“I’m of no use to you!” Eric Lynge yells to Lisa Layman through the fuselage of the downed Black Hawk helicopter as he hurriedly attempts to fix his jammed gun. Layman leans around one of the side windows of the helicopter, firing off a few rounds into the forest, but pulls back seconds later to avoid the onslaught of rounds that pound all sides of the window. Soldiers crawl through the forest, using fallen trees as their shields, closing the space between their rapid-firing tactical guns and the human targets inside the Black Hawk.
Lynge’s gun malfunction proves to be fatal. His attention is diverted long enough for one of the rounds fired by the opposing soldiers in the forest to find his chest. “Hit!” he yells.
Now, every gun barrel in the forest but one is aimed in Layman’s direction. The sound ringing through the woods is similar to that produced by the percussion crew of a marching band as around a dozen rounds slam the side of the helicopter each second. Some pass through the window and echo inside the fuselage. Only about a minute after Lynge went down, Layman yells “Hit! Hit!” and emerges from the helicopter with a stream of yellow paint oozing down the sleeve of her military-issue camouflage jacket. A huge smile stretches across her face.
The “bad guys” emerge from the woods to join Lynge and Layman at the helicopter to share each of their experiences during the fight.
Adrenaline Junkie hosts battles of this kind every week. Dennis and Lisa Layman recently actualized their long-time dream by starting up the business. As a result of the economy, Dennis Layman was laid off from his job, which turned out to be the motivation that he and his wife needed to “pull the trigger” on Adrenaline Junkie.
The headquarters of Adrenaline Junkie is a brick, ranch-style house on Blackwell Road in Leland. Inside is a conference room where players are coached on how to play, tactics to use and the things they must do to have a safe game of paintball or laser tag. Next, players get to visit the equipment room — a full room in the back where the walls are lined to the ceiling with paintball guns, pads, helmets and all kinds of gear — even paint grenades.
What comes next is up to the player. Players can choose from a couple different types of paintball games. Speedball, as the name implies, is a very quick, high action game where the field is relatively small, and players race to knock out the competition and achieve their given objective before all of their players are hit. Players can go through 2,000 to 10,000 paintballs per game when playing this type of ball, and games only last a few minutes.
Many of the regulars at Adrenaline Junkie prefer “scenario paintball,” which is a much more realistic military-style game. This type of paintball game is usually played in the woods. A scenario is set in place, and then opposing teams battle against one another to protect an item (like the Black Hawk helicopter), an area, or to achieve a specific goal. Although still relatively quick, this game lasts longer than speedball. “It can last from five minutes to upwards of an hour if you have really tactical players and an objective,” says player Matt Richardson. This type of game takes strategy and teamwork. In fact, when these games play out they are similar in many ways to an actual battle. The paintball guns, powered by pressurized gas tanks, pop loudly with each round, and the players are yelling commands and instructions to one another through the woods as they coordinate their attack.
Some of the players who come out do so because it keeps their skills sharpened. They may be active-duty or retired from the military, but they want to have the excitement and challenge o f training. They will admit, though, that paintball is much more fun than military training.
Lynge, who served in the U.S. Army for four years, says that paintball is different from what he learned while in service in that “the (paintball) guns are not as accurate at a distance. So, where you normally would want to have one guy bounding forward and one guy firing to cover him, in paintball it can be good to have multiple guys shooting and charging ahead as a group.” The military guys also enjoy paintball because of the liberty in combat it allows them. Since it is just a game, they are able to take risks that they would never consider in a real battle.
While some of the players have a background in the Department of Defense, the typical player at Adrenaline Junkie is really just an average person. “That’s one of the great things about this place,” says Lisa Layman. “It brings so many different people together from all walks of life who otherwise would never have known each other. And here they are, working as a team.”
There is no minimum number of participants with paintball events, and Adrenaline Junkie can assist in coordinating a paintball adventure. Groups such as church groups or youth groups come out to play paintball, and children have birthday parties centered around laser tag at the facility. For small groups who want to play as a team, Dennis Layman says he has “opposing forces on call.” The Laymans have a network of paintball enthusiasts who will eagerly oblige when groups come out to Adrenaline Junkie looking for a target.
Children graduate to paintball around the age of 14 (this is more dependent on maturity level than it is on age), and oftentimes the girls are better players than the boys. “Girls aren’t used to playing with guns like boys are, so they have more respect for the guns, and they have more patience,” says Lisa.
Regardless of age, one can find a rush in the game of paintball. Whether you are among a group who wants to build teamwork skills while getting a lot of exercise, or just one or two people looking for an opponent to challenge, Adrenaline Junkie provides the perfect forum to enjoy a great, exciting and safe paintball match.
Want to Go?
Adrenaline Junkie Paintball is at 9781-a Blackwell road in leland. Visit them online at www.adrenalinejunkieinc.com