The hardest part about starting a new pastime is knowing where to begin. Paintball has exploded as a great family entertainment for young and old, alike. Nearly every child has played cowboys and Indians and dreamed of fighting it out at the OK Coral, and more than a few adults wish they could do the same. Paintball provides a great opportunity to get outside and feel and act like a kid, regardless of your age.Starting out in paintball requires very little basic equipment and a healthy appreciation for fun. You will hide behind structures, sneak around behind your friends and blast them with paintballs, or run for your life as you avoid being hit. You can’t help but laugh out loud as you and your family play this age old game of “gonna getcha” with state of the art paintball guns and some basic safety equipment.Don Your Paintball Goggles For SafetyWith over five million participants, paintball has far fewer injuries than many other sports. Your most important piece of safety equipment is a good pair of safety paintball goggles. Make sure they fit snugly and that you can see clearly. While paintball can sting a bit, your eyes MUST have the best protection possible.Unlike normal safety glasses, paintball goggles also protect your ears, nose and mouth, which is why they are commonly called a “mask.” Some paintball goggles can be pretty creative, with custom paint jobs and decorations, but the important difference is that these paintball goggles are made of a resilient, heavy duty polymer that will ensure your safety and comfort.Annie, Get Your Gun!Paintball guns are called “markers.” While there are numerous styles and designs, as a beginner, you will probably want to start with a basic paintball gun until you determine which characteristics you prefer. Most beginner marker packages come as a set, complete with a paintball gun, CO2 cartridges, a hopper, which holds the paintballs and a cleaning kit. Aside from your paintball goggles and your marker kit, all you will need to purchase are the pellets, or paintballs.Dress To ProtectGenerally speaking, the paint from the pellets will wash out of your clothing with warm water and soap. Long pants and long-sleeved shirts are a good idea, as are closed toe shoes. For added protection, you can purchase a paintball vest which will minimize the impact you actually feel, assuming your opponents can find you and shoot you. Paintball vests also offer the convenience of zippered pockets and carriers for things like water bottles, extra CO2 cartridges and extra pellets. A towel is a good thing to have handy, as well, just in case.Where Can You Play?You can play paintball pretty much anywhere, but professionally designed fields make the game far more interesting and challenging with structures, windows, trees and many other components that allow you to outsmart and outshoot your opponents. Most people begin playing paintball in outdoor, wooded areas. This is called Woodsball. Once you have become addicted to the sport, as most beginners do, you can use indoor venues during inclement weather to practice your paintball gun skills. Referees are commonly present to keep the game running smoothly and safely. Never shoot the referee!Look for a website that offers plenty of paintball gun products, accessories, advice and services to get you started in this exciting and affordable sport. Paintball parties are a blast for every age and weekends spent with your family playing paintball will soon become a favorite.