The accuracy of this review is disputed. Please see discussion below.
Period of Field Use:
Less than a month
June 13th, 2009
More than 5 years
Other Fields in the Area:
Various fields such as Orlando Paintball, Epik, and Wayne's World. Other fields may have better staff or more polished facilities, but for a place of it's size X-Plex has a surprisingly good field layout that accomodates both woods players and speedballers.
I captain the scenario team 'Team GDR', and my co-captain and I discussed using X-Plex as a monthly training site for our team due to it's cost and location. After taking a day to check the field out, we brought our team there on June 13th for a full-on team practice. On the positive side, the field is pretty laid back and it's easy to feel at home here as you have players of all skill levels coming out. In addition to the woodsball field that we used, they have an excellent airball field. The prices are excellent when compared to any other paintball field, and they do airsmithing, rentals, HPA fills, and sell food and drinks on-site, which is a nice touch for such a small place.
On a negative note, this field has SERIOUS safety issues that must be addressed before they either get sued or start losing business: First and foremost, the field persists in using young, inexperienced and undisciplined refs, even after all the complaints that they get. Two people on my team, myself included, had bloody welts (check this out: http://www.gdrclan.com/uploads/bloodywelts.jpg) because the 'refs' failed to chrono every person, and at least two people they finally did chrono were firing hot. In fact, not one ref prompted us to chrono- I had to tell my guys to do it and help them chrono myself! Any field I've ever been to in my life does 100% chrono overseen by a field ref before you step anywhere near the field. With these refs, they could seriously not have cared less. But instead of making the older and more experienced members of their field team actually ref, which is what should be happening, they leave that work to the younger members who could care less so the older guys can just hang out, work on guns and play.
The paint that we purchased was also a general problem, as it appears that they store the stuff in hot sheds with no climate control. I know this because the staffer giving us paint went through 3-4 cases before getting to one that wasn't sweating oil heavily. This results in players getting paint that doesn't hold up as long as it could otherwise, especially during summer conditions like the ones we have here in Florida. In fact, when I got my case the bags weren't sweating, but within an hour I was noticing swelling in the unopened bags. When going to a place like Orlando Paintball or Wayne's World, I've never had this problem even in hotter and wetter conditions over longer time periods! The staffer I dealt with even acknowledged that this problem has been brought up to the owner, who has chosen to do nothing about it! His words, not mine...
On a last negative note, THEY ALLOW ALCOHOL ON SITE and I do know that at least one staffer was drinking. While a non-playing staffer drinking doesn't really freak me out, the ref safety situation combined with the fact that they allow beer or any other alcohol anywhere near a paintball field at all boggles my mind and makes me wonder how they are insured...
On the gameplay side our team had serious issues with the inexperienced refs, which again seemed to be the major cause of our problems all day. For example, they actually stopped a game right in the middle of it, and while my team gathered up in the middle of the woodsball field wondering what happened, the refs had no coordination or idea what was going on and could only shrug their shoulders for about 5 minutes while we baked in the sun. This is a shame because the physical field itself is actually quite well laid out, with plenty of room for maneuver, ambush spots, buildings, choke points, etc. So the problems we had were not with the field, but with the staff running it.
On the whole, we will go back to X-Plex as a team and give them a second chance because it is the cheapest and closest thing available to us that fits our needs. But I say this knowing that I am going to have to be personally responsible for the safety of my guys, as the field is not. In their defense, a staff member there did apologize to us at the end of the day offering to hook us up next time we come out. But the other side of the apology was that instead of trying to address issues like the ref situation, he preferred to acknowledge it as an 'it is what it is' kind of situation instead of committing to fix it, which seems to be their overall attitude at X-Plex. But if the owners would just address the problems, they'd have a serious winner on their hands...
My overall rating is a 4, because the physical field itself is pretty cool and the pricing is very fair. The field loses the rest on safety concerns and the lack of interest in addressing them, the continued use of young kids as refs, and the allowing of alcohol on site.
Last edited on Tuesday, June 16th, 2009 at 5:36 am PST
I sent an email to the field addressed to the owner(s) shortly after submitting this review, and as of June 30th have still not received a response... At least a 'go away' response would have been nice?
I've calmed down since I originally wrote this review, so with that said I am still highly dissapointed with this field and in my opinion X-Plex is more of a club than a business, as the owner(s) obviously don't care about what paying customers think about their field, especially when the criticism is coming from an organized team that plays often.
Very dissapointing, X-Plex, to say the least. Especially considering that this field could be so much more than just a place for the owner's son's 'team' to hang out...
Last edited on Tuesday, June 30th, 2009 at 8:23 am PST
Dispute: I am not attacking or insulting the author of the review. I have played at Xplex for close to a year now and have seen the field in the state you illustrate. Now I ref there on sundays and my good friend referees on saturdays, every week. We are both 25 years old. With more than 20 years combined paintball experience. On the field and on the job we are sober and alert, especially to safety issues. We work with the younger refs and with our players to improve everybodies respect for the barrel end of a marker. We still have a port-o-potty, I'm not saying it's heaven.
But the lakeball field is awesome, and the woods too. Plus we keep the airball field so fresh and so clean clean.
Come back, re-rate us.
WIvijhn: I respect what you wrote, but here's two reasons to still avoid X-Plex:
1) X-Plex still stores it's paint in a shed with no climate control. When it's mostly cold out, you can get away with that. But 90% of the time in Florida, it means sweating, swelling paint. I've bought paint from Wayne's and Orlando Paintball almost a YEAR ago that I still use on BYOP nights. My X-Plex paint got tossed the same day I bought it because it was worthless unless I wanted to clear my barrel every other shot.
2) Although you and your friend may be responsible, experienced, refs there, you're unfortunately still in the minority. Also, allowing alcohol at the field is a no-go, even if the refs aren't drinking. X-Plex needs to get serious about safety, period.
If the owner(s) would deal with these issues head-on, you all would have a **great** field that I would recommend to others. Until then, I still strongly recommend seeking alternatives in the area that offer equally good (or better) fields, better safety records, and paint stored in climate-controlled areas.