Are you planning on playing paintball soon, but are worried that it may rain and you’re not sure if you’ll be allowed to play?
Most paintball fields will allow you to play in the rain as long as there’s no lightning or high winds present to cause you harm. Just make sure to be careful if you’re playing with an electronic paintball gun or loader as water can damage the electrical components in your gear.
Fortunately, all modern paintball guns and loaders are made to be water-resistant and hold up fairly well when wet with a light amount of water. Plus, there are a variety of techniques you can follow that will help to make your paintball gear more water-resistant and safe from damage.
However, I won’t lie and say that playing paintball in the rain is completely safe. Even though the water-resistant coating on the electronic components inside of your marker and loader tends to work fairly effectively, it’s by no means perfect and 100% waterproof.
If you manage to fall in a puddle and fully submerge your paintball gun then there’s a chance that it might not continue to work afterward. But then again, it may just surprise you and continue functioning like nothing ever happened. Or you may be unlucky and your paintball gun gets fried from the tiniest contact with water.
You never know.
This is why I never recommend anyone to play paintball in the rain unless they absolutely have to. Now if you want to play paintball in the rain, at least use some backup gear (hopefully a mechanical marker) if you have any available.
It may just save you from an expensive repair bill.
Tips for Playing Paintball In The Rain
Listed below are some of the best tips for playing paintball in the rain.
Use a Mechanical Paintball Gun
There’s no better time to use a mechanical paintball gun than when it’s raining outside. A lot of paintball gun manufactures have even started making mechanical markers that can compete on the speedball field such as the Planet Eclipse Gtek M170R and the SP Shocker CVO.
Although my favorite mechanical paintball gun is the Automag from Airgun Designs.
Cover Porting On Barrel
If water gets on the inside of your barrel it’s going to negatively affect the flight path of your paintballs (by essentially transforming the inside of your barrel into a tubular slip n slide) and ruin your accuracy. And the more water that gets inside of your barrel, the worse your accuracy is going to be.
To prevent this from happening, simply cover the porting on your barrel with some kind of water-resistant tape (such as electrical tape or Gorilla Tape). Avoid using any type of cloth tape (such as hockey tape) as it will simply soak up the water instead of propelling it.
If you want to avoid getting sticky residue all over your paintball barrel you could invest in a two-piece barrel with a rain tip. Or you could just simply use a plastic cling wrap like Saran Wrap instead.
Avoid Using a Speed Feed On Loader
If you regularly play with a speed feed on your loader then I recommend you switch back to the standard lid as long as it’s raining. Otherwise, your paintballs are going to get soaking wet, and eventually, water will drip straight into the breach of your marker.
Now If you no longer have your standard lid that came with your loader then you’re going to have to improvise a little bit.
The best way I’ve found to keep rain from getting in your loader is to simply cover your entire loader with an empty paintball bag. Just make sure to tighten the bottom of the bag around the feedneck with something such as electrical tape or a hairbow to keep it from falling off.
Now you may be asking yourself, “isn’t it going to be awkward to play paintball with a bag wrapped around your loader?”.
And yes, this is true.
But at least you won’t get water inside of your loader and paintball gun.
Use a Thermal Lens
One of the worst side effects of playing paintball in the rain (or after the rain) is that your lens is much more likely to fog. This is because the humidity outside is extremely high and more likely to result in heavy condensation (fog).
Using a paintball mask with a dual-pane thermal lens will virtually eliminate any chance of your lens fogging in 99% of situations, but there’s always that 1% chance that your lens can still fog when playing in the rain (or after).
A dual-pane lens is simply two lenses that are separated by a small layer of foam around the outside of the lens. This small layer of space between the two lenses helps prevent lens fog by creating a buffer zone where the temperature between the two panes isn’t as contrasting as it inside or outside of the two separate lenses.
I’m not sure if that’s a good way of explaining it or not, but hey, I tried my best.
Cover Holes On Top of Paintball Mask
A dual-pane lens may do a great job at preventing fog, but it’s only going to help so much if water is dripping directly on the inside of your lens.
This is why I recommend wearing a hat with a bill or brim on it to help cover the slots (or holes) on top of your mask behind the lens. And if your mask comes with a visor, I recommend using it as well to help keep the rain off the exterior of your mask.
If wearing a hat doesn’t stop water from dripping behind your lens, then you may want to use some tape to cover the vent holes on top of your mask. Now, this may cause your lens to fog faster, but at least you won’t be getting water on the inside of your lens.
Cover Marker With Bag Between Games
Even if you’re using a mechanical paintball gun, you may still want to cover your marker with a bag between games to help avoid getting your marker unnecessarily wet. However, I would probably remove the bag before you start playing as it may make it awkward to play and hard to see what you’re aiming at.
Although, I have seen some players use a combination of plastic bags and plastic cling wrap to cover their marker in a tight-fitted plastic and it seemed to work fairly well.
Bring Extra Clothes
If you plan on playing paintball in the rain then it’s important to bring an extra set of clothes with you when you go to play. This way you’ll at least have something to change into before you get back in your car to drive home at the end of the day.
Related Topic: What to Wear for Paintball?
You may even want to bring a couple of extra pairs of socks with you so you have something to change into during the middle of the day. After all, nothing feels better than a fresh pair of socks when your feet have been soaking wet all day. You can even bring an extra pair of shoes if you truly want to freshen up your feet.
A quick warning though, you may want to avoid wearing cotton if you’re going to play paintball in the rain, as cotton is going to soak up lots of water and weigh you down.
Keep Your Paintballs Dry
One of the most important tips I can give you to help with playing paintball in the rain is to keep your paintballs dry.
While the moisture in the air may cause your paintballs to swell in size a little bit, getting even a drop of water on your paintballs can transform your paintball gun into a blender in no time. For some reason, the gelatin shell of a paintball is known to soak up water and change its shape, size, and texture.
While a regular paintball will have a hard, round shell, wet paintballs will typically have an oblong-shaped shell with soft spots on it where it came into contact with water. And let’s just say these soft, misshapen paintballs don’t seem to like it that much when they’re shoved through a small, round tube at 280+ feet per second.
To keep your paintballs dry you should store them inside your car (if possible) and not outside as you might normally do during an average day of paintball. Now if you do want to store your paintballs outside, then you may want to invest in a cooler and just make sure to keep the lid tightly closed to prevent any moisture from getting inside the cooler and contaminating your paintballs.
You can also store your paintballs in pods if you have enough of them. From my experience pods tend to do a great job at keeping your paintballs dry as long as you keep the lids tightly closed.
Be Careful When Reloading
Another helpful tip to keep your paintballs dry when playing paintball in the rain is to be careful when you’re reloading.
If you can’t find any shelter to reload under (maybe you’re playing speedball) then you’re going to have to lean forward and use your body as a form of shelter to prevent the rain from falling into your loader as you reload.
You also want to be quick when reloading to prevent unnecessary rain from being able to make its way into your loader.
Tape the Grip of Your Marker
One of the most common ways that water can damage an electronic paintball gun is by leaking through the grip of the marker and getting the electronic components in the grip wet.
You can decrease the likelihood of this happening by removing the grip on the frame, applying tape or plastic cling wrap over the electrical components in the grip-frame, and then reattaching the grip over the tape or cling wrap.
Unfortunately, there’s a space where the trigger and the grip frame meet that you won’t be able to tape off without interfering with the trigger mechanism. Since there’s not much you can do about this I wouldn’t worry about it.
Bring Plenty of Microfiber Lens Cloths
While it’s important to pack at least a few microfiber lens cloths every time you go to play, it’s even more important when it’s raining outside. I recommend you spray your lens with a polycarbonate lens spray (if you have any paint on your lens) and wipe it off after every game with a microfiber lens cloth.
You can use a regular microfiber cloth if it’s all you have, but I’ve personally found the microfiber cloths that are made for lenses work the best so it’s what I recommend.
Watch Where You Step
When playing paintball in the rain you need to be extra careful and watch where you step.
Trust me, the last thing you want to do is step and fall into a giant puddle when you just came out to have a fun day of paintball. Unless for some reason you like to fall into puddles… Then I guess you can do your thing.
Wear a Poncho
While I normally try to avoid playing paintball in the rain, if it happens to rain while I’m at a paintball scenario then I’m going to have to pull out my poncho (and maybe some rain pants) and make the best of it. After all, I’m not going to sit in my car during a paintball scenario that I paid a lot of money for.
Common Questions About Playing Paintball In The Rain
Here are some of the most popular questions about playing paintball in the rain.
If you don’t see the question you want to be answered below then simply leave a comment at the bottom of the page and I’ll try to answer it as soon as I can.
How to Keep Lens From Fogging In The Rain?
The best way to keep your lens from fogging while playing paintball in the rain is to use a dual-pane lens. However, you’ll also want to cover the slots (or holes) on top of your mask to prevent water from dripping on the inside of the lens.
You can cover the vent holes on top of your paintball mask by wearing a hat with a bill or brim such as a baseball cap or boonie hat. Unfortunately, you may have trouble getting either hat to fit properly as the backstrap of the mask can sometimes get in the way. Now, you may be able to wear a hoodie to prevent water from dripping through the holes on top of your mask, but you may find that it falls off when you’re running around.
If your paintball mask comes with the visor you may want to wear that as well as it can help keep water off the exterior of your lens.
Are Paintball Guns Safe to Use In The Rain?
If you own a mechanical paintball gun then you should be able to play in the rain without damaging your marker. Electronic paintball guns, on the other hand, are not waterproof and can be damaged by water if enough comes in contact with the electrical components inside your marker.
Even though virtually all modern electronic paintball guns have water-resistant coating placed on their board, this doesn’t mean your paintball marker is 100% safe from water damage. Hence why it’s called water-resistant, not waterproof.
Fortunately, there are a few techniques (read tips above) you can follow to help increase the water-resistance of your paintball gun.
Is It Dangerous to Play Paintball In The Rain?
Playing paintball in the rain is always going to be slightly more dangerous than playing paintball without the rain.
This is because you’re more likely to slip or make a mistake (and possibly injure yourself) when the ground is wet and muddy and your lens is obstructed by water and beginning to fog.
Are Paintball Fields Open When It’s Raining?
Most outdoor paintball fields will remain open when it’s raining as long as there’s no lighting or high winds that can endanger the guests. If there is lightning or high winds then most paintball fields will temporarily shut down until the weather improves.
Indoor paintball fields will typically remain open in all weather conditions as long as the power doesn’t turn off or there’s a hurricane, tornado, or earthquake present.
Can You Make a Paintball Gun Waterproof?
While it’s not possible to make an electronic paintball gun waterproof, it’s possible to make it more water-resistant by applying conformal coating on the electronic board inside your marker. Conformal coating is the water-resistant coating that paintball gun manufacturers already apply to their electronic boards.
If you do plan on applying conformal coating on your marker’s (and possibly your loader’s) board, then I recommend you take all the proper safety precautions beforehand to ensure your safety. Some of the safety precautions I recommend are to wear gloves and a respirator and to apply the conformal coating outside in a properly vented area.
It’s also important that you cover all connectors and contacts with tape before applying conformal coating on your electronic board.
Does Rain Affect Accuracy?
Rain can negatively impact accuracy in a variety of different ways.
For starters, even if the paintballs don’t come into direct contact with water, the moisture in the air is still going to cause the paintballs to swell over time. And the more the paintballs swell in size, the softer and bouncier they get.
Fortunately, moisture alone shouldn’t cause your paintballs to swell in size too much as I’ve tested it out myself. Here below is an image of a few paintballs that I placed on a wet table at night after it rained.
And here are those same paintballs the next morning.
While it’s obvious the paintballs are no longer useable, the size of the paintballs remained relatively the same.
Another way that rain can negatively impact your accuracy is from the rain itself coming into contact with the paintballs as they fly through the air. There’s not much you can do to stop this from happening other than shooting more paintballs and hoping for the best.