I enjoy skyline. I really like the town field, and it is my favorite of the woods ball frields. I do think that some refs may not really work as hard as others do, but when I ref I try to listen to the people, and I always seem to be able to get a long with everyone so I don't know why you guys are moaning. Most times the teams are fair and do get switched up when they aren't (I know because I help with this, and I normally get switched around when I played). Things are changing around the field, maybe for those that were complaining you caught the refs, or Chris and Sue on a bad day or something. I normally just do walkon play and not scenarios and stuff so I can't talk about that, but I do think that with my experience that the refs are good at what they do there considering they are there almost everyweekend. The fields are fine, the refs work well, and Chris and Sue are nice people.
North Mountain in WV, Roundtop in PA. No comparsion to Skyline.
I have read a majority of the reviews of this field and I am confused. If you had an unpleasant experience at Skyline and you felt that the Refs and staff were less than perfect, I have to ask what did you bring to the game that day? Were you part of the problem,perhaps? No matter how unfair you think the teams were divided up, they can not make you pull the trigger or participate in the game. If there is a problem SPEAK UP at the time you notice the problem, or go immediatly to Sue or Chris. I have seen Chris get onto the Refs before. He is not shy about maintaining discipline with his employees.
That being said, Every time I have gone to Skyline, the overall experience has been positive. That does not mean that there were not things I thought needed improvement.
Some of the younger refs need to be more aware of the rules and how to proceed when those rules are broken. James, the head ref, and Ben Brigance are to be commended for their professionalism and attention to the players as the paying customers.
The fields are generally well maintained, but some attention needs to be paid to brush control during the spring and summer. Before anybody starts fussing, there is a difference between letting cover grow on the wooded fields like Helicopter, Jungle, and The Barrel Field; and letting Poison Ivy grow. You are an ineffective member of your team if your eyes are swollen shut by an allergic reaction.
The pace of the games depends on the players as much as it does the refs. It is incorrect to assume that this falls only on the staff to dictate the pace of play. When you play walk on, you have to put up with there being delays as new players are added to the group. Skyline does a better than average job given the problems they face with their walk ons. The solution to slow play? Book a private group and make sure every one knows to keep their reload and air trips as short as possible.
In conclusion, Skyline is where I will always play paintball. Why?
1.Because this is where I was introduced to paintball as a Newbie and when my daughter turns nine next year, it is where she will be introduced to the sport. Skyline is for the new player and the experienced player equally.
2.Because Sue and Chris make an honest effort to provide as meaningful and enjoyable experience as possible. They are trying to run a business, so there will be times when it seems that there is favoritism shown to locals, but it is not true. It is a simple matter of the people they see buying equipment and supplies at the field and the store in Winchester become friends.
3. Skyline is where I make all of my paintball purchases, and it is in my best interest for them to succed as a business and continue to expand the fields and their inventory.
I am loyal to the field and the products I buy.
I've played at Hogback in Leesburg, VA and OA Paintball in Bowie Maryland. I like Hogback and OA was okay. Hogback has good owners and some interesting fields, but is significantly more expensive than Skyline. I've also called Pev's and Splatt Brothers about the possibility of booking private groups there, but have not gone.
I'm a big fan of Skyline Paintball. I've read the other reviews, and it seems like different people want different things from a paintball field. So let me tell you briefly who I am so you can decide if what I have to say about the field applies to you.
I organize a group of rec-ballers to come out once every month or two from the DC area to play. That means I play exclusively in private groups. I haven't played a scenario game at Skyline, and I haven't played walk-on. We are a low tech group, with 80% of the gun-owners having Tippmann 98's (including me). We're also newbie friendly. When we go out, anywhere from 2-10 people will need to rent equipment.
Skyline is absolutely my field of choice. Why?
COST: Skyline is much cheaper than the other options around, and, combined with the other reasons, below, well worth an extra 20 minutes drive from DC. Field fee is $10, cases of paint are always available for $50 (and sometimes less), and rental prices are very reasonable. Most importantly, unlike all the other fields in the area, you don't pay extra for a private group. If you have enough people (I think the minimum is 20 right now), you can reserve the private group two weeks in advance and then just pay the regular "walk-on" rates. Unbelievable. They also have competitive rates on gear at their store, including good gun packages. While you can probably save a couple of bucks getting a marker off the Internet, you get a coupon book w/ any gun purchase at Skyline that has coupons that are actually useful -- free field fees and air fills, paint discounts, upgrade discounts, etc. And they will do free maintenance on markers purchased there, which is great.
THE STAFF: Sue and Chris are conscientious owners who keep working to improve the fields. It's not uncommon to return to play after a month or two and find major improvements to a field, or the rest area, or the store, or even a whole new field. They are extremely accommodating and make it very easy for me to reserve a private group (and have been understanding the few times I had to cancel because I had too many late withdrawals.) And the refs are great. They do their best to put us on our fields of choice, and are really good about scurrying over for a paintcheck. They gently but firmly enforce safety rules if one of our newbies does something bad like trying to take off a mask or forgetting to plug his or her barrel.
THE FIELDS: Skyline has unbelievable fields.
* Town is nuts. It's a flat field (nice on my group's aging knees) w/ 30-40 structures ranging from cars and motorcycles to one room buildings and water towers to 3 two-story structures. It's got two wide lanes running through it in a cross, with a center flag, making for all kinds of interesting angles and lanes of fire. This is my group's favorite field, and we often ask to play it multiple times on a visit (if it's available).
* Castle is a close second. Before I came to Skyline, I thought that Hogback's Castle was impressive (not to disparage Hogback -- their Castle field is a good field, but it's more the idea of a castle than an actual castle.) Skyline's Castle is a massive structure, maybe 120 feet long and 45 feet wide, with three two story towers and lots of great positions to pop up along the wall. It's up on a rise of land, so you have to climb up a steep 20-15 foot incline at any spot to approach the walls. It's an attack-and-defend field, and the defending team is not allowed to leave the castle. I've always liked this field, but, since they made changes about a year ago to lower the front wall of the Castle and add more defensive structures around the perimeter, it's now more balanced (before the defending team had a significant advantage, imo).
* Jungle has no structures. What it has is trenches, and lots of them. It's a mix of wooded areas and gravel paths, with tons of deep WWI style trenches honeycombing the field. This field is my nemesis -- I tend to lose on it, and am still working on effective strategies -- but I still like it.
* Helicopter is a hilly attack-and-defend field. Unlike Castle, the defenders aren't limited to defending a particular location, so this field has a lot of strategic possibilities. Also, they added an actual tunnel to this field. Personally, I'm a little apprehensive about going into the tunnel, as it seems like you are a sitting duck. But it is cool looking.
* Rocket is a great wooded field with a ton of barricades and structures. It's also got a couple of rockets made with aluminum roofing. You can get in the big one, which sounds like being inside a steel drum if the other team start shooting it while you are in there. The field is mostly level, but the ridge leading up to the Castle field next door is in bounds, so you can sometimes get the drop on folks from higher elevation.
* And more. Frontier, a few speedball fields, "The Field Across the Road," etc.
So that's it. I'm sorry for folks who had a bad experience at Skyline. As I said, I organize a group that has a core group of 8-12 regulars and a rotating cast of irregulars and rookies. In three years of bringing groups out there, I have never had a complaint about the way the field was run, and I've had many folks have such a good time that they decided to come out with us to Skyline again. Personally, I always have a good time out there, even when I overextend myself on Town trying to flank the other team, and forget to check one of the second story windows for snipers. <smile>
skyline is awesome!!! there is nothin bad bout it. the fields rock, the refs r cool, and the people r easy to get along with. below ill give u a little review of each field...
TOWN!!!! (ull see it in a mag prob)- absoulutly incredible! over 20 building/bunkers and 3 r 2 stories tall. hectic shootouts daring dashes for the flag and some incredible shots.
easily the best field here.
11/10 i mean it!
Castle- its a real castle!!! with 3 towers and pepholes out of the bottom of each one! u use a ton of paint on this field. attackers have to leapfrog up the side will reciving cover fire from the backmen. its amazin how they made this one.
Rocket- speedball on crack! wooden bunkers, and ridge and a rocket! along the side of the field there is a ridge that runs along the field. beware of intense firefites and good snipers. balls r everywhere on this field so move up fast. if ur team doesnt take the ridge, u lose!
Frontier- most people hate this field but i loved it! great sniper spots daring flag rushes and shootouts every second. as attackers, u go up on a hill and snipe down on the fort or u can go around and try and sneak in the back. defenders have nets and buildings to hide into. lots of paint is used on this field so bring pods!
those r the fields u will play on a normal day at skyline. other fields r road, jungle, helicopter, and speedball.
overall skyline rocks and is the best field in the mid atlantic.
I have played at skyline for several years now and I have many years experience playing paintball in several states.
Every time my team has gone to Skyline over the last few years, they have something new, and the field is always improving, while keeping the best of what they have. This is one of my favorite fields to play at because of the terrain and the way the field is laid out, as well as the improvements.
The field owners genuinely care about the players, and although there will always be people who are unhappy no matter what service they receive, Sue and Chris really do try to make the experience the best possible for everyone who plays there. If there are any players that are overstepping the rules of safe play at their field, if you respectfully bring it up to them, they will handle it immediately. I have personal experience with this and it is a much better level of service than at a lot of fly-by-night fields.
I have traveled from the Hampton Roads area of Virginia just to play at Skyline, and now I live in Connecticut and I still travel all the way to Skyline to play at team events. If you are interested in a fun weekend, stop by, especially when Skyline is hosting a Black Cat Productions Scenario Paintball Game. Our team, The Virginia Irregulars, are sure to be there, and you are more than welcome to stop by and play with us, or on the other side.
Mike "Mr. Gadget"
The Virginia Irregulars
Last edited on Monday, July 19th, 2004 at 12:05 am PST
Pevs- good service and all, but i didn't like the fields as much as the fields here... especially rock garden
I absolutely loved this field the first time i went. The owner and the refs are very nice and helpful. Not only that, but its near a small town that my mom and i just fell in love with, so shes buying a house there right now.
Well, the field paint is reasonably priced, and the field fee is only 10$. I would say that the only bad thing is that you don't usually find more than 30 people there total, unlike @ pev's, when we had 2 groups,one with people 14 and under and 1 w/ppl 14+, with 30 people in each group.
I have recommended this field to many of my friends and will do so again.
Outdoor Adventures, Paintball paradise, Anne Arundel Paintball
I have only played once at Skyline, but I intend to play there again! I can not speak to some of the issues that have been in previous posts because my only experience was the Contagion scenario game in May 04. The reffing was very good, and all aspects of the game seemed to run very well. Very nice fields. The beach area is very scenic, and there are some nice sized bass in the lake!!
Skyline has been one of the best places play in my opinion. I have to agree with many of you whom say the games took way to long to get going. To try and alleviate this I spoke with the owners and indicated my dissatisfaction.
Three week later I found Skyline had returned to the old way they used to be, play 2 games and head to the clubhouse. The Refs walk over and "hurry" you up. At best I'd say you get maybe a 5 to 10 minute break once back to the clubhouse.
I played there July 3rd for only 4 hours due to the Holiday. We got in 12 / 15 minute games total with no problems, and I am planning on going back this weekend.
I admit you get many more games in at HogsBack, but that is due to how their field is setup. Walking to a "dead zone" to drop off gear and the fields are practically right there. But the number of games you can play doesn't make a field "special".
You have to also take in account the other players, the Refs, and naturally the owners. I have never had a problem with the Refs at Skyline. In fact more often than not I have seen them ensure the playing is safe and fun for everyone. If one team tends to win every game they switch it up; if someone complains about another player constantly wiping paint (only happened once) then the Refs watch that player a few games; when a person does complain to a Ref they handle the problem maturely. I have had Refs tell one of my Gung-Ho buddies to calm down a bit, I've seen them talk to both parties in a disagreement, and I have even seen them run their butt's off doing paint checks.
More than anything, I spoke to the owner about how the games just took forever to get going. I even gave a few suggestions about how they might improve rentals from having to walk back to the field house. And they listened and are trying out some of the ideas many people have offered.
If 3 to 4 games per hour isn't enough, perhaps you should try X-Ball or Speed Ball. Personally it isn't for me, cost way to much in paint.
A few points I think that make Skyline Stand out :
(1) They sell premium paint at regular prices at the field. they even waive your field fee if you buy a single case of paint.
(2) Rentals are A-5s. Pretty typical for most places. But they come with 2 Tubes and a carrier now for just $5 more.
(3) Refs are alert, they pay attention, and when a larger group forms they add more Refs
(4) Teams are constantly shifted around to maintain an even distribution of players. I'm one that says "it's ok, let's just play. More Targets, fine." But nooooo...they gotta keep them even.
(5) If a team wins easily 3 to 4 games back to back the teams are split.
(6) All day air - I know, I spend $10 for 2 fills typically, or $10 for All day air.
(7) Complaints are typically addressed. I have been there when we all had to re-chrono.
(8) 20 Foot Bunkering Rule. You give a player the option to surrender if within 20 feet, it's his choice to take it or leave it.
(9) Family Oriented
(10) Saftey First, Fun Second mentallity.
In conclusion I think different people like different places for different reasons. If you are looking for a family oriented, fun and safe field to play on, Skyline is certainly a good choice.
Last edited on Tuesday, July 6th, 2004 at 7:54 pm PST
I was pleasantly surprised the first time i was at skyline paintball. And every time i go it seems to get better ie: upgrading and addition of fields. I agree with some of you and strongly disagree with others. It does sometimes take a bit between walk on games...but that is only because it is usually a group that wants to stick together and the so called "group leader" lets everyone lolly-gag around. If you go and it takes a while then get everyone together and stop complaining about the wait time. If you wanted to play that bad you would get off your lazy a** and round everyone up and probably make a few friends in the process since you would be talking to other players. And as for too many high end markers on one side...get use to it. Every time i have been there and we were dominating the other team myself or a few of the other regulars would be switched to the other side to even things up.
You will not find a place to play where there will not be regulars!
As for the refs...give them a break...i'm sure most 14 year olds would be intimidated by a 30 year old pissing and moaning and getting upset with them. If you would just listen the ones in the yellow jerseys, things would go a lot smoother. So you got shot when you were walking off the field !SUCK IT UP! You knew you were going to be shot when you put that mask on and went out on the field. A few "bonus balls" aren't going to kill you. And don't get pissed when You get shot six or seven times in one sitting. There are guys out there that have the ability to shoot between 17 and 22 balls a second. If you are poking out long enough for the first shot to hit you...chances are there are a few more coming right behind it.
There is only one down side i see to Skyline....you can't play town field all day. But hey, if you could, there would be a 60 on 60 game every time you were there. I would add that there isn't a walk on speed ball field...but the bunkers are expensive and hard to maintain when you have people that don't understand the rules of the game and just crash into bunkers on a whim.
Is say Chris, Sue...keep up the good work!
Last edited on Friday, July 2nd, 2004 at 11:27 am PST
I have only played at Skyline Paintball twice, once about 3 years ago and this May at a 24 hour scenario event. I will say that both experiences were completely different but both times I had a blast. The scenario event used a mix of Refs supplied by Blackcat and Skyline and did a great job. Everything ran smoothly from our perspective and we (my paintball team) are looking forward to playing there again.
The first time I played at Skyline was a walk-on day, there was a delay between games, but I did not notice any differences in the way walk-ons or locals were treated. So far as no automatics vs semi-auto's, keep in mind that the pro-guns have very short trigger pulls or E-triggers that may make the guns seem like they are on full auto, when in fact the player just knows how to shoot fast.
Great concept fields, fairly good maintenance (castle stairs), fresh ideas added on a regular basis.
Overall both times out I had a blast and look forward to more 12 and 24 hour events at Skyline, and I'll drive the 6 hours from NC it takes me to get there.