Jungle Island, Tombstone, Hollywood Sports park, Moreno Valley (riverbed paintball areas), a few places in San Jose. Out of the many places I've gone to play paintball, JUNGLE ISLAND (www.jungleisland.com) IS THE BEST. Jungle Island has the best balance of friendliest staff, clean and fun fields, short walks (and close parking), and most reasonable cost. Challenging walk-on games are great while referee coordination and game turn-around time are excellent. Everybody should go to SC Village once just to say they've been there, but Jungle island is a great field to make your regular spot.
SC Village is where they say the pros go, but if you're not pro, expect a mediocre paintball experience. I've been there over 4 times in the lasst year and must say that I am very disappointed with many aspects of the supposed "world famous paintball park." It's really not all its cracked up to be. Here's why:
1) Inexperienced staff and long wait times. Since so many people go to SC Village, lines for admission, air fills, gun repair, and equipment rentals eat large chunks of time out of your day (expect around 30 minutes to 1 hour in just wait time alone throughout the day). Many of the staff has no idea what goes on at the park and constantly misdirects people from building to building in hopes that some other employee will solve your problem or answer your questions.
2) Long walks from field to field. Walking, no joke, eats lots of time out of your gameplay throughout the day. Fields like Russia are far off in the woods and really are not that great. in fact, most of the woodland fields are not very good- you'd probably have more fun playing in the woods behind your house.
3) Rental equipment is in terrible shape. I own all my equipment, however, my friends were renting and couldn't play half the day because the rental Tippmann guns were in such poor condition. the guns would not fire beyond 80 feet, and most shots would arc or curve through the air, therefore destroying any chance of accuracy you may have. A few players were actually given guns without air in them! This means that not only did they do the long walk to the field just to find out they had no air, but they had to go back, stand in line, and get their gun traded for another.
4) Poor coordination of refs from field to field. In many of the private group games I've played at SC, referees would delay starting games because they were busy runing around trying to get food or do some personal business instead of starting games in a timely manner. Many times between games my group was waiting 10 minutes for nothing, just to turn around on the same field.
5) Cost. Not that paintball is cheap, by any means, but at SC they charge a premium to play on their fields. At Jungle Island, air is free and admission is cheaper than SC. Here's the quick breakdown:
- $25 admission ($20 group rate, guarantee 30 people)
- $10 all day compressed air fills ($5 half day), $5-10 all day Co2 fills
6) Parking. Even though the parking lot is quite large, the best places to park are closest to the main buildings. Again, the long walk between fields will kill you if you have to run back to your car at the end of the lot to reload or check your equipment. If you do not arrive at SC by 9:00am, then most of the main parking spaces will be filled and you'll need to park beyond the speedball fields, which is an incredible walk away from the main buldings.
1) Some fields are pretty cool. The woodland fields suck it and really only serve to get more people playing throughout SC- kind of serves as an overflow area to send groups of people to play. The best fields surround the parking lot: Bosnia, Kosovo, speedball areas, etc. (basically the man made fields are best). You usually need special reservation or permission to get onto the speedball fields...usually because SC is always running some team or tournament event on the weekends.
2) Bathrooms are never really full and food is always close by. SC village is surprisingly staffed well, even through some of their business operations and procedures leave much to be desired. But usually there is almost always somebody at one of the 8 booths they have). Dedicated gun repair shop is nice and chronograph area is large enough to handle the flow of traffic throughout the park.
I think that every paintballer should go to SC Village at least once in their paintballing career just to say that they have been there. However, I would argue that the park has gotten too big for its own good and has lost its focus on providing an enjoyable paintball experience for all players. As you can see throughout the park that SC is more focused on making money and advertising their other park, Hollywood Extreme Sports, in the effort to make as much money as they can. They take advantage of a captive audience by bombarding cars with flyers for things they are promoting as well as shoving their new park in front of your face every opportunity they get. Half the fields at SC are very cool to play on, while the other half are more run-of-the-mill backyard woods-type fields. I highly recommend going to Jungle Island out over SC village. It's not too far away from SC, and provides a much more enjoyable paintball experience for beginners trough advanced players.
Truer words were never spoken. The only thing you forgot was the overall filth of the place. Only out done by the incredible odor of the cows that share a border with the park. Other than that I agree 100%.
I agree with you if you only play walk-on games, however, I only play speedball. So when I go it only costs me $10 for admission and another $10 for air. Also, if you park in the speedball lot, they have an airfill center right their. But, if you play walk-on games, I couldn't agree with you more.