FIREBALL MOUNTAIN - has woods fields, which Del doesn't, but the refs have always been less than professional when I've been at Fireball; I've heard that's changed, but I haven't gone back to see yet.
POCO LOCO - has woods fields and very good refs, but is much more expensive (like Skirmish) and you have to take what field paint they sell that day.
SKIRMISH - has woods fields and good refs, but is much more expensive and you have to take what field paint they sell that day.
SHORT REVIEW: Excellent, inexpensive field for people who like playing tourney-style paintball. Excellent staff, convenient location in the Del-Val area. No woods fields.
LONG REVIEW: I've been to Del only once, but spent a good deal of time talking to the owners and refs and checking out the fields and operations. This is what I found:
Prices: Del's prices are competitive with online prices; paint is very inexpensive compared to competing fields. They carry good paint as well! In fact, the paint prices for Draxxus paints alone will keep me coming back.
Staff: The owners were onsite when I was there, and I understand they are there every day they're open. In my opinion, they have very good refs (I've reffed rec-ball for several years) who aren't afraid to get in the mix and make calls. They put 6 refs on a field! That's more than I've ever seen on any recball field outside of a tournament.
Pro Shop: Del has a good pro shop on site, staffed with people who know what they're doing. Wide range of products, and the ability to service most markers. Did I mention their prices? Excellent prices.
Fields: Three fields; two Sup'air, one speedball. Good sized fields, maintained daily.
Safety: They are vigilant with masks and barrel plugs/bags and have the ability to chrony you on and off the field. Their speedball field is for newer players; they only allow bunkering on the Sup'air fields. See Staff, above, for referee comments.
Clientele: They have a good mix of new people and veterans, team and rec players, older and younger players. Some of the players there are extremely good; a new player can learn a lot from them. I saw no cheating, whining or stupidity. Makes the day MUCH more enjoyable.
Pace: The pace is quick; just hop in line and get on a field! They try to keep people who want to be together on the same team, but the emphasis is on getting you out and playing. Those who wish to sit around and B.S. can do so, and it won't hold up the rest of the players. Actual teams generally stay together as far as I can tell.
Fields: No woods fields. I won't subtract a point here, because Del isn't about woods play. It's built only for tourney-style play. Also, it would be great if they had a few more fields, but they seem to have an eye for expansion; they're only two years old, so I won't subtract a point here, either.
When I want to go out and play for a day, I'm going to Del. Field fees and a case of Blaze (Woohoo! no ZAP/Team Colors!) will run you about $60! I'll still go to Skirmish once a year, and play some big games, scenario or woods games when I feel like it; but for an inexpensive, professional, conveninent day of playing paintball, Del has my business from now on!
I am giving Del Hobbies a 10 out of 10; the prices, location, staff and fields are all as good as I could ask for. I can't think of anything I'd change or add; woods fields would be nice, but that's not the purpose of the place. More fields would also be nice, but it's a new facility; I'll give them time to expand. If it billed itself out as a Skirmish-like experience, I would rate it an 8; but as a tourney-only get-out-and-play kind of place, it's got what you need.
Last edited on Tuesday, May 13th, 2003 at 12:31 pm PST