Santa Clara Paintball - speedball only (not a fan)
Sequoia Paintball - great field, but doesn't allow outside paint or has HPA yet
The field itself is located down a steep dirt road and the parking lot is dirt. I recommend bringing a taller car, SUV, or truck to this field as a lower car will bottom out in a pot hole or in the parking lot. This is not to say that you can't bring your Honda or BMW, but you just have to be more aware of where you park and where you drive.
Also, if you arrive early, plan on spending the day (10am - 3pm w/ .5hr lunch break) Parking is stacked and early arrivals are shoved in the back about 4-5 cars deep depending on the crowd. It is possible to leave early (some car shuffling required), but if you think you might leave earlier than 3pm, you might want to think about arriving closer to 10am rather than earlier.
Refs are big on safety and took an active role in ensuring the safety of all guests. When I arrived (about 10:15) the ref was just finishing up an orientation for the guests. Another gentlemen arrived late, like myself, and the ref pulled us aside, after dismissing the orientation group to gear up, and gave us a condensed orientation that did not include operating the marker (we were both self-equipped).
The major field rules, other than goggles, plugs, physical violence, etc. are:
-- 270fps (if your marker has a spike during the 3-shot test, refs will make you turn it down)
-- Every time marker leaves the field, it is re-chronoed
-- 20ft surrender rule
-- No pink or red fill
Refs take a very active role in the game as well, performing paint checks and stopping fire on a hit players to let them out of the game. However, refs cannot be everywhere at once and calling for a paint check may not be an option.
The field was very clean and free of underbrush. The outside edges of the course contained leaves and twigs, but the center of the course was very clean.
The field has three levels since its on a hillside. This makes this course an excellent attack and defend course. The defending team takes the high plateau and the attack team has to storm the hill and come up on them. The field is also versatile in that its wide enough to play side to side, which added an interesting element to capture the flag, in that, it didn't give one team the advantage of starting on the high ground.
The field is also very playable. There are many different types of twig piles, bunkers, peep-holes, fallen trees, etc. to move to, both in the middle and outer rims of the field. There is a proper amount of space between bunkers as well, which does not allow one team or another to advance unhindered.
This is, after all, in the woods of the Santa Cruz mountains. There is a porta-potty and a splash of picnic tables to set up gear or eat lunch.
The staff has a small grill and provides hot dogs and burgers for a great price (1.50/hot dogs, 2.50/polish dog). They also provide ketchup, mustard, and relish condiments. In addition to the grilled items, they have chips, cookies, drinks, etc. I always order food at the field but bring my own drinks. Many others do the same as well.
The staff is also capable of making minor repairs to the markers as well. You may be out of luck if you lose a hex-screw (like I did), but most simple repairs can be made. The staff does not have an HPA compressor, but they do have scuba tanks and fills were very reasonable at $1/per psi or $10/day.
-- Plan on spending the day
-- Bring layers (can be colder in the am and hotter in the pm when the sun hits the field)
-- Wear a shoe with an aggressive tread (some parts of the course are steep and dry dirt is slippery.)
RATING and CONCLUSION:
I'm giving this field a 9 because:
-- staff is great
-- play was good
-- field is good
-- I had a great time
This is simply a fine and unique woodsball field. The attack and defend alone will draw me back as well as the myriad of other games played. Additionally, the work of the refs and the experience they provide make this an excellent field.
Last edited on Wednesday, January 21st, 2009 at 5:53 pm PST