customise your field to a 'motif'.
Disadvantages : Like cement, it can get slick very fast. At Country Club, this is avoided by the sheer volume of area to play in. At shorter distances, however, this can be bad. A player who falls can get 'rugburn' on top of crushing damage with carpeting. A wise decision would be to add some kind of 'padding' under your carpeting, but it would get soaked within a few months if you're not careful. (CCP's tennis surface works very well.)
Nature :Fields : Badlandz, Phoenix AZ. Bullseye Paintball Court, Port St. Lucie FL. Blast Camp, Valpraiso IN.
((I add these because they aren't 'proper' indoor settings, but are 'indoor' by their nature. "Blast Camp" is a field using an old military base, and Badlandz uses the earth under the building as it's surface, they built the field to emulate the outdoors, and it's 1/3 outdoor. These are exceptions, but worthy of a footnote.))
Perks : Nature cleans itself. It tills itself, it rotates itself, it doesn't need you. It's naturally non-skid. It has a superior surface to anything synthetic or 'brought in'.
Disadvantages : It *is* nature. Unpredictable, untamable, and
full of mystery, it could rain, sleet, gust, or be a nice day or night
without warning. It's also hard to find a site where you can use indoor
and outdoor at the same time. It's a nice thing to have, if you can get
it. Also, if you mix outdoor dirt with indoor cement, it spells disaster.
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