The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
May 23, 2024
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
A fighter jet squadron flies over during the National Anthem before Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas at Olsen Field on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Bryan-College Station Regional participants announced
Ian Curtis, Sports Writer • May 27, 2024

For the second time in three seasons, No. 3 national seed Texas A&M baseball will host the Bryan-College Station Regional, where it’ll...

Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Ready, aim, fire


Zoomz is the only paintball park in the Brazos Valley and is unaffiliated with the Texas A&M rec center. It does, however, host the Kinesiology 199 paintball class.

Fill your CO2 tank, load your hopper and switch that safety off. If that made sense, it’s because you have played paintball before, and if you are in the Bryan-College Station area like me, then you’re likely at Zoomz.
Established in 2010, Zoomz is the family business of Bryan natives Ryan and Taylor Thompson, giving community members of BCS a place to safely play paintball.
“We always wanted to do a family business,” Ryan said.
Paintball’s potential for life-altering injuries, one even being responsible for a California woman’s death, leave many doubtful of its safety. Yet at its peak, nearly 5.5 million Americans played nationwide and there’s only one way to form an opinion.
Donning my baggiest joggers and combat-appropriate boots, I traveled 11 minutes from campus to visit Zoomz. There, I was greeted with rental weapons, paintballs and a safety mask that covered my entire face — most importantly, my eyes, easing any worries I had. Legend has it the winner of the first game of paintball never even fired a shot — this wasn’t a strategy I sought to follow.
Zoomz employs rules on minimum shooting distances, gun safety etiquette and surrender. The company’s “3-strike policy” ensures repeat violators of these rules are banned for the day.
Each of Zoomz’s six courses had their own fun gimmick. I found myself stalking enemy teams in the woods and then hiding in a saloon style room taking fire from a second-story window across the street. I was hiding behind industrial spools one game and sprinting through shipping containers the next. Heck, there was even a school bus. The games were equal parts exhilarating and terrifying. I often got jitters before the games even started. Paired with the intricacy and creativity of the courses, Zoomz is ahead of other parks I have visited and it’s definitely one of the most intense full-body workouts I have ever done.
On the other hand, there were a couple times where I wasn’t sure if my ankle was gonna land at a 90-degree angle due to pretty hazardous terrain. Wasps, thorns and some eager-to-clothesline tree branches were constant issues throughout the day.
Running through the initial 500 paintballs that come with the $38 rental is easy. I would say a bag of 500 paintballs buys you about 1 hour of paintball. How many paintball bags you buy really determines your time at the
park, starting at $20 a bag. I felt even less guilty learning paintballs are fully biodegradable, using dyed potato starch and gelatin casings for easy clean-up.
Seeing someone from every age group during my time at Zoomz highlighted the inclusivity of the paintball community in Aggieland and it is one of the few events where no one has to be left out on their phones.
“It’s a great fun, outdoor entertainment experience, that there’s nothing like it in the county,” Ryan said. “You’re gonna get exhausted, you’re gonna get a workout and then you’re gonna get a thrill that you can’t really experience indoors.”
So if you have a coworker you don’t like, or want to really get back at, Jason from your student organization for wasting your time and don’t mind a few welts, don’t hesitate and head out to Zoomz for some one-of-a-kind fun.
Paintball is fun, but injuries happen. Several safety measures are taken at the park to avoid projectile injuries. Standard gun safety features are built-in to the guns like a safety-lock and a barrel-clearing slide. “Barrel socks,” as they were referred to at Zoomz, are plugs that prevent paintballs from shooting out due to a misfire. These are worn when in the public areas of the park. When your opponent is less than 20 feet away from you, the phrase, “bang bang!” can be used as a way to avoid a painful elimination which can be accepted or declined. Tag elimination is also a way to defeat an opponent, tagging them with the barrel of the gun.

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