Dreamed up in the backwoods of New Hampshire and now one of the most popular extreme sports on the planet, paintballing requires teamwork, a clear grasp of strategy and a pretty thick skin. If you fancy yourself as a budding John Rambo, Casey Ryback or Ellen Ripley, then suit up, lock and load your G6R Intimidator and test your mettle at one of these paintball arenas near Los Angeles.
8900 McCarty Road
Corona, CA 92880
With dozens of themed arenas and courses to choose from, Orange County’s 100-acre SC Village and SC Viper is one of Southern California’s premier paintballing and airsoft destinations. If you prefer shooting friends rather than strangers, head over to SC Village Monday through Thursday when the park is open to private groups or, if you don’t care who gets in the line of fire, opt for an open session on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Basic admission is $27 but SC also offers a variety of walk-on and equipment rental packages that range from $37 to $69 per person. The scorching heat and distinctive olfactory bouquet provided by the adjacent cattle farm adds a little extra frisson to paintball engagements on courses modeled on global trouble spots from Beruit and Baghdad to Kosovo and Somalia.
Hollywood Sports Paintball and Airsoft Park
9030 Somerset Blvd.
Bellflower, CA 90706
Located just off the I-91 in Bellflower, HSP’s 23-acre site not only offers an unparalleled inner city paintballing experience but also provides a variety of additional indoor and outdoor entertainment options for the whole family from rock climbing and BMX racing to indoor soccer. The themed fields here are pretty neat with four big courses — Lunar Wars, Apocalypse, Forbidden City and Mad Max — and a number of smaller satellite war zone options that can prove just as tactically challenging as their larger counterparts. Prices start at $15 (including air) with a number of entry and equipment rental packages from $37 to $69. The venue accepts walk-ons and private parties and is open Monday, Thursday and Friday. If you visit on a weekend, be sure to arrive early if you need to hire equipment or a locker.
California Paintball Park
31050 Charlie Canyon Road
Castaic, CA 91384
Step away from the Xbox, kit up and head to Castaic for your very own tour of duty at the California Paintball Park. With eight hillside paintball and airsoft courses the 18-acre CPP — located off the I-5 just south of Castaic Lagoon — will test both your field craft skills and your stamina to the max. Situated approximately 50 minutes north of downtown Los Angeles, basic admission will run you $20 per head or you can opt for an entry-plus-gear package from $35 to $65. The park is open for walk-ons Saturday and Sunday and for private parties every day.
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15112 Sierra Highway
Santa Clarita, CA 91390
With 10 fields to choose from, Paintball USA in Santa Clarita provides a great spot for players to hone their leadership and tactical skills. From a battlefield trench system and a dune course comprised of earthworks and breastworks to fields dotted with sandbag bunkers and haystacks, as well as the obligatory urban simulation, this paintballing location offers a wide range of scenarios for all experience levels. Open Saturday and Sunday and Monday through Friday by reservation, you can pay and play with your own equipment for just $30 (with unlimited CO2 or compressed air fills) or opt for a $40 to $60 package deal that includes a Tippman or .50 calibre Kingman.
Field of Fire
23925 The Old Road
Newhall, CA 91321
Offering both paintball and speedball, Field of Fire in the Santa Clarita Valley is a great family-friendly paintballing destination that is generally absent from the heavy traffic experienced by larger paintballing venues. As a consequence, both the upper and lower fields — which incorporate a variety of trenches, tunnels, buildings, bunkers and fighting holes — are particularly well suited for first timers, especially if you can rustle up a couple squads of friends and family to bring along for the day. Different scenarios, good refs, onsite eats and very reasonable prices ($28 full day, $22 half day) make Field of Fire a perfect venue for hyperball and airball combat operations. It is open for walk-ons Saturday and Sunday and weekdays by reservation.
Julian Gothard is an internationally published freelance writer covering all things Los Angeles. You can check out his popular RVing and travel column at Examiner.com.