Adrenaline Rush, Oak Harbor - Semper Fi, Bellingham
-good size field
-draws decent crowd of players of many skill levels
-large staging area
-has most paintball needs
-local expert paintballers help
-'vitals only' gameplay
-can be very muddy
-no HPA compressor on site/limited HPA available
-nothing separating staging area, field, chrono station
-SAFETY RULES SOMETIMES NOT ENFORCED! needs more serious reffing
*Good size field*
I found the field size to be adequate. Paintball station is much different because of the high mounds of fill dirt used as obstacles, as well as normal bunkers. A small area of woods on the far side of the field is an ok size for the woods 'ballers, but this field has more appeal to the speedball/bunker style players.
*draws decent crowd of players of many skill levels*
I was pleased to play with many players of every skill level. Everyone was friendly and most had a good attitude. Another player and I disputed who bunkered who...it was pretty heated...but we walked away with no hard feelings. Rush of the game and a paintballers' attitude lent to the dispute...but mutual respect of each other and appreciation of the game kept it from getting anywhere near ugly.
*large staging area*
The staging area was sprawled all over the place. Plenty of room for nearly everyone who brought their own gear. The day my friend and I showed up to play, the day topped off with over 70 players so space was at a premium. But like any devoted 'baller, we got there kinda early and claimed a table for ourselves.
*has most paintball needs*
This field offers most of the normal paintballers needs...extra gear, food, and drinks. Some of the prices can be high, but paintball isn't a cheap sport. "Ya gots to pay if ya wanna play!"
*local expert paintballers help*
One of the local expert paintballers pitched in to help the owner with air fills and purchases. He was also asked several questions from several players on the field. He offered good information and was a big help in enforcing safety rules to players leaving and entering the staging area. (Unfortunately, he was the only one...see CONS)
He gave a great indoctrination speech to a group of newbies and their parents...I was impressed. He obviously loves the sport and is a great representative of the game.
*'vitals only' gameplay*
'Vitals only' gameplay...in case you don't know...is a game where only head and torso shots count as legitimate hits. Gun and limb hits don't count at all. While it is fun to play 'vitals' every now and again, it's not very fun to play 'vitals' each and every game. A hit is a hit folks...by applying the 'vitals only' rule you are doing two negative things: 1) you're favoring more skilled players, 2) you're being greedy...'vitals' games eat up a lot of paint, so naturally players will buy more paint from you.
*can be muddy*
In some really wet portions of the field, the mud nearly sucked the shoes off my feet. But this really isn't a reason to shun the place.
*no HPA compressor on site/limited HPA available*
The field has limited HPA available. But it pretty much depends on how many HPA users are playing that day. During my visit, the owner had to make a run to Anacortes to refill his HPA tanks...said he'd be back in about 2 hours...luckily, he left enough HPA behind to take care of most of the players. Maybe it was unusual that day for him to run out of air, but any serious field owner will have a compressor on site.
*nothing separating staging area, field, chrono station*
There was no safety netting anywhere to be found during my visit to this field. Anyone coming off the field or from the chrono station could easily misfire into the staging area. Not good when some of your spectators are non-players and do not expect to be hit by a paintball. Accidents happen all the time...it may not be Little Careless Johnny Paintball that gets his eye shot out, but I'm sure his dad won't let him play when he loses his own eye!
*SAFETY RULES SOMETIMES NOT ENFORCED! needs more serious reffing*
Here is my biggest gripe about this field. The only person that actively enforced safety rules was the local expert who was helping out. Most of the refs were actually good at reffing...settling disputes, paint checks, etc...but did not enforce safety rules nearly enough. Nearly every game started and ended with several people with their masks up, barrel plugs out. Several players walked on and off the field with masks off and barrel plugs out among the refs...and not a word was said. At one point during the day, I actually felt unsafe at the staging area.
OVERALL....I will try this field again when the field has had some time to make its corrections. I do not recommend it to any new players because this field clearly does not represent the safety side of paintball. I fault the refs more than the owner, because he's putting his faith and trust in them...but the owner's name is on the insurance so he should always be active in keeping the refs on their toes. Personally, I believe the people reffing out there at Paintball Station should just keep to playing, because they're not true referees. A true ref has a love and respect for the sport of paintball...he will promote the game to both players and spectators. And the first rule of paintball is SAFETY.
If it were not for the safety issues I would give this field a 7 out of 10. But like another review...I feel the safety issues are the most important, so I give the field a 1 out of 10.
Last edited on Wednesday, March 3rd, 2004 at 1:32 am PST
Thank you very much for your in depth review on this location. I want to let you know that I appreciate your time and effort put into this review. Most important, it's helped me to make the critical decision that I will not be bringing my family reunion group to this field due to the issues of safety. My group will largely be inexperienced and I want them to see how it's done right for their first time.
Thanks again. Group will be in Oak Harbor, can you suggest nearest quality field? Safety is important.
most of this stuff has been corrected since the new owner Cedar from CDR bought it. It is not vitals only, there is an hpa compressor and there is netting seperating the different areas, and there are now refs that do enforce the rules. cedar bought this field at the end of 2004 so i suggest u go and try it out again, also plz try and edit this review after u've played their again so it doesn't hurt the fields rep as much